Despite her young age, Aselin Debison is already a singer who is a part of history. Five years ago, at the age of 9, Debison galvanized a coal miners' protest in Cape Breton in her native Nova Scotia, singing the local anthem "The Island" with such touching simplicity that thousands of angry striking miners wept, joined hands and sang along. Word of the young singer's dramatic performance and of her haunting voice spread quickly, and she became a sensation in Nova Scotia and throughout Canada. From the cheering crowds at the 2000 Canada Day celebration in Ottawa to the release of a Christmas recording in 2001, Aselin Debison has emerged as perhaps the fastest-rising star in Canadian music. After signing an exclusive contract to record for Sony Music Canada, the young singer set her sights on attracting an international audience.
With pop luminaries Peter Asher and George Massenberg as producers, Debison's debut Sweet Is The Melody was released in September of 2002.
Aselin is the daughter of a landscaper and a hairdresser, both natives of Cape Breton and her first name was inspired by the character of Aslan, the lion on C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia. She has been singing and, as she says, "enjoying making people happy with my singing" since earliest childhood. Though she has had no formal vocal training, she sang frequently with her classmates when she was enrolled, at the age of two, in the Learning Leprechauns, a private preschool not far from her home in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia. "I was just one of the girls picked for singing," she told an interviewer earlier this year, talking about her preschool. But it was not until a miner's wife called and asked her to sing at the protest rally that people began to hear what was special in Debison's voice.
"After the miners' rally, when I saw how emotional everyone got after I sang, I thought I might get somewhere with singing," she said in an early interview.
Since the release of her debut album, Aselin has taped an enormously successful CBC concert special, performed high profile shows for PBS in the U.S. and contributed the theme song "The Center of My Heart" to the holiday flick Blizzard.
Even with this whirlwind of activity, Aselin Debison continues to live a normal childhood in Glace Bay with her parents, Donny and Joan, and her younger brother Blake. Now 14, Aselin is hard at work on her sophomore album, which will showcase her development as an artist and a songwriter. She recently signed a deal with Fender, and is using their guitars to create songs with warm, earthy pop flavour.