“I’ve never really thought about why I write music; it has always flowed naturally. I write about people around me, dreams, books that inspire me,” says Stacy Ricker. “I have always been a fan of the devastation that you can feel in someone’s song.”
Music has the ability to transform time and space. A good song can raise your spirits or bring you to tears. Ricker knows it’s the complexity of the human condition that perplexes many songwriters, herself in particular.
“I love it when I can feel my heart breaking through someone’s lyric or the way a voice can stop me in my tracks and truly make me feel something. My heart can write songs I still have yet to discover the meaning to.”
Raised in Halifax singing in the church choir, Ricker later spent her formative years in Moncton-based band Sol. She moved to Toronto in 2003 and started carving out her own solo career. These days she’s recording with songwriter and producer Hill Kourkoutis.
“I just finished co-writing a song with Hill around the idea of comparing falling for someone to a book. It’s called Tragic Novel,” she says. “I was reading one night and looking over at the pile of books that seem to be taking over my bedside table and the next day we were trying out co-writing and that vision appeared on paper.”
Ricker keeps a stocked bedside table, as she reads three to four books at a time. Lately she’s been re-reading Anne Marie MacDonald’s Fall On Your Knees, dipping into The Reader by Bernard Schlink, The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks, Wetlands by Charlotte Roche and The Passion by Jeanette Winterson.
“Living alone helps my creative process. I generally write in the evening or throughout the day when I have an entire one to myself,” she says. “I start with a melody then write the verses around the chorus. Lately I have am loving co-writing, especially if it is to music.”
Having spent many years in Halifax, she knows the contrast between being a big fish in a small pond and being a guppy in an ocean. Naturally Toronto was a bit daunting at first, but after playing at a few different open mics, Ricker found her footing and a place for her strong voice.
“Lyrical inspiration comes in many forms through books that inspire me, my heart, photography, movies, people I meet everyday through either work or observation,” she says. “The live music scene is quite amazing in this city.
“It does have its harsh realities, like everything, but as long as you are aware I find it has a less heavy feeling. Every musician is here to do music, be discovered, and there is a wealth of talent in this city. Halifax is smaller, I’m not quite sure I would be comfortable to say tight knit, as there are pockets of that everywhere you go in every city.”
Stacy Ricker on Myspace.