Canadian born singer-songwriter Brenda Alguire began her musical training with private classical piano lessons at the age of seven, with the Royal Conservatory of Canada.
At the age of 12 Brenda discovered that she loved to write songs. She began singing original songs with her sister throughout her junior high and teen years. She played in various bands, including a one year job with a club/bar band. These experiences helped develop her own unique singing and playing style, building on her early formal training. Brenda added experimentation and discovery, observation, seminars, listening, and learning from other musicians to further her musical skills.
In the early 90's Brenda began to intentionally spend time working on developing the craft of songwriting. Her first song to be published was translated into German and recorded in Germany in 1996. In 1997, she met a gifted producer/publisher in Toronto who was instrumental in getting 12 songs recorded by various independent artists and published in Canada. Several of Brenda's songs have received radio airplay and national television exposure in Canada.
Life in the Philippines
One of the most significant life experiences she's had in the past 10 years came with the opportunity of living in a third world country from 1997 - 2000. It had a "profound impact on us as a family" and moved Brenda to include two songs that were written out of that experience: Shantytown and Refugee in Mourning. That experience continues to challenge Brenda today to consider what she could be doing to affect positive change in the lives of the disadvantaged. Am I doing enough to stop what Bono calls "stupid poverty?" Could I be doing more?
What Lights Me Up?
Having dinner with dear friends in our home, or in their's... digging in my flower garden, walking in the woods with my family, and getting a great lyrical idea for a song... then actually getting to work on it and hearing the melody come in... I love all of that! The creative task is complete when I get to sing a song for someone and it moves them in some way, any way... I don't care, as long as it makes them think or feel something. Of course, when they can identify with the song in some way, that means a lot.
The Role of Music in My Life
My home was full of music growing up... five girls who all sang and played the piano. My Dad played guitar and sang. Music brought a lot of joy into our home and there was always someone banging away on the piano. I grew up with 50's, 60's and 70's music playing or being sung. Tragedy struck our home when I was 10 yrs. old and music naturally took on a new role - it became very therapeutic for me and even more so when I started writing songs at the age of 12. It was a way to express myself and to work through my faith and the questions that came along with it.
My Musical Style
I grew up listening to Carole King, Chicago, James Taylor & Bob Dylan, Genesis, Steeley Dan, and a lot of gospel music too. I'm a huge Sarah McLachlan fan, as well as Shawn Colvin, John Mayer, Switchfoot, Sheryl Crowe, and Jewel. I've no idea who I might sound like, probably a little bit of everything I've ever listened to.
What's Unique About My Musical Approach?
I don't know... but I hope that it's honesty, mixed with hope. I'm still working on becoming more honest in my songwriting. The songwriting process for me is often working through aspects of life that are difficult or don't make sense to me... but there are songs of deep celebration too, like Nothing Like the Love.
'Cause love isn't love until you give it away
And that's what You do to me everyday
Nothing Like the Love