Five Questions With… Andrea Nixon

Edmonton singer/songwriter Andrea Nixon continues to ride the wave of acclaim for her latest album Diary Of A Housewife by releasing a new single, “Fire In Lace,” on January 11. The jaunty number is built on classic country sounds and themes, and follows Diary Of A Housewife's other successful singles, “Million Miles Away,” “You Didn't Make Me,” “Innerglow” and “Home Front,” which have chalked up significant CBC and streaming radio airplay.

All reflect Andrea's universally relatable storytelling abilities that leave no stone unturned when it comes to heartache, angst, joy and humour. In a world that seems to get more complicated each day, Andrea Nixon’s music provides a refreshing remedy through its honest simplicity. As the title suggests, Diary Of A Housewife’s 11 songs document Nixon’s rise as a critically acclaimed independent singer/songwriter, while balancing the demands of managing a family at the same time.

In many respects, Nixon is following in the footsteps of trailblazing female artists like Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton by bravely revealing herself through her music. In other ways, Diary Of A Housewife is strikingly modern, seamlessly combining traditional country elements with, at critical moments, rough-edged pop and rock. Tying it all together is Nixon’s irresistible, unaffected voice, capable of raging at an ex-lover, or exuding pure charm.

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What inspired you to write “Fire In Lace?”

I had just begun singing out in public when I wrote the tune. One night at an open jam, I had a light bulb moment when the phrase “fire in lace” came to me to describe a strong woman with a gentle nature. I was still coming to terms with sharing my dream of pursuing music professionally and looking for inspiration to bolster my courage to move forward. So, I reflected on the brave and strong women in my life and how I want to be more like them. First, I thought of my mother who has walked through fire with unaltered hope and courage, and then my daughters with their inherent belief in themselves. They were the starting point for sure. And then I considered my own crazy quest to pursue music as a 30-something mother of three and the bravery it took to do that. Finally, I thought of the men who live and love strong women and decided I'd give them some advice!

Do you share any traits with the main character in the song? 

As I said, there are various characters woven into this tune. That's the funny thing about writing; a lot of the characters in my songs are really puzzle-pieces comprised of various people. An aspirational character then emerges whole when they’re all put together. 

What's been the most significant change in your life over the past year?

Having spent much of 2017 and 2018 on the road and travelling cross-country, I got to see the amazing relationships and moments that can be experienced on stage and then translate into real relationships off stage as well. I feel like every show is an opportunity to connect and grow and I've not only had a chance to share my own stories, I've had my life enriched by learning about the people I've met and being inspired by their stories, too. I feel like music is a wonderful access point for everyone to reflect on their feelings and experiences and through it, we all get woven together in a magical way.

What are you most looking forward to in 2019?

I look forward to exposing more people to my music through a wonderful partnership with Sunrise Records and adding new original songs to my live set. I'm feeling inspired to write, and I can't wait to see what the seedling songs grow into. As always, I'm looking most forward to the people I'll meet along this journey and what they will teach me.

If you could fix anything about the music industry, what would it be?

I would challenge the way country radio tests songs and ensure that they target a larger demographic in their analysis. I have heard directly from radio professionals that women do not like women’s voices, and when they test new songs, women tend to support the tunes sung by males. I have a hard time accepting that! I truly believe that there are country fans in the marketplace who enjoy songs sung by women that reflect their own experiences and that if country radio played those artists, they would attract a larger audience and also validate the experiences of women of all ages. The gender gap concerning male-female radio play in country music is unacceptable and mutes the voices of women, though we are seeing improvement right now with women like Meghan Patrick getting significant support at radio. Thankfully for artists like me, SiriusXM and CBC are very supportive, so thanks go out to them for sure!

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