Nancy Silverman
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Nancy Silverman

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Band Pop Singer/Songwriter

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"Review of "Now You Know My Secrets""

Though her voice is meticulously raw, realistic, gritty, unique, and above all, full of character, the intriguingly beautiful Nancy Silverman creates a stunningly polished and professional album of well-crafted numbers that stand out as a beacon of hope in 2008's mercurial pop market. The balance of innovative, edgy songwriting along with Silverman's gorgeous tone, reminiscent of a Fiona Apple/Amy Winehouse/Alanis Morisette love child, creates a flourishing release of sultry, jazzy, Carole King-esque music that tantalizes the ear drums as musical appetites everywhere are whetted. Relying mostly on heavy piano beats and infectious runs and riffs, "Now You Know My Secrets" is a rare serving; an undiscovered menagerie of professionalism and a stellar debut of perfected quality and inconceivable originality. Tunes like "Take It Day by Day" and the hauntingly magical "High Life" are just a sampling of the wonders that any listener will receive while blessing their ears with this music, and the catchy kiss-off "My Apologies" is a funky, bluesy piece of spunk; "The New Her" is a glamorous portrayal of true musical giftedness. In fact, each track bears commendable, redeemable quality without a single sore spot. All the way through, personality is voluminous and Silverman's grit and sarcasm ooze with potential all over this disc. At only nine tracks long, the only flaw with the album is that it leaves the listener craving more than the 30 minutes that they get on the album, although the ephemeral quality of Now You Know My Secrets is that it adds to the pleasure of the experience. Now You Know My Secrets isn't a CD, it's a gem of true independent artistry, and the marksmanship of a sensational artist who deserves limitless levels of praise and glorification. - Allmusic.com (Matthew Chisling)


"Nancy's the Cover Story of the Thornhill Post (Oct 2006)"

During Her last performance on this summer's season of Canadian Idol, Nancy Silverman walked on stage in bare feet and belted out Sara McLaughlin's Stupid. And from her first note, standing solemnly in the spotlight at the John Bassett theatre in Toronto through powerful crescendos and manic mannerisms, she made the song "100 per cent Nancy to the core."

The Sheridan College musical theatre major was known on the most-watched show of the summer for her unique sound and performance style compared by the judges to Alanis Morisette, Silverman was also called "soulful and quirky." And she vowed, as fans of Canadian Idol will remember, to stay that way. Her catchphrase was "100 per cent Nancy to the core."

"Whether people loved me or hated me at least I was something different, something new," she says.

After weeks of auditions, endless rehearsals, performances and little sleep, it may have been that uniqueness that ended her seven week Canadian Idol stretch. But with a demo in the works, a gig in December at the Buddies in Bad Times theatre, and continued support from her Idol fan base, it seems the show was just a steppingstone for the 19-year-old songstress.

Silverman made it to the top 14 competitors before being eliminated on July 12. But she insists that this isn't the end of her pop career.

"I feel like the show has kind of planted a seed for me and made me understand that it is possible to have a career in pop music," she says. "I want to jump on it now before people forget who I am."

Born in Montreal, Silverman's family moved to Thornhill when she was four. "I love Thornhill," she says. "There's a real sense of community. It's just small enough that every one sort of knows each other. If you head over to the mall you'll likely run into your grade 6 teacher, your best friend and your soccer coach."

In high school she enrolled in an Arts program and studied drama but it wasn't until the last year of high school that she realized her vocal aptitude. In grade 12, she performed in her school production of Crazy For You.

"It was my first solo, my first time singing really. I was like 'wow, people get paid to do this? Best job ever!'" she says. And she spent much of her free time after school at honing her dance skills at Vibe Dance and Fitness Studio where she not only took classes but also taught them.

She applied and was accepted to Sheridan College for musical theatre. She has just finished her first year and says she owes her Idol success to her first-year mandatory commercial performance class where she became smitten with the idea of a career in pop music.

She actually wrote the lyrics to her first song in high school but didn't compose the music until this past year at Sheridan after a semester of keyboarding classes.

"Before the piano I had only played the tuba so this was a vessel I could actually write a song on," she says laughing. That song, Broken Boy, "is about a boy that I liked that in my eyes had the absolute perfect life but was so miserable and I didn't understand why."

Since then she hasn't stopped writing. Some of her songs can be downloaded from her myspace.com webpage, which has received 5,500 hits in the last month and endless praise from friends and fans alike.

"I think that music should carry a message and hopefully one a little deeper than my boyfriend dumped me, boohoo." She's working on her first demo, which will feature 11 original tracks, some accompanied by her friend Evan Clarke on the guitar and drums, the rest are just Nancy singing and playing piano. She'll update fans on how to get the demo on www.myspace.com.

"There's nothing in the world like singing your own songs," she says. But it's not her songwriting ability or her experience in her commercial performance class that sets her apart on stage. It's her energy. "I give a full performance, not just vocals, not just physicality, but with my music theatre training I use my whole body," she says.

And while that flair for performing is what kept Silverman on stage for so long, it was her genuine passion and excitement that inspired her behind the scenes.

"The audition process was incredibly grueling and emotionally draining. At the end of every day they were sending home packs of people and the odds of you being in that pack are so great. It was exhausting. We were running on two hours of sleep a night. But," she says, pausing to stress her point: "It was also great fun. I never thought 'oh this isn't right, I don't want to be here anymore.' Not once."

She also explains that the top 22 competitors got along famously. They were put up in a hotel in downtown Toronto, an experience Silverman likens to school residence living, having all your friends live right next door. Brandon Jones, the 17-year-old skater boy from Newfoundland eliminated from the top eight on August 1, says that he, Nancy and fellow contestant Craig Sharpe, 16, started a nightly tradition called Cuddle fest, laying around Nancy's room giggling and watching movies.

"The great thing about the Idol performers is that they love to have fun and they don't let the drama and the nerves of the show impede that," says Silverman. "The other great thing about Canadian Idol is that no one directly involved with the show determines the results. It's easy to build solid meaningful friendships with people because it's the general public who choose the winner."

Despite being a judge favourite, Silverman wasn't unrealistic about her chances. "The judges are four individuals, they're four people. Ultimately it's possible for four people to think I'm great but for lots of other people to think I'm not great," she says. And week after week, the judges consistently doled out praise. Sass Jordan said she was killer, Farley Flex wanted an invite to the "Wacky and wonderful world of Nancy Silverman," Zack Werner called her a virtuoso and pointed out that her uniqueness brought forth either a love or hate response from viewers and that that kind of passion was a good thing. Fellow judge Jake Gold agrees that passion from an audience is important, but that it doesn't necessarily win you the Canadian Idol title.

"The fact is she was quirky, maybe a little difficult for the mainstream to accept." But he says that Silverman's quirkiness won't hurt her career. It'll set her apart.

And Silverman is fine with that. She's not looking for big-time fame. "I would rather have 50 hardcore fans that truly believe in me than millions of people who could care less," she says. Even while signing autographs weeks after her elimination, she's flattered but not caught up in fame. "It's an honour that people like what I do and want to hear more of it. Ultimately, I'm up on stage because I need to get something out. I'm not seeking anything from the audience other than that they listen to me."

That is the high for Silverman: being on stage with an audience. "Once the mic is in my hand I can do whatever I want. It's my time and no one would be able to stop me. Who gets that power?" she gushes.

Whether Silverman goes on to pop stardom or pursues musical theatre ("She needs to go to Broadway," says Gold), she's thankful for the Idol experience.

"I'm a believer in fate," she says. "I sincerely believe that I got kicked off when I did because there is something more waiting for me." - Postcitymagazines.com (Vanessa Grant)


"Testimonials"

"Talented, funny - and gorgeous! Nancy’s 'Now You Know My Secrets' is an impressive piece of work - for so many reasons. The lyric complexities are in perfect sync with infectious melody and intricate rhythm. All songs are graced with clear, forthright piano performance as well as Nancy's characteristic vocal power/musicality. "
- Marek Norman, Noted Canadian Music Theatre Composer


"Nancy is the kind of person that can be someone's true, passionate favorite."
- Zack Werner, Canadian Idol Judge


"Just - MEZMORISING!"
- Jake Gold, Canadian Idol Judge


"Classic...killer!"
- Sass Jordan, Canadian Idol Judge & Recording Artist


"Nancy knows herself so well as a performer. I really enjoy - deep, down inside - watching her perform. There's so much of her there. Just fantastic!"
- Farley Flex, Canadian Idol Judge - Various


Discography

Now You Know My Secrets - 2006
Demo Tapes & Dreams (a NXNE promo CD by Bandpush) - 2007

Full tracks can be found at www.myspace.com/nancysilverman

Sample the entire album at www.nancysilverman.com

Photos

Bio

Nancy Silverman first gained recognition as a top 12 finalist on Season IV of Canadian Idol, but her creative passion led her toward song writing three years ago. Classically trained in voice and music theatre, the drama of Nancy's sound has been compared to the likes of Fiona Apple, Alanis Morissette, India Arie and Jason Mraz.

A delicious cocktail of jazz, soul, funk and folk, Nancy and her band came together by a twist of fate in early 2008 to share in their love of honest, real music. With songs focused on true storytelling, they pride themselves in high-energy, interactive performances that leave the listener feeling connected and excited about the music. A combined 50 years of musical history between them, Nancy and the guys bring an eclectic, original sound to the stage blending their varied musical influences.