Waterloo Chronicle | January 18, 2017

By Marshall Ward

"I’ve been listening to the album endlessly with its beautiful melodies and catchy choruses, along with the soulful harmonies"

Canadian singer-songwriter Giselle Sanderson believes in the old proverb: It takes a village to raise a child.

“It takes a village to make a record also,” said Giselle, who kicked off the release of her new solo album, If You Ask Me, with a sold-out show at The Jazz Room in Waterloo last month.

I first met Giselle several years back at the K-W Bilingual School where she was both a parent and vocal coach for the music education program. I immediately recognized her from her videos on Country Music Television, having been a member of country trio Lace.

I was fascinated when she told me about her career, and I recently caught up with her to chat about her latest work.

She has worked under the direction of some of the world’s most highly acclaimed producers including David Foster (Olivia Newton-John, Madonna, Christina Aguilera), Humberto Gatica (Michael Jackson, Celine Dion, Michael Bublé), and local music producer and composer Rick Hutt (Anne Murray, Beverley Mahood and The Northern Pikes).

“I had the pleasure of writing all the songs on my new CD with my very good friend Carrie DeMaeyer, and when we thought the songs were finished we brought them to Rick Hutt at Cedartree Recording Studio,” said Giselle. “So we start with Rick and we’ll play him our guitar-vocal version of the songs, then he puts down a groove that goes with the guitar track we came up with and build it piece by piece with musicians right here in Waterloo Region, so we owe a lot to him.”

I told Giselle how I’ve been listening to the album endlessly with its beautiful melodies and catchy choruses, along with the soulful harmonies on Nobody’s Lying and the heartbreaking duet If You Ask Me.

“When Lace was charting and we had a pretty big presence in the country music industry, Colin Amey had a solo career and we crossed paths back then,” she said. “It was Rick Hutt’s suggestion we bring him in because the key of that song (If You Ask Me) requires a tenor to sing with me, and there’s not a lot of male singers who can sing in that register. And what he brought to the song is a bit of angst that is perfect.”

Working with a publisher in Nashville, Giselle is currently submitting her songs as demos to publishing companies for other musicians to cut, she said.

I told her the track Worth Fighting For sounds like a hit, with its summertime Go-Go’s-esque vocals and simple Fleetwood Mac-like drums.

“I’m trying to write commercially and something relatable that people would want to hear at five o’clock on their way home from work,” said Giselle.

An award-winning performer with a diverse career, Giselle has shared stages worldwide with artists like Keith Urban, George Strait, and Brooks and Dunn.

“I’m so grateful for the pleasure of working with so many amazing people over the years,” Giselle said with a smile. “Like I said, it takes a village.”

For more information on Giselle’s new CD, If You Ask Me, and her work as a vocal and performance coach, visit gisellemusic.com.
Marshall Ward is a freelance writer and artist. Email is welcome.