Crissi Cochrane
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Crissi Cochrane

Windsor, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2007 | SELF

Windsor, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2007
Solo Pop Singer/Songwriter




"Crissi Cochrane brings some Sway home to Maritimes"

Published September 5, 2014

Windsor, Ontario-based Crissi Cochrane is one of our dearly-missed Maritimers, having moved a couple of years ago to the sister city of Motown. She's picked up the soul and jazz of that city, and on her second full album, Little Sway, you can revel in smooth grooves and joyful pop vocals. She still has lots of the East Coast she grew up with as well, and she's back this coming week for a few all-too rare appearances.

Her first album proper, Darling, Darling was more acoustic, with light guitar, lots of strings, and sweet instruments such as glockenspiel and flute. This time, drums are a key element, along with tight horns and tighter arrangements. Guitar lines double up horn runs, the bass weaves a new melody, the hooks come big and strong, and Cochrane glows on top of it all. There's still an acoustic element in it, guitar or even ukulele, keeping everything airy, but those punchy drums and cool-as-a-breeze horns take us back to three-minute pop glory. Motown is definitely in the air.

At the core though, is some delightful songwriting, with an appreciation of melodic love songs and sophisticated lyrics. In addition to her own nine originals, there's a moody version of George and Ira Gershwin's The Man I Love, which gives you a good idea some of her other source material. As for those local shows, you have a couple of opportunities. Cochrane is touring with the Ottawa group Pony Girl, and will be at Plan B in Moncton on Monday Sept. 8 and the Red Herring in St. Andrews on Wednesday Sept. 10. Also, if you are in the Fredericton area, she is playing a house concert in Hanwell on Sunday Sept. 7. If you are interested in that give stephenc(at) a shout. - CBC East Coast Music

"Crissi Cochrane Among Top 10 Artists Nationwide in Music Contest"

Published May 1, 2014
Local singer and songwriter Crissi Cochrane has been named among the Top 10 Artists nationwide in CBC Music’s Searchlight contest, the hunt for Canada’s Best New Artist. Crissi was among the five artists chosen by public vote, with another five selected by a panel of judges.

Nearly 4,500 independent musicians and bands entered their original songs in the competition, which will award $20,000 of Yamaha musical equipment to the contest’s winner, along with a recording session and a high-profile performance at the CBC Music Festival in Vancouver. Judges will crown the grand prize winner on May 9.

Crissi’s song submission, “And Still We Move”, tells the true story of the writer Ann Druyan falling in love with astronomer Carl Sagan while the two worked together on the Golden Records that were sent into space on the Voyager probes in 1977. On the records, Druyan included a personal meditation on the history of man and the history of ideas, and she added a personal appeal for the “wonder of love, and of being in love”. The song comes from Crissi’s 2014 album Little Sway, which features local musicians and engineers, and is available on iTunes worldwide.

“Though just 25, this talented singer-songwriter has been making music for 10 years, first in her home province of Nova Scotia and now in her adopted hometown of Windsor,” writes CBC host Grant Lawrence in a recent announcement online. “Cochrane’s most recent album showcases a confident bridge towards sultry soul and classic, smoky jazz, the influence of Motown being just a riverbank away from Windsor. For fans of Ella Fitzgerald, Coeur de Pirate or Sarah Harmer.”

More than 90 artists entered the contest in the Windsor region, which crowned a local top 10 including The Brilliancy, Cowboys in Cardigans, Fresh Breath, Drop Dead Famous, Grumpy Monkeys, The Oh Chays, Red Legacy, Ryan Bradley, and 24 Sussex. - WindsoriteDOTca

"Searchlight 2014: meet your 24 regional champions!"

Published April 24, 2014
Crissi Cochrane - "And Still We Move" (Windsor, Ont.)
Though just 25, this talented singer-songwriter has been making music for 10 years, first in her home province of Nova Scotia and now in her adopted hometown of Windsor. Cochrane's most recent album showcases a confident bridge towards sultry soul and classic, smoky jazz, the influence of Motown being just a riverbank away from Windsor. For fans of Ella Fitzgerald, Coeur de Pirate or Sarah Harmer.!/blogs/2014/4/Searchlight-2014-meet-your-24-regional-champions - CBC Music (Grant Lawrence)

"Girl from the North steps into the sun on “Little Sway”"

Published February 11, 2014
Little Sway, the newest album from Crissi Cochrane, could be named after the movement of early budding flowers in spring’s first breezes. The music is bright and eloquent, splashed with the colors of a botanical garden. It mixes modern American jazz with pop music structures in line with Nora Jones or Corinne Bailey Rae.

“Sleep In The Wild,” the opener has a crisp chorus with horns embellishing Cochrane’s every vocal movement. The album celebrates a carefree existence, never getting too bogged down with heavy emotion. “I don’t listen to the news no more / I just ride my bike to the liquor store,” she sweetly swoons on “Be Around.”

Cochrane is from Windsor, Ontario, but has since found her place in Detroit, Michigan. Little Sway, the 10-song album, is her third full-length. It follows Pretty Alright, from 2011, and Darling, Darling, from 2010. A lovely constant of the album is the surging, billowing horn arrangements. They are controlled, undulating brushstrokes to her musical canvas.

Obviously, here, the main highlight is Cochrane’s voice. It remains front and center, breathing both innocence and assuredness, hitting the scale somewhere between Mirah and Victoria Legrand, of Beach House. I imagine the fibers of a dandelion escape her mouth with the pronunciation of every vowel.

On “Look Away” Cochrane is contemplative, singing of heavy clouds and the absence of companionship over a shuffling beat and a tranquil sax. Bassist Mike Hargreaves and drummer Stefan Cvetkovic, a reliable rhythm section, keep an interlocked groove on “A Damn Shame.”

“Pretty Words” abandons the drums for a somber, meandering guitar strum. “If I’m not a fool for you / then I’m just a fool,” Cochrane sings, allowing the emotion of the line to inflate on a stream of horns. The only song not penned by Cochrane is “The Man I Love,” formerly by George and Ira Gershwin. Her voice carries the classic over a stable, poking drum machine. She plays the wounded notes of a flute. It is most sublime.

Little Sway is perfect listening for when the snow melts and the days begins to stretch. Cochrane looks to the future with a glint of positivity in her eye. Her spring and summer may be very bright indeed.

Little Sway is available on Cochrane’s Bandcamp and on iTunes. Her album release show is this Saturday, Feb. 15 at The Phog Lounge in Windsor. - Independent Music Promotions

"Crissi Cochrane: A Little Sway Goes A Long Way"

Published February 11, 2014

Every month, we work to support and promote local musicians because we believe that some of the world’s best music is happening in our own backyard. Luckily, we’re not the only ones who feel that way – Windsor music fans have proven that they’re willing to spend their time and money to support local artists and keep the music scene growing, and the word’s been spreading. Musicians are finding their way here and embracing the city as their own, carving their own niche and adding to the rich musical soundscape of local music.

It’s with that in mind that we introduce you to one of the city’s finest imports, local singer-songwriter Crissi Cochrane. After building a name for herself with her trademark blend of jazz, folk and blues, she’s prepared to shake things up her newest album Little Sway by building elements of Motown, bossa nova and blues into her sound with a musical maturity well beyond her years. We had a chance to catch up with Crissi at the cozy Rino’s Café to chat about her journey to Windsor, working with local musicians and the importance of knowing your roots.

Let’s start right at the beginning – what made you want to become a musician?

I grew up in a small town in Nova Scotia and started going to see local punk and hardcore shows pretty regularly. My dad taught me how to play guitar when I was ten, and by the time I played my first show at fifteen, I was hooked. I just wanted to play every show I could. So I wouldn’t say that there was one moment or artist that inspired me to become a musician. It just happened really naturally, and my friends supported me while I sat on the sidelines and waited for a chance to get my foot in the door. I ended up moving to Halifax after I graduated, since that’s where all of the shows were and I didn’t want to go into debt going back to school. Even at that point, I knew this was what I wanted to do.

So what ended up bringing you to Ontario?

I played a show with Michou in Halifax when I was eighteen, and I ended up seeing them back there pretty regularly. I knew that I wanted to do some writing and recording with Mike (Hargreaves), and so I booked a show at Phog Lounge and came down for what I thought would be a short visit. That was 2010. I did go home for a while to save some money, but I always knew that I’d return to Windsor.

What was it about the city that drew you here?

It was a combination of things. There’s so much competition out East for singer-songwriters because there’s just so many of us, and coming back to Ontario really opened up new opportunities for my music. The people here are just so in tune with music. So many of the people that are involved in the scene here have been involved for years, and they’re always so keen to help me move forward. I honestly think that the reason this community is so open to new things is by necessity – they’ve had to keep an open mind and continue to think outside of the box to endure the struggles they’ve faced.

Has your journey had an effect on the style of music that you write?

When I was younger, my taste in music was pretty regional. I’d listen to a lot of local music, and whatever else I was introduced to. There’s this classic East Coast singer-songwriter sound that’s been evolving through people like Jenn Grant and Rose Cousins, this ‘warbly’ vocal style. I started in that scene and picked up that voice, and have been trying to blend it with more soulful music. I’ve been on a real mission to absorb as much music as possible lately. A few years ago, I found myself struggling to make ends meet, so I got into the habit of picking up used vinyl from Dr. Disc Records downtown and spinning them all night in our apartment as a cheap form of entertainment. I was getting introduced to all of this music that I’d never really experienced – blues, jazz, Motown, bossa nova; styles that have become a big influence on my sound. I realized that listening to a lot of regional music, in a way, gave me a false sense of what competition in the music industry really looked like and how much was out there. It’s sort of like a musical enlightenment, knowing what I’m up against and still going for it.

How did you bring that to life with your new album?

I decided to record the new album with Adam Rideout-Arkell at his studio – I love project studios because I get to really connect with engineers and sound producers to make sure it sounds right. The thing is, I’ve never been great with the big-picture sound, so I brought the Walkervilles into the fold to play on the record. They’re all fantastic musicians and really helped to influence the sound, suggesting and tweaking pieces until the album came together. Stefan and Mike play on the whole thing, and we managed to get Pat in to play electric guitar on this super Motown track. It just made a lot of sense. I’ve still got some traces of my folk roots, and I’m really trying to hone in on where all of these different elements belong in my music. This new album is really my first step into some new musical territory, and I want to be able to keep pushing that envelope further.

So where do you go from here?

The album’s out there now, and I’ll be playing a few shows to promote it but I’m more focused on writing and recording new songs with the guys. They’ve been recording at their house for a while now, so they’ve almost got it down to a science. I’d like to tour, but I don’t really have the means to do that right now. As much as I want to push the record, I think that I want to have more material to play with first. I’ve learned that even if you understand the business end of things, your songs have to be great or else all of that knowledge is worthless. I want to keep playing better shows and writing better songs, and then make my push.

You can pick up a copy of Little Sway on iTunes, Bandcamp or any other online music retailer. You can also catch her CD Release Party on February 15th at Phog Lounge with special guests Mike Hargreaves and Sarah Hiltz. Don’t forget to grab a physical copy of the album while you’re at it. Help keep that tradition of supporting local music alive in Windsor. - Windsor Independent

"Cochrane in Halifax for release of Little Sway"

Published February 3, 2014
After trading Halifax for living in the shadow of Motown, in Windsor, Ont., songwriter Crissi Cochrane returns home to launch her new album Little Sway at the Company House on Friday, Feb. 7, at 9 p.m.

After making her first recordings while attending high school in the Annapolis Valley, Cochrane studied music business at NSCC in Dartmouth, while performing in the band Gamma Gamma Rays, releasing her first studio album Darling, Darling in 2010. She’s recorded Little Sway with her rhythm section the Soul Brothers, a.k.a. bassist Mike Hargreaves and drummer Stefan Cvetkovic from Windsor trio the Walkervilles.

Tickets are $10 in advance, at, or $13 at the door. Visit - The Chronicle Herald

"LISTEN: Crissi Cochrane "I Won't Try To Break Your Heart" (CBC Radio 3)"

Published December 21, 2011

Off the album Pretty Alright, I Won't Try To Break Your Heart is the latest from Nova Scotia's Crissi Cochrane.

With a voice like sunshine, Crissi's lyrics soar over a playful backdrop of brass, piano and (naturally) guitars. Sweet and welcoming, this track is just another example of how 21-year-old Crissi Cochrane is earning her place among Canada's great pop singer/songwriters.

Crissi lets us know that she won't try to break any hearts, but she never said she won't try to steal a few.

["I Won't Try To Break Your Heart" was added to rotation this week on CBC Radio 3] - CBC Radio 3

"Crissi Cochrane is Pretty Alright (The Lance, UWindsor)"

Published September 14, 2011
Don’t let her sweet folk-pop fool you; singer-songwriter Crissi Cochrane is a workhorse.

From booking shows to making the art for her new EP, Pretty Alright, and maintaining her website, Cochrane handles every aspect of her career on her own.

“I hand off nothing. I do everything,” Cochrane said. “It’s easier than having to pay someone else to do everything. There’s not
that much money to go around, so it makes more sense at this point to do everything myself.”

Cochrane was born and raised in rural Nova Scotia before moving to Halifax. After three years there, she packed up and came to Windsor in 2010.

While Halifax has more of a reputation as a centre for artists, the move to Windsor made sense to her. “It’s close to Toronto.
There are lots of good people here. It’s close to the [United] States. It’s a really good spot for a musician to be in.”

Almost immediately, Cochrane found herself immersed in the music scene. She began hosting weekly shows at the FM Lounge with Jackie Robitaille, which birthed Cochrane’s recent trend of supplying her crowds with baked goods.

“The whole schtick was that it was going to be more like a music and craft show, with tables set up and baked goods and things. After we stopped the shows, I just made excuses to bake all the time, and I had all these cupcakes around. Now I get to satisfy my urge to bake without having to eat everything.”

Since then, Cochrane has become a fixture in the city, playing shows both as an opener and a headliner, at places ranging
from Phog Lounge to Shores of Erie Wine Festival. At CJAM’s Jammy Awards in April, she was voted Best Musician after having lived here for less than a year.

Being in Windsor has only strengthened her DIY approach, especially when it comes to booking.

“In Halifax I feel like people would just come to me and say, ‘Here’s this show that’s already planned, you want to jump on?’” Cochrane said. “But here, you have to be the one who makes things happen.

Which is pretty cool, because you have a lot of people who eventually become pillars for the community by putting on these kinds of things themselves.”

The EP follows her first full-length album, Darling, Darling, released last year. Recorded with Mike Kinsella in a Chicago studio with a full roster of technicians and other musicians, Pretty Alright takes a more intimate approach.

“I feel like there’s a lot of things happening on Darling, Darling and I think at points I’m not exactly in the foreground of everything. There’ll be a string quartet going on and all these band arrangements.”

“I was on such a tight schedule that I had a week to record and mix everything in Chicago before I had to leave. I feel like it
could have been better had I written them beforehand and thought about them more. So now, at least this process can be longer
and I can sit on things and think about whether we really need these extra things in here.”

Cochrane is more than halfway through the recording process and is aiming for a November release, which means the biggest cost is yet to come. “The big cost for the EP is the manufacturing. I’m home recording everything, and I did the artwork myself but the manufacturing is always super expensive.”

The EP is already available for pre-order through her website, to be delivered by mail once they are finished with a personalized painting done, of course, by Cochrane.

“I had parents and savings and a grant from the province of Nova Scotia to do [Darling, Darling],” Cochrane said. “Now, I’ve got no savings. My parents have offered to help, but I don’t want to take them up on it. It’s mostly just fundraising, and it’s actually going really well.”

The resources Cochrane is utilizing most for this recording are the ones she has gained through being so active. More than halfway to her goal with a fundraising show on the horizon, she is using her quickly acquired connections and friendships
to cut back on costs, including an offer from someone to master the album for free.

“Well, not free,” she admits. “I’ll probably bake him a whole lot of cupcakes.” - The Lance (University of Windsor)

"The Anti-Hit List (The Toronto Star)"

Published October 18, 2010
By John Sakamoto Staff Reporter


“Kinda Late”

A touch reminiscent of Priscilla Ahn’s “Dream,” this deep sigh of a ballad feels oddly nostalgic for the present, as though it’s expressing longing for events that are unfolding a second before this Windsor-via-Halifax artist sings about them. The effect is deepened by a string-quartet arrangement by Raphael Roter. who sounds as though he might be familiar with Robert Kirby’s work on Nick Drake’s first two albums. This is, then, the kind of song that needs but one appearance near the end of Grey’s Anatomy (or The Vampire Diaries for that matter) to connect with the wide audience it deserves. - The Toronto Star

"Reviews:: Darling, Darling (Herohill)"

Published September 3, 2010
It’s inevitable really. Living in a city with few economic certainties means that as summer draws to a close, people leave the comforts of their college days behind. Reality, it’s the train ticket you book when it’s time to pack the spindle bin and see what comes next. For Crissi Cochrane, this summer finds her leaving behind the city she called home, her song writing alias, her bedroom/bathroom style recordings and looking forward to the rest of her life.

With the release of Darling, Darling, Cochrane embraces these changes and leaves behind a surprisingly mature and seasoned release. Strings, mandolin and percussion are added to the arrangements thanks to producer Mike Kinsella – yes, THAT Mike Kinsella – and songs that have grown with Cochrane over her years in Halifax get a final treatment that will hit friends and fans with a sense of nostalgia each time the LP plays. It’s hard to imagine a song more fitting for where she is than “Coming Home”, but as Cochrane looks back at people, places and moments she holds dear over some gentle pics and plucks and a mandolin, it’s as if she gets to say goodbye in the most personal manner possible.

But Darling, Darling isn’t only about looking back. The eight songs are more mature than any 21-year old has the right to be and hint at a talent big enough to start a career. The country-pop feel on “So Far Apart”, starts the record off on a strong note, but thanks to her soothing voice and gentle pics (and the album’s short run time), she manages to avoid any setbacks or letdowns. Even when she touches on traditional subject matter – love, heartbreak, wine – or slows the pace nothing ever seems forced or disingenuous. She transforms the confession filled “Kinda Late” and the slow moving “Elevators” with beautiful string arrangement that let the songs take flight but keeps the record feeling light and whimsical.

It would be easy to gush and force unrealistic career projection on the young singer, but the music business is a hard road to travel. What I can say is that Darling, Darling finds Cochrane taken the first step, and putting her best foot forward. This record might be a goodbye to a time we all hold dear, but it’s one filled with smiles. It’s raised glasses and heartfelt hugs, not tears of sadness. The record would be worth buying just for the title track, an almost seven minute number that has Kinsella’s signature all over it, and could easily be worked into an Owen set, but for long time fans, the evolution of “Mexico” is something to behold, and little moments like the spirited percussion of “Lonely For Me” show that Cochrane’s time in Halifax has been a productive one. Now, much like Crissi, all we can do I wonder what comes next. - Herohill (

"Cochrane's Farewell (The Coast)"

Published August 12, 2010
It’s hello to Crissi Cochrane’s new album Darling, Darling, and goodbye to the singer-songwriter, before she moves away.

In a couple weeks Crissi Cochrane plans to bat her brown eyes at a train attendant so she can read to her cats, Conor and Jenny, in the cargo bay. She's one of many caught in the annual ebb and flow between Nova Scotia and Ontario, so you could call her CD release this Saturday a going-away party.

Cochrane's Darling, Darling, named for the last waltz on the album, echoes one of her heroes, Jill Barber. Though she's more often compared to Sarah Harmer, the Valley girl sounds like Barber's younger sister, with a nostalgic, folksy voice that's wise beyond her 21 years.

In terms of artist influences, Cochrane's ideal concert on the Common would have involved Broken Social Scene and the Get Up Kids, plus local singer-songwriters Rose Cousins, Amelia Curran and another Ontario-to-Halifax transplant, Meaghan Smith.

In a lo-fi right of passage, Cochrane recorded two EPs in her bedroom and bathroom, so recording Darling, Darling at Chicago's SOMA Electronic Musicwas a nice change of pace. The result is a sharp collection of nine songs spanning from high school to last December; a relationship cocktail of learned lessons and family heartache.

Hers is the perfect show to attend with close friends or lovers before they leave at the end of summer. Hold hands during "Coming Home"---it's the song that most often makes Cochrane's fans cry: "Here is the school where I used to stray/there lived a girlfriend who passed away/here is the bus station on a sunny day/where mom and I wept when I moved away."

"That was such an awful day," Cochrane says. "We were at the bus station in Wolfville, me in the backseat with my suitcase and guitar, my parents in the front seat, and none of us were talking. We were all just awkwardly waiting for the bus, not knowing what to say. I'm getting sad thinking about it. When the bus came my mom gave me a hug and we both started crying."

That was the day she moved to Halifax. It could be argued last time she moved for a boy, and this time she's moving for "the boy." He's worth it, but she'll miss the ocean. –Hilary Beaumont - The Coast (

"Ambitious musician makes waves on Nova Scotia scene"

Published July 15, 2007
A community hall packed with hot and sweaty teens isn’t really where you’d expect to hear Crissi Cochrane play. If you close your eyes and listen to her, it’s easy to imagine yourself in a coffee shop surrounded by hipsters sipping lattes. Open them and you’re still surrounded by girls and boys with punk-rock haircuts waiting to hear the grittier, sweatier and more mohawked headliners.

It doesn’t seem to matter to the crowd that Crissi chooses to perform soft acoustic guitar and insightful lyrics instead of their punk-rock anthems, though; they’re enthralled.

“She’s so good,” says Mark Desloges, co-promoter and organizer of the event. “You can put her with any set.”

Before her performance, Crissi -- who plays by the name “Save September”-- can be found sitting in the back of the hall behind a row of bingo tables. She has several square packages in front of her; they are her CDs.

When I scream over the band that I’d like to interview her, she leads me out of the main hall and into an instrument crowded wing.

Crissi is an 18-year-old, recent Horton graduate, with a small frame and alert eyes. She started playing guitar at age 10 -- never taking lessons, but getting advice from her father, an avid player.

At first, the instrument was just something to do. But by Grade 9, her skills had come far enough for her to write her own songs. By Grade 10, she was brave enough to perform in a school benefit concert, and that’s when people really started to take notice of her amazing talent.

Started to branch out

From that point, Crissi started to branch out, first playing locally and then moving on to bigger shows in Halifax. Then, in December 2006, Crissi released her CD entitled The Bathroom EP.

“Everything about the album is do-it-yourself.” She laughs, and she isn’t kidding.

All of the songs on the five-track album were written, recorded, and put onto compact disc by Crissi, with a close friend getting credit as part designer and producer. Not only that, but each individual CD is enclosed in packaging that is entirely unique. The hand-made cardboard sleeves are decorated with artfully made magazine collages; no two are the same.

She has sold approximately 300 copies of the $5 album, and when asked how much they cost to produce, she groans and replies in a way that indicates the painfulness of that intricate calculation.

It hasn’t even been half a month since graduation and already Crissi has been making moves to forward her career. In early July, she moved to Halifax, where the bulk of her shows are played, and she is set to tour in early August.

When Josh Whynot of Porcelain Productions invited Crissi on his two-week long “Let’s Get Real” tour she literally jumped on the bandwagon. She will be touring from Aug. 5 to 19. And there is another tour in the works.

When she’s asked about her future, Crissi says that she’d love to do music, but she won’t bank on it. This is a sensible, but somewhat under-estimating statement from such a talented artist.

Rush of performing

The interview was interrupted as it got further into the issue.

“You have be ready in like, one minute,” says a band member/ technician/ roadie mix, and Crissi jumps up.

“Did you get what you need? Can we finish this later?” she asks as she rushes out onto the Lion’s Club floor.

After a soulful set she returns “backstage” and it seems her perspective has changed. When I ask her about her future once again, it’s as though the rush of performing has infected her with hope.

“I was originally going to take a year off to work”, she says, “but now it seems this music thing might pan out.”

She seems slightly embarrassed. It’s obvious she feels foolish for hoping that everyone’s wildest dream might happen for her.

“I don’t know, maybe I’ll take a year to chase it blindly and see what happens.”

There will be a lot of people watching to see what happens to Crissi’s promising music career. She has fans locally, provincially, and even around the world with the use of her Myspace music profile at Here Crissi’s album is posted for online listening and can even be purchased.

Many artists show their creativity with their music, but Crissi demonstrates an impressive creative ambition that is present acoustically in her songs, and tangibly with her album.

Tap in to the local music scene for more of her local valley shows or go online to check out Crissi’s musical stylings, without the throngs of sweaty teenagers. - The Advertiser

"Song by Windsor singer-songwriter featured on 'Nashville'"

Published Thursday, May 7, 2015

National exposure on a primetime network television show is a chance few budding musicians will ever get.

Wednesday night, a young Windsor woman had that potentially career-changing opportunity.

Crissi Cochrane got a phone call last week saying one of her favourite songs from her album 'Little Sway' would be featured on the ABC show 'Nashville.'

Her song “A Damn Shame” was featured in Wednesday night’s episode. It aired for about 10 seconds, but the 26-year-old singer-songwriter says the exposure is huge.

“My music will be exposed to all kinds of reviewers that I might not have accessed otherwise,” says Cochrane. “The listenership of show is in the millions and for me it’s exciting to know that forever in TV history, there will be a clip of Hayden Panettiere putting on headphones and listening to my song.”

The song is a lament about wanting to spend more time with the one you love. Hearing it on the show in a truly surreal moment for Cochrane.

She recently partnered with a Michigan company that is a great champion of independent music. They had an opportunity to pitch some songs for the show and hers was selected.

“I was so shocked and surprised,” says Cochrane. “I called my family and said ‘Oh my you need to tune into this show.’”

She watched the episode alongside her fiancé, not knowing where it would air or what kind of role it would have.

After the show aired, ABC Music Lounge tweeted out a link to her song on iTunes. She says there's been a lot of buzz around it.

“My twitter feed was blowing up,” she says. “A lot of activity and exciting.”

She says it’s a great milestone for her record and she hopes there is more of this to come. She's humbled by the opportunity to have her music and her voice make it to the bigtime.

“There was a nice paycheck that came along with it too which was unbelievable,” says Cochrane. “Exposure was great enough, to have a little financial incentive to just be an artist and keep making music is inspiring and motivating. The fact it came with payday, I’m so lucky.”

Her music is available on iTunes, at Dr. Disc locally and on her website. - CTV Windsor

"Windsor, Ont. songbird pens personalized love songs for couples"

Published February 14, 2016

Some lucky couples in Windsor, Ont. woke up to a very special present Valentine's Day morning.

Instead of a pancake breakfast, chocolates or a card, local couples were able to share a personal love song written by local songwriter Crissi Cochrane.

"I was thinking of a creative way to stimulate my songwriting," Cochrane said. "I had them answer things like how they met, favourite hobbies, any stories about them. A lot of people would tell me about what they did on their first date or how they met their loved one."

Cochrane stopped by CBC News to play one of the eight songs she wrote for the holiday. With syncopated chords and lyrics about Levi jeans and meetings at the river, it tells the story of a 13-year marriage.

"It's all pretty jazzy, soft," Cochrane said. "Some are more waltzy, others are more upbeat and you can dance to them."

Vanessa Shields was one of the first people to sign up for a song after hearing about Cochrane's offer. With both Shields and her husband being fans of Cochrane's work, she thought a song would be the perfect valentine.

"I felt it would be super romantic and be something we could have for years and years and listen to over and over again," Shields said. "It was totally romantic, beautiful and unique."

When the song arrived a few days before Valentine's Day, Shields gave it a listen. She was overwhelmed with what she heard.

"I got the house nice and quiet and listened to it," Shields said. "It just grabbed my heart. I got a little bit overwhelmed by it and then it was finished. So I had to listen to it over again."

Shields told her husband about the song and they plan to listen to it together for the first time on Valentine's Day morning. She offered to show it to him before, but he wanted to wait.

"I know I'm going to cry when I give it to my husband and we listen to it and dance together in the kitchen." - CBC Windsor

"Windsor songstress Crissi Cochrane reaches 4.5 million plays on Spotify"

Published March 22, 2016

In an era where a musician’s success is measured by digital clicks, Windsor’s Crissi Cochrane has reached a career milestone.

As of 3 p.m. Tuesday, Cochrane’s song Pretty Words has had more than 4.5 million plays on the popular music streaming site Spotify — the biggest listenership the 26-year-old singer-songwriter has ever experienced.

“I really don’t know how it happened,” Cochrane said. “It feels like a fluke … It really feels like complete luck that it happened this way.”

Cochrane first noticed the song’s remarkable numbers in early February, when she checked Spotify on a whim — only to discover that Pretty Words had been played more than 3.5 million times. “Crazy,” she said.

By comparison, other tracks from her 2014 album Little Sway have ranged from 119,000 to 9,200 plays. Cochrane eventually figured out that, sometime last year, Spotify added Pretty Words to the site’s Your Favorite Coffeehouse playlist — a playlist with more than 1.6 million followers.

Songs are usually kept on the playlist for a limited amount of time, but Pretty Words has been enjoying the enhanced exposure for months.

Cochrane said the track was never intended to be a single, and she honestly doesn’t consider it be one of her standout songs. “It’s really mellow,” she said. “It’s about the gratitude you feel when someone loves you at a time that you don’t really love yourself.”

“For people who are dealing with anxiety or depression — which I’ve gone through as well — I think it resonates with them.”

Cochrane said she’s in the process of writing a letter to Spotify thanking them for the big promotional boost.

Naturally, she’s hoping to capitalize on the momentum: She’ll be shooting a music video for Pretty Words in Windsor on Thursday, directed by Gavin Michael Booth.

Cochrane said the concept for Pretty Words will be much simpler: One long take of her face as she removes her makeup. “It’s sort of inspired by the ‘no-makeup-selfie’ movement. It’s a glamorous look that slowly comes undone — kind of transforming from this idealized persona into my true self, my private self.”

Asked if such attention ever makes her self-conscious, Cochrane replied, laughing: “Absolutely! I feel self-conscious all the time.”

For fans of Cochrane eager for new material, you’ll have to be patient. Cochrane said she’s written 14 songs for her next album, but she needs to do some paring down. She plans to begin recording later this year and release the album sometime in early 2017.

Want to hear Crissi Cochrane live? She’ll be playing a free show on Friday at Good Time Charly (4715 Tecumseh Rd. E.), opening for London singer-songwriter Sarah Smith, and accompanied by Ruby Mckinnon (a.k.a. Flower Face). Music begins 9 p.m. Visit - The Windsor Star

"Local musician finds natural beauty in surprise success"

Published April 12, 2016

Peeling back the layers, one local artist is showcasing her music in a unique way.

Capitalizing on some surprise success, Windsor musician Crissi Cochrane recently filmed and released a video for her song Pretty Words. Without her knowledge, the song (never intended to be a single) was added to a Spotify Coffeehouse playlist, gaining exposure worldwide.

The end result? It has received over 4.5 million plays — and counting.

“I’m still shocked that Pretty Words has received so much attention,” said Cochrane. “It was just a stroke of luck that the song got picked up by a popular playlist with a lot of subscribers, but of all the songs on my album Little Sway, I think it has the most meaningful message. It’s about the incredulity and gratitude you feel when someone loves you at a time when you don’t really love yourself. I think most everyone struggles with their insecurities or feelings of self-doubt at some point in life, and the song has such a mellow and peaceful sound, so it addresses this complex emotion in a consoling, relaxing way.”

Realizing she couldn’t let the exposure go to waste, the artist enlisted director Gavin Michael Booth to film a music video. Inspired by the no makeup selfie movement, Cochrane’s concept shows her peeling back this layer and revealing her natural beauty by the end.

Although it was a simple idea, pulling off the single shot video required lots of thought and rehearsal time.

“The process of a single-shot music video is not unlike an other shot in a music video or film,” said Booth. “You rehearse it until the camera, lighting, make-up, actors, etc have everything timed and marked out perfectly and then you shoot. The difference is that the longer the shot, the longer the logistics are to make sure it runs smoothly. With this video there were questions of “how long will the make-up removal take? Can it be done in the length of this song? The light changes several times throughout the video so that requires crew to manually rotate lights, work dimmer switches and choreograph everything to work seamlessly.”

Beyond this, makeup was a huge factor: There were only so many opportunities to film until Cochrane’s skin became irritated by applying and removing it. Despite being nervous about getting the performance right however, the artist’s rehearsals paid off. After eight hours and two takes, the video was finished.

“We got it right the first take – which I like to do on these things -rehearse rehearse rehearse – work out every single bug until it is perfect and only shoot once,” said Booth. “However we had the time and everyone felt so great after the first take that we decided to do it a second time and try to better ourselves.”

It went so well that a mistake also ended up improving the clip.

“Actually in the 2nd take – which is the video released, I missed a lighting cue I was in charge of,” said the director. “I doubt anyone will know where it is because it worked out BETTER that I missed the cue.”

Cochrane knew from the start that Booth was the right guy for this project. They first collaborated in 2012 when he shot a live performance and music video for her song Drive All Night.

Knowing his one-take video experience, she was happy to work with him again.

“Gavin is a very professional yet down-to-earth guy, which makes him extremely easy to work with,” said Cochrane. “He’s very hard-working and resourceful and I really respect all the effort he puts into each video he creates. On shoot days, I look around the room and see everyone working together on our vision, and it humbles me and makes me so grateful.”

Recognizing the no make-up selfie movement’s symbolism, it’s not something the musician shies away from. Cochrane hasn’t warn make-up for most of her life and didn’t hesitate to tackle this idea.

It’s also something she sees two sides of as well.

“I like the symbolic message behind the removal of makeup, taking off a mask and revealing one’s true self,” said Cochrane. “I enjoy wearing makeup and the ritual of it, but I appreciate that it can be considered empowering or oppressive, depending on who and when you ask. I think the no make-up selfie is a fine way to celebrate authenticity and vulnerability, and inspire us to respect our own bodies more – they may never be perfect, but they get us through this life.”

While Pretty Words’s success was a surprise, it isn’t the first time Cochrane has gotten exposure in a unique way. Only two months ago, CBC ran a story about the artist nationally. On the verge of being broke, Cochrane decided to write personalized songs for Valentine’s Day: People could send her details about their relationship and she’d do her best to write a song about it.

Without knowing if she could pull it off or if there would be any interest, Cochrane launched the offer on February 3. After CBC’s broadcast, the artist was overwhelmed with requests.

“I wrote and recorded 12 songs in 11 days, which is something I would never have believed I could do, and I discovered how incredible it feels to create these deeply meaningful songs for people to share with their loved ones,” said Cochrane. “I hope other artists steal my idea, not only because it’s a way to keep the roof over your head and stimulate your songwriting, but because you can create some very special goodwill in the world with your talents.”

Royalties from Spotify have since helped the musician out financially. Earning this income has allowed Cochrane to collaborate on things like the Pretty Words video and — more importantly — connect with people on a larger scale.

“The exposure has connected me with some new industry contacts,” she said. “Besides this, I’ve been hearing from new listeners around the world through social media. It inspires me to think that my songs can go far and lead lives of their own, connecting people and places and moments in ways I’ll never know. To think that my song is being heard 20,000 times a day (the average number of hits it receives right now,) that’s very surreal.”

Following her success, Cochrane also wrote a thank you letter to Spotify. Surprisingly, the company was quick to respond.

“I got a quick and very kind reply back from their office,” she said. “They’re glad to be introducing their listeners to new music and making an impact on artists’ careers.”

So what’s next for Cochrane? As of right now, her plans include working on a new album this year that she hopes to release in 2017. On top of this, she’ll be playing random shows while continuing to accept and fulfill songwriting requests that come in through her website.

Those interested in keeping tabs on what Cochrane is up to can follow her on twitter, facebook, youtube, Instagram and visit her website. - WindsoriteDOTca

"In The Spotlight: Crissi Cochrane"

Published June 7, 2016

Born in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley, Crissi Cochrane has the heart of an East Coast singer-songwriter with a twist of Motown soul. She started recording in her teens, moving to Halifax to begin her college and music career. Not only did she start releasing her own solo music including 2010’s independently released and critically well-received Darling, Darling, she started an indie band called Gamma Gamma Rays and contributed vocals to the album of fellow Halifax musician Rich Aucoin.

Relocating to Windsor, Ontario in 2011 her sound drew even more on her influences of jazz, country and smoky soul. And, with Detroit just across the river, the Motown sound as well. She released her latest solo album Little Sway in 2014. Soon she found her songs blowing up on Spotify, with her single “Pretty Words” getting more than 4.5 million plays and finding a placement in the hit ABC show Nashville. Soon after, she was selected as one of the Top 10 Artists nationwide in CBC’s Searchlight competition in 2014.

Working hard as a touring artist and behind-the-scenes songwriter since then, in 2016 she had an idea to write cute, personalized love songs for couples who contacted her for Valentine’s Day. The CBC picked up the story and it soon went viral, drawing her thousands of plays. Cochrane says she’ll work to make it an annual tradition.

“It’s a special joy to write songs for people to share with their loved ones, and to learn what makes each love so special and strong,” she says. What’s next for her in 2017? “Between filling song requests throughout the year, I’m pre-producing my next album and gearing up for recording this fall.” - SOCAN Magazine

"Hurry down the chimney tonight: Windsor songstress Crissi Cochrane releases Christmas music EP"

Published December 13, 2016

Crissi Cochrane has been an awfully good girl, so won’t you slip a sable under her tree?

The Windsor singer-songwriter had such a great response to her sultry cover of Santa Baby on YouTube last year, that this year she’s releasing
an EP of tunes for the holiday season.

Along with Santa Baby, Cochrane is offering her versions of The Christmas Song (made famous by Nat King Cole), and What Do the Lonely Do For Christmas? (originally by Chicago soul sister trio The Emotions).

“I love artists from 50, 60 years ago,” Cochrane said. “That warm nostalgia of the music feels like Christmas to me.”

Cochrane recorded all three songs in her apartment with the help of the music software suite Ableton Live — which she learned how to use through an online course. In fact, the EP started as a homework project for the course: Cochrane was so happy with how the songs turned out, she decided to make them an official release.

“They were all done at home — performed, mixed, and mastered by me,” Cochrane said proudly. “It’s my first ever fully independent, totally self-made release.”

While Cochrane has plenty of other Christmas songs in her repertoire, the ones on the EP suit her taste in old-school soul, jazz and R&B.

Case in point, the title track: a silky voiced interpretation of Eartha Kitt’s classic 1953 come-on to Saint Nick. Conceived as a tongue-in-cheek novelty tune, it became the biggest hit of Kitt’s singing career. “It’s just such a sassy song,” Cochrane said.

“Someone once said that, based on that recording, she was the sexiest woman alive. If that’s not a strong endorsement to try to learn that song, I don’t know what is.”

Of course, Cochrane is quick to add that she doesn’t really want the furs, cars, and jewellery that Kitt purrs about in the lyrics. “There’s a lot of stuff in that song that I do not need for Christmas. It’s just fun to sing.”

But all Christmas music is not created equal, and just because a melody is decades old doesn’t mean Cochrane will like it. Among her least favourite songs of the season: I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, which hit the Billboard charts in 1952.

“I remember a version of that song, I don’t know who it was by, but it sounded like a child,” Cochrane said, visibly cringing. “I think they were trying to sound like they were laughing, but it sounded like they were crying. And it was so creepy to me.”

Celebrate Crissi Cochrane‘s new release for the holiday season at her Merry Christmas Baby party on Friday night at GlassMonkey Studios (upper floor of 1378 Ottawa St.). Featuring performances of Christmas tunes and original music by Crissi with Soul Brother Mike, plus a poetry recitation by Vanessa Shields.

Doors open 8 p.m. Admission is $20 and includes catering by Dragonfly Sushi. There will be a cash bar. 19 and older.

Listen to Crissi and order her Santa Baby EP via - The Windsor Star

"Give a tune to your Valentine with the help of Windsor's Crissi Cochrane"

Published January 22, 2017

Valentine’s Day will be here before you know it, and Windsor musician Crissi Cochrane has the perfect gift for your sweetheart: a song.

Through Cochrane’s “Love Songs For Hire” service, you can commission her to write and record a unique tune for a unique person in your life.

Cochrane offers the service year-round, and has provided personalized songs to celebrate weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, and other special occasions — but Valentine’s Day is her busiest time of the year.

“Songs live outside the realm of the physical. A song can’t wilt, or break, or fade, or be destroyed,” Cochrane says. “It has the potential to be a really timeless, long-lasting gift.”

It’s important for Cochrane to get customer input on the creative process. Every client must complete a questionnaire that helps Cochrane get to know the subject of the client’s affection.

“They tell me all about who the person is, how they met,” Cochrane explains. “I also have some longer questions, such as ‘How do you feel about this person when they walk into the room?’ and ‘What does this person add to your life?’”

Based on those answers, Cochrane comes up with lyrics. She’s also had clients provide her with a line or two. “I try to get direction on what vibe they want — if they want an upbeat song or something more mellow.”

The only things Cochrane avoids are proper names. “There’s only been two or three times where I’ve put a name into the song. I try to describe the person in other ways,” Cochrane says. “It’s hard to use a name in a song without it feeling jarring.”

Cochrane’s rate is $235 per song. The tune is professionally recorded, mixed, and mastered, then delivered as both a digital download and a CD single, with the disc and the packaging stylized like a vinyl record.

It takes Cochrane about a month to go from hire to finished product — but she has completed commissions as quickly as a week when the need was urgent.

Since she started the service in 2016 (around Valentine’s Day, naturally), Cochrane estimates she has done about 50 songs for clients around the world.

“This past Christmas, I had my most long-distance customer yet, which was a couple in Australia,” Cochrane says.

Although the songs are written to have meaning for specific people, Cochrane retains copyright and publishing rights. There have been a few commissions she enjoyed so much, she has included them in her set lists.

“I’m working on an album right now, and I have two of my love song requests on the track listing.”

For more about Crissi Cochrane’s music and her Love Songs For Hire, visit - The Windsor Star


LITTLE SWAY (January 2014)
10-song jazz & soul inspired album, produced by Adam Rideout-Arkell in Windsor, Ontario. Featuring bass & drums by the Rose City soul brothers, bassist Mike Hargreaves and drummer Stefan Cvetkovic. Featuring sax & horn section, written and led by Drew Jurecka. All songs written by Crissi Cochrane, except "The Man I Love" by George & Ira Gershwin. Produced with support from FACTOR, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Windsor Endowment for the arts. Available on iTunes worldwide and at

PRETTY ALRIGHT (November 2011)
6-song intimate folk EP, featuring the single "I Won't Try To Break Your Heart", produced by Adam Rideout-Arkell. Available on Bandcamp and at

DARLING, DARLING (August 2010)
8-song debut studio album, recorded in Chicago, Illinois at Soma Electronic Music Studios. Produced by Tim Iseler. Featuring string quartet arranged and led by Drew Jurecka. With guest performer Mike Kinsella (of Owen, and American Football).



Crissi Cochrane combines the heart of an East Coast singer-songwriter with the soul of Windsor/Detroit, living and writing just a stone’s throw away from the birthplace of Motown.

Silky vocals reminiscent of Billie Holiday and Norah Jones glow atop the purr of her Fender Jaguar electric guitar. Her songs reveal a decade of experience first gained as a young girl growing up in Atlantic Canada, studiously writing, recording, and performing. Drawn to settle in Windsor Ontario in 2010, the influence of Canada’s southern-most culture inspired Crissi’s latest album Little Sway (2014), a sultry and soulful blend of popular music, jazz, and R&B.  With more than 12 million listens on Spotify, a song placement in the ABC television show Nashville, and a national reputation as an emerging artist to watch, Crissi is “earning her place among Canada’s great pop singer-songwriters” (Steve Venegas, CBC Radio).

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