Deanna Cartea was born in Regina, Saskatchewan, and now lives on the Sunshine Coast just outside of Vancouver. Her music is currently receiving radio play on several stations across North America and Western Europe, including KBAC Santa Fe, KUNC Colorado and WERU in Bangor, Maine, and has hit Top 40 status on the Roots Rock Charts. Her first single, “Open Road” has also just landed Deanna her first Independent Music Award in the Alt Country category. It is my pleasure to interview her today.
Cendrine Marrouat: Hello Deanna, thank you for answering my questions.
Deanna Cartea: Thank you so much for taking the time to interview me! I am feel so delighted and blessed to be here!
CM: Is there a particular event that triggered your desire to become a professional musician?
DC: I have always been musical but wasn’t serious about it until I moved to the Sunshine Coast with my husband, Kris Anders. The music/arts scene here on the Sunshine Coast (40 min from Vancouver) is incredible and very inspiring. It is like nothing I have ever experienced. I picked up a guitar and started to write song after song after song. However, I never shared them. I was too shy at first.
I was also working a full-time job in social work that I was not very suited for (child protection). I got so stressed out from that job and nearly collapsed one day at work. My body, soul, and mind had suffered. I didn’t know how to get out! But I did know that my health was compromised. I also knew that I wanted to start sharing my songs. I prayed for courage. I made the decision that I wanted to pursue music. I felt that this was my calling that I had denied for a long time. I realized life is too short. If you listen to the song “Robot” on the album, that song was written about this time of my life.
CM: Your debut album is called “Open Road”. Why such a title? A reference to your upbringing in the Prairies?
DC: I was going to have it named “On the Edge” for the longest time, but “Open Road” seemed more fitting to how things were going with our new life in music.
“Open Road” is about shedding old patterns that do not serve us any longer. Some of the lyrics came from my personal experience and also from working as a social worker and seeing people (men and women) continue on with “dynamic” relationships that may not be so healthy for them. It is not always easy to change the things we don’t like in life. But I am an example that it can be done! We are now looking forward to the Open Road and seeing how far we can get!
CM: Your voice seems to magically fit every song you play. Did you receive any formal training or are you self-taught?
DC: Wow! Thank you for that compliment. I have never had any formal training. I did sing a lot in high school choirs and at my church.
Someone once told me my voice was too “airy” to be a professional singer. I took it to heart for the longest time. I have recently embraced my unique voice and accept my artistry in each song I sing.
CM: I can hear many influences in your music, one being Dire Straits. And yet, your sound is unique. Who are your favourite artists?
DC: One of my most influential artists is Damien Rice. When I first saw his live performance on T.V. I was blown away with his emotion, his lyrics and guitar playing!. His music makes me stop in my tracks (not to mention the haunting voice of Lisa Hannigan). Watching him gave me permission to perform with that type of emotion and dynamics. I also find influences from artists here on the Sunshine Coast (ie, Joe Stanton, Dutton Turnhogs, Janic Panic, Shady Day), just to name a few.
CM: How long did it take you to record the album?
DC: The album itself took about a year and a half to record. The album was recorded and produced at Strait Sound Studio by Ray Fulber.
Prior to this album, I was a solo artist. When my husband Kris and I approached Ray, we asked him to help put a “sound” together for us. I wanted drums and slide guitar for sure. Ray brought in amazing musicians to play on this album. I am very very grateful for the players and for how the album sounds!
CM: What is your favourite song? And why?
DC: I don’t really have a favourite song of my own since each one holds a different meaning and is too unique to compare it to the others. My favourite song from another artist would be “The Blower’s Daughter” by Damien Rice. This was also my wedding song so it is extra special.
CM: What is the daily routine of Deanna Cartea? Do you need a particular setting to work or do you usually go with the flow?
DC: Well…I get up. Have my COFFEE before anything!! Give my dogs hugs and kisses. (and husband too, if he is awake! Lol!) I work on digital art on my computer, which is another project I am working on and hoping to merge with my music world. Have another COFFEE! I then practice music and go over my set. My living room resembles a small studio!
Most afternoons, I work at my part-time job as a youth worker with Community Services. Fridays, I dedicate to music rehearsal with my new TRIO! Barry Taylor on drums and Ken McBride on electric guitar.
In the evenings, HAVE a decaf COFFEE! I’ll work on my songwriting at any time of the day but when I write with Kris we usually write in the evenings and we’ll also go over music business details like planning gigs and scheduling before I settle in for the night.
CM: You have performed in British Columbia and the Northwest USA. Any favourite moment so far?
DC: I try to play as much as possible! One of the highlights so far was playing at a music conference in Courtenay, BC. Bill Henderson from the classic rock band, Chilliwack, talked to me after my showcase and was very complimentary. I grew up hearing his songs on the radio so that was a pretty cool moment.
CM: What is next for you?
DC: We are currently doing a radio campaign with Peter Hay from Twin Vision! So far this is going very well and I have placed in the Top 40 on the Roots Rock charts. We are now planning some larger tours.
My album has been getting a lot of support in Holland so we’re looking into getting to that part of Europe later this year perhaps. We’ll probably be in Toronto later this year and hope to get down some other parts of the USA as well.
CM: Where can people find more information about you and your music?
CM: Any last words?
DC: Since making the decision to follow my heart and dreams, I have not been happier in life! I never set out to be famous…I just wanted to have the courage to perform my songs for others. Since doing this, Kris and I have created our Music team and we have written songs together. He is currently doing all the managing at the moment. We have a lot of support around us from people like Bobby Hanson in LA who is always just a phone call away.
For all the wonderful people who support us, play us on their radio programs, review our album, book us in their venues..I am truly honored and grateful! Thank you for embracing me! Thank you Cendrine for interviewing me too! You are Wonderful!