Putting the Online Events In The Past

Fri Nov 26 2021
Peter Åstedt

Soon we can put all the online events in the past. I just decided that after the New Year, if I am to be at an online event, then it has to be very special for me.  Even the worst in real-life events are better than the online versions.

I was just invited to another online conference. The problem now is that so many companies are doing these that it is making it so hard to reach info and sometimes it just becomes annoying. Just a simple thing to find the login page was a twenty-minute waste of time. When I went to the organizer's homepage there was no log-in for the conference part. Of course, they were streaming fifty bands that I have no interest in whatsoever to watch a show online at this point.  I’m barely watching shows with my favorite bands because the shows are not interesting enough to see on a screen. They are made to be seen live and in person. To see an unknown artist with totally new songs in an environment where you can’t get any interaction with an audience, sorry but it doesn’t work for me.

Lily Frost Releases New Single Video Rock Me Baby

Fri Nov 26 2021
Lily Frost

Toronto chanteuse, songwriter, performer and Zoomer radio host Lily Frost has earned her place in Canada’s music scene elite. With 14 critically acclaimed albums to date, her latest Retro-Moderne is an aptly named album that lovingly captures the best sounds of the '60s and '70s while updating them through Frost's unique perspective. The new video produced by Frost, for her single "Rock Me Baby" from that album, will be released on Friday, December 3, 2021.

“Rock Me Baby” is a long distance love song Lily co-wrote with Jesse Singer and Chris Soper during the tracking of her 2019 LP, Retro-Moderne. It might be the only song with that title that doesn't actually "rock." Instead, it finds Frost cooing sweet nothings into her lover's ear with a gentle sigh, breathy vocals. "I had a rough voice memo of the chorus which I played for them.

Check out “Rock Me Baby”  on YouTube here:

I’m Not Allowed to Write a Bad Song?

Fri Nov 19 2021
Peter Åstedt

I was teaching at a music school a couple of years ago, talking about the importance of a good song. I told the students that whatever I told them was a tipoff on how to market their songs but it will not work if the song is not good. All I was saying was calculated by the fact that the song had to be great. One kid raised his hand and asked “I’m I not allowed to write a bad song?”

JUNO-Nominated Girl Pow-R Soar with Supercharged Remix of “This Is Us”

Fri Nov 19 2021
Girl Pow-R

Volumes up and dance floors cleared: JUNO Award-nominated and chart-topping Markham/Richmond Hill/Hamilton, ON’s all-girl starlets Girl Pow-R soar with supercharged new remix of their hit single, “This Is Us”.

Watch and listen on YouTube to “This is Us” here:

The pop vets pumping out of your speakers are none other than a vibrant group of talented teens boasting a variety of ages, a diverse host of backgrounds, and storied life experiences — and therein lies their strength. These multi-talented dynamos ranging in age from 11 to 17 are a freight train of feel good, do good, be good vibes, setting a precedent for the fans who look up to them in every way.

Is the Future No Real Artists?

Fri Nov 12 2021
Peter Åstedt

This week you could possibly read that the Swedish pop star Zara Larsson had made a seven-figure amount on online merch on the platform Roblox. She commented that “it’s perfect, more environmentally friendly, and a new way to make money. Imagine how many flights it would take to reach four million people? Or how many trucks it would take to bring a pink lake house with me everywhere? And then having a couple of hundred people on a payroll, who also need accommodation and food and somewhere to sleep. Going online saves so much in carbon emissions." She stated to BBC.

She started on Roblox during the pandemic in May and held a virtual concert for 1.6 million people in Roblox but the money comes from her selling merch to avatars in the game. You can buy sunglasses and shirts and other stuff to dress your avatar with.

Singer-Songwriter Paul Saunders Channels ‘70s Era Musical Sunshine with “Afternoon Café”

Fri Nov 12 2021
Paul Saunders

It’s a perfectly sunny and warm SoCal afternoon. You feel the soft breeze gently play across your face as you relax under a brightly coloured umbrella at a beachside café, watching people go by and wondering what their stories are as they wander along. This is the sublime scene that long-time Canadian entertainer Paul Saunders sets in his new single, “Afternoon Café” - available now, no travel required.

Reminiscent of the sunshine infused, forever memorable anthems that ‘70s supergroups like Chicago and Blood, Sweat & Tears brought us, “Afternoon Café” blends latin piano rhythms and percussion with sultry sax that open up into a guitar driven, tempo-shifted chorus like we’ve just jumped in our Mustang convertible to race up the PCH.

The day was shining on the water
The waves kept rhythm to the music
And the sounds
They fit right into the picture
Have I been here before or am I dreaming?

“This is a song I wrote a while ago in Venice Beach, California,” explains Saunders. ”When I revisited it, I felt the need to redo the vocals, then, tweak and remix it.”

Jesse Cook Announces “Tempest II” Tour — PLUS New Studio Album, Libre

Fri Nov 12 2021
Jesse Cook

Jesse Cook — the multi-Platinum/Gold award-winning and internationally acclaimed producer, composer, and guitarist — has announced his Canadian and U.S. “Tempest II” tour, alongside the release of his new music video for the song “Oran,” and another single, “Updraft”.

The two songs arrive ahead of Jesse Cook’s 11th studio album, Libre. Out Friday, December 3rd via Jesse’s own Coach House label imprint, distributed by Outside Music/Redeye, the 10-track album combines Cook’s iconic Spanish guitar flair with Algerian multi-instrumentalist Fethi Nadjem, modern trap rhythms and 808 beats.

“I wrote and recorded Libre during the pandemic when, like most people, I was longing for freedom,” Cook shares of the new project. “My music was my escape from the four walls that surrounded me, and the storm that was swirling outside.”

Watch and listen to Jesse Cook “Oran” ft. Fethi Nadjem:

Five Characteristics of Canadian Country Music

Fri Nov 05 2021

Country music is overwhelmingly associated with the American South and Southwest regions. Around the world, street acts and major concerts that feature banjos and cowboy hats are also likely to feature American flags on merchandise and stage design. 

Five Characteristics of Canadian Country Music

Still, country music is a North American tradition that stretches back over a century for the US, Canada, and parts of Mexico. In fact, American country singers owe quite a bit to their southern neighbors—from cowboy boots to wide-brim hats to certain acoustic guitar maneuvers.

The same goes for Canadian country music. The sector has its own unique traditions which date back over a century, related to musical preference and lyrical content. Shania Twain may be the poster child for Canadian country sensations, but she represents the union of the Canadian and American country music scenes. 

Can I Contact You?

Fri Nov 05 2021
Peter Åstedt

It seems like people don’t understand that making a career as an artist is the same as getting a business going. We go back to my favorite subject that I should open a restaurant.

Imagine that you hear about a new restaurant that should be really good and you want to get a reservation to eat there in a couple of days. You go to the restaurant's homepage and there you have the menu, some pictures of what it looks like, but it’s missing the address where it’s located and there are no contact details or instructions on how you book a table?

There are links to social media everywhere, but it seems kind of strange to send a message on Facebook or Instagram to book a table if it doesn’t clearly say so. And you don’t know really who is behind the social media accounts it could be their PR agency. After looking through you find info at address in one of the corners and you send it to that address.

Christa Couture Releases Celebratory Single “To Us”

Fri Nov 05 2021
Christa Couture

Award-winning singer-songwriter, recording artist, published author, and ELMNT FM radio broadcaster Christa Couture releases her realistic but celebratory single and accompanying lyric video "To Us" on Friday, November 26th, on all major platforms. It was recorded at each player’s home, pandemic style, with the Henhouse Express bandSteve DawsonGary Craig, and Jeremy Holmes. For more information please visit any of the links below or her website.

Christa Couture understands, through challenging life-long experience, what it feels like to face adversity. Proudly queer, disabled, and Indigenous (mixed Cree and Scandanvian), Couture survived childhood cancer, which led to the amputation of her left leg; her two sons died as infants; her marriage ended in divorce after that; and most recently, thyroid cancer threatened her career as a singer.

How Technology Or Trends Are Dictating How The Artists Write Songs

Fri Oct 29 2021
Peter Åstedt

It’s interesting to see how technology or trends are dictating how the artists write songs. The past year's songs have been very long. The majority has been close or over four minutes. Sometimes even though the radio usually doesn’t take long songs people have released up to five to six minutes. Why you ask is it a trend? Not really it was that many believed that to keep the listener you needed to make a longer song.  If they finally got in there and listened to your song, then you should keep them as long as possible. Also, short songs were always under scrutiny by Spotify.

Netflix/Stratford Actor and Musician Ian Lake Releases New Single “The Bottom”

Fri Oct 29 2021
Ian Lake

Originally from Vancouver, the now Toronto-based Ian Lake, is a National Theatre School of Canada alumnus. He’s played Macbeth at the illustrious Stratford Festival; played the lead role of Guy in the Mirvish Theatre’s Toronto production of the hit Broadway musical Once; and garnered a massive role in the upcoming second and third seasons of the popular Netflix drama Locke and Key. Now, as he steps into the Canadian music landscape, Lake stays true to his nature, revealing his personal stories of love, struggle, and lessons learned, in his songs.

Linking Portuguese Communities Marito Marques Releases A Ponte & “Manjerico”

Fri Oct 22 2021
Marito Marques

JUNO nominated and drummer for several Grammy and Latin Grammy-nominated releases, Toronto-based drummer, composer, and producer Marito Marques’ new track “Manjerico” bridges cultural gaps through collaboration with traditional Portuguese cante alentejano group "Os Vocalistas,” and MARO (from Jacob Collier).

“Manjerico” — pronounced (‘Mun-Juh-rEE-co’) — is the latest to land from the multi-talented artist’s newest LP, A Ponte.

Check out “Manjerico”  here:

Drawing melodies from original compositions and lyrics that are 200 - 400 years old, the vocals are inspired by genre cante alentejano — which is listed in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage. Marques’ timeless tunes, modern style, and decision to produce the album by collaborating with both Portuguese and Canadian musicians, makes it accessible to both international Portuguese communities, and the greater public.

Meet Sabrina Fallah!

Fri Oct 22 2021
Sabrina Fallah

Sabrina Fallah is a rock singer, songwriter and guitarist from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. She grew up listening to Michelle Branch, Avril Lavigne, Kelly Clarkson, Simple Plan, etc. Her influences are Green Day, Bon Jovi and Billy Idol. She has been told that when she sings with her raspy, edgy, and powerful voice, she sounds like Joan Jett, Pat Benatar, The Cranberries and Melissa Etheridge.

Check out “Hurt” on YouTube here:

The single “Hurt” is a currently a featured song on Cashbox Radio and you can request it at cashboxradio.ca/request-a-song-on-cashbox-radio/

Am I Allowed to Tell An Artist Their Music Sucks?

Fri Oct 22 2021
Peter Åstedt

For inspiration to o write this column today, I just randomly went through my recent emails. This is just of one of the many I receive on a regular basis, but many of them have the same theme.  Since so many make the same mistakes, I thought I would use this one as an example so I will hide whoever sent it and any other personal information.

- My name is “insert artist name here*-  I'm one half of *bandname*, Indie Folk duo.
My new single "*single name*" comes out on October 20th, and I'd love to send it over to you to check out prior to its release.  Getting in touch with anyone at your publication about my music would be beyond a dream.

David Gogo Sips from a Silver Cup in New Album & Single

Fri Oct 15 2021
David Gogo Photo Credit Andrew Dodd

Nanaimo, BC’s multi-award winning and JUNO nominated Canadian artist David Gogo knows the blues, and so does his songwriting, his guitar, and his sharp-witted lyrics that relate as easily as they break your heart. And nowhere is this more apparent than on the roots rocker’s newest album and single of the same name, Silver Cup.

Check out more on David Gogo here on YouTube here: youtube.com/davidgogoblues

‘All of my life has been the same, and I ain’t never, never gonna change,’ Gogo whiskey-sips over a slide guitar on “Never Gonna Change,” a lead track from his 2021 release, Silver Cup. It’s a set up to an old-fashioned, yarn-spinning story of life from the hard side of the tracks, and the commitment to leaning into what’s created of you.

“I was listening to my vinyl albums, going down rabbit holes on the internet, reading biographies of musicians, and playing my many guitars and just feeling the energy of so much great music,” Gogo says of the album and song’s inspiration.

Sultans of String Release the Classic Cover of “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)”

Fri Oct 15 2021
Sultans of String

Dubbed by Maverick Music Magazine as the “very epitome of world music: no boundaries, no rules,” NY Times and BILLBOARD charting Canadian supergroup Sultans of String have released their brand-new single, “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)” — available now!

The song features the four core Sultans, as well as incredibly talented and inspiring special guests Tara Salah Moneka and Ahmed Moneka, and arrives ahead of this November’s upcoming album, Sanctuary.

Check out the YouTube here:

Originally written by Sonny Bono, and sung by Cher and Nancy Sinatra, this is a new take on the song that speaks to people from the perspective of marginalized voices; it is a benchmark of how the world has changed with the Black Lives Matter movement, and the thirst for equality around the world.

Q&A's Tony Quarrington + Zoey Adams Serve Up a Big, Delicious Song Buffet with New 'Demo’

Fri Oct 15 2021
Q&A's Tony Quarrington + Zoey Adams

How exciting and enduringly accessible can roots music be? Highly prolific Canadian roots and jazz duo Q&A have a very tasty, home-cooked answer for you with the veritable buffet of songs they’re serving with their new album, Demo Listen Derby — available now via Sonic Peach Music.

Check out  You Never Let Me Down - Q&A - (Official Music Video) from the album "Demo-Listen Derby" here:

The playful play on words of Demo Listen Derby headlines a joyful, 15-track ride that shifts gears thrillingly and effortlessly from jazz to blues to country to bossa nova to cajun and back again. Packed from front to back with original songs written by the duo, this is a collection rich and diverse in theme and flavour.

The Old Boys Club Must Be Disbanded

Fri Oct 15 2021
Peter Åstedt

I’m fascinated every time that there is a change in the industry it’s always inundated with people that think they actually have something important in the industry to say, but in reality, probably would be better off doing something else and have nothing to do with what is the new reality in the business.

I had a long conversation with a school the other day that educates students to prepare to work in the music industry. I have bumped into these students many times and are quite fascinated over how little they know about the industry. Most of the things they talk about are things that were relevant at least twenty years ago, or so basic that you can pick it out of any schoolbook or online.  In theory, students from this school are driven because they are interested in the business, but you have to just tell them to forget everything they learned and start all over if you hire them.