A Conversation with Diana Planche aka Set Feux

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Exactly at the time scheduled for our Zoom conversation Diana Planche’s radiant smile fills my computer screen. She’s composed and striking, yet she whispers, “I’m nervous.” The Toronto-based singer-songwriter is not new to being in front of a camera or microphone, she’s happy to recount how she has been around the entertainment business for a few years. But, her debut album, Set Feux is personal. Autobiographical perhaps? Which means Diana may have to answer questions about her songs. Despite her confident, charming persona, Diana Planche is a modest soul. She reveals awkward moments of growing up and doubting her self worth. Her LP, Set Feux may not completely lay bare her innermost feelings although her mixture of dreamy, sometimes bittersweet pop coupled with lush harmonies does suggest her songs are crafted from her real-life experiences.

Diana spent her formative years singing in church choirs and performing in community theatre productions. After finishing her studies in classical music at Queen’s University, she began writing her own songs, then she was involved with indie rock bands, toured Europe and finally headed back to her Canadian home. Diana’s partnership, then marriage to long-time Life Elsewhere favorite, Barzin has resulted in an exemplary musical collaboration. The album, Set Feux took over 5 years to complete, recorded in Toronto and Hamilton. The songs explore love, passion, loneliness and the overwhelming desire to unravel the mystery of one’s self. “There’s a multiplicity that exists in us all, sometimes I feel unknown to myself and I’m searching for the world to reflect who I am back”, says Planche. “On songs like, Young and Lonely and Say it Again, I was remembering the loneliness I felt in my childhood and the close spiritual connection I felt that brought me comfort and there’s a part of me that’s still longing to recapture some of that. On other songs, like Jumbotron and Let Them Stare, I’m exploring what it would feel like to be completely carefree and confident, to showcase one’s authentic self, no touch ups, no edits, just unfiltered and genuine”, she further reveals. Musically, the songs reflect diverse influences, ranging from R ‘n’ B/soul to the pop/folk genres that Planche has been inspired by throughout her life. Her influences range from Debussy to Dusty Springfield, Fleetwood Mac, Pat Benatar, Kate Bush, Lauryn Hill, Imogen Heap, Wilco, Feist and Solange. But whilst Planche allows all of these influences to come forth on the album, she maintains her own distinct identity and voice as an artist, honoring the journey she’s taken to get here.

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