Skip to content

Folk singer Alex Krawczyk reflects on Sherman murder case in album about healing

TORONTO — Alex Krawczyk says music has been the route to healing from the shocking and unsolved murder of her parents Barry and Honey Sherman nearly five years ago.
Folk singer-songwriter Alex Krawczyk is seen in an undated handout photo. Krawczyk says that she found the news of a New/Emerging Artist of the Year nomination at the 2023 Canadian Folk Music Awards exciting and encouraging. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Hudson Taylor, *MANDATORY CREDIT*

TORONTO — Alex Krawczyk says music has been the route to healing from the shocking and unsolved murder of her parents Barry and Honey Sherman nearly five years ago.

Reflecting on her debut folk album, the singer-songwriter says putting her thoughts into song has been one way to process a tragedy that forever changed her family.

“It's been very heavy,” she said in a phone interview.

“Shock, grief, heartache, confusion, fear, anger and sadness. All sorts of really challenging things that I'm learning to live with years later.”

The warm reception of “Le Olam,” which was released earlier this year, has been a part of moving forward, she said. Last month, the album helped her earn anomination for new/emerging artist of the year at the Canadian Folk Music Awards.

Krawczyk never sings directly about her family, but her lyrics explore feelings of love, loss and grief, providing consoling reassurance and optimism.

“The lyrics have lots of different meanings to them," she said, "but they all relate back to trying to cope with something that is really impossible to understand or to make sense of."

In December 2017, her parents — two respected billionaires and fixtures of the Toronto philanthropic community — were found dead in their Toronto home. The homicide investigation is still ongoing.

Krawczyk said she started writing songs for “Le Olam” with Toronto-based songwriter Robbie Roth in 2019 in hopes of helping listeners who were dealing with big challenges in their lives.

“The grief and trauma that I've been through, unfortunately, is quite universal,” she said.

Roth and Krawczyk went through their process of songwriting together, with Roth handling melodies and Krawczyk penning the lyrics, sometimes vice versa.

“We had this really dynamic and fun process of meeting together and jamming and just being creative,” she recalled.

With the help of her friends, namely Roth and Canadian vocalist Dione Taylor, “Le Olam” came to fruition. Taylor provided backup vocals on a few songs on the album and is credited as both a featured artist and a songwriter on the song “Remember.”

On the song "Better Days," Krawczyk shares that despite the struggle, part of the healing process is looking towards tomorrow being better. She sings: "There’s a new day dawning, the sun’s gonna break on through, for me and you."

Krawczyk notes that the most meaningful songs on the album to her are “Remember” and “There Will Be Light” because they both project an oasis of hope.

“I find ‘There Will Be Light’ the most inspiring and encouraging and heartfelt, but ‘Remember’ really encapsulates the struggle that I'm still going through,” she said.

"Remember" carries a more country tone, however the lyrics detail the moments of her anger in the aftermath of her parents' homicide, such as "I wanted you to know the hatred that you've grown is running out of control." But it also has encouraging and heartfelt lyrics such as "leave all of your pain, learn to heal the past behind."

"There Will Be Light" combines indie pop and country along with Krawczyk's gentle rocking voice to bring a sense prayer through the song.

After the release, Krawczyk found the buoyant acknowledgment as a surprise because she was worried about how others would respond to the vulnerable and personal nature of her album. 

“I really didn't know what kind of reception I would get," she said. “It feels really encouraging that I've gotten such positive feedback and really great reviews.”

Krawczyk is currently working on new music while balancing her job as a registered nurse, volunteering in community health and studies in public health.

Despite the attention each role demands on its own, she said she enjoys having numerous ways to help others, whether through her music or through her work.

“I'm very grateful to have so many ways to interact in a positive way with our world,” she said.

The CFMAs will take place on March 31-April 2, 2023. Other top nominees are Tennyson King, RedFox, Andrew Waite, Cheval, and Camie.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 1, 2022.

Christian Collington, The Canadian Press

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks