One of the highlights of this year’s 12th annual Winterfolk Blues Festival is soozimusic and her Cajun band, Swamperella.
In her forties, visual artist Soozi Schlanger discovered the fiddle and what followed was a love affair that has been going strong for more than 20 years; to this day, that love for music burns in her heart even more passionately than it did when it began – a living example that it is never too late to pursue your dreams.
Soozi would go on to become Toronto’s Cajun Queen, leading three bands, the most prominently of which, Swamperella, had made The Gladstone Hotel their home for 15 years, rocking the joint on a monthly basis. The band also released their fourth album, Leopard Skin Coat, last year.
With a load of other music written and needing to be heard, the Cajun musician founded soozimusic, leading to the release of her first solo album in October 2013. The album features an eclectic mix of pop, rock and folk, but above all else, it is “uniquely, unequivocably itself.”
Raz Mataz got the chance to interview Soozi, who talked about Cajun music, her discovery of the fiddle, and the awesomeness of Swamperella, and her own solo music. Listen to that interview in full, below.
Swamperella will be wrapping up the first night of the Winterfolk Blues Festival – February 14 at 11 p.m., on the second floor of the Black Swan Tavern. The following night, soozimusic will be rocking the upstairs lounge of the Globe Bistro at 10 p.m.