Born and raised in Montreal, French Canadian/Jamaican singer-songwriter, Odreii grew up in a very musical environment. With a father being the lead singer of a roots and reggae band, an aunt and uncle who played in a French Heavy metal band, and a mother who played the best of Stevie Wonder, Tracy Chapman, and Bob Marley day in day out throughout her childhood, Odreii got all the inspiration she needed to create her own world. Odreii grew up speaking French, English and Spanish, but quickly developed a passion for learning languages like Russian, Chinese, Italian and German. In 2015 she won 5th place at the Eason Live singing contest for singing in Chinese (Mandarin), a song from one of China’s greatest artist Eason Chan.
While living in the UK with her father, Odreii taught herself to play guitar so she could perform her original compositions in pubs around London. The first song she recorded was “Keep Smiling”, which yielded her a music scholarship at Tech Music School (BIMM) in 2011 after winning 1st Place at the prestigious The Stage UK vocal competition.
In 2013, she won 1st Place at the AppleBeam songwriting competition and received a nomination for Best UKSC Pop Written Song with “Wondering”.
In 2014, Odreii won 1st Place at the EDA UKSC songwriting competition and, the following year, wrote “Tell Me You Love Me” under Elle Ray which reached #1 on Soundcloud’s Hot and New chart, played on 95.7 Hits FM, was selected for Victoria Secret’s Spotify playlists, and played on MTV in the USA.
In 2016, while working on new music, Odreii supported Naadei around Canada as a backup vocalist and guitarist. Some of those performances included Osheaga Presents, MURAL Festival, House of Paint festival in Ottawa, and Festival des Mongolfieres, where they both opened for Wyclef Jean.
In 2017, her acoustic song “Always Been You” received a nomination for New PLAY VRAK Discovery and was aired live on TVA during a MATV series. The saga continued in 2018, where she performed at SXSW with Naadei.
She released her first acoustic single entitled Gold for Water alongside an upbeat version of the song produced by the Montreal production duo Neowide. The song got support from Justin Timberlake’s dancer Codie Wiggins and female dancecrew C4 known as the 2017 Champions for World Hip Hop Dance Adult Division.
Odreii released her first EP ”Runs In Me Blood” on May 3, 2019 distributed by Higher Reign Music Group / Sony Music Canada. The project, funded by FACTOR and the government of Canada, offers a mixture of Caribbean and urban sounds while introducing us to a well versed singer songwriter.
Latest Songwriting projects:
– Criminal by Odreii (HRMG, Sony Music Canada, 2019)
– 332 Miles by Raayon (Universal Music Canada, 2018)
– What we started by MBP (TONSPIEL, 2018)
– SOS by Raphael Di Raddo feat. Spity & Elle Ray (HRMG, Sony Music Canada, 2018)
– EP Runs In Me Blood by Odreii (HRMG, Sony Music Canada, Tropical Koala, 2019)
Q: How did you get your start as a creator in the industry?
I entered a competition called ‘She’s the One’ with RBC’s Bluesfest in Ottawa and they take 10 female artists around the country and bring them to Ottawa to perform there and I was chosen as the winner. Through that I got a single deal with Cadence Music Group and that’s how I started – it’s how I met most of the people that I know in the industry and I started co-writing. They would take me on these week long sessions and I would write with different people and essentially we released one song, and that song now has 400K hits on Spotify. I’m pretty happy about that 🙂 It was really helpful to work with Bluesfest and Cadence to get me my start, and now I’m pursuing music independently. Been meeting a lot of people, and now I’m starting to do stuff like this Pro Songwriters Camp!
Q: How has your music evolved since you first became a recording/performing artist?
I was pretty silent at the beginning. I was too shy to give my opinions during sessions and I didn’t have a whole lot of confidence. And now, through meeting people and getting kind of an affirmation of what I do I feel a lot more confident in my ideas and I’ve been able to expand my individual songwriting as a whole so I’m putting out an album in the fall. Through that, I’ve played [the album] for my godparents – my godfather was tearing up and was like, ‘oh you’ve grown so much as an artist in the last year’ but I feel like I can write a lot more personally now and not be ashamed of telling my story. I think I can get a lot better though.
Q: How did you learn your craft? Was it informal/formal music education?
I studied RCM when I was younger, in piano and vocals. I studied mostly classical. Eventually, I met my now manager, who was my vocal teacher at the time, and she pushed me into songwriting. I wasn’t very good at the time, but I started to listen to other peoples’ writing and figuring out how I can fit my own education, my own knowledge of classical music into pop music which is weird to do – to listen to Beethoven music and go, ‘how can I make it Beyonce’. But I guess formally, I’m classically trained, and informally, all of this is quite informal. When in sessions, your with people who may not have had the same education, but you still communicate your ideas in the same way. I learned mostly on the go.
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