absolute divasartist profileschantal kreviazuk

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Written by JP Larocque

Born in Winnipeg, Canada in 1973, Chantal Kreviazuk can remember having had the yearning to create music long before she actually could. As a young child, Chantal would sit and observe her brothers beating away at the keys of the family's piano, and this mixture of curiosity and observation resulted in what Chantal calls "hand-eye-ear coordination." Simply put, Chantal could play the piano from the moment she touched it - without any formal training. This natural interest led Chantal's parents to enroll her in classical music training, and it was here that - for several years - Chantal learnt an appreciation and wider scope for music that would ultimatey benefit her own artistic endeavours.

As a teen, Chantal did not pursue her interest in music beyond the writing of commercial jingles or the playing of the odd show on the lounge circuit. Chantal's main motivation for this was to bring in much needed money, but served little artistic purpose. These experiences shaped Chantal's musical perception further, adding to her list of influences the catchy pop melodies she had both crafted herself, and heard on the radio. Yet all the while, Chantal continued to write more emotive, personal music which she chose to keep to herself.

Her entire world was shaken, however, when a tragic accident during a trip in Italy nearly claimed her life. Involved in a front-end collision with a motorcycle in the hills of Italy, Chantal left the accident with her jaw and femur broken in several places. Left to recover in a foreign hospital, Chantal confronted many of her fears and weaknesses head on. Scared and alone, Chantal began to realize what she wanted to do with her life - she wanted to create music. But unlike the musical endeavours she had followed throughout her teens, Chantal wanted to pursue music on her own terms."[In the past] if I needed money, I would think, 'oh, I better go write some jingles for the radio' or 'I better go get a job in a lounge for a month.' The accident was a wake-up call. I realized that music was something I could give rather than something I could use," she recalled in an interview.

Upon her return to Canada, Chantal actively pursued getting a recording contract. She began to polish the music she had hidden away, and after getting a manager and recording a demo, Chantal was quickly picked up...

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... by a label. In 1997, Chantal released "Under These Rocks and Stones," a stunning debut that captured the true songwriting essence of Chantal's music. With hits like "Wayne" and "Surrounded," Chantal made a large splash with the critics, all of whom cited her as a talent to watch. Chantal followed the success of her debut with a cover of the song "Leaving on a Jet Plane" on the hugely successful "Armageddon" soundtrack. This track alone gave her excellent international exposure, and positioned her at the top of the charts.

In fall of 1999, Chantal released her second disc, "Colour, Moving, and Still". Her follow-up was greeted with success equal to its predecessor, and cemented Chantal's position on the charts. Even more introspective then the last, the album managed to maintain Chantal's signature balance of sweet, simple melodies and dark, nuanced lyrics. At the same time, Chantal's personal life took an upswing as she married long-time boyfriend and Our Lady Peace frontman, Raine Maida. The two continue to share a happy and fulfilling relationship.

Since the release of her last disc, Chantal has delved into other creative outlets - such as a role in the Toronto company production of"The Vagina Monologues," as well a charity-related trip to Middle East to investigate the well-being of the often ignored Iraqi children - the true victims reeling from sanctions placed upon the country by the United States. She has also continued to promote "Colour, Moving, and Still," and is rumoured to be working on a follow-up disc. With a growing catalogue of hits under her belt, and an interest in the world community as a whole, there is no doubt that we haven't seen the last of Chantal Kreviazuk.

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