official website of award winning soul/funk artist AV / acoustic soul/blues/roots artist Ann Vriend
AV (Ann Vriend) is known most for her soaring, evocative vocals, and not far behind that for her award-winning abilities as a songwriter -- and she ain’t too bad at the piano, either. Growing up in a household that was on the one hand counter-culture and hippie but on the other hand fundamentally religious and sheltering, AV has always written songs about confusion, searching, and questioning -- of herself, and the culture around her. The outcome is what she half seriously, half jokingly calls “existentialist gospel,” and with a compelling combination of defiant resilience and heartfelt vulnerability she has been delivering her unique brand of old-school, inner-city soul to audiences around Europe, Oceana, Asia, and North America throughout her under-the-radar but consistently award-winning career.
Often compared to her vocal hero, Aretha Franklin, AV has sold 18,000 albums off the stage, independently. Her most recent awards include the 2017 Cobalt Music Prize at the 2017 Maple Blues Awards, 2018 semi-finalist in the Canadian Songwriting Competition, pop category, and the “R&B/Soul Recording of the Year” at the 2018 Edmonton Music Awards, for her gospel style ballad “All That I Can,” which is currently receiving major radio play on key commercial and state stations across Germany -- where Vriend will perform at the end of January to a TV audience of approximately 2 million viewers.
AV’s most recent offering, the 2017 released EP “Anybody’s Different” reached #1 in AV’s hometown of Edmonton on CJSR, #13 on CKUA (and though only an EP also made the Top 100 albums of 2017); the Top 10 on Stingray Blues channel from August – October 2017 and the tune “Will You Be There” reached #11 for 2017; #2 on SoundslikeCafe (Australia); and daily rotation in Cole grocery stores (Australia). AV has also been a guest on such esteemed shows at CBC’s Vinyl Cafe with the late Stuart McLean, as well as Holgar Petersen’s “All Natch’ll Blues,” Germany’s Arte TV, and Australia’s prime time “Spicks and Specks.”
Coming from a humble background on Edmonton’s east side, and for the past decade calling Edmonton’s troubled and somewhat notorious inner city neighborhood of McCauley home, AV does not shy away from addressing issues that face her and her community. Instead, she contributes her own Canadian brand of RnB in the rich tradition of classic soul artists who have delivered stunning recordings that are both contagiously fun AND socially thought provoking, while never preachy or simplistic, such as Curtis Mayfield, Ray Charles, Sly Stone, Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, and all the way up the line to Sharon Jones, Charles Barkley, and Alicia Keys. AV spent much of 2018 working with inner city kids in 2 different schools in her hometown, the result of which moved a philanthropist to fund AV to take both groups into the studio to record 2 songs with her, which are now both receiving regular airplay on CBC radio.
AV will release a new album, entitled “Everybody Matters” in late April 2019, in conjunction with a 20-date tour of Europe. She will then return home to Canada for summer festival dates, and then release the album in Australia in the fall.
“Edmonton vocalist turns soul on its head, belting out delicate introspection in the form of fire.”
-- Now Magazine
“Don’t miss her!” 3/4 stars
-- Toronto Star
©2019 Ann Vriend. All rights reserved.
Website by Tiny Racket Studios