Why Amelia Curran became a songwriter

The award-winning musician opens up about her journey into songwriting and how her book of music and lyrics came together.
Amelia Curran is a Juno Award-winning songwriter from St. John’s, N.L. (ameliacurran.com/Breakwater Books)

Amelia Curran is an award-winning songwriter from St. John's, N.L., who began writing music as a busker. In 2010, she won a Juno Award for her album Hunter Hunter. Her book, Relic and Tunes, catalogues the music of her first five albums from the lyrics to the chords. This interview originally aired on Oct. 9, 2017.

From playwright to songwriter

"I just landed in songwriting. It was a pretty organic, born out of necessity career path for me. I started out writing plays — and I still love writing for theatre — but songs arrived because I was a busker and I needed the money. I could only play that Sarah McLachlan song so many times in a row, before I was tired of myself and started making things up.  [Songwriting] was born out of necessity. But as a medium, I feel it is integral to this desperate attempt to explain oneself. Desperately trying to explain, spirit to spirit and soul to soul, our human nature and these broad themes of compassion and humanity."

The power of a songbook

"I wanted to include the chord progressions for two reasons: first, because I keep insisting lyrics are not poems and second, because I wanted people to be able to play these songs for themselves if they so choose. I want these humble songs to be accessible. It's potentially another life for them beyond on the recordings." 

Amelia Curran's comments have been edited and condensed.