Chantal Kreviazuk, Featured with Kendrick Lamar on 'SNL,' on How the Song Came to Be

"Wow, that was surreal," the Canadian singer told THR on Sunday morning
Dana Edelson/NBC

Canadian singer and pianist Chantal Kreviazuk put a mighty big feather in her cap when she joined Kendrick Lamar and Jay Rock on Saturday Night Live for a performance of “Pay For It,” a song she co-wrote and is featured on.

Her appearance on SNL was a surprise and, even 24 hours later, it seemed the singer was still pinching herself.

“The whole SNL experience was obviously incredible, but honestly not until up on stage at the end, talking and hugging [the cast], that's when it was like, ‘Wow, this is THAT SNL, the one I grew up watching. Wow.’ That was surreal,” Kreviazuk told The Hollywood Reporter on Sunday.

As a kid, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, she used to do impersonations of late SNL legend Gilda Radner. “Walking through the halls, it’s never changed," Kreviazuk marveled. "It’s in the original state, so you feel quite privileged to  be in such a historic iconic place of creativity and a piece of history of American comedy. ... It brought back memories of my childhood."

“Pay For It,” which is released under Jay Rock (feat. Kendrick Lamar and Kreviazuk), originally landed in her creative "dumpster," until Lamar and his team worked their magic on it. Said Kreviazuk: “I don’t write his thoughts, I write my own. I wrote the hook, I wrote the melody. I wrote the music and then I track it and then they chop it up and then keep going with it. I kind of thought this one was in the dumpster... I put a lot of things in the dumpster and that one I just let go of completely. Then, one day I heard that they were going to have Kendrick and Jay Rock put a verse on it, and then I heard they were going to keep me as a feature, which was incredibly humbling and special and really super gracious, and then the next day it was in a Beats commercial.”

As a solo artist herself, Kreviazuk has five studio albums to her name — the most recent was Plain Jane in 2009,  —  but she has been writing for other artists since 2003 when she made a significant contribution to Avril Lavigne’s second album, Under My Skin. You’ll also find her name on Drake's “Over my Dead Body,” Gwen Stefani’s “Rich Girl,” Shakira’s “You Don’t Care About Me,” Josh Groban’s “Brave,” Jennifer Lopez’s “Emotions,” Pitbull’s “Feel This Moment featuring Christina Aguilera and Kelly Clarkson’s “Walk Away,” among other credits.

Indeed, just after appearing on SNL, Kreviazuk released her first new solo song in years. Called “I Will Be,” it had been on hold for a major artist until she decided to record it herself. "The song is just a really big empathy ball."

Listen to "I Will Be" below. 

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