Singer, songwriter, visual artist...there are many colourful strings to the vibrant bow of Canadian songstress Krista D. Starting her musical journey in her early teens, this present-day incarnation as a doo-wop-meets-ska-meets-punk storyteller is a compelling combination that is underscored by Krista's earnest approach to lyrical and melodic composition - plus a healthy dosage of sass from Ms. D herself.
With her 2017 'Look at Me...I'm Krista D' EP out and about in the world, plus a whole heap of new material in the works, The Soundcheck grabbed some time with Krista to chat solo projects, Billy Joel's probable boat-building abilities and playing a gig with a mannequin backing band. Interview below.
PROJECT NAME: Krista D
HOMETOWN: Nash Creek, NB, Canada
PROJECT MEMBERS: I'm a singer-songwriter and I hire session musicians, so the members kind of change around depending on the track. Everyone that was involved with this EP: - Krista Acheson- Singer-Songwriter and I wrote the tuba/sax/trumpet parts - Scott McKinley - Guitar and Bass (studio).Tracks 1,4 - Chris Colepaugh - Guitar and Bass (studio) Tracks 2,3,5,6 - Mike Bourgeois - Heavy Guitar (studio) Tracks 2,3,5,6 - Joel Spanky Gray - Trumpet (studio) Tracks 1,4 - Don Berner - Sax (studio) Tracks 1,4 - Alden Lowery- Tuba (studio) Track 4 - Drums- Danny Bourgeois ( studio) Tracks 2,3,5,6 - Drums- Stew Kirkwood (studio) Tracks 1,4
HOW DID THE YOU GET STARTED? I started when I was around 13, which was when I first discovered that I had a knack for songwriting. My dad was strumming the guitar in the living room and a melody, with lyrics, formed in my head; so I scribbled it down and sang it for him. He was impressed, encouraged me to write more and I ended up recording my first album at 16.
HOW LONG HAS THIS PROJECT BEEN GOING FOR? I've been recording and releasing music, on and off, since I was 16. My last album release was in 2006 but when I moved to another province I found it difficult to find musicians to perform live with. So I basically dropped music completely; switched my focus to becoming a visual artist and that's predominately what I've been doing since 2009. Then, in 2016, I decided that I missed singing and wanted some closure. I wanted to release all the songs I would have released had I not moved across the country, and I decided to divide up my song catalogue by genre, opposed to doing another 'mixed tape' type album like my previous release. I also decided to not bother forming a supporting band and just remain a studio project. I figure hiring session players is much easier than finding a consistent line-up. I intend to release two other EP's, under different project names, either later this year or early next. They were supposed to be released early this year, but nothing ever quite goes according to plan.
WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR MUSICAL INFLUENCES? I would credit a lot of the musical influences for this project to all the bands I would listen to on an old radio program called Finklemans 45s. It focused on hits from the 50's, 60's and early 70's.
DESCRIBE YOUR MUSIC IN THREE WORDS: Quirky, Perky, Snarky
WHAT'S THE MOST MEMORABLE GIG YOU'VE PLAYED SO FAR AND WHY? My show at The Forge. I couldn't find any session players in time to back me for my performance so I performed karaoke style with mannequins as my band. I made band shirts for them, hung instruments on them, taped drumsticks to the "drummers" hands...etc. It was pretty great. Sound check was a breeze.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE SONG OF YOURS AND WHY? Land Mine, I think. My decision may be biased though- it may only be my favorite because it's had the best response from listeners so far. It paid for itself with streaming royalties, within a month, and that was a definite first for me in my career.
WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON RIGHT NOW? ANY NEW THINGS ON THE HORIZON? Lots of new things! On top of doing promotion, interviews and mail outs for this project, I am working on new material for two other music projects. I'm also predominately a visual artist so I'm preparing art for a solo show that is booked for June; I'm almost finished sculpting a 15 foot whale. I'm also working on an animated music video.
IF YOU WEREN'T PLAYING MUSIC, WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU BE DOING? I would just be sculpting or painting more than I do currently. I am always doing something creative because it's a great way to burn off nervous energy; it quite literally keeps me sane.
IF YOU WERE STRANDED ON A DESERT ISLAND WITH ONE OTHER BAND, WHO WOULD YOU CHOOSE AND WHY? Hmm..that question makes me think that there is only two ways to think about a question like that and it's either choosing people who are entertaining or "entertaining". *wink, wink, nudge, nudge*. But you know what... I think I'm just going to give a practical answer.I'd choose a singer-songwriter who I think actually has a hobby of sailing/building boats : Billy Joel. Then we can sing a duet of The Downeaster 'Alexa' and sail home.
PINEAPPLE ON A PIZZA, YES OR NO? Haha...yes. Pineapple, jalapenos, red onions and green pepper.
CATS OR DOGS? Well, they are both fluffy and awesome... but definitely cats. Cats are just more chill. I think I would find the intensity level and demands of a dog a little too much. Dogs are also a pack animal so the guilt over ever leaving it alone at home would weigh on me.
WOULD KRISTA D SURVIVE A ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE? Hell no. If the world as I knew it shut down completely, the 3rd day I'd not be able to have a hot shower I'd just kill myself. Zombies wouldn't even enter into it. My will to live simply isn't that strong.
AND FINALLY, WHAT'S THE GREATEST SONG OF ALL TIME AND WHY? Probably Africa by Toto. If people can hear a song played to death for years and still get excited when it happens to come on the radio, then that's the sign of great song.
'LOOK AT ME...I'M KRISTA D' EP IS OUT NOW.
FOR MORE KRISTA D INFO, HEAD TO:
BY TIANA SPETER