Local folk artist sings at Kent State Folk Festival


“People are so supportive of local art in Kent, and they’ve always treated me well.”

Nicole Aikens

There’s no better title for a Toussant album than “Sweetheart” because her voice is just that: sweet. Her songs could easily double as lullabies, and she has the knack for tying her songs around great stories to create little packages of country-folk delicacies.

“Sweetheart” also gave Toussant a chance to better define her sound.

“When I recorded my new album, ‘Sweetheart,’ it was really anything I wanted it to be,” she said. “It’s a little bit more country. It’s got a little steel on it. It’s kind of a honky-tonk style.”

Just because it has a little country twang does not mean the album has stereotypical country themes, though. Toussant said it seems to be typical for most folk musicians to be well read and draw inspiration from stories. This is true for her, too, but she finds inspiration in a number of places.

“I just sing about whatever comes to me,” she said. “I keep a book of stuff that I write down, authors … just random stuff that inspires me.”

For Toussant, folk music was the most comfortable. She enjoys the genre because of the focus on the lyrics as well as the voice and all-around musicianship.

“I think (folk music) is just so easy to listen to and easy to relate to,” she said.

Kent is also comfortable for Toussant.

“People are so supportive of local art in Kent, and they’ve always treated me well,” Toussant said. “There’s the same crew of people who come to all my shows in Kent. It’s kind of like a reunion every year seeing everybody.

Toussant is playing her folk-country at Firefly on Friday from 8-10 p.m.

Contact Nicole Aikens at [email protected].