My name is Deborah, but I usually go by Debs. I sing and write music, mostly on piano, guitar or ukulele, and have a penchant for lush, layered harmonies.
I use songwriting as a means of exploring myself and the world, and as both contain many hues and shades, my songs do too. I started writing in 2007. Several years and over 150 songs later, I’m no closer to classifying myself in terms of genre and style than I was when I started. I tend to write folk and jazz music most often but in the music section of this website, you’ll also find rock, electronic, a cappella and even thrash metal.
Growing up, my musical mosaic was choral and classical with a dash of the theatrical. My parents both come from musical families so piano lessons and Royal Conservatory exams were an absolute given. Guitar piqued my interest later and though I took a few classes in my early teens I am largely self-taught. I also picked up the flute because I wanted to join a concert band and that’s what my father happened to have lying around.
On the vocal side, I had musical theatre. I also jumped into every ensemble my school offered including girls & mixed a cappella, vocal jazz and of course, traditional choir. There is an art to blending with other singers requiring a wide awareness, a lot of listening and a keen attention to detail. Much of what I’ve learned has shaped my approach to performing solo. I find that doing both is balancing, and my women’s choir, the Penthelia Singers, is an important and vital part of my life musical life.
Collaborating artistically with others has helped me grow immensely as a songwriter. Many of my forays into unfamiliar genres would not have happened without some of the brilliant members of the February Album Writing Month community.
I am privileged to be the less manic, more pragmatic half of Debs & Errol, a Toronto-based geek music/comedy duo. We perform regularly and are currently working on our debut CD.
What Others Are Saying
Debs’ angelic voice and effervescent attitude have brightened many a song and show. I count the opportunities I’ve had to work with her among my favorite musical experiences, and always look forward to hearing what she’ll lend her talents to next.
- The Das Binky Recording Collective, Collaborator
Debs combines words and music in a seemingly infinite variety of styles with skill, wit, and enthusiasm – and the results are nothing short of captivating. I’m proud to know her, and prouder still to be a collaborator, now and hopefully many more times in the future.
- D.J. Sylvis, Founder of Monkeyman Productions, Collaborator