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Paige Warner is creating music for herself

Heidelberg pop star Paige Warner has come to terms with the creative process on her new single ‘People Pleasing.’ Set for release August 21, the track can be pre-saved on various streaming services.

The upcoming single depicts the inner conflict of creating for yourself versus creating what you think others want to hear.

“For the majority of my career as a musician, [I] was just always trying to do things and make songs that people would like, rather than being a form of expression,” said Warner.

“When I’m sitting down to write a song, that’s when this song came about. I was sitting down, I was brainstorming songs, and my brain was just thinking, ‘OK, what do people want to hear?’ And I’m like, ‘No, I’m not trying to write this song for other people necessarily, right? I’m trying to write it to express myself.’”

Warner began songwriting to help facilitate her end goal of performing. What Warner calls a ‘side-effect’ of her musical abilities. “This whole process has been kind of like a slow incline and getting to be able to put more of myself into music like my last releases. I believe Boys (I Don’t Need Boys) or Lions definitely had pieces of myself in there. [but], I don’t know if I could say that there was huge pieces of [me in the] music,” she explained.

The day before the single drops, Warner will be performing for (instead of at) Summer Lights part of a Thursday night live music series. Warner has also been a guest on fellow Heidelberg musician Rob Witherspoon’s Tuesday live series. And also, she has been performing sets through her social media accounts live streaming capabilities. Before pandemonium struck, Warner was no fan of live streaming, but now she has started to enjoy the evolved platform.

“I thought I would hate it at first because when I first started getting into doing live streams before COVID happened, I did not love it.” Early into lockdown, Warner began a routine stream session from Monday through Friday and grew comfortable with it. She has noticed her online following grow and says she enjoys the intimate interaction with fans.

With a switch towards more in-person concerts coming down the road, Warner hopes new fans introduced through her streams will be able to make it out to spectate her performance.

“I think the one thing that will be different is that with live streams, people can tune in from anywhere, so I have noticed a bit of a growth in my followers. The people that don’t live necessarily in Kitchener-Waterloo, which is exciting, but it is sad that it might be harder for them to see me live,” she said.

Warner doesn’t like sticking a label defining her music as any one style. Her influences range from Canadian Icon Celine Dion, to all-time favourite artist Alicia Keys and rappers such as Mac Miller and Logic. “There’s so many [influences], but none of them really directly relate to me as a musician. They just kind of inspire me in the way that they write.”

Of being a musician from a small rural community, Warner notes there is a plus side to the slow speed compared to the rampant oversaturation of city environments.

“People always say to move to the city, and I probably will one day, but starting out, the communities around here are so supportive that I think it actually helps artists. I might be wrong here, but when you’re in a sea of musicians, say in a city like Nashville, sometimes it’s harder to stand out. Because there’s so many [musicians], people don’t know where to look because everywhere there’s music, whereas around here I know a lot of the musicians in this area, personally or through connections, and it’s a decently small group. There’s a lot of music people, but it’s small enough that we each have our own niche and people aren’t really stepping on each other’s toes,” explained Warner.

Warner has a couple of smaller patio style performances upcoming, including one at Waterloo Brewing. She has always been a fan of small intimate performances such as the annual Christmas Eve party, where her family takes turns presenting songs they are working on or even favourite Christmas songs of the year to other family members.

To listen to the new single and discover the rest of her catalogue visit her website www.paigewarner.ca.

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