Born to artist parents, Penelope Fortier grew up in Montreal surrounded by musicians, painters and designers who regularly visited the family home. Among the silk-screen canvases and scraps of fabric, and lulled by the hum of sewing machines, Penelope lived a magical childhood. From her parents, she inherited her sense of integrity, her joie de vivre, a strong work ethic and an innate sense of colour, space and proportion, as well as her love of music. They also teach her that beauty is found in all things and that it is possible to achieve one's wildest dreams.
Driven by a burning desire to discover the world, Penelope left Montreal in her early adulthood, carrying only a backpack and her guitar. Japan, England, Spain, France, Italy, New York and Los Angeles, she settled wherever her artistic aspirations or her modelling and acting contracts called her.
Her passion, talent and knowledge of classical guitar, singing and music, acquired from the age of 8 until her late teens, finally blossomed shortly after her arrival in Los Angeles, when she met an old friend from Montreal, Alexis Dufresne (producer/engineer and son of Louise Forestier), who was producing an album for a Montreal artist on the Sony label.
Under Alexis' encouragement, Penelope began writing original material and quickly discovered that composing melodies and lyrics came naturally to her. She was hooked immediately.
Through mutual friends, Penelope met her next collaborator in 2007, Sheldon Gomberg. A former bassist, producer/engineer, and Grammy award-winner for an album co-produced with Ben Harper. Gomberg has also collaborated with numerous artists including Rickie Lee Jones, Ron Sexsmith, Ryan Adams, Mandy Moore, KD Lang, Lucinda Williams, and many others. Sheldon recorded Penelope's first two full-lengths, Sunday At Noon and One Way Ticket To The Sun, and the single My Favorite Things (a cover version from the film The Sound Of Music), at his studio The Carriage House in Los Angeles, accompanied by some 20 world-renowned musicians such as: Danny B. Harvey, Jeff Young, Don Heffington, Danny Frankel, The Sonus Quartet, Stewart Cole, Miguel Atwood- Ferguson, Kendall Kay, Dean Thomas and Deron Johnson.
Following the release of her first album and until her departure from California, Penelope was regularly invited to perform her songs at many of Los Angeles' hottest venues such as the Hotel Cafe and the Bootleg Theatre where she opened for Ólafur Arnalds, Emilie Simon, Tristan Prettyman and Joseph Arthur and has lent her voice to many songs and albums by artists such as Zooey Deschanel, Rickie Lee Jones, Eleni Mandell, The Rentals, Soul Kid #1, Les Deux Love Orchestra, Primal Scream and Unloved (winner of a BAFTA Award for the music of Killing Eve).
She has also appeared in countless fashion magazines and advertising campaigns around the world such as: Banana Republic, Revlon and Garnier and has starred in numerous television and online commercials such as: Coca Cola, T-Mobile also starring British singer Robbie Williams and World MasterCard in which she is heard singing My Favorite Things from The Sound Of Music.
After a break to focus on her family life, Penelope picked up her guitar again to bring to life her new EP entitled "Je chante Petit-Jean", a tribute to her uncle, Jean Fortier, an emblematic figure of the Quebec music scene in the 60's and 70's, and former member of the folk group Les Cailloux who unfortunately passed away from brain cancer at the young age of 24. This album, produced and recorded by the talented Borza Ghomeshi who's worked with such artists as Emmylou Harris, les sœurs McGarrigle, Safia Nolin and Lauryn Hill, under his label Mayk Music, is a mix of 60's French musical influences, Penelope's soft and dreamy voice, classical orchestrations and modern instrumental arrangements. The goal of this profoundly intimate and personal project is to revive some of Jean's written and musical works, in order to keep his legacy alive.
The symbiosis of Penelope's sweet voice and unique guitar playing lightens the transition to other instruments. Her melodies move from one acoustic genre to another, from the language of Molière to that of Shakespeare, recalling the French chanson of yesteryear, the folk of the 60's and 70's, classical, jazz, pop and country and stay with you for days after listening. Authentic, honest, candid and eternally romantic, Penelope sings her life. There are no barriers between her personal experiences and her music. The result is a sound that is both light and brutally honest, sour and sweet.
Penelope lives in Montreal, a stone's throw from her childhood home, with her husband and 9 year-old son.