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Admittedly private Lori Nuic — like Buick, she quips — is quiet as she sips her tea. Soft spoken and clad in casual pan-black clothing and a baseball cap, she may not appear to fit the bill of a seasoned-sounding alternative soul singer . . . until she opens her mouth.
Nuic cannot restrain herself when she hears the uproariously high-pitched laughter of the man sitting behind her, causing her to burst out. The unexpected release helps to better understand how such a seemingly reserved person could release the thrusting, soul-infused set of upbeat tracks contained on her first record, Red Book Chronicles.
The Kitchener, Ont., native calls the messages on her album stories from the heart. “Red signifies love, passion and matters of the heart. The chronicles are little excerpts of the past.” While she says some of the songs are fictional, Nuic remains committed to singing them as though they were fact. “No matter what you’re singing, it’s like a monologue — you have to connect with the piece anyway.”
Drama is central to Nuic’s history. Prior to music, she began dance training before moving on to theatre school; threads strung through the album’s danceable numbers. She soon found the drama, song and dance trio of the performing arts all tied in together, a la the body, mind and soul. “I used to think when you sing a song, you’re just singing. But you’re actually telling a story,” she says.
Her discovery of music’s diversity led Nuic to turn down an acting opportunity with Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Shaw Festival Theatre. Instead, she entered various regional and national urban music competitions, winning money towards producing her first album. She upholds the sacrifice, saying she is able to see the good and bad sides in everything she does.
Nuic also weighs the pros and cons when considering whether or not she would accept a record contract from a major label if offered one. While she admires the prospect’s marketing potential —pointedly outside of Canada — she fears losing artistic clout.
And control is imperative to Nuic who finds she best communicates, above other outlets, through her songs.
“I can be very diplomatic about things. I’ll get you in my songwriting!” she laughs.