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Striking Right Chord - Rising Star
Jeani Read, The Province
Tuesday, January 15, 2002

If things do come in threes, this may be Allison Crowe's moment.

The hot young singer/songwriter from Nanaimo could soon complete a Vancouver Island hat trick of fame with jazz diva Diana Krall and pop sensation Nelly Furtado.

Crowe, 20, has played only on the island and a few choice spots in Vancouver and is still working on a first CD. But she's already all the buzz, getting rave reviews and way more media attention than you'd expect.

Critics say she's a cross between Janis Joplin and Sarah McLachlan and that her music is poetic and haunting, rich and dark. The consistent, over-the-top reaction suggests she's not only the next thing but the next real thing.

On being in the spotlight:
"I was quiet as a kid. I'm shy around people. But now I've (performed) so much I'm getting conditioned. Sometimes now I'm more shy off-stage than on."

Her own worst critic:
"It feels good to sing but I don't think about how I sound. I can't listen to myself because I just sit there and rip it apart."

The "it" moment:
"It was a competition at the Vancouver Island Exhibition. I was 16. I thought I had done horribly -- then I won! I thought: OK, maybe I can do this."

The hard part:
"Being afraid of how people are going to react. I'm putting my whole self out there."

Pre-fab pop-star phenom:
"I totally avoid that entire path. I have a problem with people telling me what to do, how to dress or how to look -- it's totally unimportant."

What it's all about:
"Music to me is a personal expression that says something, not just something catchy to dance to. It's like poetry. You don't take it at face value but what it means to you. If people felt that about my songs, it would be awesome."

© Copyright 2002, The Province.