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Folk artist Janice Jo Lee releases latest album at The Boathouse

Janice Jo Lee's Sing Hey album cover. (Photo by Hannah Marie)

You may recognise her as Kitchener’s 2015 Artist in Residence or her video poem series, “Folk Myths of Kitchener” and now Janice Jo Lee is releasing her latest album called “Sing Hey.”

This is Lee’s second album and the release party is tonight at The Boathouse.

Describing herself as an artist of the people, Lee is all at once a storyteller, singer, songwriter and poet. She tells me that choosing which medium to use is reflective of the story she is telling.

“For me, usually a piece is inspired by something whether that’s a lyric or feeling or something that happened and then I just let it go to take the form that it needs to.”

Whatever the medium, Lee says she is trying to create anti-opression in the world with her art and that means putting it out there.

“When you put your art into the public, it’s going to be subject to criticism … I do want to listen to what people have to say in response.”

The public will definitely have many chances to see and hear Lee perform as she embarks on a 14 city Canadian tour early next month. (Show dates can be found here.)

On stage, as well as in her art, Lee speaks out about the issues that matter to her like opression, gender equality and racism and acknowledges that this can sometimes make an audience uncomfortable.

For “Sing Hey,” Lee says she certainly felt the pressure to please the audience, but in the end chose to stay true to what she wanted to say.

“Really I think people want me to be authentic and that’s why they are listening to my songs.”