Blanchard gears up for second album

Annie Blanchard might not call New Brunswick home at the present time but the Maisonnette native is proud of her small-town roots. 

Blanchard is currently working away at putting the finishing touches on the follow-up to her 2007 record “Sur L’Autre Rive”. That 13-track album helped launch her music career after a respectful Top 3 finish on the 2005 season of the French reality show Star Academie, giving Blanchard no good reason to look back from pursuing a career in music. 

Blanchard is slated to perform on the Atlantic Lottery Mainstage in Downtown Moncton on Saturday July 24 as a part of the Mosaiq Music Festival. Blanchard’s performance will surely compliment the performance of fellow New Brunswickers also performing that evening including Chris Colepaugh, Jessica Rhaye, Nathalie Renault and David Myles.   

Blanchard admits that music has always played an integral part of her life, dating back to when she was a small child.   

“I have been pursuing music as a full-time occupation since 2005,” she says from her Montreal-area home. “I sang in the church choir as a little girl and then starting singing at various festivals in my village as I grew older.” 

She ended up auditioning for Star Academie on a whim, making the journey to Moncton to take part in the audition process. Much to her surprise, Blanchard was among the final three contestants on the show and even though she did not emerge victorious in the end, she does not deny that her exposure on the show helped pave the way for her career. 

“Honestly, I am still reaping the benefits of having been on the show,” she says. 

Interestingly, Blanchard attributes part of her longevity on the show to her rendition of Marie Jo Therio’s song “Evangeline”. 

“It is such a great song and there is such a great story behind the song. I had selected it as I felt as though it was the one song that represented me the best, while also representing the story of the Acadian people. 

“I feel a lot of people have been touched by the song over the years, including myself. I owe a lot to that song; I feel as though it has blessed me with the career I have today.” 

When Blanchard picked up and moved to Montreal in 2007, she hated to leave life in Caraquet behind, but knew that if she was going to make a serious run at making music her life, relocating to Montreal would be in the cards.  

“I came to realize that my chances of succeeding were going to be bigger in Montreal. It wasn’t an easy decision but it made a lot of sense to relocate there as both my management company and the record company are located there as well.” 

Next up on Blanchard’s plate will be completing her still untitled sophomore record, currently scheduled for release in September. 

As opposed to the solo touring she did throughout 2008 and 2009, she is hopeful that she will be touring with a full band (guitar, bass and drums) in support of her new effort.

“Playing and making a living from playing music is not as easy today as it might have been in the past. I know we’re all going to survive though,” she laughs. 

“All I can do is take things one day at a time and go with the flow.”

Article published in July 21, 2010 edition of the Times & Transcript