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Busy spring ahead for Heather Rankin

The Reporter

MABOU: With an album, single and video hitting the public later this week and a high-profile hosting gig coming days later, Heather Rankin is gearing up for a busy spring.

The veteran singer-songwriter will co-host this year’s East Coast Music Awards gala with fellow Inverness County native Ashley MacIsaac on April 14 at Sydney’s Centre 200, prior to participating in the East Coast Music Week (ECMW) Songwriter’s Circle. These appearances come less than two weeks after Rankin releases her first solo album, A Fine Line, and the lead-off single and video, a cover of the 1985 Tears For Fears chart-topper “Everybody Wants To Rule The World.”

“I love that song,” Rankin told The Reporter during an interview from her Mabou home base.

“It follows the same thread as the rest of the songs [on the album] – how do we succeed in life without losing our integrity and maintaining balance?”

In addition to a rap interlude by fellow East Coast artist Quake Matthews, Rankin’s version of “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” will feel like a group effort thanks to a social media campaign that invited her fans to submit video clips of themselves performing the song. Over 300 people responded to the challenge, and a selection of these fan-made clips will make up the official video for “Everybody Wants To Rule The World.”

“I was pleasantly surprised with the response, and the number of young people who were very excited about taking part,” Rankin recalled.

“Traditionally, Rankin followers tend to be of the older generation… But it was interesting to see how this particular song, and also the particular style in which it was produced, is resonating with people.”

While she chose a cover song as her leadoff single for A Fine Line, Rankin is proud to have co-written seven of the album’s 11 tracks, marking a new direction for the long-time member of The Rankin Family and cast member for four installments of The Cape Breton Summertime Revue.

“I’ve never written with anyone before,” admitted Rankin, whose collaborators on A Fine Line include David Tyson, a JUNO-winner whose previous clients have included Hall and Oates, Alannah Myles and Amanda Marshall.

“He comes from the pop world and I come from the folk world, and there’s a bit of an age difference since he’s a bit older than I am. But we just seemed to be coming from the same places in terms of writing similar things.”

In addition to her album release and her ECMW duties, Rankin is also gearing up for several shows with Nova Scotia music veteran Kim Dunn in small-to-medium-sized venues across the province, including a May 14 stop at Mabou’s Strathspey Place.

“It’s all new to me, going out and doing a solo set,” Rankin noted. “I’m a little nervous, but I’m in good hands, because I have some great players along with me.”

For more information, including sound samples and tour dates, visit the Web site: Rankin also has Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube accounts.