St. John's NFLD Pop Artist Rachel Cousins Dazzles with New “For Myself" Single

Fri Jul 01 2022
St. John's NFLD Pop Artist Rachel Cousins Dazzles with New “For Myself" Single

Multi-award nominated St. John’s, NFLD pop sensation Rachel Cousins dazzles with a resonant new song about moving through the unpredictability of life and finding your happy place with the courageous new single “For Myself”.

Check out “For Myself” on YouTube here:

An infectiously catchy anthem about self-love, “For Myself” is the eclectic new single from Cousins’ expertly crafted third studio album AURA, which has been making waves since its release earlier this year.

As Cousins persevered through several personal obstacles during the pandemic, the themes surrounding AURA revealed themselves. “These songs show a soft side, a vulnerable side, a fearlessness, and a side that has grown stronger,” says Cousins. The sonic direction of the album is as joyous in its rhythmic arrangement as it is inspired by the positivity of new beginnings.

Toronto Singer-Songwriter Henry Lees Releases “Walking With Fear” in Support of Anxiety Canada

Fri Jul 01 2022
Toronto Singer-Songwriter Henry Lees Releases “Walking With Fear” in Support of Anxiety Canada

Time is the ultimate healer, but music is one of the strongest medicines that can help along the way. Often, all it takes is a song that your mind, heart, and soul connect with to bring relief to whatever may be troublesome. That’s the prescription award-winning Canadian singer-songwriter Henry Lees aims to fill with his very personal but widely relatable new single, “Walking With Fear” released alongside Action Anxiety Day!

Watch and listen to “Walking With Fear” on YouTube here:

An empowering folk-rock anthem built on a bed of beautiful acoustic and electric guitar interplay and a driving, heartbeat rhythm, “Walking with Fear” isn’t about being scared stiff. It’s about feeling those uncomfortable, fearful and anxious emotions and still finding the resolve to stay your course.

The Investment Time Required Of An Artist Is Much Longer Today!

Fri Jul 01 2022
Peter Åstedt

On one of the boards, I’m working on we got into a discussion about how to help DIY artists. Today many artists are DIY much longer than they were twenty years ago. Mainly because the technology today provides a lot of what the midsize record labels were providing in form of knowledge and opportunities. Twenty years ago, it was a tough question to get  distribution, something that today you can get just a click away and reach the whole planet in very little time.

This led to that more of the development is now dependent on the artist. What you can see on the market is also a rise of new people working as consultants to bring in the knowledge that is lost from the midsize labels to the artist. In fact, what the midsize label was providing in form of knowledge and marketing is now available to be bought in the form of a consultant.

This is though not in phase with the development with the DIY artists. They still hear that you should have been signed and developed where they are now, but the truth is that they probably have to develop themselves for at least a couple of years.

Award-winning Artist Julian Taylor releases new single “S.E.E.D.S” from Forthcoming New Album

Fri Jul 01 2022
Julian Taylor

Celebrated Canadian musician Julian Taylor is releasing “S.E.E.D.S,” a new single from his extraordinary sophomore solo album coming in October 2022. The single comes out today on Howling Turtle/Warner Music Canada, and is available on all major platforms. For more information please visit any of the links below or Taylor’s website.

“S.E.E.D.S,” which stands for “Somehow Everyone Eventually Dreams Someday,” was inspired by Taylor waking up to a text that his cousin sent him the morning after the announcement in Kamloops, where 215 uncovered remains of buried Indigenous children were discovered at a former Residential school. Says Taylor, “Her text simply read, George Floyd and Kamloops, with a tear emoji, and following that, ‘They tried to bury us, but they didn’t know we were seeds’.” These very words became the chorus of the song.

Michelle Wright Small Town

Fri Jul 01, 2022

Michelle Wright is celebrating the 30th anniversary of her debut album, Now And Then on the Arista label, which produced a total of six singles including "One Time Around," "Guitar Talk," "He Would Be Sixteen," and the song career changing hit changed everything, "Take It Like a Man." 

Released in February of 1992, Take It Like A Man made Michelle the first Canadian‐born artist to have a Top Ten hit in the U.S. a #1 video on CMT‐USA and the first Canadian to win a major U.S. music industry award winning the Academy of Country Music Top New Female Vocalist award in 1992. Michelle's career skyrocketed with the success of “Take It Like a Man” as she garnered a total of twelve music industry awards, including the 1993 Canadian Country Music Association's Fans' Choice Entertainer Of The Year award and double platinum awards for Now & Then the same year. Her success opened the door and started a path for Canadian country music artists, male female. Kind of fitting for a girl born on July 1st, Canada Day.

Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival Returns June 21-26 2022

Fri Jun 24 2022
Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival

The long-awaited live Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival presented by Rio Tinto returns June 21 to 26 at the festival’s new home, Mādahòkì Farm in Ottawa’s west end, with an exhilarating celebration of Canadian Indigenous culture.

Mādahòkì Farm (formerly the Lone Star Ranch) is located on the traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin Nation at 4420 West Hunt Club Road.

Because of the pandemic, this is the first time since 2019 that the festival, now in its 26th year and welcoming Indigenous and non-Indigenous visitors alike, has had a live component. The festival, produced by Indigenous Experiences on behalf of the National Indigenous Peoples Day (NIPD) Committee representing all of Canada’s National Indigenous organizations, was previously held at Vincent Massey Park, where it grew to 50,000 visitors. For the past two years, the festival has held virtual programming that reached millions across North America.

This year’s festival is a blend of live and virtual programming accessible to all Canadians, throughout June.

Word Poopers

Fri Jun 24 2022
Peter Åstedt

In Swedish we have the word “Ord bajsare”, I don’t know if it can be translated to English, in total translation it means word pooper or word shitter. The expression is about someone that uses a lot of nice words but in reality, has no meaning.

The most famous word poppers are of course politicians. Especially when they are creating projects that have no real function or are useless. To be able to keep these projects alive they create PDFs:s with just words that are pointless like reaching Agenda 2020, or the new metaverse. Most of the time you see this through by that they are not getting anywhere. It never tells you what the project is doing.

Like this that just came by my inbox “is creating an open and fair decentralized network to connect credible and verified promoters”. Que?

So, what you say is that you connect promoters, to be honest, you can get this sentence down to two words: connect promoters. What it all shows is that this project has no info, so they become word poopers to fill out the press release with something.

JUNO-Nominated & Award-Winning Canadian Reggae Icon Jay Douglas Releases “I’m In Love With You”

Fri Jun 24 2022
Jay Douglas

If you have a hankering for soulful blues and big band swing, then reggae icon Jay Douglas is the perfect choice of sweet, sweet symphony with his newest single, “I’m In Love With You” – check it out on YouTube here:

Following the release of a string of reggae singles, including “Stone In Love With You,” “Muschange,” and “Pattidemic,” Jay Douglas slows things down and takes a stroll down the bass line to deliver a smashing blues single – “I’m In Love With You.”

Jay Douglas has always had a strong connection with blues and jazz, which shows throughout this icon’s catalog. What makes “I’m In Love With You” special is its ability to transport the listener to a time when big bands were the norm and warmly embraced. Warm brass swells and slick guitar riffs draw the listener in, reminiscent of the appeal of jazz bars back in the 60s.

Massey Hall A Place For The People

Fri Jun 24, 2022

Author David McPherson has published a ‘must have’ book on Toronto's venerable queen of live music venues, Massey Hall, filled with history, artists quotes and amazing photographs.

Massey Hall is likened to New York City's Carnegie Hall and as Canadian legend Murray Laughlin is quoted as saying "Massey Hall is hallowed ground. It has the vibes of the legendary Ryman Auditorium in Nashville."

Author David McPherson
Author David McPherson

Hart Massey of Toronto wanted to build an entertainment house for secular music, one where people could see and hear music that was secular and popular at the time. There were lots of churches where religious music and hymns could be heard but he wanted somewhere that ordinary citizen could hear music at an affordable price, a "place for the people." The building would honour his late son Charles who loved music. 

Why Social Media Numbers Don’t Really Count

Fri Jun 17 2022
Peter Åstedt

On Cashbox Radio where I work as a playlist programmer as well as a co-owner and Station Manager, one of the ways we choose songs is through Submithub. Submithub is a service where you pay to get your song reviewed by bloggers, playlists, or influencers with the chance of being heard and played. In there you can give an elevator pitch. In many cases nowadays the artist writes how many people they have on social media, so if I chose the song, they would share a post on their social media that our station is playing the song.

I just saw an email like that where the artist wrote “If you share our song we will be sure to promote your platform to our 2,100+ followers on Instagram!”

I can see it’s tempting for many of these outlets to just go on the followers of an artist. The problem is that social media is not really a working tool in the music industry. What? Did I just write that, yes, I did! Right now, after the pandemic and when we open again the proof that social media is not a very good channel to push your music out. Live is still the biggest outlet by far.

Indigenous Canadian Pop-Trap Artist Mattmac Sits Down For Heart To Heart With Listeners about “Isolation”

Fri Jun 17 2022
Mattmac

There are few things in this world as cold as isolation… And Mattmac’s ambition to bring warmth to such a dark concept is what makes his newest hard-hitting rap single, “Isolation,” so powerful – check it out on YouTube here:

As Mattmac’s music has always showcased, life isn’t always as easy as “point A to point B;” in fact, it’s a long and self-conscious road of struggles. Mattmac’s ability to express his grievances in such a vulnerable and heartwarming way is what makes his music so special. Add the fact that he was born blind into the mix and you’ve got a fairytale story of “rags to riches.”

“Isolation” encapsulates that messaging perfectly. As a music producer located in the rural area of Garden Hill First Nation on a Canadian Reservation, Mattmac found himself struggling with a lack of fundamental resources — like he was set up to fail from the beginning.

LGBTQIA+ Pop Star ANA PAC Empowers & Inspires with “Bite The Rainbow”; Performs at Pride June 25

Fri Jun 17 2022
Ana Pac

Toronto dance-pop artist Ana Pac is breaking down the boxes of societal norms and showing the world its infinite and limitless possibilities with a new single, “Bite The Rainbow” — available now just in time for her to perform at Toronto’s Pride Festival on June 25.

Check out “Bite the Rainbow” on YouTube here:

It’s a song about “respecting and celebrating true diversity — whatever path you take, whatever your style, whatever interests and drives you,” the Montreal-born, Toronto-based artist shares. “All the pieces of you should be a reflection of the real you!”

Michael Bolton and Kenny G Are RESTORING HOPE at Roy Thomson Hall June 20

Fri Jun 17, 2022

Due to the pandemic, it’s been three years since Chai Lifeline Canada brought the community together for an evening in support of its work dedicated to easing the well-being of children and their families facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses; families that struggled more than ever as COVID-19 compounded their multitude of existing challenges.

That soon changes as Chai Lifeline Canada Executive Director Mordechai Rothman, Youth Ambassador Jess Rosenbloom, Event Chair Michelle Goldstein Zaldin and a passionate team of event organizers welcome Kenny G, Michael Bolton, and more to Roy Thomson Hall this Monday, June 20th, 2022.

The Restoring Hope: An Evening of Songs and Strength Benefit Concert will feature the long-lauded award-winning music legends alongside Rosenbloom — set to share her story of strength and bravery in the face of pediatric cancer.

SPIKE Is A New Showcase Festival With A Big Potential

Fri Jun 10 2022
SPIKE

It seems like every country has its own showcase festival now. They are popping up like mushrooms and today you can visit a showcase every week somewhere around the world. The problem right now is many of the new ones might not have the quality to is sufficient to spend your money on them. It’s getting harder and harder to be relevant and the competition is high.

SPIKE is Bulgaria’s first showcase and had its premiere 26 to 29 of May in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. A reason why showcase festivals haven’t been present in Bulgaria before is the lack of an export office and a production company. This edition has been brought up by the private companies PanHarmony and Blue Hills Events that wanted to invest in the Bulgarian scene and take Bulgarian music out of Bulgaria.

We Don’t Write The Soundtrack To Our Lives, Just The Background Elevator Music

Fri Jun 10 2022
Peter Åstedt

I was in a meeting with a new artist in one of the showcase festivals I recently visited. Yes, the ones that follow me on social media had seen that I generally do a showcase festival a week, traveling around the globe to just restart my network that is lighting up again after the pandemic.

So here I was again, having a meeting with an artist. The artist had done their homework and presented their career and what they wanted to do, so far so good. They had pretty good plans and did understand the problem they would face doing different things to get their career going. I gave some of my tips of what I thought would be good things to do. I didn’t have a chance to listen to their music before the meeting, but afterwards they sent me links to their new unreleased stuff to listen to it.

Here starts the problem. The music they sent was really not good. If it was just the production you maybe just could have told them to re-record the stuff, but here it was down to the level that the song was not even well written.

Danny Blueberry Dives Into His Archives to Fish Out a Tune Treasure with “Space Guppies”

Fri Jun 10 2022
Danny Blueberry

For many artists, revisiting their archives can unearth a creative gem initially overlooked or forgotten about altogether. Montréal singer-songwriter, guitarist, and storyteller Danny Blueberry discovered such treasure by traveling back to his imaginative beginnings to bring forth a raucous, cautionary tale for his new single and video, “Space Guppies” – check it out YouTube here:

A trippy, rockin’ dive into the deep waters of Blueberry’s fervent imagination, “Space Guppies” has the perfect sing-along-able chorus that conjures up images of packed clubs of pogo-sticking fans shouting “Ahhhhhh - space! Ahhhhh- guppies!” while Blueberry and his band rock it out on stage.

“This is one of the first songs I wrote,” says Blueberry. “I was about 17 years old and I had a small aquarium in my room.”

NXNE Takes Over Toronto’s Best Music Venues June 14-19

Fri Jun 10, 2022

North by Northeast (NXNE) Canada’s most important festival of emerging music returns this June 14 – 19 with over 300 of the world’s best new bands in more than 20 of Toronto’s top live music venues.

NXNE is a legendary annual music festival held every June across downtown Toronto since 1995 — until recently. NXNE festival celebrates community and new music with showcases, panels, parties, and more.

Toronto has one of the greatest live music scenes in the world and NXNE works with the city’s remarkable music venues to showcase top emerging Canadian and international acts throughout Festival Week. The Festival also features secret shows by top artists.

Discovery is at the core of NXNE and artists including: Billy Talent, The Arkells, Daniel Caesar, Feist, the Weeknd, Sam Roberts, Knaan, Lizzo, the Lumineers and thousands more all played intimate, NXNE gigs early in their careers.

JUNO Award Winner Barney Bentall Releases New Video for “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go”

Fri Jun 10 2022
Barney Bentall

“My older sister used to tuck me in as a kid by playing Bob Dylan,” multi-Platinum-selling and JUNO Award winner Barney Bentall shares on the topic of his newly released single and video, “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go” – check it out on YouTube here:

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Available now, and fresh from the -based artist’s new album, Cosmic Dreamer, the family’s choice of a lullaby library “left an indelible impression that continues to this day.”

So much so that the -based artist would include his own take on the Dylan piece on the release of his most recent album, Cosmic Dreamer — out now via True North Records.

In it, Bentall collaborates with long-time friend Valentino Trapani — a pal he met just over a decade ago “on a beautiful road in Tuscany,” he recalls.

The Two Biggest Artist Killers

Fri Jun 03 2022
Peter Åstedt

Right now, there is a kind of chaos in the industry. After COVID now is the time to restart artist projects and at the same time, new artist projects can start. I guess now I can talk about the two things that really kill an artist's career.

Let's start with the first one. You see them quite often since you feel for them. A bunch of new artists that are promoting themselves very intensive. They do everything right by showing up at every conference. They set meetings, and have a business plan. Their social media is on point, and the look and even grants are in place. They just forgot one thing; you need good songs. You can do everything right, but in the end, the songs have to be good. That is the only thing you really can’t paint over or just fake.

There is of course a solution to this, and that is to buy the songs from a songwriter. The feeling I have gotten over the years is that these people that do everything themselves and do it well, also want to control and write the songs, so it usually never goes well when you start to propose that you might want to buy some good songs.

Kele Fleming Intensifies the Buzz of Call-to-Action “Vanishing of Bees” with New Synthwave Remix

Fri Jun 03 2022
Kele Fleming Intensifies the Buzz of Call-to-Action “Vanishing of Bees” with New Synthwave Remix

With the world’s climate emergency only getting worse, it’s fitting that Vancouver, BC-born, Victoria, BC-based alt-folk artist Kele Fleming has dialed up the intensity of her call-to-action pop ballad “Vanishing of Bees” with a dark, soaring Synthwave remix and accompanying video – check it out here:

The song, which Fleming and her band released last year with a new live video in honor of the same day, sits at the crossroads of a child’s wonder at discovery and an adult’s grief over what’s been lost. 

“In the song, I call upon the memories of my childhood self — my wonder and love for the natural world,” Fleming shares. “This is contrasted with the adult voice in the song — a voice that expresses grief for what has been lost...

“Youth and the natural world threatened.”