Born in Winnipeg in 1974, Chantal Jennifer Kreviazuk attended Balmoral Hall School for Girls. She grew up in a musical household, and was playing the piano by the age of three, and although she was classically trained, the grew up listening to the radio hits of the day. As a teen, she was already writing commercial jingles for local radio and TV.
Once she was old enough, she began doing the local lounge circuit, and at 19 years old, she was vacationing in Italy, when an auto collision left her in hospital, recovering from a broken leg and facial damage. Upon her return to Winnipeg several weeks later, she came under the tutilage of manager Chris Burke-Gaffney, former singer with Orphan, Pumps, and Deadbeat Honeymooners.
They assembled some demos, and caught the attention of Michael Roth at Sony, who signed her to a $1 million contract over two albums in February, 1996. At the time it was the most lucrative contract the label had ever offered a Canadian artist.
Producers Matt Wallace and Peter Asher were brought in to work with her, and the result was her debut album that June, UNDER THESE ROCKS & STONES. Kreviazuk wrote all most of the 13 tracks, with Burke-Gaffney assisting on three of them, and penning “Disagree” on his own. The record produced four singles, and on the backs of “God Made Me,” “Wayne,” “Surrounded,” and “Hands,” she found herself enjoying a double platinum album, (200,000 units), and touring the world. By the time 1998 was over, she’d appeared on “The Conan O’Brien Show” and several major festivals, including Sarah McLachlan‘s Lilith Fair and the WBOS EarthFest, and was nominated for a Juno for Best New Female Artist.
She teamed up with producer Jay Joyce for her follow-up, COLOUR MOVING AND STILL. Released in the summer of ’99, the video for the first single “Before You” preceded the record. On the back of two more singles – “Dear Life” and “Far Away”, a pair of songs written by her new husband Raine Maida of Our Lady Peace (“Dear Life” and “Little Things”), and with the help of guest musicians that included Chris Feinstein and Luke Doucet, the record followed its predecessor up the charts, and was certified platinum.
The Canadian version also included three covers which found their way on to soundtracks – The Beatles’ “In My Life” for the TV drama “Providence,” “Leaving On A Jet Plane” by John Denver for the movie “Armageddon,” (which became Kreviazuk’s first top 10 hit in Canada, the US, and England, and Randy Newman’s “Feels Like Home” for the “Dawson’s Creek” soundtrack. A second song, this one an original, also made that soundtrack – “How To Lose A Guy In Ten Days.” She walked home with two Junos in 2000, for Best Adult/Pop Album and for Best Female Artist.
In ’01 she became an actress, with her big screen debut in the indie film “Century Hotel,” for which she also co-wrote the theme song with Maida, “Can’t Make it Good.”
2002 saw the release of WHAT IF IT ALL MEANS SOMETHING. Again, collaborations with other artists was the norm, and helping her this time around were Maida, Brian West, Gerald Eaton, Gregg Wattenberg, and John O’Brien. The first single was the lead-off “In This Life” peaked at #4 on the Canadian charts, and was performed live when she appeared on “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” later that year. Other noteable cuts included the title track, “Flying Home,” and “Ready For Your Love.”
That same year, she recorded “Another Small Adventure,” for the “Stuart Little 2” soundtrack, and “In This Life” was used for the films “Saved” and “The Door In The Floor,” as well as in an episdoe of “Smallville.” Her songs continued making their way onto the big, as well as the small screen the following year. “Another Small Adventure” was used on the TV show “Everwood.” She also did a duet with Chris Body – a cover of the David/Bacharach tune “A Look of Love” (originally recorded by Dusty Springfield) for the James Bond flick “Casino Royale.” “Time” was played in the movie “Uptown Girls,” as well as the MTV reality show, “Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County,” and the made for TV movies “Men In Trees,” and “Lucky 7.”
Her tour schedule was less hectic than before to accomodate her personal life, and her next effort, 2006’s GHOST STORIES, was recorded in her Los Angeles home studio with Maida serving as producer. The first single, “All I Can Do” was made available on the Internet prior to the album’s official release, and then on Much More Music, accompanied by a special behind the scenes documentary.
She returned to the big screen in 2007, starring in and co-producing “Pretty Broken,” a film about a woman dealing with mental illness. Following the compilation album, SINCE WE MET: THE BEST OF 1996 – 2006 in ’08, she signed with Maple Music and returned with PLAIN JANE a year later. Critically acclaimed, the record consisted of what some argued was her strongest material in years, including “Half Of Me,” “Ordinary People,” the title track, and “Na Miso.” In 2010, that song was used on the Enough Project and Downtown Records’ Raise Hope for Congo compilation album, the proceeds of which help fund Congo women’s rights efforts.
On March 27, 2010, Kreviazuk headlined a concert held at Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto to celebrate WWF’s Earth Hour. In 2011, along with Blue Rodeo‘s Jim Cuddy, they were scathed for butchering the national anthem during the home opener of the second incarnation of the Winnipeg Jets.
Kreviazuk has also established herself as one of Canada’s most sought-after songwriters, often collaborating with her husband. The two contributed several tracks to Avril Lavigne’s 2004 album, UNDER MY SKIN. That same year, they collaborated on three songs on Kelly Clarkson’s BREAKAWAY album, as well as working on The Veronicas’ THE SECRET LIFE, Marion Raven’s albums HERE I AM and SET ME FREE, Cheyenne Kimball’s 2006 debut lp, HANGING ON, and David Cook’s self-titled debut the same year.
She’s also appeared a special guest on several other artists’ albums, including her husband Raine Maida’s solo projects, Our Lady Peace, Nightmare of You, and Men Women & Children.