Driven might be the best way to describe Kathleen Edwards.
Kathleen Margaret Edwards was born on July 11th 1978 in Ottawa, Ontario. Her father was a diplomat,and Kathleen grew up in such countries as South Korea and Switzerland. At the age of five, she started taking classical violin lessons that continued for the next twelve years. This came in handy when she recorded Failer; Kathleen played and arranged all the string parts on the album.
In 1997 her family moved back to Canada, and Kathleen’s musical tastes changed. Before this time she was mainly interested in mainstream pop music, but now she started to listen to her brother’s record collection. Her brother’s music included artists Bob Dylan and Neil Young. During her last two years of high school she started to play more guitar than studying.
“I played in (a school) band, but I never played in a band that wasn’t part of my musical upbringing, until I started playing guitar at summer-camp. I started playing more and more and wouldn’t study for exams, and just play down in my room. It started to take priority over doing well in school.
In 1999 she started to play open mike nights, and at the same time she started writing her own songs. She recorded the six-song ep Building 55, pressing 500 copies. She took it on a tour of a tour of Canada in her Suburban truck, the one pictured on the cover of Failer. She booked her own shows-made just enough gas money to take her from place to place.
Her latest album, Voyageur, came out on January 17th 2012. It became the most successful release of her career, with Voyageur debuting at #1 on Amazon and iTunes CA, #9 on Amazon US and #2 overall in Canada.
“I really feel as though it’s my best work – I feel so proud of it and it challenges me still in the sense of trying to find ways of doing it justice within a live context. That’s been great because previous albums have felt a little like live songs committed to record which made them a little bit easier to convert thus as I say, Voyageur has represented more of a challenge, and it’s been really rewarding in that sense.”
“I thought to myself: “If this is the last record I get to make, I gotta make it count.”