The music business can be a scary road to navigate. It’s impossible to tell where the next turn will lead. Artists are often at the mercy of so many outside influences that they tend to hold dear any chance to keep control of the directions they take. Roxanne Potvin is definitely that kind of artist, so much so that taking a full year off from her successful music career was a no-brainer.
Recording and touring steadily for the past decade, Potvin has built a solid reputation as a guitarist, songwriter and performer in the blues world, with four albums released since 2004, a Juno nomination for her 2006 disc, The Way it Feels, and a 2008 nomination for female vocalist of the year at the Maple Blues Awards.. Working under her own name, as well as alongside such notables as Sue Foley and Deborah Coleman, put Potvin at the forefront of the Canadian blues scene. That is, until she left it.
“I was thinking about what my next move would be,” Potvin says on the phone from her home in Montreal. “I hadn’t put out an album since 2011 and I was finished touring that. It was last June or July, I think, I was walking down the street and passed by a few posters advertising a recording school. Literally I walked past it, I stopped, I looked at the poster and it was like, ’Yah, this is what I need to do.’”
Since September 2012, Potvin has immersed herself in the sound and music recording program at Recording Arts Canada’s Montreal campus. Potvin had no qualms at all about putting her career on hold for a full year of school. In fact, she sees it as blessing.
“I’m incredibly glad that I did,” Potvin says. “It has opened a whole new perspective on music creating.” For Potvin the advantages might potentially go beyond her music. “I would really like to get into maybe producing; maybe sound engineering, for other people.”
Not only does recording school fulfill a desire to acquire a new set of skills within her chosen field, it also affords Potvin the opportunity to be off the road to focus some time on songwriting.
“The more I learn the tools, the more I can apply them,” she says. “It’s really stimulated the motivation part of it, wanting to come up with new ideas. It’s really motivating.”
Roxanne Potvin performing "A Love That's Simple."
The music world certainly has not forgotten about Roxanne Potvin. Gigs are falling into place and will begin almost immediately after school ends. Perhaps the most important aspect of the choice to put her career on hold is that Potvin is happy with the decision.
“Everything just really made sense at that one moment and I just went for it,” Potvin says. “I’m really, really happy with it. I’m discovering a real passion and hunger for it. I’m glad I did that.”
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