Saturday, May 25, 2013

Andrea Koziol performs "Rain" on "This City Live"

The lovely and multi-talented Andrea Koziol recently did a show with "This City Live", where they host a weekly web series featuring Toronto musicians.  Check out her fabulous performance here (accompanied by Davide Direnzo, Ian De Souza and Joel Schwartz), plus a Q&A after the video!

(from "This City Live/In One Take"; view original page here)

On May 12th we had Andrea Koziol in with her band to perform her song 'Rain' during a fittingly rainy day. Andrea’s latest album, “Half Way Sweet,” is available through iTunes and CD Baby and you can keep up on her upcoming shows at  Andrea is joined by Davide Direnzo (Drums), Ian De Souza (Bass) and Joel Schwartz (Guitar)

Interview with Andrea Koziol

Andrea Koziol is an impressively well established singer/songwriter based in Toronto who has spent the last decade both recording and playing her own material all over the country as well as collaborating with a myriad of other musicians. After shooting one of her newest songs for In One Take, I sat down with Andrea and discussed managing songwriting and parenting, the value in occasionally embracing bad experiences, and the necessity of backstage massage therapists.

How’d you like shooting with This City Live?
Andrea: I loved shooting with This City Live because the vibe is so good and Warren doesn’t make you feel like he’s there when you’re working, so you can just be yourself. That’s really pleasant.

What can you tell me about the song that you did today?
Andrea: I just finished it a few days ago and it’s very nice that these guys got together and played it with me. It’s was just dumping rain in Toronto last week, just pounding, like a west coast storm that had lost its way here. I was contemplating how that felt perfect in light of some really bad shit that people I knew were experiencing. It seemed like everybody around me was having a hard time. So it’s a song about how it’s not a bad thing to just get down and let it rain every now and again. It's actually good for you.

So how does songwriting work for you in general then? Are you one of those people who can regimen yourself or is it more like in the case of this song where something inspires you and you just have to get that song out of you immediately?
Andrea: It really depends. I have two little kids so I need to be a little bit disciplined about trying to get into the basement where nobody is listening to me after they go to bed. I have to make myself work at that point, even if I don’t feel like it, because it’s necessary and it feels good when something happens.

What’s the best show you’ve ever had? Not necessarily your best performance, but what’s the best time you’ve had playing?
Andrea: There’s one particular show at the Vancouver Folk Festival. I was on a stage with ridiculous people. People that I felt completely humbled by and that I felt tiny beside. It was crazy because I felt out of my league. And it was a Sunday morning gospel show and I’m just a white girl, so what the heck was I doing there? I played my first tune and before my next one I was just thinking, “What am I going to do?” Looking out at a couple thousand people sitting on the grass, waiting for something from the girl who clearly didn’t belong. I ended up singing Amazing Grace acapella. I sang it really, really loud, and I didn't feel an ounce of self doubt, and I've never been the same since. It was awesome...and then I had a great massage.

Not sure what the connect there is, but okay.
Andrea: Oh! Backstage at that festival they had massage therapists for the performers. Play your show, then lie down in the grass and get a nice massage.

Okay, that’s in my rider for every gig from here on out.
Andrea: It’s pretty sweet.

Alright, I hate to ask this one sometimes, but what do you think is the worst show you ever had?
Andrea: The kinds of gigs that I don’t play anymore are shows where people don’t listen. Like weddings, or anytime you have to take what you do and what you love, and put it into a scenario where it just becomes a commodity. I’m not fond those gigs. But having said that, I had a pretty lousy date at The Rex years and years ago where I just thought, “toss in the towel at this point." If you don’t get a good crowd it can be brutal, but that's the thing about playing live can be the most fantastic experience in the world, or it can dump you down on the ground and step on your head. You don’t know what’s going to happen that particular night, but you have to keep hoping for the best...expecting the best.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten from another musician?
Andrea: Understand what your own voice is before you give it other people. Don’t try to sing like anybody else, don’t try to play like anybody else, don’t try to do anything based on a convention or anything you think you should exist inside of. Find out what you sound like, then make that sound.

What are some of your favourite Toronto acts?
Andrea: I’m a big Kevin Breit fan. I love the Sisters Euclid. Of course I love Kilometre (This City Live's head engineer Andrew McCready’s band). They’re like my favourite boy rock band. I try to catch them whenever possible. Whenever the kids let me out at night. I also have a lot of friends who do the same sort of thing that I do, a whole host of singer songwriters, and we all support each other. It’s a great scene for that. I should also mention that I'd make time any night of the week to hear the guys that played this tune with me tonight - Ian De Souza, Joel Schwartz and Davide Direnzo. They are obviously amazing, they all have their own incredible projects on the go.

Last question: what are some of your favourite places to eat in the city?
Andrea: Oh man, really?! I like a lot of food. I love eating Ethiopian at Africa Palace. Barque is utterly fantastic. And I love Foxley, it’s fantastic. And Enoteca Sociale is one of my faves, especially when they have the artichoke fries in season. You know what else? Caffe Brasiliano because they do a hot table lunch everyday and this really nice family the place. They make home-cooked, fantastic food, and their super nice people. I love them.

Andrea’s latest album, “Half Way Sweet,” is available through iTunes and CD Baby. For more information, visit her website and follow her on twitter at @andreakoziol.

Thanks for reading,

Aaron “DangerFriend” Florendo