|« Suspicious network activity welcomed||Just bring water to the desert! »|
Well, it has been at least a couple of years since I've found myself drinking “Wonder Tea” at The Grind; yet here I am sitting and enjoying the familiar atmosphere of the same coffee house where I met my loving wife. As I sip my tea and await the arrival of Suzi Rawn, I find it interesting that I am actually somewhat nervous. Perhaps it's the realization of just how huge the whole Canadian Idol phenomenon is, and the fact that I am interviewing a rising star that causes my stomach to flutter? Fortunately, the wait is short. Suzi has arrived.
After a quick introduction and an exchange of CD's, I start off by trying to find out “who is Suzi Rawn?”. Born in Sault Ste Marie Ontario, Suzi became interested in performance arts at a young age. She took some singing lessons and started writing songs when she was 11. Suzi also spent time performing in choirs and taking dance lessons including ballet, hip-hop, jazz and swing. A well traveled Canadian, eventually she lands in the beautiful Shuswap and graduates from high school in the lakeside town of Salmon Arm.
In the 5 short years since, Suzi has had quite an adventure. Heading off to Ireland to spend time with an Uncle who is quite successful in the movie industry, Suzi experienced a bit of the “high life”. The next stop was to head to the Carribean and spend some time making her living writing music and playing acoustic gigs in restaurants while enjoying life in the sun. For reasons unexplained, she heads north ends up in Montreal teaching swing lessons. In short order, Suzi makes her way back to Kamloops to start her first band, “Suzi Rawn and The Rascalators”.
“King Size Suzi” was born circa 2003. Formed with Matt Wiebe (Bass player from “The Rascalators”), Craig McKay (Drummer and now fiancée) and Jon Treichel (Guitar), the band has toured all over BC and Alberta, and recorded 2 albums. The band has just compiled the top 5 songs from their 2 albums into “Because of Love II”, now available through their website www.KingSizeSuzi.com With deals in the works, Suzi is confident that any record deal will be structured to include her existing bandmates. “Whatever people are interested in making these deals want to see chemistry on the stage. You can't buy that kind of chemistry”.
Then, of course, there's Canadian Idol. If you're not familiar with her huge success finishing fourth in the Canada wide competition, where exactly have you been? I asked Suzi if, knowing what she does now, she would still have chosen to try out for the competition. There's no pause, simply put she'd do it all over again and recommend the experience to anyone who truly loves to sing. Even though her hands are firmly tied until her contract with CTV is completed on December 15th, her feelings are that the Idol's are very well treated, even spoiled.
When she left Kamloops to try out for the show, Suzi's plan was to surrender herself to the situation. She was able to outperform her own expectations. When she looks back on her various performances, Minnie the Moocher stands out as the most comfortable and enjoyable effort. The hardest part of being on Canadian Idol was trying to relax and enjoy the experience. Besides learning tons of information about music industry and gaining some top quality vocal training, Suzi shares her feelings of huge personal growth through the competition. There was no need for her to mention the benefits of huge national exposure!
Thinking where her music career will take her next, Suzi's excitement is obvious. I sense no frustration at having to wait awhile before setting out on the next stage of her career. Suzi is happy to have some time back home with her 2 year old daughter her family and her friends. The time until the CTV contract expires has been filled with opportunities for King Size Suzi to perform at various charity events, clearly showing Suzi's love to perform and her desire to share some of the great karma she received from the Kamloops community.