Get to know Jessy Lanza (Canada) ahead of her Australian debut tour

With her acclaimed album Oh No bringing Jessy Lanza to Sydney Festival for a much-anticipated show in Hyde Park on Friday night, ahead of shows at Sugar Mountain in Melbourne and other appearances around the country, we caught up with the Canadian musician to find out just how she is anticipating bringing her music to Australia for the first time this weekend.

We’re excited about your first visit to Australia! A few tips for long flight survival: Free whiskey is wonderful. Apply liberally. And, if you can push through the first day you’re in Australia (e.g. no naps!), you should avoid jetlag pretty splendidly. You must have some of your own travel tips though – how do you generally get through the day-to-day of your long tour runs?

The first thing I do when I get to the destination is what you suggested not to do, which is immediately take a nap. I’ll try to stay awake, but it’ll be a challenge for me.

What are you most excited about for your trip Down Under?

Very excited to wear light and loose fitted clothing. In southern Ontario, Canada, it is around -15 today.

Are there any Australian artists you are a fan of?

Cate Blanchett.

As most in Australia wouldn’t have had the privilege of seeing you perform before, what can they expect from a Jessy Lanza show?

You have to come and see!

And what do you expect of the audience (just so they can prepare accordingly)?

I have no expectations, but I hope there will be a big audience.

A lot has been written about the artists who have inspired your music; but what about your live show? Who are some of the artists you look up to when it comes to their stage presence / performance, and what is it about their shows that you love so much?

I played a show with DJ Spinn and Taso, where they brought a footwork dance crew and that show really changed how I felt about playing live. seeing the audience react to the music and the dancers really inspired me. It was euphoric. Caribou played that show as well and the audience went crazy for them. Their set up inspired me to add a drummer to my live show.

Do you still have anyone on your bucket list, in terms of artists you’d still love to see perform live?

There are lots but my favourite people to see are the ones that I don’t know about yet.

It would be fair to say that Oh No was critically acclaimed – how much attention do you pay to reviews though? Were there any responses you read after album number one that perhaps pushed your mind in a certain direction for album number two?

I have trouble reading about myself, so I often scan for negatives and positives and then stop reading before I start to freak myself out.

Almost eight months after its release, what has surprised you most about its response? 

Nothing surprised me really, but I am so happy that some people really like it. I never expected that with the first record either, but I’m so happy it worked out that there is an audience for the music.

What’s next for you, after your visit to Australia?

I have a few tours in Mexico and Europe and then I’ll be back in the studio working on new music!

Jessy Lanza performs at the Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent as part of the Sydney Festival on Friday night, 9:30pm. For more information, visit the official event page here. She will then appear at Sugar Mountain in Melbourne on Saturday 21st and in Perth at Jack Rabbit Slim’s on Sunday 22nd. Head to Handsome Tour’s Website for more details. 


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Larry Heath

Founding Editor and Publisher of the AU review. Currently based in Toronto, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter @larry_heath or on Instagram @larryheath.

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