Despite growing up in a musical household, Claire Coupland was terrified of writing and performing original songs.
Coupland, who was more interested in sports during high school, found classical music and oldies constantly echoing throughout her home. She remembers singing and harmonizing with her mother, who was also a musician, but stopped short of writing her own songs.
“I couldn’t sit alone in my room strumming and humming to myself, I don’t know why. I think you just get so self-critical that you’re too afraid to produce anything,” said the former Fairfield resident. “It was a bad fear. I wanted to be really good.”
Coupland’s first foray into the music scene was when she joined the Victoria High R&B band.
After attending the Victoria Conservatory of Music for a year of jazz studies, Coupland took her dreams east to enrol in the degree program at Humber College in Toronto.
It was at Humber that she found her voice.
She recorded her first album Lonely Heart in 2014 at the college and began performing her folk-style songs in bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants in Toronto.
Her newest EP, For You was all written, performed and arranged by Coupland as part of her final school project.
All three songs on the EP are incredibly personal for the 29-year-old.
“I wanted to paint a picture for the listener. My inspiration was being in Toronto and trying to go about doing the whole music thing and phases of life. People come and go in your life, but you just have to solider on,” said Coupland, adding she drew inspiration from Joni Mitchell.
She has already had positive feedback from her school mentors including Bob Ezrin, who produced Pink Floyd’s The Wall.
“I enjoy moving people. I enjoy being behind something that’s my creation and playing something and arranging it and performing it and knowing that it’s mine, it’s my work,” she said. “There’s something nice and scary about putting it out to the world.”
Coupland is holding an EP release show at Northern Quarter (1724 Douglas St.) on Thursday, Dec. 17 at 8:30 p.m. Her albums can be purchased online at Presskit.to/clairecoupland.