Anastasia Friedman
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Anastasia Friedman

Montréal, Quebec, Canada | INDIE

Montréal, Quebec, Canada | INDIE
Band Pop Adult Contemporary

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Discography

In 1999 when she replaced the singer for Sky, an Anglophone group from Montreal that had sold 250,000 albums. Success followed, with the group releasing a second album to which Anastasia contributed lyrics and melodies. A song composed during this collaboration, "You", won her a Much Music Award in 2001 in the “Best Dance Video” category and a SOCAN prize awarded to the ten songs most frequently played on the radio that year.

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Bio

Born in 1976, Anastasia was brought up in Montreal by two expatriates. Her father, a New Yorker, and her Chilean mother were left-wing hippies who were into ecology and organic food. Growing up in a tolerant, progressive environment, at a very young age Anastasia showed more interest in theatre and singing than in school. In her teens, her first love, music, led her to a second love – travel. These two passions have never left her.
In her wanderings through Central America, Chilli and Australia she found adventure and new friendships. She wrote her first song in English in Guatemala at the age of 17.
Since there was always someone strumming a guitar during these voyages, Anastasia was not influenced by any one culture. Instead, she was convinced that there is a form of music that is shared the world over as a universal language. Her father’s untimely death renewed her pride in her family name and origins and drew her back to her Anglophone, Brit-pop roots and North American indie music. At 18, Anastasia studied singing and guitar in Santiago and lived on her family’s avocado plantation. Around the same time, continuing her explorations, she visited Asia. Only the desire for a serious professional career could tear her away from the pleasures of her vagabond life, bringing her back to Canada where she hoped to connect with other musicians with whom she could take her love of music to a deeper level.
Starting in 1996, Anastasia took to the spotlight with her eponymously named group, making the rounds in Montreal’s bar and club circuit (Jello, Sofa, Quartier Latin, Lion d’Or etc.) patiently, week after week.
Although she had yet to build a real name for herself, she got a break in 1999 when she replaced the singer for Sky, an Anglophone group from Montreal that had sold 250,000 albums. Success followed, with the group releasing a second album to which Anastasia contributed lyrics and melodies. A song composed during this collaboration, You, won her a Much Music Award in 20001 in the “Best Dance Video” category and a SOCAN prize awarded to the ten songs most frequently played on the radio that year.
However, Anastasia rapidly lost her connection with this light pop music aimed at 16 to 18 year olds. Her artistic sensibility and ambitions pointed elsewhere, and in 2002 she left Sky after one last triumphant Canadian tour.
That experience was a great calling card and, after a few more trips, Anastasia got back to work. In 2004, she had a fateful meeting with Audiogram. Confident in her remarkable talent, Michel Bélanger invited her to joint the Audiogram family. She subsequently sang with Jean Leloup and Daniel Bélanger on their albums and in their shows.
Working with Daniel during the Rêver Mieux tour, Anastasia met Carl Bastien, the brilliant arranger, producer and composer behind many Quebecois successes. Both inspired by their shared vision of a borderless, international music, they gave themselves free artistic licence. The two worked leisurely with creative abandon, with integrity and a sense of perfectionism. The resulting album, Full Circle, will be launched on January 20, 2009.
Full Circle

In the spring of 2006, Anastasia showed Carl Bastien a few new compositions, including Hope Street, I Don’t Know Why, and Butterflies. They decided to add to this handful of songs a new version of Annie Lennox’s Why, which to Anastasia was evocative of her first heartbreak.
Anastasia was glad to have plenty of time and freedom as the project gradually advanced. “The freedom to work in good conditions, make progress, take the time to improve and get some perspective is precious,” she says.
On his side, Carl Bastien reunited with a dream team to produce the album: Jocelyn Tellier (guitar, drum, voice) and Louis Legault (sound recording and mixing). This reputable trio shared production duties, as well as playing their respective instruments. Michel Bélanger acted as artistic director.
In line with the music of Damien Rice, Ani Di Franco and Jeff Buckley, whom Anastasia particularly likes, the elegantly musical Full Circle has its share of dreams and idealism. “We tried to make a timeless album that people will still be listening to 20 years from now,” she says. It blends an aesthetic ideal with real life experiences. “If my songs are nostalgic, it’s because, as the title suggests, making Full Circle allowed me to explore my memories, loves and heartaches. In a way, I think this album announces the beginning of the second act of my life!”
Songs like I Don’t Know Why and the first cut, Butterflies, express the duality of being at rest, but poised for flight, ready to take off for another adventure.
Hold on for dear life/ Cause this moment might pass me by/ It goes over and over again in my mind/ That butterfly may take off and fly
“I’m looking for peace, a kind of stability, but I’m always restless . . . that’s what the life of an artist is like . . . “
So is she ready to conquer the world? “Nothing