Hello, everybody, welcome back to another episode of WestVancouver Magazine podcast. I am Catherine Barr, online at Westvancouver.com. We have fun all the time on this show because I get to talk to pretty spectacular guests. But I am especially excited about our guest today because it’s somebody I’ve known for a long time. She’s a West Vancouver girl, but she is transitioning into one of the most amazing emerging music artists that I have heard in quite a long time. It is a thrill to have her here today. We’re going to talk about where she’s been. Where she’s going. Her brand new single – which you’ve got to hear and can download on all the special stations. We’re going to take the journey today with the amazing Spence Paull. Welcome to the show.
1:00 Who is Spence Paull? Tell us about your new career in music.
Q: When I tell you that Spence is a very well educated person – she has law background, she has finance background, she’s got more degrees, you know, one of those people that’s got more letters after their name than in their name. And when I thought about what a successful future you were going to have, I’ve got to tell you, I didn’t think of music. But it doesn’t surprise me that you’ve got this talent in your back pocket. And now you’ve chosen this as a main stream career. Tell us how you created Spence Paull and your new choice to partake in music as a brand new artist?
A: Throughout all of my academic pursuits, music was always there. And I think anyone who knows me really well has known that music has been my heart, my soul, my passion since I can remember. So you know, while I sort of took the “safe route”. I did what I was supposed to do, I got the degrees I was supposed to get, I went to the schools I was supposed to go to, but music just continued to nag at me saying ‘give me a shot – please, please, please’. And so I listened to music and said, ‘All right, let’s do this’.
5:14 The new single ‘Do You Listen to Girl in Red’
Q: I was so thrilled when I heard your magical voice (and it is magical) – and for those of you listening, we will play some excerpts here later in the show. You’ve done lots with music throughout your life. But this one is extra special. Tell us about the launch of your new single.
A: This is the first time I’ve ever written in this style. I very much come from a singer-songwriter, folk, Americana, if you will, background. To work on a song that has such heavy jazz influenced pop influences, definitely new to me. And because of that, that new fresh sound (I think this single very much falls within a pop genre), but it has a lot of elements of a funk and jazz. So to have that genre crossing sound and have it be so fresh, I felt this is the one that we’re going to launch on. It’s about what’s important in life, what your passion is, but really being your true, authentic self.
7:37 The deeper meaning behind ‘girl in red’
Q: There’s a deeper thing going on here. Your lyrics are very meaningful. The title ‘Do You Listen to girl in red’ is actually a reference to an amazing upcoming artist herself otherwise known as Marie Ulven (girl in red is her artist name, all in small letters). Was this a dedication to her? I mean, your song is about love and excitement and seeing someone special across the room and wanting to connect. But tell us about the tribute you are paying to ‘girl in red’ in this song.
A: Yeah, I think tribute is probably a good word. I think she’s had a fantastic cultural significance, especially in the LGBTQ community. So being able to sort of take a sly little turn of a phrase that is pretty prevalent in the community. Saying “Hey, well, I don’t know do you? Do you listen to ‘girl in red’? I listen to ‘girl in red’.”
I think you know, even though this is a song written for members of the community, it’s more than that. I think there’s that initial thought of ‘Oh my goodness, I see someone across the room, I need to go talk to them, I need to find out more about them. I just want to be in your presence’.
I feel like a lot of members of the community go through this, and again, you do not even have to be in the community to have gone through it – anyone goes through it. Putting a soundtrack to that experience was definitely something that I was interested in doing and it just sort of fell into place that way.
16:20 Who do you collaborate with? What instruments do you play?
Q: How did you put together this single? You obviously did the musical part of it. You wrote the music? This is a lot for one person? Do you have a group? Tell me about how you’re going to develop from here?
A: I play six instruments and I also sing and produce. It’s such a privilege to be able to have the even the tools to to lay down the tracks by myself. I love collaborating with much better musicians than I am. But you know, in the quarantine world that we’re currently in, it just wasn’t feasible. So I was really happy to be able to lay down these tracks myself, and obviously bring in some professionals to help spice things up a bit.
17:40 Women in music
Q: You’re entering the music business at a very different time than, for example, the 70s and the Rock and Roll era. How do you think? What is your view of what a woman in the music business is these days?
A: When you look at the statistics of it, especially on the production side, which is where I definitely started out before transitioning to in front of the mic, if you will. The stats that we have on female producers are pretty small. And there’s some pretty embarrassing numbers there. So there’s a lot of room for improvement and bringing women in on the backside of tracks in the production roles and in the audio engineering roles. I’m very passionate about ensuring that women are brought in at every stage, which is why I collaborate with as many women as I do.
21:05 What’s up next
Q: I know we’re just talking about your first release here – but you obviously have more planned. Tell us what’s up next for Spence Paull.
A: I will definitely have a couple more singles coming out this year – very excited about that. Long term plan is definitely to work on an album and the concept that I have – it’s very much a conceptual album. Right when I was sort of in the thick of trying to go to med school, figuring out law school, you know, when I was in that, and music kept saying, ‘Hi, what about me? How are you? I’m still here’. And I kept saying ‘Yeah, I hear you. I love you, but I have to focus on this’. So you know, that entire relationship that I really built with music. And now we’re coming to full circle saying, Alright, it’s time I’m ready. So I’m really excited to continue on that journey.