By Jenna Lee WilliamsEDMONTON — Lesley Foster, a.k.a. L.A. Foster is coming back out west. Her distinct soulful vocals and eclectic dance beats will spur a hip swivelling dance party at the BIG Winter Classic. The Edmonton born solo artist has returned to her motherland after 10 years of living in Montréal and Buenos Aires – two locations that helped shape her sound and foster her musical career.
Although her solo project is relatively new, Foster has always been connected to the musical community. During her 10 year span away from Alberta, Foster could be found DJing and was a vocalist in Montreal bands Mozart’s Sister and Karneef.
When her musical inspirations were discussed, Erykah Badu, Fiona Apple, Lauryn Hill and Kendrick Lamar came up in conversation. Foster also discussed the influence that Caila Thompson-Hannat of Mozart’s Sister has had on her: “Caila has been a major influence. I think she is a wickedly amazing artist. Very innovative. I learned a lot from her. And how to be a bad ass bitch. She is down. It is not easy being a woman in this business and doing it by yourself is even harder,” explains Foster. As she is a child of the ‘90s, her sound also has a Crystal Waters vibe.
Foster dropped her debut EP Saudade in November of 2015. That EP is also Steven Ramsey’s (of Young Galaxy) debut as a producer. “We got introduced through the creative director and creator of pop Montreal, Dan Seligman. [Ramsey] had been thinking about producing a project and because my project was so new it was a really good fit for him. We both make sad dance music kind of, so it was a perfect fit,” says Foster.
Time in Brazil led to her EP title. Saudade is a Portuguese word that doesn’t have a direct translation in English, but can be described as “the love that remains.” Foster identifies with that description and elaborates: “It is a beautiful word, and I feel like encapsulates the feeling of all the songs and lyrics… It also means dealing with the love that remains and coping with that and moving on and moving forward, but it is always kind of melancholy in a way.”
Foster has always considered herself a singer and she is self-taught. Recently she received her first vocal lessons from an opera singer in Montreal and this could change her sound as she progresses: “Now that I am looking at my voice more as an instrument and understanding it more, I would like things to change a bit. It is so powerful and so amazing. I didn’t learn that stuff before. I am kind of coming at it backwards. I am interested in relearning it.”
As for what is up next for Foster? A video she shot with Pop Montreal’s Pop Shots will be released on music blog The Line of Best Fit on February 9th. She has recently been shooting a video at the big mall that should be released the following month. Foster will also be heading back to Montreal for a show opening for Young Galaxy on February 18th.
But before her Montreal visit, she will be playing the BIG Winter Classic. It has been years since Foster has visited Calgary and she is excited to be back in Alberta playing shows. “People can expect me to be giving it my all and trying to engage and connect with people and feel and move and have a good time. And have a party,” concludes Foster.
Catch L.A. Foster as a part of BIG Winter Classic at Last Best Brewing & Distilling on January 30th in Calgary.AB, Alberta, BIG Winter Classic, BIG Winter Classic 2016, Broken City, L.A. Foster, Last Best Brewing & Distilling