Singer and songwriter Barbra Lica isn’t the music star you might imagine from an award-winning Torontonian. While many entertainers cultivate a cool air for their stagecraft, Lica leans into her inner “dweeb.”

Barbra Lica photo.

“I’m supposed to be cool, but I’m mostly concerned with my comic book collection,” said the performer in a phone interview from Toronto. “I’m a bit of a dweeb who also likes getting on stage and performing.”

The singer has been turning heads for the last 10 years with her tender, heartfelt and weird lyricism, which she’ll be bringing to the Chilkat Center for a one-night show on March 28. She’ll also play a show at Haines School on March 27. 

Her songs include references to Excel spreadsheets, being an introvert, and a feline version of Santa Claus sung in Lica’s soft and ethereal voice. 

The singer and a quartet of backup musicians will bring a collection of genre-less songs to Haines as part of an eight-stop tour throughout Alaska. 

Lica got interested in music listening to her dad’s jazz records in Toronto. A 2017 trip to Nashville opened her up to non-commercial country and singer-songwriting styles and her own distinctive style blossomed from there.

“In Nashville they say you need three chords and the truth; We have at least six,” Lica said. 

Tom Heywood of the Haines Arts Council said he heard about Lica over a Zoom conference with other arts organizations in Alaska. He said Lica was a popular performer at the annual 2022 Arts Northwest Conference, where she performed a 15-minute showcase. It took more than a year of talking to Lica and her agents to finalize her appearances in Alaska. 

“Everyone’s pretty happy about this one,” said Heywood. 

He said bringing a quintet was challenging for the small nonprofit arts council, since it requires extra sound equipment and money for lodging. 

Lica plays March 27 at 7 p.m. at the Chilkat Center for the Arts.