QUSIC Conversations: Matt Stern and Jessica Pickersgill

Written on 07/01/2021
Dov Adelman

A musician originating from Montreal, Matt Stern loves collaborating and following the trails of breadcrumbs to see where it leads. Ironically, Stern did not know that his musical path would stem from a puppy. "My partner and I got a puppy, Max, at the end of last year, and soon after, his now musical partner in crime, Jessica Pickersgill, doubled over at the sight of this cutest of puppies.

"Oh, wow, well, that is such a cute story," adds Pickersgill."I picked up a job at a cafe, and he brought in his 8-week old toy Australian shepherd dog, and I literally shrieked, OMG, and that's how we started talking, and we found out that we were not only musical artists, but building neighbours," reveals Pickersgill. This union came together last December and has been going strong ever since."We really inspire and challenge each other" says Stern.

Having just recently got back to the stage to perform, Stern and Pickersgill are coming together to shock and awe the community this July 6th at Friends of Dorothy's. Acoustic & electric guitars, viola and vocals, this dynamic duo will be singing both in French and English with quirky, uplifting beats. 

Stern would make songs up in his head as a youth but was shy about sharing them at first. Through the years, he has found the courage to create a voice. He is still on the journey of discovering his own unique queer voice. "One interesting thing in my songwriting is I play with the pronouns of whom I am addressing in my songs," explains Stern, who has noted positive feedback adopting both the Quebecois-East Coast vibe with the British-Colombian West Coast. "Being part of the community both here and in Montreal has played a big part in my music videos. I noticed a really welcoming response, and it feels like the more I express my own belonging to the community, the more people respond enthusiastically."

Jessica Pickersgill has been fiddling since she was six years old. "Ever since I could walk, music has always been a part of me," explains Pickersgill. Accepting meeting Stern and his out-of-this-world four-pawed-friend was an act of faith. The duo has been inseparable, concocting musical potions of creative commotions. "Now we are doing all this crazy-cool stuff. We can't believe we only met in December," laughs Pickersgill. Stern has an upcoming French album and Pickersgill has learned to perform and sing the songs despite not actually speaking French.

Pickersgill has had eye-opening experiences being an open-minded artist and musician. "I have had true deep friends. I am through and through an ally." 2021 heading into 2022, this duo are both individually hoping to "bring more of a chance for people to feel things. People hide so much. People try to look happy all the time, and music provides an opportunity for us to show our emotions." 

They are still working on their team name! Stay tuned to find out that name drop :) 

To listen to the live recording of this interview, visit the link on Soundcloud

Matt and Jessica will be playing for QUSIC on July 6 at 6:30 pm and 8:30 pm at Friends of Dorothy Lounge in Victoria.

Watch the live stream at 6:30 pm on Unicorns.LIVE

Dov Adelman is a nonbinary artist originally from Montreal. Working in property management, Dov is a self-made artist, videographer and chronicler of cultures.

(Image Credits: Titilayo Ayangade/Daniel Zemancik)