Origin: Oakville, ON
Debut: 2008
Genre: Pop

This relatively obscure country, where I lived for a year in the 1990s, is known as “the land of many waters”. Mention its name and most people will think you are speaking of a country in Africa. Its small population of only about 800,000 lives mostly in the tightly packed villages along the northern coast of South America. Not a word of Spanish or Potuguese is spoken here; it is an English-speaking country. However, if you ventured around bustling Starbroek Market in Georgetown, you wouldn’t be able to recognize a single word, as the creole is exceptionally strong here. Ethnicities are primarily descendants from India and Africa with some Chinese. Aboriginal peoples live in the interior.

For these reasons, Guyana (and, no, it hasn’t been called British Guiana since 1966) is considered part of the Caribbean, despite its being situated on the mainland of South America. It is considered the second poorest country in the western hemisphere (after Haiti). Many of its citizens yearn for a better life in northern America. One such couple, the Persauds, whose roots lay in India, was able to emigrate to Canada, settling eventually in Oakville, Ontario. And it was there that they gave birth to their fourth child—a daughter whom they named Anjulie.

If Anjulie had been born in Guyana (like Eddy Grant), she would have been surrounded on all sides by reggae, soca, and Indian music like the classic “Benji Darling.” In Canada, she found musical proclivities calling to her, as she got into the music of U2, Prince, Annie Lennox, and Lauryn Hill, and began singing and composing music as a teenager. Her talents were sought by Emma Roberts’ team as they were putting together the soundtrack for the TV series “Unfabulous”. The track “Say Goodbye to Jr. High” was written by Anjulie and she contributed backing vocals and percussion on Roberts’ 2005 album Unfabulous and More.

The Philosopher Kings’ Jon Levine who has managed to carve out a golden niche for himself by helping to launch the careers of a number of high-profile Canadian artists—Nelly Furtado, Fefe Dobson, and Kreesha Turner—helped Anjulie with her debut (self-titled) album which came out in 2009.

Many of the songs were featured in TV series:

“Boom” – ABC’s “Eastwick”, The CW’s “Melrose Place” & “The Vampire Diaries”, and CTV’s “Canada’s Next Top Model”
“Addicted2Me” – MTV’s “The City”
“Crazy That Way”, “Rain”, and “The Heat” – MTV’s “The Hills”

“Boom” topped the US Dance Charts. Anjulie opened for Jesse McCartney during his 2009 United States tour. “Don’t Call Me Baby”, a platinum Top 10 hit for Edmonton’s Kreesha Turner, was co-written by Anjulie. She also co-wrote Fefe Dobson’s “I Want You”. Anjulie’s music also appears in the 2009 movie-musical Fame.

Anjulie’s biggest accomplishment to date came in 2011. Her single “Brand New Chick” broke into the Top 20 Canadian Hot 100, finished as the year’s 52 biggest song, and was, in November, only the third single from a Canadian artist in 2011 to be certified platinum, with 80,000 digital downloads in Canada, the other two being Simple Plan’s “Jet Lag” and Hedley’s “Invincible”. Speaking of Hedley, in 2012, Anjulie opened for them during their Canadian tour.  In 2012, Anjulie released new singles “Headphones”, “Stand Behind the Music”, and “You and I”, the latter making it to #25 on the Canadian Hot 100.

If she ever returned to the country of her parents, she would be told in no uncertain terms, “Ya proppuh gone up, gal!” She has, indeed, but only because she is a storehouse of Canadian talent.

Anjulie’s Official Website