Lights and Shad at the University of Guelph

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

  • Lights put on a very high-energy show in the main gym of the Athletics Centre.

    Lights put on a very high-energy show in the main gym of the Athletics Centre.

Written by Janet Errygers

Each year the CSA hosts an Orientation Week concert featuring prominent Canadian musicians, and performing this year were Shad and Lights. As my first assignment as a new member of The Cannon, I was excited to hear that I would be granted a press pass to the concert, as well as a fifteen minute phone interview with Lights.

I was anxious about the interview because I felt slightly starstruck, but as soon as we began to chat, I quickly felt comfortable. Lights was very friendly and lighthearted. She commented that her favourite thing about being a professional singer and songwriter is being blessed with the ability to have her hobby as her career and being able to inspire her fans. Having fans was never her goal and even though fame is appealing, the desire to make good music and change the world overrides that.

When asked about her idols in the music industry, Lights mentioned Bjork because of her unique genre and creativity. She also said that she would love to visit Iceland (where Bjork and a favourite band of mine, Sigur Ros, hail from) because of its almost other-wordly geography. We immediately bonded over the similar, yet unique, aspiration of traveling to Iceland.

In preparation for the interview, I decided to ask Lights a few non-music related questions, because I figured that she is asked the same things often. I asked her about “bad jobs” that she had during high school, and she told me about working in a clothing store when she first moved to Toronto. She said that while the time she worked there wasn't exactly enjoyable, it was a positive life experience.

Dealing with customers who sometimes disagree with you, regardless of whether or not their opinion is a valid one, teaches you both patience and respect for those who work with the general public. I had a similar experience working for a pet store two years ago, but to this day I go out of my way to be polite to those who provide a service to me. Being polite makes everyone feel good, and it's really easy to do.

When asked about her favourite animal, Lights didn't hesitate to say that the Tapir is her absolute favourite. It was her “mascot” on the first merchandise items that she ever produced, which were pins that she paid for herself. Her hobbies outside of music include her current enrollment in part time computer classes, as well as creating acrylic paintings on canvas and selling them on the side.

My final questions for Lights were once again music oriented, and I, of course, had to ask her if anything embarrassing has ever taken place while performing. She laughed and said that embarrassing things happen all the time, including having her fly down and burping in the middle of a song. She emphasized afterward that one of the most important life skills that someone can possess is the ability to laugh at themselves and not take life too seriously, because unexpected, and occasionally awkward, things frequently occur. I asked about regrets, but Lights said that she didn't have many. She is constantly surrounded by a great manager and team, and is proud of her decisions thus far in her career.

The last thing I asked before our time together was done was if she had any life advice for me. She said that the most important thing she has learned is to be able to put herself into someone else's shoes, regardless of the situation, so that she can view things from their perspective. It's a strategic mediation tool when it comes to arguments, which everyone gets into throughout their life.

Shad took the stage on Monday evening to open to a frenzied crowd, followed by a duo with Lights. When Shad was finished and Lights came on to perform her own songs, the atmosphere around the stage was charged, to say the least. I couldn’t help but be fueled by the enthusiasm in the room.

Lights will be continuing her university dates for the next week and will hopefully return to perform for Guelph soon.


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