Grounding Place, Vol. I | Interview with Nora Toutain

  • Describe your sound in three words

Soulful, energetic, authentic.

  • Tell us a few things about your debut album “Grounding place, Vol I”

This is the first half of a collection of songs I wrote for my debut album. As I was organizing the material I realized a concept was forming, with the songs naturally split into two clearly contrasting yet complimenting vibes, in a yin-yang sort of way.

Vol.I is very bright, energetic, and fiery, drawing inspiration from the North African Sun, and the colours of my home in Morocco. The themes explored deal with heritage, power, identity, travel, dreams and love. It’s moves a lot and almost has this impulsive energy… this first burst of thoughts and ideas that make up the opening chapter, the very beginning of my story.

It’s the opposite of Vol.II which is darker, more lunar, introspective, and North American influenced…

  • You have managed to be consistent throughout the whole album. How easy though was it to stick to a coherent idea and not be carried away?

You think so?! I thought it was all over the place (half kidding.)

I mean, I think the album is very eclectic in terms of sound/genre, but I also think that there are some key elements that gave it its overall coherence. So to answer your question, I think that my vocal interpretation and delivery is really the primary constance throughout the whole album, being the element that connects everything.

I think another aspect of the consistency is just the fact that I wrote and recorded all of this music in a particular state of mind, so even though things are all over the map stylistically, it all comes from the same intention/energy in me as an artist. The last obvious reason is the production style of Chris Vincent, who did a phenomenal job helping me put the whole thing together sonically.

  • What is your favorite song from the album?

That’s a hard one… but I feel like I have a soft spot for Bad At Love.

  • Feminism and music. Your thoughts.

I try to use my voice and my platform, as a female artist, to constantly honour and continue to make our place in this male dominated industry.

Whether it’s my lyrics, my music videos, or the people I’ll hire, it’s extremely important for me practice what I preach. I believe that change starts at the individual level.

  • What is your favorite album of the past year?

The Lion King: The Gift by Beyoncé. But I also have to shoutout fellow Montrealer Farley and his first album Clocked!

  • If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?

Fair pay for artist streams.

  • What was the best film you have watched during the quarantine?

COCO!

  • One last thing we should know about you?

Can’t wait to play in London.

Thank you!

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