A classical tune runs through April Rick’s mind as she completes another 12-hour shift in the emergency room at The Ottawa Hospital.
The stress of being a full-time registered nurse during a pandemic has not held Rick back from pursuing her dreams as a part-time singer-songwriter. She released her first pop single “Our Island” on Jan. 22.
“Music is a passion,” says Rick. “And when I find that there isn’t a lot of music in my life, I feel very unbalanced. It gives me a lot of energy, and it helps me feel like I’m living life to the fullest.”
From the age of four, Rick began playing the piano and was classically trained through the Royal Conservatory of Music. Since then, she has been writing instrumental tunes whenever she has the chance.
Rick’s style of music is alternative pop and pulls from influences such as Regina Spektor, Lady Gaga, and Tori Amos. In fact, Tori Amos inspired Rick’s musical career after meeting her in 2007.
“I often will hear a musical tune in my head,” says Rick. “But it wasn’t until I met her that I started going and adding lyrics […] to those tunes, and also working on my voice.”
The joy of writing songs is that inspiration can be pulled from day-to-day life, according to Rick. She says this reflection on the everyday helps her process her experiences.
“Our Island” was written several years ago after a difficult breakup when Rick was feeling a moment of despair.
While writing the song, images of water kept coming to her. She says the water represented a barrier that kept holding her back from moving forward.
“Then the chorus came along,” says Rick. “As my eternal optimist side [was] just saying, ‘April, no—do not despair. Stay calm. Your heart is going to get you to where you want to be.’”
The song portrays the message of love and the ultimate hope that if you follow your heart you will end up in the exact place you need to be.
When the province slowly re-opens, Rick says she hopes to get back in the recording studio to create more music. She is working towards releasing a couple more tracks before she reaches her goal of releasing an album.
Rick misses connecting with the Ottawa community in person and gaining feedback from other local artists by participating in open mic nights. However, she is embracing the virtual world. She performed her first Facebook Live on Jan. 22 to release her new track.
To follow Rick’s musical journey and find out about more virtual concerts, you can check out her website.