Catia Dignard Guards Precious Memories For Safekeeping

The singer-songwriter digs deep with a track inspiredy by the death of her father.

Catia Dignard shares a personal and poignant goodbye with her jazz-folk single Safekeeping — showcasing today on Tinnitist.

Ethereal, haunting, and intimate, Safekeeping explores and resolves the residual sorrow that Dignard has held close since the untimely loss of her father when she was just 17. “Safekeeping is about saying goodbye when you were not able to at the time,” explains the Montréal-born, Toronto-based artist. “This time around, with the song, I didn’t want to miss my chance.”

Two years of isolation caused by our global pandemic provided the circumstances and time for Dignard to focus inward to bring some deep, precious pain to the surface in musical form. “Safekeeping was brewing inside during the latter part of the pandemic,” she recalls, “a time that was conducive to introspection and during which I felt that I had a lot of ‘unfinished business’ with myself, still carrying the sorrow and guilt from this fateful day towards the end of the ’80s when I received the news of the sudden passing of my father.”

With a contemplative piano progression supporting a lush, rich horn section and Dignard’s wistful vocals delivered with a touch of melancholy, Safekeeping travels a definitive path along the emotional spectrum right between solemn despair and unbridled hope. “During the whole process I didn’t want to compromise on the mood that this music would convey,” explains Dignard, “which meant striking a balance between darkness and light.”

It turns out that Dignard’s quest to be true to this artistic vision would be an international one. She says the stars aligned last March when she started working with Tennessee saxophonist, singer-songwriter, composer, and multi-instrumentalist Dick Aven. Rising to the challenge of long-distance collaboration, Dignard and Aven hit it off creatively very quickly during their first video writing session.

“After just a few minutes, Dick turned around and struck some chords on the piano while I started singing ‘my thang’ to him from Toronto,” remembers Dignard. The musical chemistry was palpable. “Dick became my arranger and producer for Safekeeping, playing almost all instruments, except for fretless bass played by Nashville-based Roy Vogt.”

Networking and finding like-minded and talented international musicians to create with is a hallmark of Dignard’s artistic journey. Prior to Safekeeping, Dignard released Rather in 2021, a collaboration with a stellar group of Cuban musicians recorded in Havana.

Traveling and soaking up global influences to shape and inform her music is an extension of Dignard’s early life. With Acadian heritage and having lived in Latin America and North Africa during her childhood, Dignard draws continued inspiration from the sea and her travels. Now settled in Toronto, she recently collaborated and performed with funk-rock and soul band Bad Breed. She is working on more new music for release in the fall of 2022.

Even with these very busy, tandem creative and educational paths to follow, Dignard knew the time was right for a musical pit stop to wrap up the very significant ‘unfinished business’ of coming to terms with loss and finding peace with the feelings she had been holding close. “We all have these tales of missed opportunities, of regrets, of these things left unsaid,” notes Dignard. “I also feel that there was a lot of love and dedication put into this piece, as all those involved were aware of what it represented for me.”

Check out Safekeeping above, sample more music from Catia Dignard below, and follow her on Facebook and Instagram.