“I want to cross to the other side just to see if you were right.
“I want to cross to the other side just to see it in plain sight.”
—“The Other Side”
From the very first words of her debut full-length album Fear, we learn three unique characteristics of Begonia and her music. We hear Begonia’s intense honesty, incredible musicality, and humble curiosity. We see her uncertainty, her doubts, her fears in a way few artists have the courage to show. Her voice travels to places unattainable by most singers, allowing her to explore diverse emotions in new ways. And throughout this musical masterpiece, the listener never feels Begonia loses touch with her humble beginnings and shared human experience.
Begonia is an independent artist from Winnipeg, Canada, who spent several years performing within other groups before striking out on her own. She released Fear independently on her own record label imprint giving her complete creative control. And she uses this ability to be vulnerable with the listener. On the title track, “Fear,” we can feel the fear oozing out of her voice. The music is frenetic, rhythmic, and dissonant. Yet her revelation of her fears, strangely reassures the listener that they aren’t alone. Everybody can find at least one fear they have in common with Begonia.
Begonia’s voice stands out above all else. Her vocal range is immense, and she has mastered how to convey emotion through each word she sings. It would do her voice injustice to try and compare it to others. The voice has to be heard. Begonia worked closely with a small production team to create a musical backdrop that complements the feel of each track and allows her voice to stay at the forefront. The instrumentation is often muted yet includes complex rhythms and harmonies that are only noticed after multiple listens.
Despite her incredible vulnerability and musical talent, Begonia also offers life-giving joy. This zest for life is most evident when Begonia performs live, and I had the chance to catch her show in Hamilton, Ontario. She loves sharing her music and humorous personal stories. Begonia is happy to be human alongside her audience rather than in front of it.
Begonia’s music is incredibly vulnerable, musically unique, and grounded in the common human experience. Music fans of all ages and musical preferences would benefit from immersing themselves in the music of Begonia at least once. One listen will quickly turn into many. (Rex Baby Records)