In our ongoing series, we check in with some of the artists performing at the East Coast Music Awards Breakout Stage at the Seahorse Tavern on May 5. Featuring some of “the most promising emerging and developing artists from around Atlantic Canada,” this is the perfect opportunity to discover your next favourite artist.
In this edition, we learn more about Acadian singer-songwriter Maude Sonier.
This interview has been edited.
Please introduce yourself to our readers.
My name’s Maude Sonier, I’m an Acadian singer-songwriter originally from Miramichi, New Brunswick. I started my career in local music contests like Accros de la chanson and the Gala de la chanson de Caraquet. Accompanied by my acoustic guitar or the piano, I sing comforting lyrics over dreamy tunes. It’s a pleasure to be here.
How do you describe your music?
When I have to put a label on it, I’ll say it’s in the pop-folk, alternative, borderline psychedelic world. In my own words, I’d say it’s comforting, with unpredictable but fun melodies, it’s ambient, very lyrics-forward, and I love a good clever line or story. Really, it’s all about the feelings.
How did you get into making music?
I started playing classical piano when I was around six years old; I had been singing for quite some time, for fun in talent shows at school and in my community. When I got to high school, I taught myself guitar. There was this singer-songwriter contest called Accros de la chanson, which invited high schoolers from all around the province to perform their own songs. A good friend of mine who knew I loved music encouraged me to sign up. I wrote my first song for that contest and ended up signing up for it all throughout high school. I learned so much from it, and since then, I’ve never looked back.
What was the best advice someone gave you when you started as a musician?
Don’t overthink it, it’s just sounds.
What or who inspires you as a musician?
I’d say stage presence and authenticity are what inspire me most in musicians. When you can tell they are being genuine and are having a great time, it makes you wanna jump into the fun with them even more. As for who inspires me, I’d say most Francophone bands from N.B. like Les Hay Babies and Les Hôtesses d’Hilaire, as well as artists like Lisa Leblanc and Pierre Guitard. They’ve worked super hard in the last decades and have paved the way for the rest of us trying to make our own paths in this industry, plus, their music is just amazing. Dijon is also one of my all-time favourite artists; he does this weird R&B, alternative thing that’s completely out of the box, and I’m in love with it.
What are you working on musically right now?
On finding my creative identity. I’ve been working as a solo artist for the past couple of years, and it’s been amazing in the last months to see how my music has evolved while working with other musicians. Everything is possible these days, and I’m trying to find what feels most like Maude.
Do you have a new album in the works?
I do. I’ll be getting into the studio right after the ECMAs. It’ll be a first for me, which is super exciting. I’ve chosen my favourite musicians, who I’m lucky to call my good friends, to be part of the project with me. Thrilled to see what will come out of it.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Good question. Definitely still playing music, I love it too much to say no. By that time, I will have released an album, which is crazy to me. I hope to continue to do shows here and elsewhere and continue to release new projects. Right now, I’m still in university, I’ll finish my bachelor’s degree in arts and social sciences in 2025. All this is to say that things are coming together for me, and I hope that in five years, I will be as happy as I am now.
What advice do you have for other aspiring musicians?
Trust yourself. Do your thing. Don’t compare yourself too much; the beauty of music is that there are all sorts of it, different people, different paths, and at the end of the day, it’s all great.
What can fans expect from your live show?
They can expect an authentic and original experience with an amalgam of humour and a heart-wrenching pen with bold, quirky, yet warm melodies. Above all, it’s fun for everyone. I really hope to see you there.