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Home » Lyricist Lounge

An unlikely Reggae star

Submitted by on February 2, 2010 – 9:41 amNo Comment

Auresia isn’t your average reggae artist. A woman of Ukrainian origin, now living in Montreal via Edmonton, Auresia (pronounced Au-re-sha, “like presha and fresha,” she assures me) grew up in a household in which her mother played piano and her dad an accordion.

A white girl with eastern European roots, a Canadian upbringing and what seems like, over the phone, a faint French accent, Auresia is an unlikely candidate for, perhaps, the first female reggae producer to spawn from Quebec.

Even over the line, her confidence is evident. Asked if she feels, in some circles, she may take flak for being a Ukrainian-Canadian woman making a name and money off a culture she didn’t help to create, she writes off the question with one fell swoop.

“Nah, not really, it’s more praise than flak. I feel most of the time, it’s respect. There’ll be more female musicians and singers rising up in the reggae realm (even though) it’s a male dominated industry,” she prophesizes.

Nominated this year for four Canadian Reggae Music Awards, including top newcomer, singer and producer, Auresia lost in all four categories. She says she sees the loss as a stepping stone in her career, not an experience to frown on.

She’s no stranger to turning tragedy to triumph. Echoes of Fall, from her self-titled debut, is written in response to the murder of her mother. Auresia thanks music for being as much a pleasurable pastime as it is a cathartic process.

“When I wrote that song (Echoes of Fall), it was a really intense year for me. Everything I wrote had something to do with my mom,” she says. “For me, now seeing those songs, it gets me through and I remember now why I’m here.”

That reason, she says, is to make music. With praise being lobbed at her from every direction and successful gigs logged all over the map, from Kingston, Jamaica, to Charlottetown, PEI, the sky seems to be the limit for Auresia. But, she admits, “There are a lot of barriers to break.”

“It wasn’t a direct choice,” she answers, asked why she decided to start writing and producing reggae. “I’ve always liked an organic, real feel, so I wanted to keep that alive in my music. I fell in love with reggae in my late teens, but I definitely have influences in folk and roots, and even some Ukrainian harmonies.”

Remi L. Roy

 also appeared in XPress 07/02/09

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