Singer/songwriter Alexandria Maillot remembered the day she met legendary songstress Jann Arden in 2006.
“I was so worried,” Maillot recalled. “I didn’t want to step on anyone’s toes. I was very intimidated.”
Maillot was just barely a teenager when her musical talents caught the eye of David Foster, who invited her to perform at the opening of the Michael Lee Ching section of the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. The Prince George native would be appearing at the televised event alongside Arden.
“It was an overwhelming experience to suddenly work with all these people who are actually relevant in the music industry,” she said.
At first Arden was very quiet with Maillot, but it didn’t last long.
“We were in a car going to this area to record some stuff and she [Arden] hadn’t really said anything,” Maillot said. “Something happened and I can’t remember what she said but it was one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard in my life and it made me realize that she is a real person and I don’t have to worry about it … she made me realize that you can be successful and people can respect you but it doesn’t need to affect your mind.”
Maillot, who’s in her early 20s, has since gone on to be featured on Oprah Winfrey’s website and won a handful of contests including the Vancouver Island Exhibition Songbird contest and Victoria Idol.
On Wednesday (March 5) Maillot will be performing at the Dinghy Dock Pub in Nanaimo. The self-described “swoon pop” artist is looking forward to the show.
Maillot, a Peak Performance finalist, has been singing since she was seven years old. In 2012 she released her debut EP, Just Another Girl. She said that she just fell into a musical career path.
“I started to write and I really enjoyed writing … then just after a handful of performances and musical endeavours it just cemented my want to be able to do something in the arts,” Maillot said. “In the last year it’s really made more sense to me.”
Maillot has lived throughout the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island and previously attended Mark Isfeld Secondary in Courtenay and Ballenas Secondary School in Parksville. She graduated high school at the age of 16 in order to focus on a music career.
“My goal was to graduate so I could get out of high school and start focusing on things I wanted to be doing,” she said. “I was able to add a lot of courses into one semester and get out early. I had gone to four different high schools and I was home schooled for a few semesters. When I was in high school I graduated with a bunch of people I didn’t even know.”
Maillot’s music was once featured on American Airlines in-flight entertainment and one of her co-writes, Revolution, was featured on Swiss singer Stefanie Heinzmann’s debut album Masterplan, which was released by Universal Music, and went gold in Germany and Switzerland.
“There was a time when I just applied for a bunch of different things,” she said. “It was really cool because one of my songs got picked up to be played on their in-flight entertainment section, which had over 500,000 views.”
In 2004 Maillot travelled to Bucharest, Romania where she performed at the Golden Star International Song Contest.
“It was this children’s festival trying to get different nations together. So all these children from around the world were brought into the festival,” Maillot said. “It was an amazing experience and I really appreciate the opportunity to have done it.”
Maillot, who also appeared alongside Amanda Seyfried in the 2011 film Red Riding Hood, currently interns at Music Heals Charitable Foundation, a non-profit charity that supports music therapy services in communities throughout the province.
“That’s something I am really interested in,” she said. “Obviously music is something that I want to be doing for the rest of my life, but the fact that it can impact people in a way that helps them get better peaks my interest up. I am very excited about being involved in that and creating a bunch of shows so more people can learn about music therapy.”