Lights performing at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto on August 25, 2011
|Birth name||Valerie Anne Poxleitner|
April 11, 1987 |
Timmins, Ontario, Canada
|Origin||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|Genres||Synthpop, electropop, New Wave, indie pop, dubstep|
|Occupations||Singer-songwriter, musician, painter, philanthropist, humanitarian, comic book artist, producer|
|Instruments||Vocals, synthesizer, keytar, guitar, cello, drums, piano|
|Labels||Underground, Doghouse, Sire, Lights Music, Universal, Warner Bros., Last Gang|
Lights (born Valerie Anne Poxleitner; April 11, 1987) is a Canadian electropop musician, singer, and songwriter. Some of her notable singles include "Ice", "Second Go", and "Toes". In 2009, she was awarded the Juno Award for New Artist of the Year.
Early life 
Lights was born Valerie Anne Poxleitner in Timmins, Ontario, the daughter of missionary parents. She spent much of her childhood in many parts of the world, including the Philippines, Jamaica, Ontario and British Columbia. Poxleitner attended Chesley District High School and John Diefenbaker High School before moving to Toronto. She moved to Toronto at the age of 18 during which time she legally changed her name to Lights.
Music career 
2006–07: Musical beginnings 
Lights started her career being a writer for Sony/ATV Music Publishing. Lights was among the songwriters who composed music for the television series Instant Star. She and Luke McMaster are credited with composing "Perfect", sung in the role of Jude Harrison on the show by Alexz Johnson.
In late 2006, she worked with Canadian photographer Marc Lostracco to film her very first music video, "February Air", for a Sony promotion. However, Sony never confirmed with the deal, and it never happened.
2008–09: Lights and The Listening 
In August 2008, Lights signed a record deal with Underground Operations as well as signing a partnership deal with Warner Bros. along with Doghouse Records. Around the same time, her song "Drive My Soul" got to No.18 in the Canadian Hot 100. After signing with them, her EP was released in stores on September 16. Her second single, "February Air", sold 12,000 copies. In early 2008, "February Air" was in a commercial for Old Navy. It was later released in December 2008.
Lights sings in the song and is in the music video for the song "Every Day" by Ten Second Epic from their album Hometown. The song appears on the Big Shiny Tunes 14 compilation album and the music video was nominated for Best Independent Music Video at the 2010 MuchMusic Video Awards. She is also featured on the soundtrack (songs "Ben" and "Climbing") for the 2008 Canadian film One Week, starring Joshua Jackson. She was a guest vocalist on the album A Shipwreck in the Sand, released in 2009 by post-hardcore band Silverstein from Burlington, Ontario.
In 2009, Lights released her third single to Canadian radio stations called "Ice" with a homemade video released on her MySpace. She also released a second video for "Ice" in Canada on Nov 10, 2009, and in the United States on Nov 11, 2009. On Aug 10, 2009, her music video for "Saviour" was released. In an interview for the musical website Hall-Musique, Lights announced she was hoping to release her debut album in Europe by early 2010.
In March, Lights was named on the American music website Shred News's '10 Artists to Watch in 2010'.
While touring in the summer of 2009 on the Warped Tour, Lights' single "Saviour" premiered on Canadian radio stations on Jul 6, 2009, which is from her first full-length album, The Listening, which was released on September 22 in Canada and October 6 in the United States after leaving her record label Underground Operations, for her own record label, Lights Music Inc. The cover for the album was also released, and according to Lights, the entire artwork was inspired by Watchmen, 28 Days Later, and Sailor Moon.
In September 2009, Lights toured with the British band Keane on their Canadian/Pacific Northwest tour. In late 2009, Lights toured all around the United States and Canada with Stars of Track and Field.
2010–present: Acoustic EP and Siberia 
She toured from January–May 2010 with contemporary synthpop artist Owl City in Canada, USA and Europe. Lights is featured on Owl City's song "The Yacht Club" on his album All Things Bright and Beautiful which was released on Jun 14, 2011, as well as appearing in the music video for another one of Owl City's songs, "Deer in the Headlights". Plans for future duets are in the works. She was also in the summer 2010 Lilith Fair official lineup. She went on a two week solo UK tour in May 2010 being supported by fellow Canadian artist Rich Aucoin for most of her shows. Additionally, Lights was a special guest for pop-rock band Hedley's The Show Must Go... On The Road Tour, as well as These Kids Wear Crowns.
Lights released an acoustic EP titled Acoustic in July 2010. Her first debut for the album was at the University of Waterloo, where she had received most of her inspiration for the album. That same month, she began her six-date tour around the US, performing her songs acoustically. In September, she toured with Hedley for eight dates on the Ontario leg of their Canadian tour. In October 2010, Bring Me The Horizon's album There Is a Hell, Believe Me I've Seen It. There Is a Heaven, Let's Keep It a Secret featured Lights as a guest vocalist on the songs "Crucify Me" and "Don't Go". She is also featured on The Secret Handshake's song "Used to be Sweet" from their album Night and Day.
On Jun 18, 2011 at the Utopia Music Festival, Lights performed three new songs called "Toes", "Where the Fence is Low", and "Everybody Breaks a Glass".
The single "Toes" was released on Aug 16, 2011 as the first single to Lights' second studio album, Siberia. After signing with Last Gang Records her album was delayed due to criticism from the label executives. Though reluctant to tell full details of delays, the shift in style to a more gritty sound was a risk worried about by Last Gang Records. The full-length album was released online in US and Canada on Oct 4, 2011 and went on iTunes stores in Australia on October 28. Siberia received positive reviews from many critics and was nominated for a Juno Award for Best Pop Album of the Year. Lights says her favourite song on Siberia is "Flux and Flow"
In July 2012, Lights' husband revealed that she was working on an acoustic version of Siberia. She seconded this by posting a photo on Twitter shortly after with a piano and acoustic guitars with the caption "My station today. Kind of intimidating..." The release date of the album is April 30, 2013. On March 16, 2013, Lights released the acoustic version of Cactus in the Valley which features Adam Young of Owl City as guest vocals
Musical influences 
In a September 2007 interview, Lights indicated her primary influence as Björk, whom she has said she would like to work with someday. She also spoke glowingly of Phil Collins's songwriting and ABBA's music, and particularly enjoys European production-based music such as The Knife. She is also influenced by progressive rock such as Electric Light Orchestra, U2 and Supertramp (all of which she has cited multiple times as her "all time favorites") and New Wave such as Depeche Mode and The Cure; she has played the song "Close To Me" by the latter. She has also expressed fondness for black metal, dubstep, nu metal, hardcore punk, metal, pop punk, Joni Mitchell, hip hop, and electronic musicians such as Deadmau5 and Skrillex. In a 2010 interview with UpVenue, she mentioned wanting to collaborate with Michael Bublé someday. Lights is also a fan of the band Silverstein.
Lights won Indie Awards in the Favourite Solo Artist and Astral Media Radio Favourite Single categories during Canadian Music Week in March 2009 in Toronto. She won the Best New Artist Awards in the Hot AC and CHR categories. All awards were for her debut single "Drive My Soul", except the award for Favourite Solo Artist.
In November 2010 her debut album The Listening was given a gold certification by the Canadian Recording Industry Association for sales of 40,000 units. The certification trophy was presented during her Toronto concert on Nov 18, 2010.
Personal life 
Studio Albums 
EP Albums 
- Kaplan, Ben (Oct 17, 2011). "Lights is shining bright". National Post. Retrieved Mar 11, 2012.
- Lyonnais, Sheena (Feb 23, 2009). "Lights Proves Breakout-Ready". site. Retrieved Apr 6, 2009.
- Collar, Matt. "Review: The Listening". Allmusic. Retrieved Jan 22, 2011.
- Sterdan, Darryl (Sep 9, 2011). "Lights out to tour Canada". Jam! CANOE. Retrieved Sep 25, 2011.
- Sheena Lyonnais (Mar 10, 2008). "Lights makes us happy". Toronto Music Scene – Indie News + Interviews.
- Verner, Amy (Mar 25, 2009). "A career clocked at lightning speed". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved Dec 4, 2010.
- Stevenson, Jane (Oct 22, 2009). "Small-town girl follows Lights". Jam!/Sun Media. Retrieved May 17, 2010.
- Young, Kevin (Volume 63 Issue 3). "Looking Into Lights". Canadian Musician.[dead link]
- "ACE Title Search". ASCAP. Retrieved Sep 9, 2009. Search for Lights as performer.
- "Writing music for Instant Star", Toronto Star, Aug 28, 2007.
- "Bitpicture". Bitpicture. Retrieved Jan 31, 2011.
- "Lights – "February Air" (2006 video)". YouTube. Retrieved Jan 31, 2011.
- Brian Pascual (Jun 23, 2008). "Lights Finally Finds The Right Phase". ChartAttack.com. Toronto: Chart Communications, Inc. Retrieved Dec 29, 2008.
- "Warner Bros. Records Partners with Doghouse to Sign Electro-Pop Artist LIGHTS Label...". Reuters. Sep 15, 2008. Retrieved Oct 14, 2010.
- "Canadian Hot 100". Retrieved Nov 3, 2008.
- High, Kamau (May 24, 2008). "Old Navy Tunes In". Billboard. p. 12.
- Brunet, Stéphane (Sep 20, 2009). "Interview • Lumières sur Lights (oh oh)" (in French). Hall Musique. Retrieved Sep 20, 2009.
- "Ten Artists To Watch In 2010 Part 1 |". Shrednews.com. Mar 12, 2010. Retrieved Jan 31, 2011.
- lightsnoise (Dec 2, 2009). "LIGHTS (lightsnoise) on Twitter". Twitter.com. Retrieved Jan 31, 2011.
- Marcus, Bianca (Aug 12, 2009). "LIGHTS Release Date Set". Chart. Retrieved Sep 9, 2009.
- "LIGHTS @ Warped Tour (Updated with Audio)". Eggplante!'.
- "Loretta Lynn, Heart, Norah Jo nes, Cat Power, Gossip and More Added to the 2010 Lilith Tour Line-Up". lilithfair.com. Retrieved Jan 31, 2011.
- "Acoustic: The Lights: MP3 Downloads". Amazon.com. Retrieved Jan 31, 2011.
- "Acoustic – EP by Lights – Download Acoustic – EP on iTunes". Itunes.apple.com. Jul 16, 2010. Retrieved Jan 31, 2011.
- "Bring Me The Horizon's 'There Is A Hell' Cracks U.S. Top 20". Blabbermouth.net. Oct 13, 2010. Retrieved Mar 29, 2010.
- "The Secret Handshake announces fall headlining tour". Altsounds. Oct 13, 2010. Retrieved Apr 13, 2011.
- "Lights Releases New Single In Time For Fall Tour". Rockstar Weekly. Oct 13, 2010. Retrieved Oct 14, 2010.
- My Boots (Single Version). amazon.co.uk/
- "Siberia – Confirmed by LIGHTS".
- "LIGHTS 'SIBERIA' – JUNO AWARD WINNING SONGSTRESS TO RELEASE SOPHOMORE ALBUM IN AUSTRALIA OCTOBER 28".
- Smith, Caitlin (Oct 18, 2011). "Interview: LIGHTS". The Sound Alarm. Retrieved Dec 3, 2011.
- "Twitter / lights: My station today. Kind of". Twitter.com. Retrieved Nov 16, 2012.
- "Lights Interview". Instant Star On Line. Sep 7, 2007. Retrieved Aug 4, 2008.[dead link]
- "UpVenue Interviews LIGHTS". UpVenue. Sep 29, 2010. Retrieved Sep 29, 2010.
- "Making of A Shipwreck in the Sand (about 6:46 in)".
- "2009 Nominees/Winners". Indies. Canadian Music Week. Retrieved Jan 13, 2012.
- "Canadian Radio Music Awards". Canadian Music Week. Mar 13, 2009. Archived from the original on Jan 30, 2009. Retrieved Mar 19, 2009.
- Artist Summary. junoawards.ca
- "Nominees / Winners – INDIES". Indies.ca. Retrieved Jan 31, 2011.
- "JUNO Awards". Junoawards.ca. Retrieved Jan 31, 2011.
- "Audio & Video Certifications". Canadian Recording Industry Association. October 2010. Retrieved Dec 4, 2010.
- "The Listening Certified Canadian Gold | LIGHTS". Iamlights.com. Retrieved Jan 31, 2011.
- 2012 JUNO Award Nominees | The JUNO Awards. Junoawards.ca. Retrieved May 13, 2012.
- Stevenson, Jane (Nov 11, 2011). "Singer Lights has a bright future". Toronto Sun. Retrieved Jan 13, 2012.
- "Beau Bokan & Lights Officially Married". thepartyscenepress.com. May 12, 2012. Retrieved May 13, 2012.
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