We chat to Canadian musician Jessy Lanza about growing up, visiting Australia and her favourite sounds of summer ahead of her much anticipated performance at Sydney Festival on 20 January.

We’re very proud to say that your Sydney Festival performance will be the first show of your first ever Australian tour! Are you looking forward to it?

Absolutely! My drummer Tori and I are so excited to come. It’s winter in Canada and really cold so we couldn’t have picked a better time to tour Australia cause I know from experience it is HOT in Australia in January.

Have you been to Australia before? Is there anything in particular you want to check out while you’re in Sydney?

I have been to Sydney on a vacation once a long time ago. Tori really wants to see the Sydney Opera House so we’ll go there and then to the beach, I hope, if we have time.

How would you describe your live show in five words?

Spazzy, funky, mad, jazzy, bouncy.

Amongst many other accolades, you’ve been nominated for Canada’s Polaris Music Prize for both of your albums, which is a pretty incredible achievement. What is it about your music that strikes a chord with people in such a big way?

Thanks! I really have no idea. I am not good at taking compliments let along giving myself any.

Tell us about growing up in Hamilton, Ontario. Has your hometown influenced the music you make?

Growing up in Hamilton is like growing up in any small suburban city in North America. It was nice and normal and I listened to lots of music on the radio and videos on Much Music, which is like Canadian MTV. I¬†never went to clubs that played anything but top 40 because there really weren’t any when I was in high school.

What/who is your favourite Canadian artist right now?

Anamai (the experimental folk project of Anna Mayberry and David Psutka) and Marie Davidson.

What/who is your favourite Australian artist right now?

Cate Blanchett

If you weren’t a musician, what would you be doing?

That’s a scary question. I don’t have many other skills.

You’ll be here in the height of Sydney’s beach weather. What are your three¬†favourite summer tunes?

Jessy Lanza will play in the Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent in Meriton Festival Village, Hyde Park North, at 9.30pm on 20 January. Get tickets here.