Two high school chums in Toronto discovered they had a lot in common during their music class and now ten years later, they are still finding out about each other.
Sheila Carabine and Amanda Walther are Dala, an acoustic pop/folk duo who sing incredible harmonies that audiences can hear at Art Space Jan. 28 during the Coldsnap Festival.
Walther said the music comes from having a great relationship with Carabine and that's why the talent resonates.
There have been four nominations for Canadian Folk Music Awards, as well as six appearances at legendary Massey Hall in Toronto for Dala but when they first met, they weren't looking at the big picture.
"We were very in the moment when we first met," said Walther. "We didn't really have a vision for what has unraveled in the last 10 years. We've kinda watched in awe as we saw each other grow into fabulous musicians and just see our connection on stage. Yeah, we didn't really know what was going to happen but we've had a really amazing time growing."
Their latest hit called Horses has gotten a lot of attention, including being on the NPR Music list of top 10 folk music songs for 2009. It's No. 7.
"I think Horses is a very special song," said Walther. "It's a song inspired by a young man we met who was in an accident as a teenager and is now in a wheelchair and unable to speak. His story was so touching and he's such a vibrant and incredible person we just had to write a song about his story. I feel like our song writing does come from a place of honesty and from our own experience. We just stick to what we know first hand and that seems to resonate with people."
Their music is full of harmonies and it was a very natural process to develop that skill.
"Our harmonies come from a really organic place," said Walther. "When we first started singing together as friends, we realized there was something special in the combination of our voices. We also just enjoyed it. I think the spirit of just enjoying singing together keeps it fresh."
Levi Blues is a happy little tune that harkens back to the 50s or 60s.
"The pop songs of that day were just so much fun," said Walther. "That song was inspired by all the traveling we've been doing in the last few years and having to leave our loved ones behind."
There is magic happening when Dala hits the stage, she added.
"It's an unreal feeling when harmonies are happening and that's what we're always striving for -- that magic."
When Dala comes to perform in Prince George audiences will see a joyful performance.
"We're going to be smiling a lot so if the audience is in the mood to laugh and smile they'll like the show," Walther said. "There will be lots of harmonies and a lot of new songs will be sung during the show."
Dala will be filming a PBS special in February called Girls for the North Country.
"That's our exciting news and that's our next step," said Walther.
For more information visit www.coldsnapfestival.com.