Chronicling a different time
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.”