Valerie Poxleitner (born 11 April 1987), better known by her stage name Lights, is a Canadian synth pop Singer-songwriter, best known for her songs "February Air", "White", "Drive My Soul", and "The Last Thing On Your Mind", featured in 2008 Old Navy video commercials. Lights song "Drive My Soul" peaked at #18 in the Canadian Hot 100 in 2008. Her next single, "February Air", was released on 9 December 2008 and the video for that song was put on the web on 12 December 2008 .
Lights was born in Timmins, Ontario. She was raised by missionary parents and spent much of her childhood in various parts of the world ranging from the Philippines to Jamaica . When Lights was asked about when she wrote her first song, Valerie has said "I was eleven, and I learned three chords on the guitar. It was the first time I really learned how to play guitar and I wanted to write a song with them so I went down to my mom and I said pick a number between 1 and 150 and she picked 5 or something, I can't really remember the number, but I went and opened up the Bible and there was 150 Psalms already written so I went to the number she chose and wrote a song with that and that kicked off the biggest thing of my life." "When I write songs I think about how my music makes people feel, and I hope that when it goes into your ears you feel happy. Not sexy happy but apple pie happy."
Lights, at the age of 15, tried for a modeling casting held by Walmart. The modeling supervisor for these particular fliers noticed she had a guitar in her hand in her sample picture, and was wondering if she played. Of course, she did, and sang for them. In the same day, Lights met her soon-to-be manager and a few weeks later, negotiations were in talk. Lights was first known to more audiences after her songs were featured in Old Navy springtime commercials.
In August 2008, Lights signed a record deal with Underground Operations as well as signing a partnership with Doghouse Records. Around the same time, Lights song "Drive My Soul" charted in Canada, and her single "February Air" hit #3 on the MuchMusic countdown, possibly anticipating a break into the United States.
In a September 2007 interview, Lights indicated her primary influence as Björk. This influence can be heard somewhat in her synth-based pop music, though her music is overall much less complex, and perhaps happier and more optimistic than Bjork's hugely varied work. Lights also spoke glowingly of Phil Collins's songwriting, and particularly fancies the European production-based music the likes of The Knife.
Behind the scenes, Lights has been hired to write songs and texts for the television series Instant Star. The music Lights has written by her self is on the whole considerably subtler and more her own, albeit entirely "electro-pop". Her voice, and her music, have met with very favorable reception, and even higher hopes, in the Toronto press. Lights won indie awards in the Favorite Solo Artist and Favorite Single categories during Canadian Music Week in March 2009 at Toronto, Ontario. She won the Best New Artist Awards in the Hot AC and CHR categories. All awards were for her debut single "Drive My Soul", except the award for Favorite Solo Artist. Lights also won in the best new artist category at the 2009 Juno Awards.
Listen to Lights Here
|Lights EP||2008||Doghouse Records|
|Saviour EP||2009||Doghouse Records|
|The Listening||2009||Doghouse Records|
|Acoustic EP||2010||Sire Records|