Interview

Canadian artist Breagh Isabel On Debut Single “Girlfriends”, Touring & More

Breagh Isabel is a singer, songwriter, and producer who is signed to Warner Music Canada. She recently released her debut single “Girlfriends” along with its official music video. Breagh has been featured on the works of several artists and written for them as well and these artists include Donovan Woods, Classified, BANNERS, and Ria Mae.

During the lock-down, she signed a production publishing deal with Concord Music, and she has since gotten her tracks featured in the series “Batwoman” and the show “Grey’s Anatomy”.

PHOTO: Ryan Wright

How long did it take you to write your debut single “Girlfriends”?
I wrote Girlfriends at a writing camp with Simon Wilcox and Corey Lerue. The session was 4 hours long so we were able to write and demo the song during that time! It was recorded during the pandemic and my producer, Tawgs was in Nashville and I was in Halifax Nova Scotia so the production took a lot longer. We met on and off on Facetime to get the track together. I had to become my own engineer – I recorded about 100 takes of the vocal in my closet under a blanket, did the piano and synths from my home studio, etc. Scott Helman, who is an amazing Canadian artist and a close friend and collaborator of Tawgs, added some extra production as well. 

While you were a member of the band “Port Cities”, you toured Europe and Canada, what was that experience like?
In Port Cities, we toured across Canada several times as well as Germany and the U.K.  I loved having the opportunity to travel and see places I might never have visited otherwise. We performed in Trinidad, Estonia and one of the highlights was a festival in Luxembourg, where we actually met the Prime Minster!

What was the highlight of your touring experience?
One of my all-time performance highlights was at home here in Nova Scotia. Port Cities opened for K.D. Lang for the Halifax show of her Ingenue Redux tour. It was our first time playing in an arena so that was amazing, but I’ve also been a huge fan of K.D Lang and her music since I was a teenager. She was one of the first openly queer Canadian artists that I had heard of, so she was a huge inspiration to me.

PHOTO: Ryan Wright

What inspired you to pursue a solo project after mostly writing for other Artists?
Songwriting is my favourite part of making music and I love helping other artists tell their stories. While mostly writing for others, I would occasionally tuck little ideas away that seemed really personal. I had no firm intention of delving into a solo artist project when I wrote ‘Girlfriends,’ but the song was the most honest thing I had ever written so it felt like something that just made sense to come from my voice.

Do you plan on releasing an album of your own?
Yes! I’m excited to be working towards an EP that will come out in 2022. 

How did you juggle working on your project while also writing for others?
I enjoy splitting my time between the two. When I feel inspired to write something for my own project, I carve out time to just focus on that. In some ways, I find that switching gears and writing for other folks helps me find my own inspiration.

At what age did you realize you wanted to go into music?
There was always music at our house, either my dad playing music or listening to my parents playing records. I started playing piano when I was 6 years old and then in high school, my music teacher suggested I try to write songs of my own, and it kind of all blossomed from there. 

PHOTO: Ryan Wright

What hobbies do you enjoy during your free time?
I love to read and have been accused of missing normal social cues for when to put a book down, i.e. at dinnertime. I’m in a serious book club that has met religiously for the last 2 years. Great snacks and company, but there’s definitely a penalty of having to buy everyone a bottle of wine if you don’t finish the book. I love to run, keen on hiking. In general, I’m in my home studio most hours of the day but when I’m not, that’s how I keep busy!

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How has COVID-19 affected you as well as your career?
COVID-19 has affected so many folks and especially in the arts community it has been a tough year. One of the big ways COVID has affected my day-to-day life is the lack of performances and travel. On the plus side, a highlight was getting to spend an extended period of time at home after years of touring and travelling for writing. In December, I signed a publishing deal with Concord Music out of Nashville so I’ve had the opportunity to do a lot of writing and production work that has kept me busy in addition to working on my own music. I try to be extra grateful for any opportunities that come my way 

Do you have any exciting upcoming projects?
Stay tuned for more music from my solo project!  In addition to that, I recently wrote and produced the music for a feature-length film called “Dawn, Her Dad and The Tractor” with my good friend Rose Cousins. The film is really beautiful and an important story to tell. It follows the journey of a transgender woman finding acceptance in her rural hometown. This was my first time writing music for a film soundtrack and it will be coming out later this year.

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 Rabiatu Mohammed
Rabiatu Mohammed

is 21 years old and is currently in her 1st year of studying International Business at Middlesex University Dubai. She is goal-driven and enjoys going out as well as exploring new things.

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