Monika Wall with Ismaila Alfa (CBC/Thacker)
I woke up and had this song in my head. I could tell it wasn't going to go away unless I did something with it so I went downstairs and I recorded it. And as soon as I had done that, another song came into my head. And then another.
—Monika Wall, singer
There's a saying that goes 'find out what you love doing, then do it.' That's exactly what vintage cabaret/chamber pop songstress Monika Wall realizes she did, in retrospect.
Wall joins SCENE on Air host Ismaila Alfa on Saturday February 23 to talk about her new album and explain how a classically trained singer fell in love with jazz.
Wall can't remember NOT singing. "I drove people crazy and probably still do because I sing all the time. It's like breathing to me," she explains.
Though she trained as a classical singer, Wall always knew she wanted to do something different with her voice. It was while she was living and studying in Europe for five years that she started to branch out beyond classical. "I came across Canadian jazz singers like Diana Krall and Molly Johnson and I started thinking - these gals are doing this music that I have always loved - why can't I do it too? So I started moving more in that direction."
She was bitten by the songwriting bug one night while she was sleeping. "I woke up and had this song in my head. I could tell it wasn't going to go away unless I did something with it so I went downstairs and I recorded it. And as soon as I had done that, another song came into my head. And then another. To me that was like 'start paying attention. You're a songwriter.'"
Wall worked with Mike Petkau Falk on her recording Parallel Mondo. "He is so interactive and open. He's incredibly creative, with wonderful ideas but also open to hearing what I was thinking...He doesn't really care what kind of music it is. He just cares if it's good."
Hear Monika Wall sing at Arkadash Bistro and Lounge on Portage Avenue on Friday March 1. You can also hear her in conversation with CBC host Ismaila Alfa on SCENE On Air on February 23. The show airs every Saturday from 5 - 6 p.m. on CBC Radio One, 89.3 FM/990 AM/97.9 FM in Brandon.
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