Meet Canadian Singer-Songwriter Eunice Keitan
Eunice Keitan’s international upbringing and her eclectic musical background are unmistakable in this Canadian singer-songwriter’s work, which tastefully blends Alternative R&B/Neo Soul and World Folk influences.
While travelling and moving often with her family in simple circumstances throughout her childhood, Eunice noticed the often harsh realities of everyday people. The observance of these struggles uncovered her awareness of the effectuating force of political and social issues on people’s lives. These issues surface as themes in many of her songs, where she explores mental health, equality, and social change.
Eunice was nominated for a Toronto Independent Music Award for her EP, “Where The Road Begins,” and is set to release her new EP this summer.
With her single and music video, “Smoke and Mirrors,” out now, we took some time to hear more from Eunice Keitan. Read below to learn more about Eunice Keitan, the story behind her single, and what’s to come.
Hi Eunice Keitan! Let’s start with how did you get your artist name?
I went with something simple and used my real name! It’s a combination of my English and Chinese name.
What city are you from and where are you based now?
I was born in Montreal, but lived in Singapore and Malaysia for a large part of my childhood. I came back to Canada for music and am now based in Toronto.
At what point in your life did you decide to pursue a career in music? How did you get started?
I was around 13 or 14 when I first started writing music. In my first recording session, the audio engineer encouraged me to take my songwriting more seriously. It was nothing more than a hobby at that point. I eventually got signed to a development deal which put me on the path of professional music-making. But without that initial push from the engineer, I don’t know if I would be where I am now.
Has your upbringing played a role in shaping who you are and defining your sound today? If so, how?
Yes, it definitely has. My parents aren’t musicians, but they were big lovers of music. I discovered many of the artists that have influenced me throughout my father’s record collection. I also spent most of my childhood moving and travelling around the world with my family. I know I’ve absorbed a lot of those experiences, cultures, and sounds, and it comes through in my music and song themes.
How would you describe your sound to readers who may not be familiar with you?
I am an Alternative R&B/Neo-Soul songwriter with World Folk influences.
Do you have any hobbies outside of music? What do you do to stay creative?
I love to dance, and I love crafting. My life is a constant DIY project, literally and figuratively!
Who are some of your main musical influences?
There are too many to name, but Jeff Buckley, Joni Mitchell, and D’Angelo are a few of my main influences.
What are some of your future music career goals?
I have a lot of goals which include more touring, recording, and collaborations. But the most important thing for me, right now, is to keep creating compelling art and to find people that might resonate with that.
Now onto your release, “Smoke and Mirrors.” What inspired this song?
The hardest part especially in our digital world is to know what the truth is. There is so much noise, so much misinformation that even if we want to do the right thing, we don’t even know what that is and whom to stand with. This is something I feel daily, and so I wrote a song about it.
What is “Smoke and Mirrors” about in your own words?
“Smoke And Mirrors” explores how media shapes our reality and social consciousness, and what we can do to push back against the polarization and division that keeps us from having meaningful discussions.
How did the music video for “Smoke and Mirrors” come about? What was your vision for the video?
When creating the video, I wanted the grunge and vintage treatment to go with the gritty Alternative-Soul music production. There are lots of mirrored effects and “subliminal” glitches to point back to the idea that our reality and opinions are shaped by media, politicians, their agendas and biases. This was also the idea behind the separate windows showing two realities happening simultaneously on issues like global warming, race, religion, health, capitalism, agriculture, immigration, and many others.
What message do you hope fans take away from your music and from “Smoke and Mirrors?”
Ultimately, the most important point of the song and video is for people to do their own research and not to let division distract us from the issues that matter.
What’s one of your proudest moments of your music career so far?
To be honest, I’m proud every time that I put out music that I believe in.
What would you say are the greatest lessons you’ve learned so far?
One of the greatest lessons that I’ve learned is to just keep going and not to let other people dictate what success is. There are so many challenges as a musician and that’s an understatement. I’ve had to pick myself up and start all over again multiple times. We are overworked and underpaid. We face so much rejection and instability in a fast-paced and competitive industry. I have to keep reminding myself that success is not linear and to hold tight to the things that make me feel fulfilled, which is first and foremost the love of music. Nobody can take away your voice if you just keep singing.
What’s next for you? Are you working on any upcoming projects that we should be on the lookout for?
I’m wrapping up my new EP as we speak. Look out for that! There will be more music dropping, and the EP will be released in the summer along with more live show dates.
Where can we follow you on social media?
Before you go, let’s ask you something random. What’s your favorite food?
My favourite food is ice cream. I can eat a 2L tub in one sitting…by myself! I even wrote a song about it!
Thank you for the great interview, wish you much continued success!