Ottawa-born, Juno-nominated Métis singer-songwriter Amanda Rheaume has delivered her soulful blend of Americana/root/pop music to audiences around the world. She’s also heavily involved in community work, from co-organizing the Babes4Breasts concerts to raising money for Boys and Girls Clubs of Ottawa. With her powerful, gritty voice and catchy melodies, she has opened for artists like Emmylou Harris, Lucinda Williams and Ani Difranco. She releases her fifth album, The Skin I’m In, on February 15.

We caught up with her this week. 

SDTC: When and where do you feel most content?

AR: I feel the most content and at ease by the water…lakes, oceans, even rivers.

What food/dish always satisfies you?

Delicious sushi or authentic Mexican food. OR a homemade chicken soup.

What film/show has recently wowed you?

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY! I may have seen it three times in the theatre. Bodyguard on Netflix, Outlander.

What’s on your current reading list?

Rekindling the Sacred Fire by Chantal Fiola & the Buffy Sainte Marie autobiography by Andrea Warner.

What Toronto places do you truly love?

El Almacen on Queen West, Trinity Bellwoods Park, High Park, too!

What exhibit/museum/site are you dying to see?

I’d love to see Kent Monkman’s Shame and Prejudice again.

Your go-to coping mechanism/self-care?

Hot yoga, meditation, oh, and red wine.

What five things would you want if you were deserted on an island?

Water, a pal, matches, blanket and a cell phone, ha!

What’s a childhood memory that always brings a smile to your face?

Skating on the outdoor skating rink near my elementary school, playing shinny hockey.

What life philosophy is currently helping to guide your journey?

We are not our thoughts or our emotions; trust your body and your intuition always.

One skill you’d love to learn/nurture/improve this year?

I’d love to get better at French and I’d love to start learning Ojibwe. I’d also love to nurture the skill of relaxing!

What’s a piece of career advice that has served you well?

Do good honest work, speak your truth, be a good person and people will find you.

What outfit makes you feel the most you?

Black skinny jeans with rips in ’em, black T-shirt.

What toy/book have you held onto since you were small? 

A raggedy old teddy bear named Bear that I still have! He is in rough shape.

What’s a subject that is currently holding your attention? An issue that you’re focused on?

Indigenous Peoples in Canada and their human rights (water, land, health care, food and so on), protecting and empowering youth that aren’t given equal opportunities, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, LGBTQ2S+ with a strong concern for the acceptance and visibility of trans people.

When you compare yourself now to where you were at ten years ago, what’s a major change you can identify?

Being more secure in myself, owning my identity in its complexity and entirety, trusting myself, and being less apologetic.

Goal(s) for 2019?

Be more vulnerable in my personal and professional life, speak my truth more, play more shows, enjoy and relax into all my accomplishments to date, celebrate myself and my friends, family and colleagues every day!

Amanda Rheaume’s The Skin I’m In album release is taking place on February 21 at Cadillac Lounge (1296 Queen St. W). Get tickets here.