Jocelyn Alice: A Calgary Songstress on the Rise
Calgary musician Jocelyn Alice makes the move to Toronto and prepares to launch her first solo record.
Photograph by Phil Crozier
Music filters in and out of our lives, when we’re sitting at work listening to a playlist or maybe standing shouting for an encore at a concert. Sometimes you hear a beat that you tap your feet to for a few minutes before carrying on, but those other (perhaps not-so-often) times, you hear a voice that really makes a lasting impression.
I vividly remember the first time I heard Jocelyn Alice sing. It was 2010 at the Taste of Calgary. My friends and I were sampling some drinks in the beer gardens, a band started to play and then I heard a voice. I remember leaving my friends, wandering around the stage area and looking for a sign so I could find out who was performing. After pushing through the crowd, I found it: “Jocelyn Alice and The Monster Famous”. I snapped a picture of the sign and as soon as I got home, I googled to find out more.
Fast forward to five years later and Alice has had tremendous growth in her career. Her songs have been featured in film soundtracks, our city’s well-known tourism campaign, an American Target commercial and even the popular television series Pretty Little Liars.
Needless to say, the musician’s success allowed her to become a household name in Calgary. Now it’s time to spread the good
word song a little further. This month, Alice makes the move to Toronto to finish her debut solo album, which she successfully funded through a Kickstarter campaign (no easy feat). Hopefully this will help her expand her audience to a national level, something that if you ask many music folks in the city about they’ll tell you they’re surprised it hasn’t happened already.
“I have never really toured. I have never released a full length record. I have never spent more than a few weeks away from home. I have never been signed to a label,” explains Alice on her Kickstarter campaign page. “These are all things that Toronto is offering me in February. I want to arrive with a record that’s finished. Perfectly and precisely with all of you at heart.”
With her new single, “Jackpot“, recently released, you can tell that the songstress is putting her best vocals forward and is out to make you, and hopefully the rest of the country, a fan.
In the meantime, five Calgary fans share their first memories of Jocelyn Alice.
Mike Morrison, blogger, MikesBloggityBlog.com
“A few years back, I was sitting in a pub after a practically sad break up. Sitting there, drowning my sorrows in one (or a few) beer and it turned out the server at the pub was Jocelyn. After taking pity on me, clearly, she came over to my table, but not with another beer, with her guitar. She asked if it would be okay to sing me a song to cheer me up. As soon as she started singing, I immediately forgot what I had been sad about and was captivated. I’ve been her biggest fan ever since.”
Reid Feist, Global National News Correspondent
“Like so many people, the first I heard Jocelyn’s voice was in the amazing Tourism Calgary campaign Right Here. In an interview atop the Calgary Tower, I got a small private performance of the song and was amazed by her talent. The tower was quite possibly the best place to hear her sing the song while being able to admire her artistic ability and the view of our city.”
Elizabeth Booth, writer, RollingSpoon.com
“I went to the Carol of the Belles fundraiser this Christmas and when Jocelyn (with Lisa on the bass) launched into ‘O Holy Night,’ she not only immediately filled me with Christmas spirit, but actually had me in tears with the simplicity of the song and the power of her phrasing and voice. It was the Christmas miracle I needed after a very stressful ramp-up to the holiday season.”
Tara Slone, Breakfast Television host
“The first time I heard Jocelyn sing was on Breakfast Television about four years ago. I was totally floored by her technique and the unique quality of her voice. She was perfect. I didn’t understand (and still don’t) why she wasn’t a massive star!”
Amy Thiessen, musician
“I was at Market Collective years ago and I remember thinking, ‘Who the hell is this chick that’s singing right now? She’s awesome!’ That was the first introduction and I just thought she was wicked from the start. Recently, I’ve got to know her a lot better and just watching how she is with other artists…she’s really good at being supportive. She gets genuinely stoked for other people’s success and I really like that. It is really cool to see.”