The title of Odreii’s first EP Runs In Mi Blood is as literal as it gets. Born in Montreal, the Canadian/Jamaican singer-songwriter grew up in an inordinately musical household. Her pops was the frontman of a roots and reggae group, her aunt and uncle played in a francophone heavy metal band, and her mom brought her up on a steady drip of Bob Marley and Stevie Wonder. Throw in the fact that she self-taught herself guitar as a teen and learned languages as disparate as Spanish and Chinese coming up, and you get the dancehall-meets-Latin pop bop that is the eponymous first single off her EP, which ignited Canadian airwaves last summer.
2020 was poised to be a breakout year for Odreii, especially with the March release of her latest single "Go Solo" in collaboration with DJ Kleancut, but, well, things took a turn right after that as the world began to shut down. “All my shows have been cancelled,” she tells us. That includes slots at Canadian Music Week in Toronto, MIDEM in Cannes, Festival METRO METRO in Montreal, and a tour of France and England. “What I found important was to keep in touch with people who follow my music, so I made more livestreams on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Spoon. Social media helped a lot.”
At the very least, the extra downtime has given her a chance to pen more material. “Since I love writing and composing using my guitar, I created more songs during the confinement,” says Odreii. “As soon as we were allowed to go out, I was invited to do some acoustic alley shows organized by Productions UP in order to give a platform for artists to express their art despite the difficult conditions.” Those sets saw her play acoustic versions of Runs In Mi Blood tracks, as well as a rousing rendition of “Redemption Song,” while Montrealers sang along from their balconies.
Odreii says she’s putting finishing touches on her debut album, which drops in 2021. “Many more surprises will be announced soon!”