It Has To Be Good!

Fri Dec 03 2021
Peter Åstedt

I have just played fifteen songs that have come in one way or another in my different roles as editor, playlist maker, radio DJ, and festival curator. The problem I have is that none of the songs had that quality to make it any further. To be honest they all were in the demo stage in the songwriting process. They were recorded ok, not professionally but ok recorded.

In the end, it’s just not good enough. These songs can never find it’s way to a bigger audience. The craftsmanship is not there. It’s not enough that your mother and a couple of your friends find the songs well.

And here is the biggest mistake that artists are doing right now. They read about all the tips and tricks that industry professionals (just like me) are giving away for free on all different channels all the time. The problem is that we are all talking about when a song is good. When it’s a hidden gem that could with the right marketing reach a bigger audience. The biggest problem is that 97 % of all songs that are given out don’t have that quality. And for these songs, it would be like putting make-up on a pig to follow the instructions that these professionals are giving.

Cashbox Radio Christmas & Holiday Pick Hits December 2021

Fri Dec 03 2021
Cashbox Radio Christmas & Holiday Pick Hits December 2021

With the holidays fast approaching, radio will soon be on high rotation of the usual Christmas hits and the nostalgic classics.

At Cashbox Canada and Cashbox Radio, we have been receiving some great new Christmas tunes and I would like to share the first Top 10 songs that are now being played on Cashbox Radio.

We would really love if you give these songs a boost by listening to Cashbox Radio, and heading to our Request link here:
https://www.cashboxradio.ca/request-a-song-on-cashbox-radio/

Who knows? Maybe that future classic is right here on the first Top 10 – more to come next week!

Because at Cashbox Radio we believe someone has to play that future hit for the first time – and we want it to be us!

Barry Stagg - Christmas Grace

The Tradition Continues…Andy Kim Christmas Live Concert Massey Hall December 8, 2021

Fri Dec 03, 2021

THE ANDY KIM CHRISTMAS returns to a live format at Massey Hall Featuring Billy Talent, The Sheepdogs, Ron Sexsmith, Alex Lifeson, Jully Black, Tyler Shaw, Sloan, William Prince, Mary Margaret O’Hara, Jake Clemons, Men Without Hats, Pursuit of Happiness, Theo Tams, Beverly Mahood, Georgia Harmer and Choir! Choir! Choir!

In addition to the actual concert, Mayor John Tory Proclaims December 8, 2021 as Andy Kim Day in the City of Toronto

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2021
Concert in support of CAMH Gifts of Light
Tickets on sale NOW

TICKETS AVAILABLE AT MasseyHall.com
Tickets (incl. HST) $37.50 - $97.50 (plus service charges)
All Ages / Reserved Seating

For the last 17 years, Andy Kim has been gathering friends and fans together for the Andy Kim Christmas Show to celebrate the spirit and generosity of the musical community with all proceeds going to CAMH Gifts of Light.

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:

40+ Years of Beloved Classics, Legendary Band Spoons Releases Two Greatest Hits Albums

Fri Nov 26, 2021

Available now, legendary 80s-electro new-wave Canadian outfit Spoons are back with two new epic releases: their coveted greatest hits album spanning 1980-2020 in Repeatable, and Echoes — a love letter of Spoons music recreated by artists the world over.

Spanning four decades of their beloved classics remastered, Repeatable cross-examines Spoons’ earliest successes and tracklists them alongside later works to create the ultimate testament to one of the country’s most beloved synth-pop groups.

In an initial run of CDs — also set to be accompanied by a double vinyl release — Spoons have carefully curated an incomparable walk down memory lane: From their big-haired licks like “Nova Heart,” “Romantic Traffic,” and “Old Emotions,” to their 2000s offerings in “You Light Up,” and “Escape With You,” Repeatable is a history lesson in the power and prowess of a few kids from a small city hamlet turned into remarkable staples of an entire generation of music fans.

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.

D.O. Gibson is "Still Driven” With New Album and Book Release "On This Grind"

Fri Nov 19, 2021

I first met D.O. Gibson over 10 years ago in Cannes, France during MIDEM, where he was hosting CIMA’S Canadian Blast Showcase. His love of music and people, along with his extreme professionalism made him the perfect choice year after year to introduce Canadian talent to the global community.

His enthusiasm and a big smile makes him a magnet for positivity in a business that can so easily crush your dreams. But not D.O. Gibson, he is the true persona of tenacity and passion for music is what makes him indefatigable.

In 2001, D.O. Gibson, was asked to speak to a class of students about how he could be a rapper and also earn a University degree. In a few short months, Gibson was fielding similar requests to speak and perform at dozens of schools, leading him to create the Stay Driven program that addresses subjects including anti-bullying, peer pressure and literacy, based on his own life experiences. Gibson has since spoken and performed at over 1,000 schools to hundreds of thousands of students.

Cat Stevens Releases 50th Anniversary Boxset of “Teaser and the Firecat”

Fri Nov 12, 2021

Following last year’s 50th anniversaries of the era-defining albums ‘Tea for the Tillerman’ and ‘Mona Bone Jakon’,  Yusuf / Cat Stevens is releasing a new extended version of the 1971 multi-platinum selling follow-up ‘Teaser and the Firecat’, due on November 12th 2021 via UMC / Island Records. You can listen to a previously unheard recording of his classic ‘Moonshadow’ below. Recorded at Olympic before the release of the two 1970 albums, this version provides a new insight into the origins of one of the most enduring songs of the 1970s.

Cat Stevens broke on to the radio airwaves with Tea for the Tillerman:

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.

Dion Releases New Single “I’ve Got to Get To You’ ft. Boz Scaggs

Fri Nov 05, 2021

Dion is following up his critically acclaimed and commercially successful 2020 album release Blues With Friends with Stomping Ground, a new album that finds him collaborating yet again with music greats with whom he shares mutual admiration. Set for release November 5, Stomping Ground was produced by Wayne Hood with Dion and will be released through Joe Bonamassa and Roy Weisman’s KTBA Records. The album will be available digitally as well as on CD and as a two LP set.  

Check out the single release of “I’ve Got to Get To You’ ft. Boz Scaggs here:

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.

Julian Taylor 100 Proof

Fri Oct 29, 2021

Kindness! Sounds so simple and easy but is not as common as you would think, or as it should be, in today's world.

Award-winning Canadian artist Julian Taylor has released a new single that speaks right to that issue. The song "100 Proof," was written by Julian's good friend and occasional co-writer Tyler Ellis. Julian first met Tyler while performing at various open stages around Toronto. In 2016, both musicians took over the hosting duties at Dora Keogh Irish Pub’s “Riverboat Mondays” until Julian’s exodus a few years ago. During the pandemic, the open stage continued online.

Check out “100 Proof” by Julian Taylor on YouTube here: