Beneath the painted hues and infinite prairie skies of Saskatoon -- a city in the heart of Canada -- lies a soulful, creative spirit that proves there’s much more to the so-called ‘fly-over states’ than grassland and grain silos.
Katie Tupper, a 23-year old neo-soul musician, embodies that spirit and is determined to show there’s an entire world of boundary-pushing, genre-defying artists at work within the often overlooked region.
Central to that mission is her new EP Towards the End -- a sultry, glittering debut that showcases Tupper’s mastery as a musician, writer and producer. With this new music, Tupper wants to connect listeners from across genres and generations. “I want everyone to be able to find a part of my music to connect to. The lyrics that I’m finding the easiest to write at the moment are very coming of age which I think a younger crowd gravitates to. That being said, the subjects I write about can appeal to all generations.” She says.
Towards the End is an ode to love, identity and the inextricable ways the two entwine. “It’s about navigating young love. About how we adapt and change with new people,” she says.
The five song EP is a bright and moving mix of indie and neo-soul that will have no trouble breaking hearts or soundtracking your new love.
Tupper also hopes to bring a sense of warmth to listeners. “I would like my sound to be an escape and to be a colourful moment of rest,” she says. “I’d like the lyrics to put you in a good mood, making you feel comfortable as a person who’s constantly changing and evolving.”
And those lyrics are captivating throughout the record, often betraying a keen understanding of how love reflects our past and present selves.
An important part of that reflection comes from Tupper’s growing up in prairie town Saskatoon, Saskatchewan surrounded by “fields of butter”. Inspiration is also drawn from her own experiences in love. On the opening track “Live Inside,” she challenges notions of identity and what it means to let someone change your appearance. “I don’t think you know, just how good it felt, to take golden hairs off your golden head” A reflection on a partner letting Tupper shave their head on a whim. A surrender into your relationship and allowing your partner to become a piece of who you look like everyday. She closes out the album with “Misbehavin’,” a painfully relatable love song about challenging bad habits.
Tupper began honing her music from a young age, turning early piano lessons into a tool for writing lyrics and melodies. Then at just 14 she toured the U.S. with a marching band, lugging a massive bass drum around in parades.
As she entered a world of creating and performing music professionally, she experienced the broad industry trend of diminishing women’s contributions first hand. As such, it was very important for her to stay involved with every element of the production process. Towards the End was written, performed, and arranged by Tupper and co-produced with Connor Seidel (Charlotte Cardin, Matt Holubowski). And we’re all better for it.Tupper’s heart and soul is intertwined with every moment and every sound on Towards the End. It’s an honest glimpse through the eyes of a special, young talent.