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Telling Our Stories: SUCCEED

Emmanuelle and Pastelle LeBlanc - Vishtèn

Emmanuelle and Pastelle LeBlanc make up two-thirds of one of the most successful touring bands to ever come out of PEI, Vishtèn. When they signed up to do their first showcase in 2001, they never dreamed that this would be the life they’d be living, that they would be able to develop such successful careers as musicians.

Often you hear stories about music careers starting off slowly. However, this was not the case for Vishtèn. It was very clear following that first showcase that they were doing something special and there was an audience that was eager to hear their fiery brand of Acadian Celtic folk music. In fact, Vishtèn was so in demand, they started out doing 150 shows a year!

In the run of a day, whether they are out on tour or at home on the Island, these ladies are taking care of business. Over the years, they have developed a great team of music industry professionals that they work with including agents around the world who are now responsible for booking their international tours. However, the band is self-managed, which means that Emmanuelle and Pastelle are in charge. When they are not performing, they are working on budgets, booking travel, building itineraries, responding to emails, updating their social media, practicing their instruments, writing and researching new tunes and meeting with their team to discuss upcoming deadlines and opportunities.

If you really want to do it, you have to put in the work because it is hard work and it is not going to be easy going.”

Emmanuelle and Pastelle have learned to reorganize their time and to delegate because they found they were spending too much time working on administrative tasks instead of creating new music. For them, it is incredibly important to balance out the business with the art because without the music (art), there is no business.

In addition to the work they do with Vishtèn, Emmanuelle and Pastelle also teach at three music camps in North America. They also look for ways to uncover alternative revenue streams for their five recordings and two music books that they have released to date, including their most recent release, Terre Rouge, that was inspired by their home on the Island.

Emmanuelle and Pastelle show no signs of slowing down in 2016. Upcoming tours will see the ladies in Australia, Louisiana, United Kingdom and the U.S. as well as teaching at multiple fiddle camps along the way. For them, one of the most important lessons they have over the years is to take time for themselves and to trust their gut instincts: “Don’t let anyone convince you to be someone that you aren’t.” 

“There isn’t always a clear cut route for a project; outlines don’t always work. Sometimes you need a little freedom to let things fall into place.”