Corner Brook’s Yvette Coleman continues to make a name for herself on the music scene in this province and beyond.
The talented singer-songwriter won first prize at the International Presentation of Performers Competition in Los Angeles this summer. She is currently back in LA attending songwriting sessions and working with producers.
“Sometimes, I go into a session and I’ll write for myself. Or, sometimes, I’ll go into a session and I’ll write for someone else,” the 25-year-old said during a phone interview on Nov. 9.
Coleman graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Music in performance voice. She’s also trained at the Vancouver International Song Institute, Boston Tanglewood Institute, St. Andrews’ Vocal Program and at the Center of Opera Studies in Sulmona, Italy.
Closer to home, she has been performing at Gros Morne Summer Music since her early teenage years and will be back in Corner Brook next month to co-direct and perform during the festival’s Christmas Gala and Silent Auction to be held at the Arts and Culture Centre on Dec. 22.
Coleman has been living in Toronto for about seven years. She is lead vocals in her band Saint Yves. Other band members are Jon Pike on keyboard and Jeremy Kelly on drums.
“I went to high school with (Jon), she said. “We started to co-write together in Toronto… I was about to release a solo project. Then, Jeremy Kelly came to Toronto and he heard one of the songs myself and Jon wrote. Jeremy inspired the band idea.”
The band — which Coleman describes as “adult contemporary pop” released its debut single “Next to Me” about two months ago and will soon release its second single.
Saint Yves has also started rehearsing for live performances and have been in conversation with different music venues in Toronto.
A lover of classical music and art song, Coleman is the youngest of Frank and Yvonne Coleman’s seven children. Her family and friends have always supported her music endeavours, she said.
“When you’re performing, you rely so much on your audience. And, when I’m (performing) in Corner Brook, the support I feel carries me throughout the year.”
While she’s quick to thank family and friends for their continued support, Coleman said she is also grateful to her teacher Gary Graham — former GMSM chair (from 2007-2017) and namesake of GMSM’s Graham Academy.
“There are so many genres of music and when you grow up with someone who encourages you … and that versatility is okay, it allows me to do what I’m doing now… which is going with whatever way the wind takes me.”
At the moment the wind is moving Coleman in a direction which sees spending much of her time as a songwriter.
Her future dreams include carving a career as a performing artist and performing many of her own songs.
But for now, she’s content with where she is in her musical endeavours.
“I’m making a living right now writing for other people. That’s been a very moving experience for me. I’m trying to open as many doors as I can right now,” she said.