News & Events
Singer finds her authentic self in musical style of theatrical pop
Fanshawe encourages students to find their passion.
Music Industry Arts (MIA) graduate Suzana d’Amour has fully embodied this sentiment in her career.
“I grew up knowing I wanted to record my own music,” d’Amour says. “There was always music playing in my house and as a child, I loved singing to my dolls and writing my own songs.”
d’Amour was raised in London and was familiar with Fanshawe College. After completing a General Arts diploma, she was accepted into the MIA program.
“I had an amazing time at Fanshawe and it was such an adventure,” d’Amour recalls. “We had great teachers and everyone in the MIA program collaborated well together.”
Some of the connections d’Amour made at Fanshawe still exists today. d’Amour works with MIA professor Terry McManus and also had the opportunity to produce her music with the late Jack Richardson.
While in the MIA program, d’Amour found song-writing chemistry with classmate Mike Dell and they’ve been writing songs together for more than 12 years.
After graduating in 2001, d’Amour released a song she had written for her grandmother that generated some buzz and recorded her first album. Over the last twelve years, she has turned her passion into a full-time professional business.
“This isn’t a hobby,” d’Amour says. “We take our work very seriously and have set a high standard for ourselves that our clients are impressed with.”
Suzana and her band-mates, which include her writing partner Mike Dell (piano), Randall Savoie (bass), and Dennis Song (drums), recently released an album named after the songstress herself. d’Amour’s songwriting is inspired by people, nature and the drama of love and relationships.
“We really started to find our musical style about two years ago,” d’Amour says. “Our sound can be best described as theatrical pop with influences of jazz, blues, classical and cabaret. Our music gives people with versatile tastes a variety of styles to listen to.”
In finding their true sound, Suzana has grown more comfortable with herself and her performance. It’s hard to believe this confident and vivacious singer suffered severe stage fright for nearly nine years.
“I loved to sing, but felt very vulnerable on stage,” d’Amour says. “I used to care what people thought about me. But as soon as I stopped caring, I was able to find my authentic self and the stage fright dissipated.”
But, with or without stage fright, Suzana’s fans have always been faithful. “I have the coolest and most loyal fans,” she says. “Sharing my music is more exciting than anything else and I’m honoured that people love my songs.”
While d’Amour juggles a busy schedule, she’d like to be even busier. The band is performing at a private party at the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival and d’Amour has aspirations of performing in California and Europe.
“Each year we sit down as a band and decide what goals we want to achieve and usually we are able to make it happen,” d’Amour says. “We definitely want to write another album and go on tour, because performing is what we love to do.”
Suzana says perseverance and growth is what has helped her longevity in the business.
“We’ve definitely made mistakes and spent a lot of money on people who did nothing for us,” she says. “But you have to move on, get over it and focus on your vision. Take suggestions, be willing to grow and always persevere.”
Photo by Leanne Parker.
Photo Caption: Suzana d'Amour (centre) with bandmates (L-R) Mike Dell (co-writer/piano), Randall Savoie (co-writer/bass) and Dennis Song (drums). Suzana’s latest album Suzana d’Amour is available to buy in HMV and on iTunes.