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Sheena Legrand is back after 10 years with a new name and outlook

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What’s in a name? To indie-folk/pop songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Sheena Legrand, the answer is “Just enough to make you change it when the time has come to hit the gas.”

For her return to recording activity after a 10-year hiatus, the former Sheena Grobb has taken on a whole new moniker to better reflect the direction of her life—and the updated musical approach previewed on her new single, “Green Light.”

In her husky, sultry semi-whisper, Sheena gives voice to the prayers of anyone who’s ever wished that life would stop throwing up roadblocks—only to realize they were the one in the driver’s seat after all.

“When I wrote “Green Light” with Winnipeg producer Jonny Kirouac, I was pleading for some force outside myself to change my situation,” she said. “However, as happens with most of my music, when I look back on what I wrote and what I was dealing with, I understand how the first green light had to come from within me.

“‘Green Light’ gives us permission to let go of old stories so we can be open to a fresh start.”

In Sheena’s case, that meant carving out a new identity to better reflect her standing in an industry that almost requires women to stay eternally youthful.

After releasing three albums under the Sheena Grobb banner, the Manitoba-born, Winnipeg-based artist had put a pin in her career to raise a family.

After a while, she found herself wondering if she still had a place in music at all.

But she reached into herself and realized she was under no obligation to conform to anyone else’s stereotypes.

Instead, she set out to reaffirm the talents she had been honing since beginning to sing consistently at age 4, and which had made her a past nominee in the Western Canadian Music Awards.

Some professional coaching helped her take the quality of her vocals to a new level, and with the help of producer/co-instrumentalist Kirouac, she upgraded the tenor of her music.

Her forthcoming album, the appropriately named Back to Life, will show how she’s managed to retain the strengths of her earlier work—sweet melodic hooks, intricate keys and delicately layered vocals—while superimposing an electrifying live loop experience that will be sure to get bodies moving when she starts to play shows again.

At the same time, she’s continuing her side work as a public speaker who uses music, storytelling and mindfulness tools to help schoolchildren deal with mental-health struggles, bullying and issues of low self-esteem.

She’s also a part-time health coach who specializes in helping patients survive autoimmune disease (which she herself has faced). The treatment regimen she advocates includes diet and lifestyle changes, plus emotional work and spiritual practices that stimulate healing from within.

The “from within” angle is big to Sheena right now: It’s the focus of “Green Light,” certainly, but also of a general attitudinal shift that sprang from becoming a mother.

The new surname is that of her chosen family.

“When it comes to dreaming big, I’d say the sky is the limit,” she said.

“There’s been a shift in my availability but travelling as a family is something we’re very much open to, so all of a sudden, the possibilities seem endless again. I love the spot I’m in!”

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