Lesley Pike is a firm believer in the power of music. "The reason we write songs is because people need music, because it means something. It communicates, moves and connects in a way nothing else can."
Pike’s love of music became apparent very early. With a financial advisor mother and accountant father, her family background may not have suggested music as her most likely future vocation, but Pike explains; "my dad just really loves music. We'd go out driving in our lime-green station wagon, singing along to the music blaring from the speakers. We’d have a family air band in the backseat, with me and my sisters." Her eclectic early influences came from a wildly varying musical repertoire including Annie Lennox, Paul Simon, Tori Amos, Bonnie Raitt, Michael Jackson, Peter Gabriel to name a few.
Piano lessons began at age seven in her hometown of Wingham, ON, followed by vocal studies at the Royal Conservatory of Music and the completion of her BHons in Classical Music at Wilfrid Laurier University. And, while Pike’s academic background is impressive, her voice and music are completely natural and heartfelt, not technical.
Having cut her teeth as an independent artist in Toronto, Pike remains a popular and respected member of the city's vibrant music scene, but has found herself embraced by major cities around the world. Through a combination of hard work, talent, and drive, Pike now feels welcomed in the musical communities of four crucial music hubs: Toronto, New York, Los Angeles and London. After noted American recording artist Jason Mraz invited her to join him on a number of dates, he helped introduce her into the L.A. music community. "Some of those people became my closest friends, and L.A. has become like a second home," says Pike.
Past forays to the U.K. proved to be highly productive. A partnership with Gibson Guitars saw Pike chosen as the featured artist for Robert Redford’s “Sundance Film Festival" at the famed O2 in London two years in a row. There, she performed a riveting set, aided by the able accompaniment of ace guitarist/producer/songwriter and fellow Torontonian, the now London-based James Bryan (Philosopher Kings, Nelly Furtado, Nikki Yanofsky, Lisa Marie Presley), with whom she connected with via a mutual friend in Toronto.
Pike and Bryan clicked instantly. "We hit it off straight away, jamming on her songs for the gig," Bryan recalls. "After the rehearsal, Lesley mentioned wanting to record some of the songs and I jumped at the chance to make an EP with her." This was the catalyst to Pike’s latest album “NOVEMBER".
Within days they were holed up in Kensaltown Studios in London working with some top-notch players, and Pike fell in love with the creative environment. Bryan explains; "Lesley came with her own songs that I loved, so my input was on the production and performing end - building the arrangements, instrumentation and sonic mood of the tracks."
In describing her lyrical approach, Pike notes "the thing I connect with the most is human interaction, on all levels. I don't know how good I'd be at creating stories that didn't feel authentic. For me, the great thing about writing a song is that you can capture and share an experience, or even simply a moment”. This lyrical candour remains a signature of her work. Says Bryan; "her voice and those songs have a classic rootsy honesty about them that is distinctively Canadian, and that really drew me in and made me want to work with her."
Known for her engaging and oftentimes hilarious shows, Pike has shared the stage with such notable acts as Jason Mraz, Joan Osborne, Cowboy Junkies, Justin Nozuka, Dar Williams, Ari Hest, The Devlins, the Dunwells, Darius Rucker, Matisyahu, Hawksley Workman and many others. She is currently in studio recording her latest album, due for release in summer 2018.