The Importance Of Being Loreena McKennitt
Few artists can lay claim to Loreena McKennitt's career arc. Her latest quiet drop of the glove is a concert series playing 7-8,000 seat theatres across South America.
By David Farrell
She’s the queen of Celtic soul, a figurehead in the DIY scene, a master musician, marketing genius, inspired and inspiring, a dark soul in a grey world and one who never ceases to surprise.
She can easily and quietly sell out the Royal Albert Hall and recently defended a decision to withdraw from Facebook (because of the invasive nature of its data collection), by opining that “celebrity is a ghetto” and asserting that the decision would have no impact on her record sales. “I am a legacy artist. I will be OK.”
Since she transcended from busker outside Toronto’s St. Lawrence Market where she was selling homemade cassette editions of her first recordings, the carrot-crowned mystic of music has gone on to sell in the region of 15 million albums. She’s not called the Enya of Canada for no reason.
What makes her a fascinating study in music marketing is her aversion to media and her visible attachment to the deep pools of music that she has quested from regions of the world that give Donald Trump and his ilk the shivers.
That and the fact that she is entirely self-contained. She has an agreement with Universal Music for worldwide distribution, but she owns her intellectual properties outright. When anyone tries to cross her, she is fast to respond with a legal brief and a cease-and-desist order.
She’s strong-minded, iron-willed and enormously successful without having a phalanx of paparazzi in tow or a nightmare of headlines screaming her life story.
Earlier this month she returned from a 12-year hiatus between recording new material, debuting Lost Souls that some might call her most fetching and ethereal album to date.
Mid-month, McKennitt returned to Europe for concerts in Germany and the Netherlands and made a stopover in London to promote herself and her new album.
Late October through early November, she performs six shows in five cities across South America, marking her first visit to the populous continent. The opening two nights are at City Bank in São Paulo, Brazil, a venue with a 7,000 capacity. On Nov. 2, she appears at the 8,500-capacity KM Hall in Rio de Janeiro and completes her shows at the 4,500-capacity Teatro Caupolicán theatre in Santiago, Chile.