One of the most promising artists in Canada's up-and-coming music scene, Justine Chantale has been described as the small-town girl with the big voice, and even bigger heart. After all, for this Stratford chanteuse, music has been a driving force for as long as she can remember.
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"I started singing when I was eight, in the school choir — but I never really got into playing guitar or taking voice lessons until later on," she explained. "It wasn't until I stumbled upon an open mic that I really realized what I could do."
And while the would-be singer/songwriter had been unsure about which direction her career might take, mom and dad had already set her on an epic path of inspiration, one paved with a mutual love of country music and classic rock.
"I grew up listening to a lot of country, my mom was into musicians like Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, while my dad was all about CCR and Blue Rodeo." she said with a smile. "That appreciation really created a lot of diversity in the kind of music that would influence me down the line. I'm pretty lucky that way."
Now, showcasing a blend of country and pop, Justine has continued to make a name for herself across the region, not only hitting the stage during Country Music Week at the 2016 Canadian Country Music Association Awards in London, Ont., opening for landmark artists including Jess Moskaluke, Chad Brownlee and Bobby Wills, but a number of venues including London Music Hall and Trackside Music Festival, as well as recently opening for The Proud Sons at London's downtown staple, Rum Runners.
Justine will also be hitting the studio next spring, continuing to work on her second EP, a follow-up to 2015's Stepping Stones.
"For me, writing and playing has always been a form of self-expression, but also a way to get my point across to people and to connect," she said. "Sometimes words don't always do the job — but music does. Getting up and performing is so therapeutic ... and if it can really touch people, that's why I do it."
Bio by Whitney South