Tunes: Jef Barbara

Jef Barbara is a singer based in Montreal. With melodies that are precious without ever sounding ridiculous, an inordinate love for shiny costumes, and a certain talent for Revolution, Jef Barbara is the new Sun King of Pop.

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Photo Credit: Olia Eichenbaum

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do. My name is Jef Barbara. I’m a singer, songwriter, a mother, a sister and a cat whisperer.

What are some recent, upcoming or current projects you are working on? I’m working towards completing my most ambitious video yet it’s for the song, Soft to the Touch. It was shot in 35mm.

 

 

What are you currently watching on Netflix/what’s on your Netflix queue? I don’t use Netflix and I’m only remotely aware of current TV shows.

What is one of the bigger challenges you and/or other musicians are struggling with these days and how do you see it developing? Although making music has become easier that ever before, selling it is becoming increasingly difficult not only, because people are no longer willing to buy music but also, because it’s hard to get noticed as a result of music being so easy to make that anyone with a laptop can now make music and sell it online. I’ve been making music professionally for less than 2 years now and I’m struggling to make ends meet. I must get creative and find new ways to make money.

 

 

How did your interest in music begin? When I realized that the timbre of my voice was pleasant to others.

How has living in Montreal affected your music? I started making music seriously around the time when Montreal was becoming known as an indie music mecca and I believe that some of those DIY values have informed my artistic approach.

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Photo Credit: Minelly Kamemura

If you had to explain your music to a stranger, what would you say? I wanna make love to you baby.

What kinds of music/what musicians are influencing your work right now? I stole a bunch of music from my friend’s computer among them, Saude by Rita Lee and Pacific by Haruomi Hosono. Although, I’m not sure whether those albums have had such profound impact on me yet.

Do you get fan mail? What’s been the most exciting thing you have received from a fan? I do not disclose my address to fans.

 

 

What was the last show you went to that stuck out to you? The truth is that I’m always disappointed when I go see shows; perhaps I should go see artists that are very mainstream and see if there is more amazement to be found. I went to see Jay-Z and Kanye West on their Watch The Throne Tour and I must say I was impressed by the stage design but I got a little bored after a while.

What is your snack/beverage of choice when recording? Water and ice cream.

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Photo Credit: Olia Eichenbaum

What do you do when you’re not working on music? I daydream a lot.

What are you really excited about right now? I’m really excited about a honey-flavoured macaron that my friends brought over for dessert. French macaroons are the best dessert!

If you hadn’t become a musician, what do you think you’d be doing? Either businesswoman or courtesan.

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Photo Credit: Olia Eichenbaum

What are you listening to right now? Funkadelic’s Uncle Jam Wants You

Can you share one of the best or worst reactions you have gotten as a result of your music? As far as worst reactions are concerned, I can’t comment because I’ve never had anyone tell me I suck to my face. On the other hand, I’ve had lots of people come up and tell me how awesome I am, which always feels nice.