There’s two sides to Fefe Dobson.
“One minute I can listen to an ‘N Sync record and the next I’m listening to Smashing Pumpkins,” said the 26-year-old Canadian pop singer.
Her goal was to showcase both on her new album, Joy, which she’s touring across the country, including a stop in Nanaimo April 12.
It’s her second album released through record label Island Def Jam – technically her third, but more on that in a moment – and a long time since breaking out as a teen with songs like Bye Bye Boyfriend and Take Me Away.
At 18, she spent two years of her life performing all over the world.
“It was wild,” she said. “I was touring Europe and on the road with Justin Timberlake.”
Although she experienced a life the vast majority of people only fantasize about, it didn’t come without sacrifice. She missed family birthdays and even her prom.
After the tour was over, she headed back to the studio to record her second album, Sunday Love, which featured collaborations with artists such as Cyndi Lauper, Joan Jett and Courtney Love. It was never released.
“The album got put in the vault – I couldn’t take it with me,” Dobson said.
Although the record company decided not to release the album, it retained ownership and Dobson didn’t have the money to buy it back. So in the vault it stayed.
Dobson said musical differences in certain areas led to the split between she and the record company. But music is her chosen career and she continued writing and recording, which eventually led to her third album, Joy.
“It was that or sit at home and eat buckets of ice cream,” Dobson said.
Once Joy was finished, she went back to the record company and signed a new agreement to promote the record.
“Business is business,” she said. “We could see the vision a little better.”
Although the second album was never released, the music still made the airwaves. Miley Cyrus recorded Start All Over; American Idol winner Jordin Sparks covered Don’t Let It Go to Your Head; and Selena Gomez sang As a Blonde.
Dobson said it was strange to hear her music sung by another.
“They’re singing about your experiences, about your ex-boyfriend or your hurt,” she said.
Dobson has her own voice singing her own experiences again on the radio as Joy already produced a hit song in Stuttering.
Dobson performs the new single and the rest of her hit songs during a concert at the Port Theatre April 12 at 7 p.m. Opening the show are Steph Lang and These Kids Wear Crowns. Tickets $32. Please call 250-754-8550.