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Interview with Silka Weil
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I was born into music. Always singing and playing with toy instruments as a kid. Then I sang in children’s choirs along with my sisters. What really did it for me? When my stepdad came into my life. He had a Fender Stratocaster that I really wanted to play ALL THE TIME. My parents ended up getting me my first guitar and guitar lessons when I turned 9, and the rest is history. I also think that as a 90’s baby I was born at a rich time for music. There were so many raw and authentic artists who broke out in those years. For me, music was a magic world where people both shared themselves and escaped themselves. What could be more irresistible?
If I had not gotten into music, I would be leaning further into the visual arts, my other first love.
The cover art for my EP is of one of my paintings.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I love to read, I love going to art shows and walks along the waterfront. In the summer I love to kayak and paddleboard. I love spending time with my partner, and with my friends and family. I love to paint. Not to be a huge nerd but I love my day job, working as an occupational therapist in youth mental health. I try to find a balance in my life and spend time in nature everyday. It grounds me and keeps me connected to a higher purpose. It’s important to fill the creative well so that there’s always something to draw on for inspiration. I love hearing other people’s stories and relating to others through their experiences. I also try to remind myself that not everything I write needs to be autobiographical.
How long have you been making music?
If we are starting from the beginning, my first official song was about my green quaker parrot named Sweet Pea. I wrote it when we learned how to play the recorder in (if memory serves me) the second grade.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
Montreal. To be honest I remember times where I felt like my music wasn’t “cool enough” for the “scene”, but that was mostly when I was younger and going to punk shows. I’ve pushed through a lot of fear and insecurity to get to where I am. There’s also a lot more than just punk shows in Montreal. There’s so much talent. It’s inspiring to see others chasing their dreams, it's contagious. There’s a lot of excellent live music here. There’s usually a show somewhere you can see, and sometimes going to some weird art show does even more for you creativity-wise than going to a traditional musical concert.
Tell me about your most memorable shows, if you haven’t played live what is your vision for a live show?
I took an undergrad semester abroad in England in NewCastle Upon Tyne. There was a pub near my student accommodation called the Trent House where I went regularly for open mic. It was a fun and intimate soiree where I met lots of great talent. The organizer of the open mics put together a showcase in which I was invited to perform. It was magical to be in England. It was also one of the first times I got approached to play in a show. I remember feeling weirdly at home at the venue despite being so far from home. It was great connecting with other local musicians. Being aware of how brief my stay was made it even more precious and memorable.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
My favorite venue to play at is in the courtyard of Musiikki cafe in Kingston, Ontario on a hot steamy night. My father, a native New Yorker, and his partner would go wild if I were to play at Joe’s Pub in Manhattan.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Oh wow. What a great question! Alanis Morrissette, Garbage, Foo Fighters, Phoebe Bridgers, PJ Harvey, and Joni Mitchell.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into making music and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Be kind to yourself. It takes time and practice. You should make a point of working only on two occasions. When you are inspired and when you are not.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
“Unsatisfied”. I wrote it as an emotionally wounded teenager and it was the first time I’d realized how powerful songwriting could make you feel. I took my shame and anger and transformed it in a way that others could relate to. It was my boldest song at the time and always the one people came to ask me about after my set. It was the song that gave me permission to more fully access my darker emotions.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
“Unsatisfied”. For all the same reasons as I shared in the previous question.
What is your creative process, and what inspires you to write your music?
I am still trying to figure out the creative process. It’s a mysterious and exciting relationship with something not yet known. Always pulling from imagery in my past or from elsewhere. I must write to feel human. It’s how I process and make sense of my experiences. It’s a friend who will always listen and never judge. When I abandon it I always get myself into trouble, so now I know better and keep at it.
Do you have messages that you like to get across in your music, if so please tell me about them?
I do like a good message of hope and acceptance. If I’m really not up for something uplifting then I’ll swing in the other direction and fully embrace the crash and burn.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
I am excited about getting back into the studio with my producer. I wrote a song a couple of weeks ago called “Midnight Blue”. It was one of those magical experiences where the song shows up in my mind ready to be transcribed. So far I’ve only had one commercial release, with my debut single “Capsized”. My next single, “Unsatisfied”, releases on February 24th, followed by an EP this April.
How can your fans best keep up to date with you, any socials you want people to check out?
Please do! I love to connect on social media.