Jenn Grant Thrives With Latest Record

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Photo by DeeDee Morris
Photo by DeeDee Morris

The last time that Nova Scotian folk-pop artist Jenn Grant pulled through Metro Moncton almost two years ago when she was still promoting her 2012 release The Beautiful Wild, she had, in a purely business sense, cleaned house.

With the exception of her band, Grant terminated her business relationships with her management team and record label, opting to willingly dive head-first into getting new energies injected into her career.

It wasn’t as though her career had stalled out. The Beautiful Wild was, arguably, Grant’s most successful release to date, an album that she her finally push into the lucrative American market, while also earning her the first East Coast Music Award of her career.

Not surprisingly, however, Grant’s star has continued to rise with Compostela, Grant’s latest studio effort released in October 2014. The album, which features a diverse set of collaborators ranging from Ron Sexsmith to Buck 65, brought more than just deserved critical acclaim her way:

The album is currently in the running to win three Canadian Folk Music Awards in addition to five Music Nova Scotia Award nominations. Earlier this year, Compostela had received two Juno Award nominations.

Clearly, Grant’s call to the universe for new energies in which to envelop herself did not go unheard.

“When I did choose to go on my own and begin again, I initially had no idea on what I should be doing, so I wrote an album. I felt pretty confident that if I worked hard on what became Compostela, everything would fall into place, and fortunately, it has. I feel very lucky about where I am at with my career at the moment,” she says.

Grant acknowledges that her decision to seek new business partnerships didn’t initially come easily to her, especially considering that many of the people with whom she parted ways had been working with her for many years prior.

“I’m a very loyal person. The last thing I wanted to do was to hurt anybody that had helped me with my career. I still have a great respect for all of those people. I simply realized I had to start looking out for myself and my interests.”

One of Compostela’s most notable characteristics is the strength evidenced in Grant’s songwriting. While she had proven herself a worthy songwriter on each of her past efforts, her latest record showcases a maturity, depth and wisdom that helps set the record apart from preceding albums.

“My approach to making this record was different from what I had done in the past. During the writing of this album, I grew into loving the idea of telling stories and ballads, instead of just relying upon stream of consciousness writing. I had this drive to really step things up by a few notches.”

Grant’s performance at the Riverview Arts Centre on Friday evening comes on the heels of a recently-wrapped European tour. She says her music has been enthusiastically received by audiences overseas, so much so that she played before a sold-out crowd in London, England.

Although she will have to wait until next month to see if she takes home any hardware stemming from her Music Nova Scotia and Canadian Folk Music Award nominations, Grant is in a good headspace. She says that she feels incredibly grateful for the validation that typically goes hand-in-hand with award nominations, as well as simply being able to carve a career out of making music.

“I’ve been working hard to promote my music. Being on the receiving end of nominations is a boost that serves to reassure me there are people taking note of the lengths I am going to in order to have a career. It’s nothing that I take for granted. I count my blessings every day.”

Australian duo Oh Pep! will serve as Grant’s support act on Friday evening. Comprised of Olivia Hally and Pepita Emmerichs, the duo released their latest effort, Living EP, this past August.

What: Jenn Grant with special guest Oh Pep!
When: Friday Oct. 9, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Riverview Arts Centre, 400 Whitepine Rd., Riverview