TF Archives

Behind The Mic - October 2006

Author: Sara Brooke
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Every now and then an artist can come along that completely captures our hearts and enchants us with their talents. One such artist for me is the remarkable Stephanie Vezina. With her deeply haunting soulful voice and songwriting she has offers something unique, set aside from the typical vocals of the progressive house genre.
Most recognized for her work with Tone Depth and Sultan, these collaborations have gone on to take the dance world by storm, appearing on a multitude of compilations with the most well known being Deep Dish's Global Underground Toronto.
As major source of inspiration for my own singing and songwriting I was delighted to finally get the chance to find out more about this amazing talent.

2002 marked the beginning of your work within the house music scene after connecting with producers Sultan and Tone Depth. What was your musical journey before that point, and what lead you to have the desire to work as a singer/songwriter/producer-

I was granted a great gift to be born in a world of art and music and in a family who always encouraged me to follow my creative voice.
As a child I studied ballet, violin (a short lived and painful affair!), piano (I carried on with lessons though played mostly by ear, composing on the piano at home and faking my way through sight-reading in class), and the trumpet (which came much later and from time to time I still use for recording when there are no neighbours present). Singing was a gift which came naturally and which I began to study more seriously when I found the right teacher in Montreal Baritone Vincent Ranallo.
Song and dance played a very important role in my childhood.

As the years passed, and the dark cloud of adolescence moved in, my artistic focus shifted and found refuge mostly in drawing.
I was set to pursue 'fine arts' at a university in Montreal with more or less enthusiasm when life spun everything around on me. University was forgotten.
Honestly, I don't remember exactly how it happened but I began to sing again. Thanks to circumstance and the help of a great friend and fellow musician, Jon Reilly-Roe, the opportunity arose to record in a friend's studio with some terrific young players from town at practically no cost (a couple of bottles of Rum and some sandwiches). I picked out 10 Standards I felt would work well and we came up with a great recording (all things considered!). This was the kind of unbelievable experience you look back on and wonder how the stars could have aligned so perfectly in your favour. The response to the CD was good, it received radio play, favourable reviews and opened several doors for me.
Jazz was a great staring point. Amongst those old standards there are incredible gems, so rich melodically, offering a world of theatrical possibility covering all themes and emotions you could think of.

In 1998, I had the chance to meet gifted producer and rapper El-P. He invited me down to NY to see what we could come up with working together.
This experience was a turning point for me, as I realized not only that I could, but that needed to write. It was the beginning of a transitional time. In my music, in my life, everything had to change. The following year I had moved to Montreal and began waitressing in order to set up a home studio and start making my own music.

The first and most important purchase was the piano, I inherited of my brother's computer and finally bought the ProTools Digi001 set up. I looked into production schools, but realized I could buy my entire set up and then some at the same cost. Instead, I solicited the help of a very patient technician and I began playing around with loops and beats, learning as I went along.
With the most basic technical knowledge I began writing and songs flooded out, as a highly creative period of my life began.

A few years later I met Tony (Tone Depth) through a friend