By Nicole Kobie
Tammy Raybould came all the way to Calgary to make you her fan.
Originally from Ottawa, the pop/rock singer headed west three months ago to continue building her fan base–something she had no trouble doing out east thanks to her song "Loving You," from her latest album, Maybe.
Currently on a solo tour featuring herself on piano and guitar, Raybould appears ready to leap from entrepreneurial indie artist to corporate-backed Canadian star, but still doesn’t consider herself a success.
"I’m not there yet. I’ve done successful things," says Raybould. "With the type of personality I am, I may never be able to say I’m a success."
Nevertheless, she’s certainly accomplished a lot considering her label-free status. Raybould performed as part of Lilith Fair, had a song featured on Dawson’s Creek (though she admits she never watches the show) and was nominated for Best New Solo Artist at the Canadian Radio Music Awards.
"That was amazing. It was wonderful to be among those other musicians," she says of her loss to Furtado. "I was the only indie artist up there."
How independent Raybould stays remains to be seen. Her self-started label, Boulder Records, recently partnered with Sony Records to distribute her CD.
"It’s perfect," she says of the union. "I don’t have the limitations that other artists have."
While she may not have limitations, she certainly has talent and the benefit of a musical background. Her family is musically-inclined: Raybould’s mother owns a music school, her brother tours with a band and her stepfather managed her until recently. Not wanting to pull a LeAnn Rimes, Raybould now does her own bookings and promotions.
"Music was always a constant; it’s always been there," she explains, adding that when she made the final decision to be a musician at age 13, not every one supported her.
"A friend of my Mom’s said it’s a one in a million chance, but that just made me work harder."
Her hard work paid off early, as she won a scholarship seven years ago to the Berklee College of Music in Boston. While she feels uncomfortable at other campuses–as though she doesn’t fit in–she felt like one of the group there, surrounded by fellow rock stars and music geeks.
"I still feel like I don’t fit in," Raybould says. "But, at Berklee, everybody felt the same way."
There is one side of music, however, that can’t be taught by family or school. The energy and passion found in Raybould’s most emotional pieces are an expression of her own personal feelings. She treats her lyrics as a diary, creating a strange, personal intensity in her songs.
"It’s my journal," she explains. "When my dad left, when I was 12, I used to express myself in music. Now it’s just a habit."
Don’t worry, her music isn’t as melancholy as it may sound, and neither is her personality. Her press photos, website and CD cover all depict Raybould as a dark-eyed mystery. In person however, she’s a bubbly, more natural beauty. Her outgoing personality prompts many to ask why she’s always so happy.
"I’m high, I guess," suggests Raybould, with a beaming smile.