Rogersville native Lisa LeBlanc has secured the second Juno Award nomination of her career.
LeBlanc’s latest album Why You Wanna Leave, Runaway Queen? was confirmed as a nominee in the Contemporary Roots Album of the Year category this past Tuesday.
She had been previously nominated for the Francophone Album of the Year Award for her self-titled debut record in 2013. That album achieved platinum status in Canada for sales of more than 80,000 units.
In the four and a half years since she introduced herself to the music world with her platinum-selling francophone debut, she has amassed fans in all corners of Canada who are drawn to her self-described “folk trash” sound.
LeBlanc released her second full-length record, Why You Wanna Leave, Runaway Queen? in September. Written in the aftermath of a relationship breakdown, listeners are given a first-hand glimpse at casting off the shackles of failed romance and moving forward with confidence.
Boasting ominous song titles including “Dump The Guy ASAP” and “I Love You, I Don’t Love You, I Don’t Know,” LeBlanc’s newest record debuted on the Billboard Canadian Album Charts in the No. 8 position, just behind Ariana Grande and Celine Dion.
When reached by phone to discuss her Juno Award nomination, LeBlanc admits it the news caught her off guard.
“I was literally in the middle of nowhere when I got a text message from a friend congratulating me for having been nominated,” a jovial LeBlanc says. “We worked so hard and for so long on this record, it was nice to stop for a couple of minutes and let the news of the nomination soak in. It’s been a nice pat on the back.”
Especially gratifying for LeBlanc is the fact the award nomination is in an English-language category. Her prior Juno Award nomination had been for Francophone Recording of the Year.
She acknowledges not all artists are able to successfully cross that language barrier within Canada, which she says helps make this most recent award nomination all the sweeter.
“Artistic chances don’t always pay off. Every time you make a record, you want people to enjoy it, but you can’t really gauge anyone’s reaction until they’ve actually heard it. It makes having received this most recent nomination in an Anglophone category even more special. It’s especially flattering and will prove to be motivating, as well.”
Since LeBlanc last performed in New Brunswick this past fall, she has maintained a steady stream of concerts within Quebec, but also spent a month touring a number of European countries.
Following a run of shows through Western Canada in late March, LeBlanc will perform a few dates throughout Southern Ontario in early April. In May, she will return to Europe for yet another string of shows throughout France, Belgium and Switzerland.
LeBlanc says that despite her initial reservations about touring Europe, the continent has proved itself an increasingly worthwhile market with each new tour.
“It’s great to see the hard work we are putting in to tour Europe paying off, especially in France. It’s especially spoiling to see the world and to be able to eat good cheeses and drink nice wine while we do it,” LeBlanc says, laughing.