By Perry Lefko
Mississauga singer/songwriter Arlene Paculan is in the midst of recording her third album and hopes to have it ready for release sometime this year.
The album, which is untitled at this point and is halfway complete, will be her first in five years. She expects to have seven to nine songs, but is unsure whether to release the material as an extended play and possibly a full album a year later.
“Because I write so much it’s cool to record it and have all the instrumentation that myself or the producer decides and having other people hear it when I’m not in the room,” Arlene told me just after finishing playing at the levee for Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie. “What I like about recording is usually going into the vocal booths, basically the experience in the studio.”
Arlene writes her own music and lyrics.
“I’ve had some co-writers for this album just to make the song more clear, but most of the time I write the songs on my own,” she says. “It’s going to be fun. With my new band, the sounds that we are making for my songs is more hot adult contemporary pop.” Her last album was more of the easy listening genre with a hint of jazz.
Her band includes Alan Madhaven (drums), Kevin Dworak (guitar) and Doug Norman (bass). The quartet has been playing together for a year. Madhaven has been playing with Paculan for about four years. The other two joined in 2017.
“The album was always in the back of my mind because I have so many songs that I wanted to record,” she said. “The band happened organically. Everything sounds awesome whatever they do. They are very smart and very talented. I usually go in and tell them these are my songs, these are the chords, the keys and they always bring their flavour to it in the sense of the music as a whole instead of individual musicians.”
One song she is particularly looking forward to releasing is Shine So Bright.
“The chorus is, stop searching out outside, start looking inside and your light will shine so bright,” she says. “It’s basically a positive song to help us all remember it doesn’t matter what’s happening outside. We all can continue to go through our life and shine our talents. On my last album, I had a song, I’m Worth It, that is in the same vein, but with different words.”
Students from Parkfield Junior School in Etobicoke collaborated on the song.
“We’ve worked with the school and a teacher heard me play the song and thought it was a great lesson for the students,” she says. “They learned the song and rewrote verses to reflect their class, which is awesome.”
Arlene is now being represented by Shine Entertainment Management of Mississauga.