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Singing Duo Offer East Coast Sound

Photo Credit Tom Cochrane/Old Crow Magazine

For Newfoundland folk duo Jordan Coaker and Kirsten Rodden-Clarke, the start of their music career began when they had met in a local choir in 2011 and were told by a  group member that they should sing a duet. 

After performing together in the early days they were known as the J&K band. 

While on their road to success, they changed their band name to Quote the Raven.

Fast forward, In 2018, the duo released their debut album Golden Hour and released their latest single, “Hope”.

In a Q&A, Jordan and Kirsten shared their passion for music and how they maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Q: I love the name Quote the Raven, how did you come up with the name and how did you two meet?

K: We met in a local choir around 2011. The choir had about 7 or 8 people in it and we were the youngest members of the group. 

We were rehearsing one day and someone suggested that Jordan and I should sing a duet together. 

After that performance I remember we got a lot of compliments on how well our voices matched each other, and the band basically started from there.

J: We had been performing for a couple of shows as just J&K back in 2011 and decided that if we were going to take this seriously we should have a real band name. 

I suggested about 1000 different names to Kirsten, to the point where half of them were jokes. I had read some Edgar Allen Poe around that time and threw out Quoth the Raven, which didn’t get instantly rejected like the rest.

So after a little back and forth we settled on Quote the Raven and we haven’t looked back since. 

We like the idea that we’re quoting Raven songs. 

The idea that we put a lot of thought into everything we do, just like a Raven.

Q: When did your passion for music begin?

 Answer:

J: I’ve always loved listening to music or singing along to a song in the car but I got the performing bug my very last year of high school – I was told I had to do a theatre arts credit course instead of Biology. 

The course had us singing and dancing all year long and it honestly changed my entire perspective on life.

 K: My parents always had music on while I was growing up. Some of my favourite memories are dancing around the living room with my mom to Celine Dion and Cher, or singing along while my dad played guitar. 

I started doing Lip Syncs for fun with my friends and we’d perform them for my family. 

There were a lot of children near my grandmother’s house, and we all did big Lip Sync shows for everyone on the road for a few summers. I just loved performing and making people happy. 

As I grew up I lost all of that confidence, but I’m happy I’m slowly getting it back. I don’t think I could have guessed that this is what I would be doing for a living.

 Q: Congrats, your new single Hope, tell us the process of writing this song?

J: This song started as a little idea I had while working at Kirsten’s mom’s bar in the town of Conception Bay South in Newfoundland, that we then took to our friends Peter Macdonald and our Producer Chris Kirby to help finish. 

We had been touring a lot and we started to notice how our lives had changed so drastically, so quickly and how the lives of everyone we knew back home were also changing, but in very different ways. 

You can’t help but make the comparisons, you start seeing your friends and family getting married, having kids, buying houses, and it dawned on us that our lives just won’t be the same as theirs, and we’re totally fine with that. 

With all of the uncertainty in the music industry we just want to be able to continue to do this day in and day out. 

The inspiration comes from knowing that no matter how tough it gets, whether it’s sleeping on floors or making sure that the car has enough gas to get us to our next stop, we know that we’ve always got each other and everyone back home to help us.

 Q: What has been the feedback been like?

J: The feedback for the single has been amazing! The song is charting nationally which has been a big surprise for us! 

When played live, it’s the song people come up and tell us is their favourite, which means the absolute world to us!

K: We love that so many people are enjoying “Hope”! 

We wrote it about our own life experiences and how hopeful we are for the future, so it’s really cool when others can relate and find their own meanings when listening to it. 

It’s such a great feeling every time someone reaches out to tell us how much they love the tune.

 Q: How do you maintain a healthy lifestyle?

J&K: Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be difficult, but even more so when we’re on the road. Our days are spent driving and we perform almost every night. 

Vocal exhaustion is the main thing we worry about. 

We try to drink as much water as we can, rest when we have time, and give our vocal cords a break during the day.

Getting enough sleep and being health conscious with our meals has also been a big challenge for maintaining stamina. 

Travelling all day used to make us want to grab the easiest thing which usually ended up being some sort of fast food. 

This is a hard habit to break, but we get better each time we hit the road. A friend once said ‘if you eat Kraft dinner, you’ll play a Kraft dinner show’ – that has always stuck with us as a reminder to choose healthier options. 

It’s not easy and we’re still learning what to do and what not to do. Health is most important and it’s definitely worth the effort.

Q: What is next for you?

K: We’re focusing on finishing the album and trying to find new ways to get our music around the world. 

We have a couple Christmas things in the works that we hope people watch out for, and lots of content coming out over the next few months. 

The pandemic has been hard on us but we’re trying to stay busy and creative!

Feel free to check us out on Spotify, Apple Music, or anywhere you listen to music!

You can also check out our website: www.quotetheravenofficial.com

Fitness Friday is submitted weekly by Christine Blanchette and be sure to follow her on Twitter or her Youtube Channel.

Thanks and Stay Safe!!