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'''Lights''' (born '''Valerie Poxleitner''' on 11 April 1987) is a [[Juno Awards|Juno Award]]-winning [[Canada|Canadian]] [[singer-songwriter]]. She is best known for composing and performing heavily [[synthesizer|synthesized]] [[dream pop]] music such as the songs "[[Drive My Soul]]" and "[[February Air]]" and has performed internationally.
 
'''Lights''' (born '''Valerie Poxleitner''' on 11 April 1987) is a [[Juno Awards|Juno Award]]-winning [[Canada|Canadian]] [[singer-songwriter]]. She is best known for composing and performing heavily [[synthesizer|synthesized]] [[dream pop]] music such as the songs "[[Drive My Soul]]" and "[[February Air]]" and has performed internationally.
   
==Life & Career==
+
==Life & failuer==
 
===Early life===
 
===Early life===
 
Lights was born in [[Timmins]], [[Ontario]]. She was raised by [[missionary]] parents and spent much of her childhood in various parts of the world, ranging from the [[Philippines]] to [[Jamaica]].<ref name="Sheena Lyonnais March 10, 2008">{{cite web | url=http://www.torontomusicscene.ca/interviews/lights-makes-us-happy.html | title=Lights makes us happy | work=Toronto Music Scene - Indie News + Interviews | author=Sheena Lyonnais | date=10 March 2008 }}</ref> She is of [[Germans|German]] and [[Austrians|Austrian]] descent. Lights currently lives in [[Toronto]].<ref name="Julian Brass">{{cite web | url=http://www.notable.tv/music.php?id=music005 | title=Interview with Lights by Julian Brass | work=Notable.tv | author=Julian Brass}}</ref>
 
Lights was born in [[Timmins]], [[Ontario]]. She was raised by [[missionary]] parents and spent much of her childhood in various parts of the world, ranging from the [[Philippines]] to [[Jamaica]].<ref name="Sheena Lyonnais March 10, 2008">{{cite web | url=http://www.torontomusicscene.ca/interviews/lights-makes-us-happy.html | title=Lights makes us happy | work=Toronto Music Scene - Indie News + Interviews | author=Sheena Lyonnais | date=10 March 2008 }}</ref> She is of [[Germans|German]] and [[Austrians|Austrian]] descent. Lights currently lives in [[Toronto]].<ref name="Julian Brass">{{cite web | url=http://www.notable.tv/music.php?id=music005 | title=Interview with Lights by Julian Brass | work=Notable.tv | author=Julian Brass}}</ref>

Revision as of 19:35, 26 September 2009

Lights
File:Lights Warped09.jpg
Lights performing at Warped Tour in Buffalo, New York, on the Hurley.com stage (July 2009)
Background information
Birth name Valerie Poxleitner
Origin Canada Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Genres Synthpop[1]
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, model, comic artist
Instruments Voice, synthesizer, keytar, guitar
Years active c. 2002-present[2]
Labels Underground Operations, Doghouse Records, Sire Records
Website Official Site

Lights (born Valerie Poxleitner on 11 April 1987) is a Juno Award-winning Canadian singer-songwriter. She is best known for composing and performing heavily synthesized dream pop music such as the songs "Drive My Soul" and "February Air" and has performed internationally.

Life & failuer

Early life

Lights was born in Timmins, Ontario. She was raised by missionary parents and spent much of her childhood in various parts of the world, ranging from the Philippines to Jamaica.[3] She is of German and Austrian descent. Lights currently lives in Toronto.[4]

When she was asked about when she wrote her first song, Lights has said "I was 11, and I learned three chords on the guitar. It was the first time I really learned how to play guitar and I wanted to write a song with them so I went down to my mom and I said pick a number between 1 and 150 and she picked 5 or something, I can’t really remember the number, but I went and opened up the Bible and there was 150 Psalms already written so I went to the number she chose and wrote a song with that and that kicked off the biggest thing of my life."[5]

Music career

Lights is a writer for Sony/ATV Music Publishing.[6] Starting in early 2008, Lights toured cities in the Great Lakes region, in both Canada and the United States. In late 2008, she toured the United States.[2]

In August 2008, Lights entered into a record deal with Underground Operations as well as signing a partnership with Doghouse Records.[7] Around the same time, her song "Drive My Soul" peaked at #18 in the Canadian Hot 100 in 2008.[8] Her following single, "February Air", was released on 9 December 2008 and reached #3 on the MuchMusic countdown. Lights' single "Saviour" premiered on Canadian radio on 6 July 2009[9], which is from her upcoming full-length album, The Listening, released on September 22 in Canada[10] and October 6 elsewhere. 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.[11]

Her live band is composed of Adam Weaver on synthesizers and Maurie Kaufmann (formerly affiliated with BOY and the 6ixty8ights) on drums. Lights has been managed by Canadian musician and radio personality Jian Ghomeshi since 2002.[12]

In 2009, Lights released her third single to Canadian radio called "Ice" with a self-made video released via her MySpace. On 10 August 2009, her music video for "Saviour" was released. [1] In an interview for the musical website Hall-Musique, Lights announced she was hoping for release her debut album in Europe by beginning of 2010.[13]

Touring

She has toured in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Her first multi-band tour included her and Copeland, Lydia, and Lovedrug. [14] National television appearances in Canada have included MuchMusic in December 2008 and MTV Live in March 2009. Lights was also featured on the 2009 Warped Tour, and played at the Facebook Party at SXSW in Austin, Texas on 15 March 2009.

In September 2009, Lights toured with the British band Keane on their Canadian/Pacific Northwest tour.[13] In late 2009, Lights will tour all around the United States and Canada.

Awards

Lights won indie awards in the Favourite Solo Artist and Favourite Single categories during Canadian Music Week in March 2009 in Toronto.[15] She won the Best New Artist Awards in the Hot AC and CHR categories.[16] All awards were for her debut single "Drive My Soul", except the award for Favourite Solo Artist.

She also won in the best new artist category at the 2009 Juno Awards.[17]

Other appearances and collaborations

Lights was featured as a singer on three tracks included on the The Februarys' second EP, All The Time in the World: "Meant for Each Other," "Home Is Where the Heartache Is", and "I Was Always Thinking of You." She appeared in Ten Second Epic's sophomore album, Hometown, and she was also featured on the soundtrack for the 2008 Canadian film One Week, starring Joshua Jackson. Lights was to be featured in the song "Ho-Ho-Hopefully" on The Maine's new holiday EP, ...And a Happy New Year but was replaced by the band Eisley. She was recently featured as a guest vocalist on the album A Shipwreck in the Sand (2009) by post-hardcore band Silverstein from Burlington, Ontario.

Musical influences

In a September 2007 interview, Lights indicated her primary influence as Björk, who she has said she would like to work with someday. She also spoke glowingly of Phil Collins's songwriting, and particularly fancies the European production-based music the likes of The Knife.[5]

Her vocals have been compared to Vanessa Carlton, and Lights has said she was a fan of Carlton when she was younger. Her production style has been compared to Dntel.

Lights' single "February Air" sold 12,000 copies in early 2008 after it was featured in a commercial for the Old Navy clothing store chain.[3][18]

Behind the scenes, Lights has been hired to write songs and texts for the television series Instant Star, together with other skilled songwriters and musicians. They work as a team.[19] Lights and Luke McMaster are credited with composing "Perfect", sung in the role of Jude Harrison on the show by Alexz Johnson. The song is a musical allusion to The Beatles' song "Penny Lane", Luke McMaster's and Lights's "Perfect" (she is credited like so on the soundtrack CD, and it is she, who sings it on this issue, not Alexz Johnson) also borrows rhythmically from the familiar Welcome Back, Kotter TV theme. Likewise, Phil Collins listeners will identify the undeniable rhythmic riffs of Genesis' "A Trick of the Tail" (sung by Phil Collins) to be found on the album of the same name (1976 in music). So much borrowing in one song gives a new meaning to "synth" in "synth pop", but Lights says she knows what she's doing, relying on her "pretty intense cheese-o-meter" to walk the path true and narrow.[20]

Her voice, and her music, have met with very favourable reception in the Toronto press.[3]

Contributions and covers

While there are no covers officially released, she has been known to cover Akon's "Don't Matter", Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight", and The Backstreet Boys' "I Want It That Way", live in concert. She also contributed a song to the movie One Week, starring Joshua Jackson, as well as the song "Perfect" for the Instant Star TV show. The new Silverstein record A Shipwreck in the Sand features Lights in the song "The End". She has also covered a song by English metalcore band Architects on her weekly vid-blog. She also appears on "Everyday" on the latest Ten Second Epic album.

In 2009, Lights and Trevor Boris wrote and composed a new theme for the Canadian television program MuchOnDemand, entitled "Freakin' MOD". Viewers were to vote on whether or not the current theme should be kept, or if the new one were to be adopted; the former was chosen.

In September 2009, she covered the Coldplay song "Lost!" on YouTube. [21]

Charity

Lights supports the Toronto charity "Skate4Cancer", and has recorded a song called "Year of the Cure" for their use.

Television

On September 28, 2009, Lights' MTV series Audio Quest: A Captain Lights Adventure will premiere. [22]

Discography

Albums

EPs

Singles

Other Songs

  • "Casanova"
  • "Jess & Jonny"
  • "Outrageous"
  • "Perfect"
  • "Sleeping With a Ghost"
  • "Year of the Cure"
  • "Move (Get Down)"
  • "Crazy He Calls Me"

References

  1. ^ Lyonnais, Sheena (23 February 2009). "Lights Proves Breakout-Ready". Chart. Retrieved 2009-04-06. 
  2. ^ a b Brian Pascual (23 June 2008). "Lights Finally Finds The Right Phase". ChartAttack.com. Toronto: Chart Communications, Inc. Retrieved 2008-12-29. 
  3. ^ a b c Sheena Lyonnais (10 March 2008). "Lights makes us happy". Toronto Music Scene - Indie News + Interviews. 
  4. ^ Julian Brass. "Interview with Lights by Julian Brass". Notable.tv. 
  5. ^ a b "Lights Interview". Instant Star On Line. 7 September 2007. Retrieved 2008-08-04. 
  6. ^ "ACE Title Search". ASCAP. Retrieved 2009-09-09.  Search for Poxleitner as writer.
  7. ^ "Warner Bros. Records Partners with Doghouse". Marketwatch'. 
  8. ^ "Canadian Hot 100". Retrieved 2008-11-03. 
  9. ^ http://twitter.com/lightsnoise
  10. ^ Marcus, Bianca (12 August 2009). "LIGHTS Release Date Set". Chart. Retrieved 2009-09-09. 
  11. ^ "LIGHTS @ Warped Tour (Updated with Audio)". Eggplante!'. 
  12. ^ "Two local artists get international push on music service", Torontoist, 2008-10-02.
  13. ^ a b Brunet, Stéphane (20 September 2009). "Interview • Lumières sur Lights (oh oh)" (in French). Hall Musique. Retrieved 2009-09-20. 
  14. ^ Henderson, Steve (3 September 2008). "Copeland / Lovedrug / Lydia Tour Dates". AbsolutePunk. 
  15. ^ "2009 Indies Winners". Canadian Music Week. March 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-19. 
  16. ^ "Canadian Radio Music Awards". Canadian Music Week. 13 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-19. 
  17. ^ New Artist of the Year at JunoAwards.ca
  18. ^ High, Kamau (24 May 2008). "Old Navy Tunes In". Billboard. p. 12. 
  19. ^ "Writing music for Instant Star", Toronto Star, 28 August 2007.
  20. ^ John Wofford (30 May 2008). "7 Questions for Lights: Valerie Poxleitner, or Lights, is Canada’s—and perhaps the world’s—next big thing.". Patrol Magazine (Washington, D.C.). Retrieved 2008-08-04. 
  21. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zwhv9kSgYKA
  22. ^ http://www.iamlights.com/news/2009/09/26/audio-quest-capt-lights-adventure-air-mtv-and-mtvcom
  23. ^ http://mypict.me/show.php?id=7oO5

External links