Tia Brazda Interview
As you may know, I really love jazz singers. Recently, I had the pleasure to do an interview with Tia Brazda. One of Canada´s most recognizable voices in jazz. We talked about her latest album “WHEN IT GET LOW”
More infos about Tia and the album you find here:
What were your influences when you started as a singer?
I come from a family of singers so I don't remember a time when I wasn't one, however, I first got serious about singing jazz when I discovered Ella Fitzgerald in my teens. Lyrically, I especially like Peggy Lee, Cole Porter, Lou Reed and many others across many genres.
How did your latest record "WHEN I GET LOW" came about?
My initial intention was just to record songs I loved, as a trio, and quietly release them as singles. I wasn't in the mood to write and it felt
like a good project to stay active. However, my partner Chris, who produced and arranged the album here in Toronto, had a bigger vision and gradually convinced me to wait and release them
all at once. We recorded them in batches of three and each musician recorded remotely and then sent in their parts - now that seems bizarre but during lockdowns it was a wonderful way to still
feel connected to my band as well as the other musicians that worked on the album. The result feels very warm to me - it almost feels like we were together.
How did you choose the songs for this record?
I never set out with a strategy when it came to selecting songs - they were simply what I found myself listening to the most during the pandemic. I was relating to a lot of the lyrical content and found the music calming as well and, though I didn't give it too much consideration at the time, most of these songs came out of an era deeply affected by both the Great Depression and WW2. The issues back then were comparatively worse than the covid pandemic but that sense of instability and feelings it stirred up was very relatable. For example, in retrospect, I can now see that "Lullaby of the Leaves" was giving a voice to my loneliness while "I'll Be Seeing You" had me reminiscing about the old days and also looking forward to reuniting with everyone.
Your band sound like a ballroom band in the 30s. How did you choose your marvellous musicians?
Thank you! For this album, I actually went with my touring band rather than session musicians and I think that was a major reason why things felt so connected musically despite recording separately. We've all known each other and played together for years so the creative chemistry is just really strong at this point. As for the special guests on the album, Jason Marsalis, Drew Jurecka and Alex Bird - they each brought their unique gifts and I am forever grateful that they were part of the album.
In these records I hear some backgrounds like the Hi-Los or the Pied Pipers. Was that an intention to recreate these old swing music sounds?
In a way, yes - it was just what felt natural to the song. In particular, singer, Denielle Bassels did some great last-minute backgrounds on "When I Get Low, I Get High" - it really brought the
Does this old swing sound have a revival in Canada?
It certainly has its own niche of followers and creators and is holding strong. In Toronto, people of all ages enjoy the scene and there are live shows every weekend on Queen West. Perhaps one day there will be another major swing revival like in the 90s - that would be fun!
Would you describe "WHEN I GET LOW" as a jazz record?
Yes but also as a vintage pop album since most of the songs featured were the major pop hits of the 30s and 40s. You don't necessarily need to be a jazz fan to like them.
Is spotify more important for you nowadays than radio air play?
I would say they both serve a purpose. I love radio because hosts have a relationship with their listeners and can contribute so much to the local community. Radio stations often curate events as well as direct listeners toward live performances - there's an irreplaceable human element to it that you can't replicate with an algorithm.
On the other hand, Spotify playlists and algorithms are also very helpful in terms of attracting new listeners to your music and also for their convenience - it's basically a giant library and you are the DJ so it can be very fun to go exploring. As most know by now, there is really no significant payment to artists but Spotify recently added a feature where people can directly donate to the artist - I have a paypal link at the top of my artist page for anyone who wishes to relieve their conscience or directly support my next project.
When we can see this programm live in Europe?
I just recently returned from shows in Germany and the UK and am booked to return again in March '23. You can hear me at Birdland in Hamburg and I am currently adding more dates in Berlin and beyond. I have extended family in Slovakia so I am really hoping to get there as well.
Thank your for your time? Hope to see you soon in person
Yes, that will be very nice! Thank you so much for taking the time to chat about my album - very appreciated!