You may have seen the multi-talented Andrea Menard on the TV series Blackstone in her Leo nominated role as Debbie Fraser, or on other TV series such as Moccasin Flats and Rabbit Fall. You might have heard her as the voices of Kokum and Sarah on Wapos Bay or listened to her music on the radio or online. We caught up with Menard to ask her about some of her latest projects and initiatives.
What was your main motivation to create the Lift CD and how do we get it?
It was during a hard time in my life that I really needed to hear positive uplifting music. I had so much trouble finding it that I decided to write an album like that myself. I called my long-time co-writer/producer, Robert Walsh and said, “We are going to bring some good, happy music to the world!” And Lift truly is an uplifting album that offers up a dose of sunshine when we need it most.
It is available on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/lift/id865863016
What moved you to perform with the Regina symphony orchestra?
If it weren’t for my conductor/arranger Charles T. Cozens, I don’t think there would have been an “I Am Andrea Menard” symphony show! I had approached Charles, along with other orchestrators, to arrange some of my original songs, and Charles liked the songs so much, he asked me if I could do a whole show. Little did I know that he was a mover and shaker in the world of symphony orchestras, but a few months later I was booked with the Regina Symphony Orchestra. We debuted the show on May 3, 2014 and it was one of the highlights of my life. A huge undertaking for a little Métis girl from the sticks, but a complete success!
When you refer to yourself as a messenger what does that mean?
I guess you could say I became aware of a change brewing within my own heart about the quality and intention behind music and my overall work. I, myself, had a strong need to hear words and lyrics that made me feel good. I wanted to hear lyrics that raised my thoughts and vibrations because I found that my life was better when they were higher. It dawned on me how powerful we songwriters are for creating “earworms” in peoples’ minds. In other words, we have the potential to unconsciously add to the misery lodged in our mass consciousness by handing our fans our unhappy thoughts and feelings or to add to the beauty and love in the mass consciousness by singing songs of “life” and joy. I wanted to add to the love!
If people were going to sing my songs to themselves day in and day out, I wanted those songs to be precious gifts passed from my deepest wisdom to their ears. I wanted to create something impeccable that was worthy of my listeners. And the Music Messenger was born. I’ve described Music Messengers as “highly focused vocally- and lyrically-based songwriters who are intentionally creating harmonious music and eliminating more negative subjects from their songs- all to raise the consciousness of humanity.”
I am developing an online music-gathering site that I am in the process of launching. Please help spread the word: “Like” my Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/themusicmessengers
“Follow” me on Twitter – https://twitter.com/AMusicMessenger
My full website will be up in a few weeks – http://themusicmessengers.com
We have a large non-native readership as well so I wanted to ask you if you could teach something about Métis culture to them what would that teaching be?
As a proud Métis woman, I believe that being of mixed ancestry has been a huge blessing for me. I have seen first hand how remembering our human family connections can melt away the illusions of our differences.
Although it comes very natural to me, I have been described as an artist who allows the teachings of my ancestors to inform my work. The teachings that remind us that we are all connected. That we are nothing if we raise ourselves higher than our brothers and sisters. That life is a circle; That love is the greatest force in the universe; That we are spiritual beings having a human experience. All of these natural laws come through into my lyrics, and writing over and over and I wouldn’t have it any other way.