Matilda Dae: A Means To Her Matter
Written By: Zach Ubaldini
Maude Desjardins, also known as Matilda Dae, is a jazz inspired singer songwriter from Quebec, gearing up for her January 26th gig at Eclectic Cafe & Vinyl. After completing both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in her home country of Canada, she came to Charleston to attend MUSC in order to pursue a Doctorate in Voice Therapy. What her professors and fellow students didn’t know was her incredible voice, take on jazz standards, and French songwriting. When she arrived she had no idea how the music community would welcome her French inspired songwriting about love and loss, but it turns out Charleston is as good to her as it is with any hard working creative.
With a heavy academic background, Maude does not let her school work get in the way of her music. She actually has been able to weave her music and school together. When asked what really inspired her to focus on voice and speech therapy, she explained “Mainly because of singing. I am always asking so many questions to my singing teacher like, ‘Why don’t we see what’s happening in this little black box that is the larynx?’ Singing teachers often use imagery analogies to help singers understand. Very rarely do they talk about the muscles and exactly what is happening. I am a very visual person so it really helps me understand what I am doing.” Maude has mastered blending her two spheres of life together, she certainly has a means to her matter.
With this incredible amount of schooling, she has still had time to really develop her guitar playing to something that matches her voice. If you asked her how you would describe your music to someone that hasn’t heard it before, she replied “I would definitely say there is jazz influence and some folk there. Some French singer-songwriters. They have a great music scene in Quebec that has influenced me a lot.” You can find all her originals on Bandcamp under the alias Matilda Dae! Check out her songs like “Ghost” and “Widow” that pair a swinging jazz guitar and with her smooth and incredibly classic sounding vocals. You might feel like Amy Winehouse in the 1920’s.
For the past 2 ½ years she has been completing her PHD program in Charleston, but unfortunately she cannot stay here as a Canadian. While she hopes to continue to travel to new cities with different cultures, Charleston will always have a place in her heart. “I would be scared not to find the same sense of community that you find in Charleston. I would never expect to find so many people with similar interests, a great group of friends, and so many people that are artistic. Everyone is working on their projects, everyone is going to each other’s shows. I think community is one of my primary values.” This sense of community has seemed to help influence some of her recent songs “With their themes but also with the music.” Maude explained, “By listening to the genre of music that is here was not necessarily what I was listening to before. But also the language, I mostly would write in French before, but with English it is more straightforward, it is shorter than French, and you can say the same thing in a less amount of words. The fact that it is not my first language, it is interesting how you see things a different way.”
One day, Maude would like to help musicians as a Voice Coach, meshing both her medical and musical background. “To me it makes a lot of sense to be studying voice therapy, hanging out with musicians, and just being in the music scene.” She explained how she would like to do her music and help singers find their own voice. She wants to hep singers fight vocal fatigue and help sharpen their “Working tool they depend on for creativity and expression, it’s who they are, who we are, so I really feel like this is my mission to help people find their voice and keep it healthy.”
Check out Matilda Dae at any one of her regular showings at the Elliotborough Mini Bar as well as her January 26th show at Eclectic Cafe & Vinyl. She has a bunch of her songs on Bandcamp (https://matildadae.bandcamp.com) where you can listen in. We loved sitting down with her, learning about her upbringing, and where she wants her life to head.