Ortega performing in Paris, France
February 24, 2012
|Born||May 28, 1980|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, piano|
Lindi Ortega (born May 28, 1980) is a Canadian country singer-songwriter from Toronto, Ontario, who had lived in Nashville, Tennessee then married and moved to Western Canada in 2017. She spent nearly a decade as an independent artist in the Toronto music scene, releasing two albums and an EP in that time. She has been described as "Toronto's best kept secret" and nicknamed "Indie Lindi". Ortega left Last Gang management and records in November 2017. She has since released Til The Goin' Gets Gone EP and her full-length Liberty on her own label Shadowbox Music. Her voice has been described as a blend of Dolly Parton's, Johnny Cash's, and Emmylou Harris'.
At the end of 2010 and beginning of 2011, Ortega toured extensively as a backup singer for Brandon Flowers, the lead singer of the Killers, in support of his solo album, Flamingo. The tour included dates in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Mexico, as well as televised live performances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Later ... with Jools Holland and at Abbey Road Studios. There were also a number of festival dates in the United States and Europe, including Coachella, T in the Park and Oxegen.
On June 14, 2012, Ortega's album Little Red Boots was named as a longlisted nominee for the 2012 Polaris Music Prize. In June 2013, her album Cigarettes & Truckstops was longlisted for the 2013 Polaris Music Prize.
In July 2014, Ortega was nominated for two Canadian Country Music Association Awards – Female Artist of the Year and Roots Artist of the Year. Her album, Tin Star was also nominated for Album Design of the Year.
Personal life and career beginnings
Lindi Ortega is from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She is of Mexican-Irish descent. She was 17 when – after picking up the guitar that hung on the wall of the family home – she wrote "Faded Dress", which she has said was "the first in a long line of heartbreak songs". It was about her first boyfriend dumping her the day before the prom. "I wrote about the dress hanging in the closet, that never got worn. It was sad, but I thought it would be better the next year. But nobody asked me."
Ortega spent years trawling around record labels as the Toronto scene dubbed her "Indie Lindi". In 2008, she signed to major label Interscope, releasing one EP before they directed their resources into something more conventionally radio-friendly. Ortega remembers "singing my heart out for suits with BlackBerries. Your emotions are all over the place – and they're staring at the ceiling."
After a decade of making ends meet by working in pizza places and fleamarkets, in 2011, she signed to Last Gang.
On December 29, 2016, Ortega announced via Facebook that she was engaged.
A self-described bird lover, Ortega organised and was the featured performer at a benefit concert for the World Parrot Refuge in Coombs, British Columbia on March 3, 2010. The concert was held at The Supermarket in Toronto and featured a collection of local musicians that included Sara Kamin, Mandippal Jandu, The Framework, Emma-Lee, The DoneFors, and Dylan Murray.
The Taste of Forbidden Fruit
Ortega's debut album, The Taste of Forbidden Fruit, was released in 2001. In her review of the album, Coreen Wolanski of Exclaim! described Ortega's voice as "the closest thing to vocal perfection" she had heard in a long time. CBC Radio 3 described the album as follows:
Lindi seasons her musical scores like a deranged chef whipping up a culinary creation. A dash of country, a pinch of folk, a sprinkle of rock, and a smidgeon of jazz! Last but not least, to add a little spice, how about some vaudeville cabaret? No, this is not a textbook recipe, but rather a mystical scribbling from an ancient scroll. Lindi is enigmatic and enchanting with a voice that can be cheeky and brassy or haunting and ghostly. Her music derives from the metaphysical in a sphere that warps time and defies orthodoxy. This madness is a pure passion that has never met the technicalities of music theory.
Fall from Grace
In late 2005 Ortega began advertising her new album as coming in the autumn of 2006 having declared, "People kept pushing and prodding and finally I saw the light". Fall From Grace was released on February 6, 2007. In reviewing the album Oxyfication.com described Fall From Grace as "the quintessential album of the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of life as an indie singer."
In 2007 Ortega collaborated with Juno Award winning producer Ron Lopata on "I Need", a song for the compilation album Year of the Monkey – 68. Lopata has since produced Ortega's two EPs and occasionally tours with her as her keyboardist. Ortega's eponymous EP was initially sold at concerts and on March 5, 2008 was made available online from independent music retailer killthe8.com. When the initial run sold out the EP was discontinued. After being signed to Cherrytree Records / Interscope Records in August 2008 Ortega released her second EP, The Drifter E.P., to critical success. Ortega then began an extensive touring schedule which included touring with Noah & the Whale in the autumn of 2008, performing at the 2009 SXSW festival in Austin, TX in March, and opening for Kevin Costner & The Modern West's tour in July. In September 2009 Ortega performed on a cross-Canada tour as opening act for Keane's North American tour. After the success of labelmate Lady Gaga, Cherrytree decided they would focus on dance / pop acts and Ortega signed with Last Gang Records.
Little Red Boots
Ortega announced on her blog that a new full-length album with Juno Award winning producer, Ron Lopata, would be released on June 7, 2011 on Last Gang. A release party was held at The Dakota Tavern in Toronto on June 6, 2011. The album and song, Little Red Boots, are named after her signature red boots that she got while on tour with Kevin Costner and his rock country band Modern West. The album received critical acclaim and was nominated for two Juno Awards as well as a place on the Polaris Music Prize Long List.
Cigarettes & Truckstops
In December 2011, Ortega moved to Nashville, TN where she began working with producer Colin Linden to record her album Cigarettes & Truckstops. The album was released on Last Gang Records on October 2, 2012. In support of this album, Ortega toured the United States and Canada, opening for Southern California punk legends Social Distortion. In June 2013, the album was longlisted for the 2013 Polaris Music Prize.
Ortega released her third album for Last Gang, Tin Star, on October 8, 2013.
Ortega released her fourth full-length album, Faded Gloryville, on Last Gang Records' imprint Grand Tour Records on August 7, 2015.
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions|
|The Taste of Forbidden Fruit||
|Fall from Grace||
|Little Red Boots||
|Cigarettes & Truckstops||
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart|
|Lindi Ortega E.P.||
|The Drifter E.P.|
|Tennessee Christmas E.P.||
|Til The Goin' Gets Gone||
Compilations and soundtracks
|2004||Maybe This Christmas Tree||Fairytale of New York (duet with Pilate)||Nettwerk|
|2005||The Surreal Gourmet – A Feast For Your Ears||Tomorrow You'll Say Goodbye||Warner Music Canada|
|2007||Year of the Monkey – 68||I Need||independent|
|2010||Major Lazer – Lazers Never Die EP||Good Enuff (Featuring Collie Budz & Lindi Ortega)||Interscope Records|
|"Little Lie"||Margaret Malandruccolo|
|"Black Fly"||Michael Maxxis|
|"Christmas Eve with You"||David Foss Ricci|
|2012||"The Day You Die"||Ante Kovac|
|"Cigarettes & Truckstops"||Lindi Ortega|
|2013||"Murder of Crows"||Lindi Ortega|
|"Tin Star"||Michael Maxxis|
|2014||"Lived and Died Alone"||Jeth Weinrich|
|2017||"Waiting 'Round To Die"||Lindi Ortega|
|2018||"The Comeback Kid"||Andrey Sorokin|
|"Liberty" ||Travis Nicholson|
Awards and nominations
|2011||2012 Polaris Music Prize||Polaris Music Prize Long List – Little Red Boots||Nominated|
|2012||2013 Polaris Music Prize||Polaris Music Prize Long List – Cigarettes & Truckstops||Nominated|
|Juno Awards of 2012||New Artist of the Year||Nominated|
|Roots & Traditional Album of the Year – Solo – Little Red Boots||Nominated|
|2013||Canadian Country Music Association||Roots Artist or Group of the Year||Nominated|
|2014||Juno Awards of 2014||Roots & Traditional Album of the Year – Solo – Tin Star||Nominated|
|Canadian Country Music Association||Roots Artist or Group of the Year||Won|
|Female Artist of the Year||Nominated|
|Album Design of the Year – Tin Star||Nominated|
|2015||Roots Artist or Group of the Year||Won|
|2016||Roots Artist or Group of the Year||Nominated|
|2017||Country Music Association of Ontario||Roots Artist or Group of the Year||Nominated|
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- "Lindi Ortega". oxyfication.com. October 25, 2005. Archived from the original on July 24, 2011. Retrieved June 28, 2010.
- Miller, Jr., Neil. "REVIEW: Lindi Ortega – The Drifter EP". UR Chicago Online Magazine. Retrieved September 7, 2009.[permanent dead link]
- "2012 JUNO Award Nominees". Archived from the original on February 20, 2013. Retrieved February 7, 2012.
- "The 2012 Polaris Music Prize Long List Is Here". Archived from the original on June 16, 2012. Retrieved June 14, 2012.
- "2014 CCMA Award Nominees" (PDF). Ccma.org. Retrieved May 17, 2018.
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- "Log In or Sign Up to View". Facebook.com. Retrieved May 17, 2018.
- Ortega, Lindi. "How Being on Stage Helped Me Cope With Body-Dysmorphic Disorder". Lennyletter.com. Retrieved May 17, 2018.
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- "YouTube – a Dove film – Girl's self-esteem".
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- "Lindi Ortega — New EP now available online!". Retrieved June 28, 2010.
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- "South by Southwest Music Festival". Retrieved June 28, 2010.
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- "iTunes Session". New Canadian Music. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
- "Maybe This Christmas Tree". Amazon.ca. Retrieved October 28, 2009.
- "Surreal Gourmet". Amazon.ca. Retrieved October 28, 2009.
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- "CMT : Videos : Lindi Ortega : Little Lie". Country Music Television. Retrieved August 28, 2011.
- "CMT : Videos : Lindi Ortega : Black Fly". Country Music Television. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
- "CMT : Videos : Lindi Ortega : Christmas Eve With You". Country Music Television. Retrieved December 9, 2011.
- "CMT : Videos : Lindi Ortega : The Day You Die". Country Music Television. Retrieved November 5, 2012.
- "CMT : Videos : Lindi Ortega : Murder of Crows". Country Music Television. Retrieved March 22, 2013.
- "CMT : Videos : Lindi Ortega : Tin Star". Country Music Television. Retrieved November 9, 2013.
- "Lindi Ortega Shares Spaghetti Western-Infused 'Comeback Kid' Video From New Album 'Liberty'". Billboard. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
- "Watch the video premiere for Lindi Ortega's 'Liberty'". The Independent. May 4, 2018. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
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