It’s happened to everyone. You’re doing something routine like washing dishes while listening to music, when a song comes on that grabs your attention and completely pulls you from the mundane to the present. A melody, voice or beat that has you scrambling for your Shazam, while simultaneously thinking, ‘who is this?’

It’s not every voice that can grip you in such a way. The world of music is populated by millions of singers, and although they may possess talent, it takes an especially poignant artist to be haunting and hypnotic; pleasant yet distinct. For every Adele, Amy, or Christina there are thousands of Britneys and Mileys skulking around trying to make a name in the same cities and scenes. Poignant or not, it can be difficult for even the strongest vocalists to break through the anonymity that plague most fledgling artists.

But sometimes, they do break through.

Camille Poliquin, also known by her moniker KROY, and as one half of duet Milk&Bone, is a breakthrough Montreal artist. For the last 24 months or so, she’s been raking in musical accolades and causing a stir throughout Montreal and Canada. Long-listed for a prestigious Polaris Prize through her Milk&Bone project, as well as a Juno (Best Breakthrough Artist), some may wonder why she would choose this time to strike out on her own releasing her debut album as KROY. The answer is that KROY has always been inside of Poliquin.

“Milk&Bone ends when Laurence isn’t on stage with me. KROY is my creative project. I’m the art director but also the composer and writer as well as community manager, but also co-producer. I like being hands on and feeling that I’m creating something very personal,” Poliquin says.

She goes on to tell me about her extensive musical past, which gets me wondering how it’s taken this long for her sounds to find me. “I started writing songs when I was a kid. They were lullabies or jingles I’d make up for fictional companies at the time, but I think there was still a creative process going on,” Poliquin says. “I’ve always loved to improvise and play with rhymes, although I didn’t get into producing until much later. I’d only write songs on the piano or even just as an a capella. Composing and producing happened after I studied music in school. I studied jazz but it was a very inclusive program where jazz, and pop, and rock, and R&B and folk were all encouraged. I studied songwriting and composing, and arrangement for orchestra. After that it was easier for me to imagine arrangements for my own songs.”

The album is called Scavanger, and has nothing of what we would expect from a premiere release on an indie label. The sounds are mature and melodic, with no hint of first release growing pains. Poliquin’s voice is utterly captivating throughout, and foreshadows what is sure to be a long and successful career. Despite what may loom ahead, Poliquin feels as though she’s already made it. “To me, I feel like making it as an artist is punctuated by every little milestone on the way,” she says. “I made it as an artist when I signed my record deal. I made it as an artist when I released my first album. I also made it when I performed my first headliner show in New York City yesterday.”

Clearly, Poliquin is modest and realistic in regarding her success and what it all means—welcome characteristics for someone whose life will soon be completely engrossed in the music biz.

That we will gratefully hear more from this artist in the future is a given; until then, her outstanding debut Scavenger will have to suffice.

Buy KROY’s debut album on Apple Music or directly on Bandcamp at https://kroy.bandcamp.com/album/scavenger

By: Kayla Graham

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