Aussie Folk Artist Marta Pacek: “Canada is my second home”
It’s not uncommon for Australians to land in British Columbia upon arriving in Canada – forming a connection with the country as they discover it through the lenses of the beautiful West coast scenery and laidback demeanor. And to dash across Toronto, Ottawa, Quebec and East Coast soil – playing folk music, the spirit of which speaks to journeying – is just about the greatest way to secure even more of a Canadian home away from home.
Such is the case for Australian singer and songwriter Marta Pacek who came to Canada with a guitar and pocketful of hometown success – hoping to get her feet wet in international waters. After being eyed by Toronto-based management, the neo-folk Aussie began receiving numerous collaboration opportunities within Canada, as well as the US and Europe. Despite opening for David Cassidy, performing with the Gala Orchestra in Milan and filming a music video at New York City’s famous Hotel Chelsea during her introductory North American years, it was the heartwarming Canadian experience that struck a chord with the artist.
“I feel like I have such a Canadian connection,” says Pacek, who is now based out of New York City. “It really is my second home. When I decided to come to Canada I was still kind of finding my way, but once I arrived, I felt this sense of discovery when I stepped outside of my comfort zone, hoping to land on my feet.”
And those feet have been hustling.
As her new tour van’s rolling wheels growl beneath a thick accent, Pacek tells the tale of her typically memorable, and lovely, touring expedition with her latest release Rebel Baby. Beginning in the great West, passing through the noisy metropolises of Ontario and Quebec (which she still boasts are “friendlier” than those in her new US hometown) and on to the folk enthusiast centers of Canada’s East Coast – Marta has tried to focus her tour experience on the promotion of her album, as well as stirring creative juices for the next, less heartbroken one.
“The last album was centered on bad concepts and melancholy concepts – and they were real experiences, unfortunately – but I’m hoping maybe over the summer I might write some things that are non-romance related; that some real writing will come out of this tour. Maybe songs about the sun,” she laughs.
For the soul-searching songstress, she’s wedged herself into the right genre.
“Folk music is about real things and real people,” she says. “I played a show a week before I played my album release at an Aussie music festival. And this lady approached me with tears in her eyes because her daughter had just separated from her husband and she needed to buy my album to help her daughter heal – she thought her daughter would be really helped. Now that was mind-blowing.”
Whether she knows it or not, the essence of folk music sounds just as Marta does while her charming and ever-so-grateful disposition hollers over the highway sounds. Folk – every twang and every forlorn confession – has the sublime ability sound, if nothing else, down to earth.