The Next Chapter·Bedside Books

Nikki Yanofsky is a fan of the character dynamic in The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

The Montreal jazz singer and songwriter talks about the book she's reading.
Nicole Rachel "Nikki" Yanofsky is a jazz-pop singer from Montreal. (Jay Eads, Penguin Canada)

This interview originally aired on March 13, 2021.

Nikki Yanofsky is a jazz singer and songwriter from Montreal. She's perhaps best known for singing the song I Believe, which was the theme song of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Yanofsky has released three studio albums to date, including Nikki in 2010, Little Secret in 2014, and 2020's Turn Down the Sound.

Yanofsky spoke with The Next Chapter to talk about the book she's reading, the 1943 novel The Fountainhead by Russian-American author Ayn Rand.

"You have, in the novel, Peter Keating, who could have never been the ideal man, and he doesn't know it. Then there's Ellsworth Toohey, who could never have been an ideal man, and he knows it. There's Gail Wynand who could have been an ideal man, but he chose not to be. Then you have Howard Roark who is, in Dominique's mind, the ideal man. 

The conversations occurring between these men in the novel represent different pillars in society.

"I think it's pretty cool: each of them have their own relationships with the female protagonist, Dominique Francon, within the book. The conversations occurring between these men in the novel represent different pillars in society.

"It's a very interesting way of her putting forth these ideas of these different archetypes. 

"I don't necessarily agree with all of it. I think Rand's ideas haven't aged particularly well. But the part that resonates with me — and why it's one of my favourite books — is about the pursuit of personal goals, a desire to be the best that you could possibly be, and what you're meant to be great at, no matter the obstacle.

"That's what I love about the book."

Nikki Yanofsky's comments have been edited for length and clarity.

Listen to the song, Turn Down the Sound by Nikki Yanofsky

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