Whether you consider Campbellton native Nathalie Renault to be a jazz-pop singer or a pop-jazz singer, it really doesn’t matter much to her. What does matter is that, after two full-length records, numerous compilation album appearances as well as having shared the stage with Zachary Richard, Daniel Belanger and Jim Corcoran, Renault is content doing what she does.
She is slated to perform on the closing night of the Mosaiq Music Festival, being held in Downtown Moncton on Saturday July 24. Also appearing on stage that evening are Chris Colepaugh, Dominique Dupuis, David Myles and more New Brunswick-based artists.
Renault has actually ping-ponged between living in New Brunswick and her current home of Montreal a number of times over the past two decades. She attributes this restless nature to growing older and clearly has no regrets where the road has taken her so far.
“I was working with CBC Television in Campbellton for a number of years and it came to a point where I felt that I was growing older and wanted to give a career in music another legitimate go in Montreal,” she says.
Renault admits that she hasn’t quite found the golden egg in the big city yet but isn’t crying in her soup over it. In fact, European audiences are more than willing to give Renault the success that might be lacking on Canadian shores to date.
“Over the last 10 years, I have spent quite a bit of time playing in Europe. As big of a city and as diverse as Montreal is, there is not much happening for me there where European audiences, particularly the Germans, have given me the chance to live from making my art.
“I have spent a consistent two to three months per year working in Europe. I had actually considered moving there permanently for a period of time, but ultimately decided against it,” Renault says.
Asked why she feels that Europeans have been so generous with their love of her work while Canadians have been a little more reserved, Renault expresses a couple of possibilities that could be contributing to this:
“I feel that Europeans, thanks to their history, have a musical culture that we simply don’t have in North America,” she says. “It is not intended as a slight against those living in North America but I do feel that it is an important piece of the puzzle.”
Although the above scenario has confounded Renault for a number of years, she says that she has stopped worrying about it and is continuing to focus on doing what she loves.
Among the many things Renault continues to hold close to her heart is her love of her home province of New Brunswick. In fact, Renault confides that she is considering moving back to New Brunswick before too long.
“These days, I tend to spend more time working in New Brunswick than I do in Montreal so it would make sense for me to lay my head here again,” she says. “I am starting to feel the pull to move back home.”
“I have family here that I want to be close to. I’d love to buy a house and start settling down. I’d also love to get a dog,” Renault laughs.
“There seems to be a tremendous amount of things happening within the music scene of the province as well. I would really love to become a bigger part of that.”