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Government of New Brunswick

Kylie Fox

Kylie Fox High Resolution
Kylie Fox

Kylie Fox is a Canadian singer songwriter, fusing folk storytelling with vintage elements of jazz and alternative rock. With influences like Kate Bush, Sharon Van Etten, and Joni Mitchell, her music is ethereal, lush, and real. She has recently partnered with esteemed music manager Joe Bamford (Glass Tiger, The Headstones) and is gearing up for a busy Spring opening for East Coast legend Matt Minglewood, performing on the main stage of Paddlefest and representing New Brunswick on a seven-date tour of the East Coast Songwriter Circle. Her second studio album, Sequoia, produced by six-time ECMA award winning producer Daniel Ledwell (Jenn Grant, Fortunate Ones, The Good Lovelies) and supported by ArtsNB, Music New Brunswick and Canada Council, will be released later this year.

Fox’s debut album, Green (2020), led her to tour Canada extensively, sharing stages alongside names like Bahamas, The Strumbellas and Joel Plaskett, along with showcasing at the East Coast Music Awards (2021), Folk Alliance International (2021) and the Canadian Song Conference (2021). She participated in the Banff Centre for the Arts International Songwriting Residency (2020) and performed at the Cavendish Beach Music Festival (2022). She was recently named “Innovator of the Year” at the 2023 Prix MNB Awards.

What led you to become an artist?

I’ve always been an artist. I think most artists are born with the curiosity and creativity that compels them to pursue careers in the arts. As a kid, I wouldn’t go anywhere without paints and pads of paper, and I’d coerce my friends into putting on plays with me. What led me to focus my creative energy into writing music began with my mom putting me in theatre school when I was very little, and I developed a love for telling stories and singing in groups and the energy exchange between performer and audience. Once I discovered songwriting as an artistic outlet for me to puzzle and pour my heart into, I just became obsessed with music.

How did your training and experience help you to create and innovate in your artistic practice?

Kylie Fox High Res
Kylie Fox

It took me a few kicks at the University to come out of it with a degree. I began studying acting in Montreal at Concordia University where I learned extreme empathy and observation that I have likely applied to how I write. I pivoted and studied classical singing at Mount Allison in Sackville, New Brunswick and developed a great understanding of my voice.

What stimulates you most about your practice?

Singing is my favourite thing to do. It’s freedom, it’s therapy, and it’s a way to connect with people. I also live for the ah-ha! rush when you line up words inside the limitation of your melody that perfectly conveys what you are gunning for in the song.

How has living and working in New Brunswick helped and/or inspired you on your journey?

I think there’s a particular grind that NB artists are subject to when trying to make something in music here that develops artists with fortitude and gratitude for their opportunities and success. We’ve got such a beautiful community of artists here that uplift each other that has undoubtedly enriched my work and made me a better player.

What motivates your creativity?

Oh, chasing a great tune, or expanding on a quirky idea, or simply capturing what I or someone close to me is going through. Lightning can strike at any hour, and I have an ongoing note of song ideas in my phone that range from “cheese on a Ouija board” to “Coconut Ashtray (Country Song)” to “cheap, cohesive and cool.”

What are your sources of inspiration?

I write about my environment a lot of the time. I have a song for every job I’ve had. I have a billion songs about my honey boo because I’m with him every day. I have a song about our house, I have a song about my best friend. If I get annoyed or sad, I’ll try to use it as an opportunity to capture something. It can make hard feelings productive, and I love being productive ha-ha.

How does your creative process unfold as you create a piece?

It’s a lot of going with my gut and using my first impulses. The lines and melodies that come fast and easy and from a natural place can hold more heart. But I also love the editing stage when I can crack down on finding the best imagery to use to tell the story. “Painting with words” as Joni Mitchell would say.

What is your long-term vision and what do you hope to achieve?

My long-term vision is to continue contributing meaningful and fun music into the world. There are some stages I would love to perform on, like Massey Hall, or the Commodore Ballroom. There are some people I’d love to collaborate with, like Julia Jacklin or Brandi Carlile.

Why do you think it’s important to make art and pursue an artistic career?

Art reflects the circumstances of its creation, and every day is a new day, with a new question, and new terms. Art helps us understand what the heck is going on here and gives us something to care about.

What have you learned about yourself and New Brunswick’s artistic community through your work?

I’ve learned to set boundaries. Working in an artistic field, sometimes the value of the work is undefined, and expectations can get blurry. I’ve grown better at asking questions, being clear, and saying no.

What do you think is the impact of artists’ work on communities and the province as a whole?

It’s identity. Most people on the East Coast feel ownership and community with East Coast artists because they reflect their lives, they create from a similar perspective, they make up the fabric of their home.

Describe what you are most proud of in your career.

I am most proud of the album that is getting released this Fall called Sequoia. I love the songs, I loved the process of writing it, and recording it with my band and producer Daniel Ledwell, who has made important records for some of my favourite Canadian artists. I’m really excited to share it.

What advice would you give to people who want to become artists?

I think I’d say to define your “why” so you have it for when you experience doubt, you have a month where you can barely pay your bills, you have a bad gig. It’s up to you and only you!—and you are a human with an ebb and flow of emotions and confidence. So having a staked, concrete reason why you continue to make stuff is key.

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Where can we follow your work and listen to your music?

Where can we see you play?

July 20 at Dooryard Festival in Woodstock, NB

September 14 at the Harvest Music Festival in Fredericton, NB.

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