Molly Fogarty knows what she wants to do for the rest of her life. It's the only career path that has every really interested her.
Fogarty, a Grade 12 student at the Estevan Comprehensive School, is a talented singer-songwriter from North Portal who has already had a chance to showcase her abilities on multiple platforms. Her musical ambitions are going to take her to Ontario later this year.
“There's nothing else I've ever had an interest in doing, ever since I was listening to Def Leppard in the car with my Dad,” she told Lifestyles. “I just love all kinds of music, and I find it all so interesting.”
She doesn't know what she would do if she didn't know how to play an instrument, write a song or sing. She loves to perform for a crowd, and Fogarty said it's even better when she can perform and show off one of her own songs.
“I wrote my first song … when I was in Grade 7 and 12 years old, and it was called Rot,” said Fogarty. “I wrote it downstairs (in my house) and I played it for my Mom, and she thought it was Miley Cyrus.”
With a name like Rot, nobody should be surprised that it was a punk song, but Fogarty said Rot had hints of country music, too.
Fogarty started playing the guitar when she was 12. She took lessons for a year, and then started to teach herself. From there, she became a self-taught pianist and ukulele players. She is currently trying to learn to play the fiddle, but it's a tough instrument, she said.
But the guitar remains her favourite, and she adores her new 12-string.
Local fans know Fogarty well through her performances in the Estevan Junior Idol and Estevan Idol competitions. She finished third in last year's contest.
Music industry personnel in Saskatchewan and in Canada have also started to take note of her talents.
In April of 2013, she was one of six Saskatchewan musicians who participated in The Big Gig, which was held in conjunction with the Juno Awards in Regina. Each musician was allowed to select two songs of their own for an album.
She selected Do it Right and Summer Highlights. Do it Right is an upbeat, catchy song about a person she encountered at school for the first time. Summer Highlights was about her experiences at Kenosee Lake and White Bear in the summer of 2012. It was the best summer ever, she said.
The album sold a few hundred copies, and Fogarty said it was a good experience for her and the other musicians involved.
Last September, the producer from the Big Gig contacted Fogarty and asked her if she had written anything new. She returned to that studio and recorded a couple more songs with a live band.
She selected What are we Here For? and 27 seconds. The first song was inspired by a friend who was having a rough week. Fogarty said she wanted the friend to know she was there for him.
The latter song was inspired by an interview that country music star Taylor Swift gave on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, in which Swift recounted how Joe Jonas broke up with her via a 27-second phone message.
The session in September gave her insight into how the music industry works, and how her producer does his job. She has been asked to return to the studio to perform a couple more songs.
Fogarty said she has written about 25 songs. Most of are related to her own experiences. Boys are, admittedly, a favourite topic, as she said they're easy to write about.
“I can get inspiration from anything,” said Fogarty. “Sometimes I'll be driving on the road home, and I'll pull over for 20 minutes, and just write a song on the highway.”
Fogarty will be going to the Metalworks Institute in Mississauga, Ontario, in September for their 12-month show production and event management program. Upon completion, it will open doors for her to work for a record label or be a tour manager or a stage manager. Graduates have also run the house lighting and sound at concerts, and even run entire concerts.
She hasn't given up on her dreams of performing or writing songs for a career, but she recognizes it's difficult to break into that side of the industry, and so she wants to have other options for a career in the music business.