What The Folk Is Up With Crissi Cochrane?
By Bill Nuvo
(WINDSOR, ON) – I really do love how social media like Facebook (FB) can connect you to people you’ve never met or heard of before. Going through my FB friend list, I came across Crissi Cochrane. She is a folk singer who recently moved to Windsor. Now let me tell you, this woman has talent! Her songs are original and her voice is very appealing, just like a warm summer breeze.
Bill Nuvo: How did you get into music? Do you have musicians in the family?
Crissi Cochrane: My childhood was full of casual, social music – my father, a recreational guitar player, would bring his guitar anytime we went to visit friends, or spend a weekend at our cottage in the woods. Late nights and music went hand in hand, and being allowed to stay up late and spectate was a treat. I started playing when I was about 11 years old – mostly covers, like my father’s repertoire, and began writing my own songs a few years later.
Bill Nuvo: Have you had any schooling?
Crissi Cochrane: I sort of planned to attend university in New Brunswick for Journalism after high school, but I knew my heart wasn’t into it. I was sure I’d have dropped out by the end of the winter semester, so I moved to Halifax from my rural hometown of New Minas, Nova Scotia, to play music instead. The following year, I took a one-year Music Business course in the city, which was a wonderfully insightful and encouraging program. My most valuable lesson learned was of the importance of networking. Very little can really happen without it.
Bill Nuvo: What brought you to gravitate towards a soft-folk sound?
Crissi Cochrane: Over the years, I’ve segued through several different styles, all of which have been very reflective of both my musical tastes and my emotional maturity. When I began writing in high school, I switched from playing electric guitar to acoustic. A lot of my pop/rock influences came out in my writing, which was all very over dramatic and cryptic. I think that the more I began to mature, the more my music began to relax into a folkier style.
Bill Nuvo: I notice that you actually have a wide variety of styling differences in your songs (like the Waltz/ 3/4 time Darling Darling and the slide guitar in So Far Apart). What are your influences for song-writing? How do you come up with the sound?
Crissi Cochrane: When I went in to the studio to record “Darling, Darling”, I was still sitting on songs that I had never had the opportunity to professionally record. The songs were all written between 2006 and 2009, which was an especially long period of time for me. What you’re hearing in the album is a big cross-section of different styles I went through as I tried to refine my sound.
Bill Nuvo: Where have you traveled to perform?
Crissi Cochrane: I’ve mostly stuck to smaller venues between eastern and central Canada. Day jobs often demobilize me, but I’m looking forward to exploring some new venues in Ontario later this year.
Bill Nuvo: What is your favourite memory so far?
Crissi Cochrane: It’s hard to pick just one. I’ve got two in contention – I had the pleasure of opening a show for one my musical heroes, Owen (aka Mike Kinsella, who later played on my record) at the Halifax Pop Explosion in October 2009. His music has always been inspiring to me, so opening for him in a big, quiet theatre was the most exciting and terrifying experience I’d ever had. During his performance he said of me, “she could sing the phone book and I’d listen”, which has been my most treasured compliment to date.
My other favorite experience was taking the train as I moved from Halifax to Windsor in August 2010. I was performing on the train, so the trip was free. They absolutely pampered me – it was like something out of a movie, watching the country roll past as I left to make a new home, and sharing my story with other travelers.
Bill Nuvo: Wow! How did you work that out with the train?
Crissi Cochrane: I began making plans to move in the spring of 2010, but I had been having a hard time working out the logistics of moving my two cats and all of my things without owning a vehicle (you can’t fly with animals in the summer, it gets too hot in the baggage area), so the train seemed like the perfect way to travel. Out east, I had heard of several musicians who’d performed on the train – I happened to know one of them, so I got in touch and he passed along some contact info. I didn’t anticipate that I’d get much of a deal, I just figured it would make sense because I’d be on the train with my guitar anyway. There was a fair bit of paperwork involved – you have to apply and be accepted – but it went through smoothly, and they ended up covering the cost of the trip as far as Toronto, and the train from there to Windsor is pretty inexpensive.
You can contact Crissi at:
Bill Nuvo owns and operates the Windsor-based, Nuvo Entertainment, your one stop entertainment resource.