Raz Mataz Magazine (RMM): What was the night of the awards like? Give us your pre- and post-show feelings. . . .
Stephanie Braganza (SB): Playing at the Phoenix Concert Theatre was a blast and I really enjoyed performing alongside all the other artists, and getting to watch so many different live performances with diverse music genres! Before the show, my band and I just made sure we were well prepared so that we could all relax and enjoy ourselves.
RMM: Who was your competition that night?
SB: Since I was performing because of the Electric–Live award I had received [as part of the Home and Native Sound Series], I was not competing for a prize at the TIMAs. Fortunately, that night I had the pleasure to perform with other artists, rather than to compete with them.
RMM: What were some show highlights – I mean, other than winning Best Electric–Live?
SB: I met so many people who were excited to see me perform; it made me just as excited – and nervous! I was very happy to do so many interviews and meet new people. That night was the first time I performed my soon-to-be released single, ‘2 Good 2 Be’, and it was an amazing feeling to see it so well-received.
RMM: Who would be your definite idol – someone you think, “God, I wish I could have their career”?
SB: It’s hard to say what happens behind the scenes in someone else’s personal life. I’ve never thought to myself, “I want to achieve their career,” but more “I want my career to go in this direction. . .” I do have idols that have inspired me throughout my life, but again, my life is my own and I’m making the best out of it!
RMM: How long have you been singing? What got you into it? What keeps you in it?
SB: I have been singing on stage since the age of twelve. When I was young, I sang in many musicals and eventually did some jingles and studio recordings, which is what made me decide I wanted to do this full-time. I went to Humber College to continue music and meet new people. Definitely growing as an artist and the excitement of this career keeps me loving this lifestyle. It stays interesting when I feel that I am always trying something new musically. It keeps it exciting and fresh.
RMM: What can people expect at a Stephanie Braganza show?
SB: My show is both a visual show as well as an aural one. People come to see me. If they want to hear my songs, they can do that sitting at home. Each show is different, as are the arrangements of the songs.
RMM: What are your plans next year, two years, five years from now?
SB: Within the next few months, I am releasing my new single and video for ‘2 Good 2 Be’. Stay tuned for performances at some upcoming festivals as well! I am also working on some other new channels and ways of experiencing music, which I will let everyone in on soon.
RMM: What’s a current source of artistic inspiration?
SB: I’m not anything close to a nature buff, but on the other hand – I am at my happiest and most inspired when surrounded by animals, whether it is wildlife or animal companions. Usually, after taking a walk and soaking in my surroundings, I can sit down and put some ideas on paper. My songs (co-written with Colin Stewart) usually stem from some abstract idea or story from my life. Sometimes, it’s from an idea or story in my life that I wish happened.
RMM: Name your first album.
RMM: What advice would you give prospective artists/singers?
SB: I try not to focus on things that used to work in the music business – so much has changed! Be careful about advice that is outdated. Don’t focus on the past. The music business has been flipped upside-down, and we have to be inventive and come up with new ways to be successful.
RMM: What was your first gig? Your biggest gig? Your favourite gig?
SB: My first gig that introduced my original music was at the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto. My biggest gig was DesiFest 2012. I’d have to say my favourite gig is tied between DesiFest and the Toronto Veggie Pride Parade (TVPP)! The DesiFest festival was at Yonge-Dundas Square. I really enjoyed this one as I had the opportunity to perform outside, in great weather and in front of many people. Everyone who played that festival is very talented. Even though it is a South Asian festival, it had a diverse range of musical styles. During the TVPP, my band and I got to perform on a float during the parade. It was wonderful seeing people stop and smile as every street we turned into, we filled with music!