Juno nominee, Much Music Video Award winner gives insight on creating a future
AMHERST – Students and career seekers were given star treatment in their pursuit for a brighter future here this week.
A captive audience looking to advance their career options were treated to an acoustic set by Canadian music chart topper Fefe Dobson at the Nova Scotia Community College’s Amherst campus before talking about her life and career.
The Nova Scotia Community College’s Amherst campus played host to an Inspairationworx, a skills development and employment expo, drawing career options and post-secondary education opportunities under one roof, but perhaps the biggest draw was three-time Munch Music Video Award winner Fefe Dobson, who treated an audience to an acoustic set of some of her chart-toping hits and unveiling for the first time ever an acoustic rendition from her upcoming album before talking with the audience about her career and creating her future was her responsibility.
“In high school, I was picked on and bullied,” Dobson said. “I wanted to get out of there.”
Knowing music was her calling after her mother bought her a Karaoke machine when she was 15, Dobson sent out demo tapes to every music label and publishing company she could. After many, many rejection letters, she was invited to Jive Records, not to be signed but mentored and began mastering her craft as a singer. One day, while she was recording a demo, she heard another band recording. That band, Prozac, offered her the opportunity to record with them and encouraged her to record rock music.
“I brought it back to Jive and told [A&R Director] Bonnie Fedrau. She told me she would sign me right there to do a rhythm and blues album, or I could go with Prozac. I went with Prozac. I felt the appreciated my vision for me. I didn’t want to be typecast. It was just right.”
Following her calling and using the advice and lessons she learned both herself and from others lead to her being signed to Def Jam Records at the age of 16 and a 13-year career in the industry with chart topping hits, awards and accolades. Like any career, Dobson said, there’s a learning curve, success stories and lessons to be learned. Nothing happens over night.
“It takes time. Time to develop. It takes time to make mistake and time to learn from them. Nobody’s perfect.”
Dobson’s talk was just one small part of the day that drew high school students and adults alike to the employment expo. Discussion on networking, culture and diversity in the workplace, career decision making, and generational differences were held throughout the day as business representatives from local industry and abroad were made available.
Inspirationworx was put on by FutureWorx Society, a community based non-profit organization, has responded to the ever changing employment and skills development needs.