Chron­i­cling a dif­fer­ent time

Metro Canada (Ottawa) - - Front Page -

Nefe’s five-song EP, Mama, may have only come out in April, but it al­ready feels to her like a doc­u­ment of a dif­fer­ent stage of her life.

“I had just moved to Toronto, I was ex­pe­ri­enc­ing what it was like to be on your own away from home,” she says. “And when the EP was re­leased, I feel like it was a whole other phase in my life, where it’s like, okay, so now you’re here, now you’re set­tled and your first piece of mu­sic is out, and I was like, why don’t we step up the game, and what’s next?”

The 22-year-old singer-song­writer, born Sarah Jean Felker, says she wrote her first “of­fi­cial song” at age 12 or 13, af­ter years of dab­bling in mu­sic and lis­ten­ing widely (she lists Tracy Chap­man, Bruno Mars, Elvis, The Bea­tles, John Mayer and Ken­drick La­mar among her favourites and in­flu­ences).

“My Mom knew how to play the gui­tar, so she taught me the first three chords and I kinda took it from there and ran with it,” she re­calls.

Her mu­sic has al­ways tracked closely to her per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence, re­veal­ing her­self to her au­di­ence.

“It’s pretty pow­er­ful, I think, some­thing that you wrote from an ex­pe­ri­ence you had, it’s al­most like a ther­a­peu­tic thing when it’s sung to a crowd of peo­ple, when they ab­sorb it, when they feel it, it’s a pow­er­ful thing.”

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