Singer/songwriter Jodi King has been surrounded by music and melody as long as she can remember. She was born, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, into a family that gathered every Sunday at Church to sing in the choir. Recalls Jodi: “Even Lilly, my Ukrainian grandmother joined us. She was a soprano.” Her family wasn’t surprised when the piano had caught her attention and, as a 4 year old, she began writing her own songs, each sophisticated enough to feature separate verses and progressions.
Jodi’s musical aspirations became even more apparent when she cajoled her younger sister and cousin to form the “BBW’s” and the three immediately went to work meticulously rehearsing dance routines and preparing costumes to accompany their original songs. These concerts and performances were videotaped and would become a staple at family events and gatherings. While the “BBW’s” disbanded (at age 8!) before they could truly take the industry by storm, that didn’t deter Jodi ambitions. Whether playing piano at Sunday services, performing on Canadian musician Fred Penner’s Christmas albums, completing her Royal Conservatory of Music training, teaching herself trumpet or playing Anita in West Side Story, Jodi’s appetite for music and performance was voracious.
By high school, Jodi had immersed herself into the music business, singing backup on tour with popular prairie singers including Juno Winner Steve Bell and Jon Buller. Some performances saw Jodi solo in front of 3000 plus patrons. Early studio sessions followed where she would record demos and TV commercials with McMaster & James. A 2-song EP produced under the name “Jolin” sold 500 copies and shortly thereafter, Jodi was showcasing at CMW, opening for Juno Nominees Ivana Santilli and Ray Robinson. It was those unique experiences that cemented Jodi’s resolve to pursue a career as a singer: “I never experienced an ‘ah-ha’ moment. I’ve wanted to be a singer as long as I can recall…”
After a false-start singing Urban-flavored pop, Jodi has spent the last six months collaborating with emerging singer/songwriters Kyle Riabko (Aware Records) and Colin Munroe to write and produce acoustic pop music that is reminiscent of KT Tunstall and Corinne Bailey Rae, but with an emphasis on Jodi’s natural ability to play piano.
The songs range from upbeat and driving to melancholic and introspective. On Your Reason Jodi imagines herself as “the reason” someone could surrender to true love. The lyrics to Wednesday’s Song speak of unanswered questions, but also that we can find answers in faith itself. “Maybe You’ll Smile Again is probably the first honest song I ever wrote. I wanted to write something that told a piece of my story, no hidden motive or pretense” The glue that unifies the music and diverse lyrics is Jodi’s honest and intimate vocal delivery.
As she puts the finishing touches on a 6-track acoustic EP for Summer 07 release, Jodi is optimistic about how it will be received: “I think there is room for music that is honest, unpretentious and uplifting. That’s what I do best and that’s what I want to share…as far and wide as possible…” The founders of Roots Canada must agree, as they’ve offered their unflagging support in Jodi’s musical development. With each song, demo and performance turning more and more people into fans of Jodi King, it’s becoming clear that music, quite simply, is what Jodi meant to do.