Canadian pop singer/songwriter Lowell joked with her manager that she refused to be signed to a record label, unless it was Toronto-based Arts & Crafts. Late in 2013, the 22-year-old artist got her wish. “I was living in the U.K. for a while and was working on my own material when they contacted me,” says Lowell. “I got really excited because it’s been my dream label, I suppose.”
It was only after A&C’s call that Lowell decided to do some additional research and see what her options were. Her top priority was finding a team that allowed her complete artistic control––a point she was steadfast about.
“It’s difficult to find people to invest time and money into you, but will let you do whatever you want. That’s a huge risk, so it’s not common. I talked to a few of the majors and indies, but Arts & Crafts is such a great label. They let you do what you want, they help you build and are super supportive and smart. It was a no-brainer.”
“It’s difficult to find people to invest
time and money into you.”
And while Lowell wasn’t soliciting record companies prior to A&C’s interest, she was focused on getting her name into songwriting circles. One of her demos (recorded at age 14) made the rounds in Canada, before reaching Grammy winner Martin Terefe (Jason Mraz, KT Tunstall). Impressed by Lowell’s work, Terefe got in touch with her and the two began writing material together.
“[Terefe] really appreciated my writing,” she says, “so we got joined up and it really clicked. He took me under his wing and has taught me a lot about producing and writing. I guess I could call him a mentor, in a way.”
The collaboration led to Lowell working with Terefe’s group, Apparatjik, which resulted in 2012’s EP, If You Can, Solve This Jumble. And Terefe has also helped on Lowell’s upcoming full-length debut for A&C, We Loved Her Dearly, whose release date is tentative.
In the meantime, listeners can pick up Lowell’s debut EP, I Killed Sara V., released on Feb. 25. – Albert Vega