With a signature sound that blends folk and country, singer-songwriter Gizelle de Guzman brings a fresh perspective to the Canadian music scene.
Born in the Philippines and raised in Cremona, Alberta, Guzman now calls Halifax Nova Scotia home. From a musical family, her path to pursuing a career in music happened organically. Growing up, she wrote a lot of country songs. Later on, she decided to pursue her passion for music professionally in order to help her mental health, as music therapy and songwriting helped her get through the tougher times. In 2019, Gizelle was “the Bronze Winner for The Coast ‘Best New Artist/Band’ and one of the top 14 finalists of The Shot: Remastered 2020.” (Gizelle). Kicking off this year, she released her single, “Almost Home”.
Written by Guzman & fellow Calgary Songsmiths member, Craig McIvor and produced by Scott Ferguson, Almost Home is a song that speaks of her personal experience with homesickness when she relocated from Cremona to Nova Scotia for school. Yet moving across the country on her own wasn’t exactly an easy feat for the young artist. As she explains, “At first, I was so excited to move. I said to myself, ‘This is it, I’m not coming back.’ I’ll go to visit and for gigs, but never live here again. I remember getting on the plane to Halifax and when I was sitting there, I asked myself ‘what am I doing?’. It hit me all at once, I was so scared.” (Guzman) Building off her own experience, she hopes the song will serve as a reminder to her fans that, “What makes us who we are, is not the physical location where we are at. Who you are, follows you wherever you go.” (Guzman). She also wants the song to remind fans that if they are experiencing homesickness, they are not alone in their struggles. As she emphasizes, “ Sometimes when I feel homesick, I just blast and sing it. When my fans listen to this song, hopefully, they feel better too.” (Guzman).
As for the making of the song, Guzman explains, “I went over to Craig’s place in Calgary 2-3 times to write until we finally finished the song. He recorded a good guitar demo. When I moved to Nova Scotia, I started playing the songs in my live shows (pre-covid). It’s always been one of the songs that mean a lot to me personally, so I knew I wanted to cut it.” (Guzman).
Guzman also recently released the official music video for the song, which was graciously partially funded under the Music Nova Scotia Investment Program by several investors, including Serenity Acres Family Ranch, Oakridge Farm, Dalrymple Family, Pierre-Olivier Maltais, Tony Erickson, Sharon Calder and CLAM BAY Auto Salvage. Produced by Robb Medwid, filmed by Robb Medwid & Devin Deuville, written and directed by Guzman herself alongside Robb Medwid- the video offers a reflection of the artists’ life and what she went through. In the video, we see Guzman on her family farm in Alberta, tending to her chores. This is contrasted by the scene in which she moves away and feels like she has to change a part of herself in order to fit into her new surroundings. Towards the end of the video, she decides to go back home and visit after the homesickness was too strong for her to deal with. There, she finally comes to terms that wherever she is- she belongs. After all, home is where the heart is.
In addition, Guzman co-writes frequently with fellow songwriters and artists across Canada. Through many writing sessions, Learn different creative processes, different tips and tricks and things they’ve learned along the way she discovered what she wanted to say with her music and perform live for her fans.
Moving forward in 2021, Guzman hopes to focus on songwriting and solo writing. She also plans to release two more singles in the fall, so keep your eyes out for future announcements.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/GizelledeGuzmanMusic
iTunes/Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/ca/artist/gizelle-de-guzman/1413887346
De Guzman, Gizelle. Interview. Conducted by Kyla Pearson, Apr. 22 2021.
De Guzman, Gizelle.“Featured: singer-songwriter Gizelle de Guzman”. Photo courtesy of Gizelle de Guzman. Accessed Apr. 22 2021.
De Guzman, Gizelle.“Official single art of Gizelle de Guzman’s latest single, ‘Almost Home’ ”. Photo courtesy of Gizelle de Guzman. Accessed Apr. 22 2021.