Once you discover the music of B.J. Snowden you will feel the good positive vibes in your ears & will get instantly happily intrigued by her passion and musicality. That’s what happened when music lover Graham Boosey introduced her to my ears, I went on a discovery and enjoyed her online oeuvre of songs and music videos & found myself singing her material loudly in the streets at random times and places.
Her music is not only very original, it is also in many ways so nicely written and performed that it’s a bit like magic to the ears; it gets into your heart where it will stay and flourish it seems. Her music comes from a good place, made with passion, love and sincerity which can be felt and heard. I personally couldn’t believe that her music had skipped my little universe, as she had many television appearances and her song ‘In Canada’ had gained great fame. I’m sure I had heard it before, but never knew the original song writer… until a few months ago. I’m glad to inform you that the artist was very kind to answer both (Graham) and me (Kai)’s questions of curiosity, which we will be forever grateful for. The result can be read below, please enjoy!
GB: Could you please tell us a little about yourself, such as where you are from originally?
I am from Billerica,MA
KN: I was wondering if you grew up in a music loving family. Do you have family members who are musical?
My mother played the piano and my brothers danced.
GB: When you were growing up, what sort of music did you listen to?
Motown and Jazz.
GB: What artists would you say had the biggest influence on you?
Herbie Hancock,Melanie, McCoy Tyner
KN: I think Canada should use your ‘In Canada’ song as the Canadian anthem. It’s not only a very bright and positive homely song about Canada, it’s also very catchy. In fact since it came to my ears I have been singing (or humming) it everywhere… I can’t stop the song from popping in my head and feeling nostalgic and euphoric at the same time. Do you remember how the melody of the song came to you?
In Canada came to when I was on the ferry from Nova Scotia to Prince Edward Island.
KN: I have never been to Canada but your passionate song and love for the country makes me really want to visit it. Do you have any lovely places you recommend to visit in Canada?
Yes Prince Edward Island
GB: If at all possible to pick one thing, what is your favorite thing about Canada?
The wide open spaces.
GB: What do you think is the secret behind why your songs are so memorable and catchy and do you have a favorite song you have written?
I do not imitate other artists.
I like “In Deep Thought”
KN: I presume that this song has been covered by other singers and bands.. Which ones are the ones that you recommend the readers at home to check out. Are there any you are most fond off?
In Canada has I guess Beth Sorontino is covering the song and in a movie where my song was featured a group called “The Suspects” are covering it.
Both are fine.
GB: You have a degree in Applied Music (Performance), how do you think this has affected your musical output?
I think that having a musical degree is great but unfortunately most of these people are uneducated and can’t read a note. I am jealous of these people because I studied music but most of them didn’t study music.
GB: What was it like having someone like Fred Schneider from the B-52s interested in your music, did it give you confidence? Did you actually know who he was?
Nice that Fred Schneider likes my music. It gave me confidence and yes I know who he is.
KN: Music critics love to put labels on music. They have labelled your work as ‘outsider music’ which is a term I personally not fully agree with. I think it’s more appropriate to say its ‘insider music’ as thanks to not being pushed by the mainstream media it might be more difficult to find, but when you do; it’s the music that goes straight inside people’s hearts and souls. And your loyal fan base are ‘insiders’ as I feel their love for you and your music is one that comes strongly from their insides too… It’s a love exchange that feels much more personal, loyal, sincere and cozy… What do you think of this ‘outsider’ label thing, does this limit you in any way, or perhaps did you embrace it?
I think I am labeled outsider because most of the people who do not know any thing about music think that all of the mainstream music is because they don’t know any better, my music is more complicated and because I am black the expect me to do all rap and rhythm and blues.
GB: You seem to be bursting with joy through your music, and this is very infectious, do you intend for your music to have such a positive effect?
Lots of people tell me that at times they feel down but when they come to my concerts it makes them happy. Yes my music is positive.
GB: What was it like performing on Jimmy Kimmel and do you have a favourite memory from your career?
I loved it. They flew me out there Hollywood,CA picked me up at the airport and took me to the hotel.I got royal treatment. It felt really weird to perform on national
television and thought that I was going to become famous but it did not happen as far as becoming famous but I had fun and it was a great experience. This is my favorite memory.
KN: It is known that you are a school teacher; what kind of classes do you teach and do you use music in your lessons?
I do not teach music in a school anymore but do teach private piano.
KN: You give private music lessons too at home, are these available to all ages and for all levels? I presume the students learn about notes, keyboard playing and singing; do you also teach how to write songs?
I teach all ages and teach students from all over the world who moved to the US.
Currently no I am not teaching songwriting but have done it before which lead some students to continue on to Berklee College of Music
Students do learn to read notes and play piano.
KN: You are available for live performances, gigs and parties. What is the best way for people to keep in touch of your activities, and how they can book you for a concert?
Both: Thank you so much for your time, it has been a real honour to talk to you.