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La Ribera 

The richly-textured songs of Alejandra Ribera embrace mystery this week at the Carleton.

Alejandra Ribera
  • Alejandra Ribera

2014 SOCAN Songwriting Award winner Alejandra Ribera’s music career is a tale of slow-burning success. After releasing her demo, Navigator, in 2009, she was discovered by CBC during a stint as artist-in-residence at The Cameron House.

It took several years for her debut full length, La Boca (Pheromone Recordings), produced by Jean Massicotte, to be released. In-between, she moved from Toronto to Montreal, and is on her way next year to relocate to France.

With European sensibilities, and richly textured songs, Ribera brings her robust voice, and artfully crafted songs to Halifax at The Carleton November 19 and 24.

“Making that record the way we did it, we took our time,” says Ribera. “We worked for a year. It was the first time working with a producer, and someone who wrote all the arrangements. It was kind of like going to university. It wasn’t always easy.”

Ribera is multilingual singer, who serenades in English, French, and Spanish. La Boca is a 12-track journey of curiosity, the birth of love, loss and longing. With her un-rooted desires, Ribera relies on her instincts to navigate both her music career and life. She taps into the unknown and embraces mystery.

“Every time we step into the unknown, for no good reason, especially when it’s for no good reason, we embark on a very important journey,” she says. “If we just listen to our instincts, especially when it doesn’t make sense on paper, our instincts will tell us what to follow. It’s a good indicator.”

Her radio hit, “I Want,” the song that awarded her the 2014 SOCAN Songwriter’s Prize, spurred the You Want Project, an online social media token of inspiration (accompanied by hash tag #YouWantLaboca), where fans personally express their desires, which are then posted in the “You Want” section of Ribera’s website.

“The whole SOCAN prize gave it an extra life. When it won, it put that song in the spotlight, which was a blessing.” she says. “Being nominated was combination of two feelings, oh my god, it’s SOCAN, a reverence and an honour, and at the same time I was hesitant.

“There was a feeling of nervousness, because it acknowledges what you do in a comparative and competitive nature. It’s almost inevitable and impossible to avoid when you make music for a living. But it puts the work in a funny sort of place; it makes you think of the audience.”

Alejandra Ribera
Wednesday, November 19 and Monday, November 24
The Carleton Music Bar & Grill, 1685 Argyle Street
$12.50/$15

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