Lights (singer)

Lights (singer)

Infobox Musical artist
Name = Lights

Img_capt =
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Background = solo_singer
Birth_name = Valerie Poxleitner
Alias =
Born = April 11, 1987, Timmins, Ontario, Canada (age 21)
Died =
Origin =
Instrument = Voice, Synthesizer
Voice_type =
Genre = Synthpop, Pop music, Indie, New Wave, [ [ - LIGHTS - Toronto, CA - Indie / Pop / New Wave - ] ]
Occupation = Singer-songwriter, Model
Years_active = 2006-current
Label = Underground Operations, Doghouse Records
Associated_acts = Old Navy, Instant Star
URL = []
Current_members =
Past_members =
Notable_instruments =

Lights or Valerie Poxleitner (born April 11, 1987) is a Canadian synth pop singer-songwriter, best known for her songs "February Air", "White", "Drive My Soul", and "The Last Thing On Your Mind", featured in 2008 Old Navy video commercials. [ [ "Old Navy brings "February Air" to Buenos Aires"] , "Advertising Age", February 11, 2008.]

Musical comparisons and influences

In a September 2007 interview, Lights indicated her primary influence as Björk. This influence can be seen strongly in her synth-based pop music, though her music is overall much happier and optimistic than Bjork's music.

She also spoke glowingly of Phil Collins's songwriting, and particularly fancies the European production-based music the likes of The Knife. cite web | url= | title=LIGHTS INTERVIEW | date=7 September 2007 | accessdate=2008-08-04 | work=Instant Star On Line ]

Lights is often compared to Vanessa Carlton for her high-toned, soft voice, and she has said she was a fan when she was younger. Lights is one of several new female singers coming to fore in the late 2000s. This list includes the likes of Kate Voegele, Katy Perry and Tristan Prettyman. All of them, Lights included, style themselves after the 1980s New Wave singers and 1990s feminist singer-songwriters, therefore setting the stage for the return in force and by popular choice of melodious pop music, in place of the hip-hop or rap, which has largely monopolized the pop landscape so far this century.

Behind the scenes, Lights has been hired to write songs and texts for the television series "Instant Star", together with other skilled songwriters and musicians. They work as a team. [ "Writing music for Instant Star"] , "Toronto Star", August 28, 2007.] Lights and Luke McMaster are credited with composing "Perfect", sung in the role of Jude Harrison on the show by Alexz Johnson. The song is a not-so-subtle musical allusion to "Penny Lane", written by Paul McCartney for The Beatles' 1967 album "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band" as a counterpoint to John Lennon's "Strawberry Fields Forever", but withheld, and actually only released on the "Magical Mystery Tour" album. Luke McMaster's and Valerie Poxleitner's "Perfect" (she is credited like so on the soundtrack CD, and it is she, who sings it on this issue, not Alexz Johnson) also borrows rhythmically from the familiar "Welcome Back, Kotter" TV theme. So much borrowing in one song gives a new meaning to "synth" in "synth pop", but Lights says she knows what she's doing, relying on her "pretty intense cheese-o-meter" to walk the path true and narrow.cite web | url= | work=Patrol Magazine (Washington, D.C.) | title=7 Questions for LIGHTS: Valerie Poxleitner, or LIGHTS, is Canada’s—and perhaps the world’s—next big thing. | date=30 May 2008 | accessdate=2008-08-04 | author=John Wofford ]

The music she has written by her self, for her own brand, is on the whole considerably subtler and more her own, albeit entirely "electro-pop". Her voice, and her music, have met with very favorable reception, and even higher hopes, in the Toronto press. Likewise, she is evidently loved in the USA cities where she sung locally already.Fact|date=October 2008

Early life

Valerie Poxleitner was born in Timmins, Ontario, the home town of a famous Canadian singer, Shania Twain, Lights was raised by missionary parents and spent much of her childhood in various parts of world ranging from the Philippines to Jamaica.cite web | url= | title=Lights makes us happy | work=Toronto Music Scene - Indie News + Interviews | author=Sheena Lyonnais | date=10 March 2008 ] She currently lives in Toronto.

When asked about when she wrote her first song, Valerie has said "I was eleven, and I learned three chords on the guitar it was the first time I really learned how to play guitar and I wanted to write a song with them so I went down to my mom and I said pick a number between 1 and 150 and she picked 5 or something, I can’t really remember the number, but I went and opened up the Bible and there was 150 Psalms already written so I went to the number she chose and wrote a song with that and that kicked off the biggest thing of my life."

Start of her career

Lights, at the age of 15, tried for a modeling casting held by Walmart. During the set up, one of the makeup artists heard her sing. The people who heard her instantly praised her voice. In the same day, Lights met her soon-to-be manager and a few weeks later, negotiations were in talk.

In 2005, Lights began writing for Sony/ATV Music Publishing.

For the past year, Lights has worked on touring in Toronto and vicinity, as well as nearby cities such as London, Ontario, Guelph, Ontario, Cleveland, Ohio, Detroit, Michigan, and Pontiac, Michigan. With her music and singing becoming a sound success in the service of Old Navy, Lights was able to make deals for promoting her music and singing under her own brand. In October she is booked to perform on the campus of State University of New York at Fredonia, midway between Buffalo, New York and Erie, Pennsylvania. A tour of U.S. cities for the fall 2008 is also planned.cite web | author=Brian Pascual | url= | title=LIGHTS Finally Finds The Right Phase | date=Monday, 23 June 2008 | accessdate=2008-08-04 | | publisher=Chart Communications, Inc. | location=Toronto]

Her live band is currently comprised of Adam Weaver on synthesizers and Maurie Kaufmann (formerly affiliated with BOY and the 6ixty8ights) on drums.

Lights is managed by Canadian musician and radio personality Jian Ghomeshi. [ [ "Two local artists get international push on music service"] , "Torontoist", October 2, 2006.]


*"February Air" – 2006
*"Its Over Casanova" – 2006

*"Year of the Cure" – 2007
*"I Owe You One" – 2007
*"Last Thing on Your Mind" – 2007

*"White" – 2008
*"Ice" – 2008
*"You Got The Girl" – 2008 (CD: "The Breaks" by The Tremulance)
*"Drive My Soul" – 2008
*"Perfect" – 2008 (CD: "Songs from Instant Star Four" by various artists, including Lights)

*"Move (Get Down)" – year unknown
*"Ghost" – year unknown
*"Outrageous" – year unknown
*"Pretend" - year unknown
*"Savior" - 2008
*"Don't Matter" (Cover song by Akon) - 2008
*"Crazy He Calls Me" – 2008 (CD: a yet to be named and released Billie Holiday tribute album by various artists)


*"Drive My Soul"
*"Ice" (Coming soon)

Music Videos

*"February Air"
*"Drive My Soul"
*"Ice" (Coming soon)


On 11 March 2008, the "Lights" EP was released on US iTunes with the following tracks: "February Air", "White", "Drive My Soul", and "The Last Thing On Your Mind". It was added to the Canadian iTunes store shortly thereafter. The EP was then re-released on 22 April 2008 with two additional songs: "Ice" and "I Owe You One". This expanded version is available in Canada through BestBuy, HMV, or iTunes and in the U.S. on iTunes.

Additionally, Verizon has taken her Old Navy-featured songs and made them into ringtones.

Other Appearances

Lights was featured as a singer on 3 tracks included on the The Februarys' second EP, "All The Time in the World": "Meant for Each Other," "Home is Where the Heartache Is" and "I Was Always Thinking of You." Lights will also sing a song for Ten Second Epic on their future, third album "Hometown", to be released in January 2009, and will also lend her vocals for the upcoming movie "One Week" starring Joshua Jackson.


Lights supports the Toronto charity Skate4Cancer, and has recorded a song called "Year of the Cure" for their use.


External links

* [ Lights - MySpace]
* [ Old Navy commercial]
* [ Drive My Soul - Lights - Official Video]

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