Canada’s Godfather of Hip Hop Maestro Fresh Wes Inspires with New Book, Stick to Your Vision

Fri May 07, 2021

Canada’s indisputable Godfather of hip hop Maestro Fresh Wes has unveiled his newest release — an inspirational children’s book, Stick To Your Vision: Young Maestro Goes to School.

Telling the tale of a young Maestro as he finds new adventures, both in school and as he’s introduced to the world of hip hop, readers follow along as he competes in the school’s writing contest against ‘Julia the Great’ and ‘Hakeem the Dream.’ Nervous — but ready — Wes draws inspiration from his family, teachers, friend and mentor DJ Greg, plus all that he has learned from hip hop, to find the power of his pen.

Written by Toronto, ON/Saint John, NB’s Wes Williams and award-winning teacher, mentor, educational consultant, and student advocate Rhodora Meliton-Vanderpool, the book includes a foreword from fellow legendary music icon, Kardinal Offishall, and illustrations from multi-talented artist, entrepreneur, media personality, and author Leon “Eklipz” Robinson.

“This book was written to emphasize the importance of family structure, mentorship, hip hop, and the positive impact of inspirational elementary school teachers,” Williams says.

Canadian Artist Joy Chapman Breaks Guinness World Record for Lowest Female Vocal Note

Fri Apr 30, 2021

The results are in: Canadian retro-modern country-fusion artist Joy Chapman is officially the new Guinness World Record holder for Lowest Female Vocal Note! She’s available for interviews and demonstrations as well.

Smashing the previous record of 57.9 Hz A#1, the British Columbia-based singer/songwriter unveiled her current record of 33.57 Hz C1 for the win.

“I’m honoured and excited to hold this official record with Guinness,” Chapman shared of the results. “And that said, I plan to break it! Normally, I go way beyond to being recorded at E0 20 Hertz, and with a recording high of C10.”

Check out the YouTube here:

Those same signature velvet-textured vox that secured the Guinness record also bring Chapman’s forthcoming debut release, Footprint In My Songs.

Canadian Music Exec and Idol Judge Zack Werner Joins LyricFind

Fri Apr 23, 2021

LyricFind, the world’s pioneer in licensed lyrics, is excited to bring multifaceted Canadian music professional Zack Werner onto its Toronto-based team. He will be joining the company to manage Business Development.

A Winnipeg native, Werner has enjoyed a varied and extensive career in the music industry as an artist, producer, record executive, entertainment lawyer, music educator, and artist manager. With a law degree and a penchant for finding and developing talent, he has done everything from opening for Alice In Chains and running his own label and management agency, to practicing law and judging Canadian Idol. For six seasons, Zack appeared on the massive hit TV series and gained a reputation as the show’s “wild card” judge for his perceptive, unexpected views.

Werner will apply his savvy and skill to cultivate relationships that will bring LyricFind’s high-quality licenced lyrics and data products to more industries and spaces, as well as expanding the impact of new tools and products LyricFind has developed for music catalog owners, publishers, and labels.

Julian Taylor Earns Solo Artist Of The Year At 2021 Canadian Folk Music Awards!

Fri Apr 16, 2021

Artist Julian Taylor has garnered his first Canadian Folk Music Award (CFMA) as Solo Artist of the Year. After a 20-year career of making great music, Taylor is delighted to be recognized for his achievements. For more information please visit the website and www.folkawards.ca.

Taylor, of combined Mohawk and Caribbean ancestry, is a major label veteran, Toronto music scene staple, and musical chameleon. Along with two JUNO nominations this year, Taylor was nominated in two categories for the 2021 CFMAs, English Songwriter of the Year and Solo Artist of the Year, the latter of which he won. In a field of outstanding nominees William Prince, Coco Love Alcorn, Basia Bulat, Sarah Jane Scouten, and Pharis & Jason Romero, Taylor was especially honoured to take the prize. 

Iconic Canadian Artist Paul Humphrey Passes Away

Fri Apr 09, 2021

Canadian artist Paul Humphrey passed away April 4, 2021 after a long illness,  Humphrey was best known as the talented, charismatic frontman for the the new wave band  Blue Peter.  

Blue Peter was not a household name, the band was deeply influential to a generation of Canadian listeners who were attuned to the new wave scene that reverberated through the post-punk era.

Their music video for “Don’t Walk Past” helped usher in the glory days of MuchMusic while Humphrey’s stage persona was punctuated by improvisational storytelling and dance moves — years before Gord Downie would adopt similar characteristics as the frontman of the Tragically Hip.

Blue Peter co-founder Chris Wardman remembered first meeting his late friend and collaborator as a teenager. "I had long hair and a guitar. He had a pony tail and played the flute," Warman wrote. "We invited him to jam with an early incarnation of Blue Peter and our prog-ish aspirations crashed into punk and new wave. He taught us how to play 'Sweet Jane' and our future course was charted."

Andrew Cash, Former MP and JUNO-Winning Artist, to Head Canadian Independent Music Association

Fri Apr 02, 2021

The Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA) today announced that Andrew Cash, a former Member of Parliament and JUNO Award-winning Canadian independent artist, has been appointed as the organization’s President.

"After an exhaustive search, we’re thrilled to announce Andrew Cash as the new President of CIMA,” says Tim Potocic, Chair of CIMA’s Board of Directors and President of Sonic Unyon Records. “Andrew brings enormous strength to our organization with his unique combination of music, government, policy and community activism experience. We’re excited for the future, with him leading the way."

At CIMA, Cash plans to build on the relationships, skills and experience he has gained in his past work to help lead Canada’s independent music sector to a robust recovery when the Covid-19 pandemic ends.

“Our members are at the forefront of Canada’s new economy as home-grown generators of intellectual property, green jobs and exports,” Cash says. “I look forward to working with all parts of Canada’s music ecosystem, along with our partners in government and the private sector, to ensure our industry has what it needs for a robust post-pandemic recovery.”

Linda Ronstadt Signs Deal With Irving Azoff’s Iconic Artists Group

Fri Mar 26, 2021

the concept is urban living vs returning to nature... its subtle but its sugests we need to acknowledge the earth and its beauty and that its so good for us to return to nature often:)

Multi-GRAMMY® award-winning artist, Linda Ronstadt has sold her recorded music assets to Irving Azoff’s new venture, Iconic Artists Group (Iconic). Iconic will partner with Ronstadt and her team (manager, John Boylan and personal assistant, Janet Stark) to market her catalogue and preserve her legacy in the digital era. Considered by many to be the “Queen of Rock,” Ronstadt is the most recent signing from Iconic. The partnership which includes the acquisition of her recorded music assets will allow Iconic to introduce Ronstadt’s timeless music to new generations of fans. Ronstadt’s cultural impact makes her an important addition to Iconic’s growing catalogue of renowned artists.

‘HEAL THE EARTH’ A Legendary Musical Offering to Celebrate EARTH DAY

Fri Mar 26, 2021

Entertainment Music Group (EMG) has gathered legendary artists and young independent artists from around the world to create a virtual music-doc to be pre-produced and released on April 22, 2021 in honour of Earth Day. The project is headed up by Executive Producer Sandy Graham, a music industry veteran and owner of the legendary Cashbox Magazine Canada, in conjunction with celebrity icon, Dr. Tom Jackson, C.C., LL.D, who will act as the host for this music initiative.

Cashbox Radio Turns Two Years Old – Radio the Way It Used to Be!

Fri Mar 19, 2021

A little over two years ago, I decided that we would expand our Cashbox brand and start a radio station.

Most of my colleagues thought it was a crazy idea and there was no money in it. But we were not doing this for the money – we were doing it for the music. My background is radio- being one of the first female Music Directors in Canada in the late ‘70s and my love for radio never went away. So we did a soft launch in June 2019 at MIDEM in Cannes, France and there was no turning back.

TO Live Providing Direct Support to Hundreds of Artists and Arts Workers Throughout the Pandemic

Fri Mar 12, 2021

In the year since the first lockdown and suspension of performing arts shows, TO Live has remained focused on supporting artists and arts workers. Since last March, TO Live has created hundreds of short-term employment opportunities for writers, actors, directors, technical, production and operations staff.

The organization commissioned and produced online content such as the Living Rooms series featuring 100 local artists, The Arts Squad, a fun and educational program for children, and 3 contributions by Yolanda Bonnell, Ian Kamau and Susanna Fournier with ted witzel to the Transformations Project.   There have also been partnerships with companies including Volcano and Outside the March on new works conceived for COVID times.

Julian Taylor Becomes a Double Juno Nominee

Fri Mar 12, 2021

I make no attempt to hide the fact that I am a huge Julian Taylor fan. I have been for a long time now and am continually impressed by his stage show,  his songwriting and his recordings. I’ve always said Julian Taylor is one of the most underrated talents in Canada. But now I can stop saying that he’s underrated as finally after twenty years of recording Julian is now a Juno nominated artist. And he’s not just once but twice nominated; one for Contemporary  Roots Album of the Year for “The Ridge”. and once for Indigenous Artist or Group of The Year.

Singer Songwriter Brent Mason Signs with 428 Entertainment Group

Fri Mar 12, 2021

Saint John based Singer, Songwriter and Master Story-teller Brent Mason has just signed an exclusive publishing deal with the new local entertainment company 428 Entertainment Group. Brent has a rich and extensive catalog of songs including 11 studio albums. 

"We are extremely excited to be working with such an extraordinarily gifted songwriter and artist". Jeff Liberty of 428 Entertainment Group said. Paul Milner adds "We have a rare opportunity here to work with a world class singer songwriter who has influenced so many Canadian artists over the years, many of whom got their start at one of Brent's Legendary open mic's".

Brent Mason rolled back into Saint John NB in the spring of ‘92, after several years roaming North America in his best imitation of Jack Kerouac, riding his thumb and working carnival midways in Canada and the US. With a fistful of songs born out of an ‘On The Road’ ethos, and a burning desire, Brent recorded his first ‘singer/songwriter’ album. A true early indie effort, Head for the High Ground set a long and vital career in motion. Brent performs innovative original music with insightful powerful lyrical content.

Hip Hop Artist MICHAEL J. FOXX & Vocalist SYDNEY SEXTON Reveal "Duality" Collaboration

Fri Mar 05, 2021

Hot off the release of a handful of hot singles together in 2020, New York City-born, Moncton-based hip-hop artist Michael J. Foxx and Canadian singer/songwriter Sydney Sexton have released their first-ever full-length album together: Duality is available now. Check out the album on Spotify here: open.spotify.com/album/3tODk4W0iTmFQIfMK9m9Ez

While Duality serves as the pair’s first fully-joint effort, they actually spent the majority of 2020 together, writing, recording and releasing music in their home studio together. Composed of 10 original hip-hop/ R&B tracks, their past releases include: “So High,” “Just Give it a Moment” and “Winners,” among several other sultry and upbeat tracks.

CHURCH OF TREES + Rough Trade’s Carole Pope + Spoons/Honeymoon Suite’s Rob Preuss Release "World's A Bitch"

Fri Mar 05, 2021

Canadian electro synth pop trio Church of Trees have collaborated with JUNO Award-winning artist and legendary Rough Trade vocalist Carole Pope on this, their newest single “World’s a Bitch”.

Check out the video on YouTube here:

The song and video relay a stirring sonic snapshot of the angst felt and coping mechanisms tapped when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the world’s desperate need for vaccine distribution.

John Rowlands Give Him A Hand

Fri Feb 19, 2021

Famed photographer John Rowlands isn’t just a National treasure, he’s a global treasure and Canada is proud to call him a Native Son.  John has photographed such legendary performers as  the Beatles, David Bowie, the Rolling Stones, the Who, Rush, Kiss, Sam Cooke, Linda Ronstadt, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Gordon Lightfoot, Glen Campbell, Leonard Cohen, and of course Elvis Presley and too many more too mention.

John recalls how he got started in the photography world.” I was a 13 year old living in Ottawa, Canada and I borrowed my Dad’s camera and went to see Brenda Lee perform. I took pictures of her show and when the set was over, I went backstage to try and talk to her. I knocked on the door and her mother answered. I asked her to tell Brenda how much I enjoyed her show. Her Mom said “Tell her yourself , she’s right here”. I talked to her and told her I had a whole roll of shots that I’d send to her. She liked the shots and I was paid the princely sum of $35. Doesn’t sound like much but in 1960 gold was $32 an ounce so I was paid more than the price of an ounce of gold. I used the money to buy a knock off Gretsch guitar, I think I paid $30 for it.

Screen x Screen Music + Tech Conference Set for Feb. 16-20,2020 presented by Indie Week

Fri Feb 12, 2021

The music business is looking towards the digital landscape for ways to increase audience and monetization of content through new platforms in gaming, AI, VR, live streaming and marketing. SCREEN x SCREEN  - MUSIC + TECH CONFERENCE (FEB 16 - 20) presented by INDIE WEEK will host a number of in-depth conversations with the people driving these platforms and advancement. What will live music look like post covid? How can artists and businesses monetize their online content? How is AI and VR changing how business is done online? These questions and more will be addressed throughout the conference.

"After the success of moving Indie Week online in 2021, it just made sense to launch a new event that focuses on the future and new business models" said Indie Week and Screen X Screen founder Darryl Hurs.

Harmonium symphonique – Histoires sans paroles Goes Platinum In Canada – WITH ZERO MUSIC STREAMS

Fri Feb 12, 2021

Released on December 3, Harmonium symphonique – Histoires sans paroles symphonique has now been certified Platinum record by Music Canada, a recognition highlighting 80,000 copies sold.  An impressive and truly historic feat, considering the double instrumental album is only available on a single platform, the Oziko online store.

This is the first time since 2013 an album has been certified Platinum in Canada solely based on a physical format.

Harmonium symphonique – Histoires sans paroles brings together the complete works of Harmonium, adapted and directed by Simon Leclerc and performed by the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (OSM). Totaling more than 140 minutes of music, the album is co-produced by Serge Fiori and Simon Leclerc, under the artistic direction of Nicolas Lemieux, president of GSI Musique.

Emma Rush & Sara Traficante’s Azuline Duo Release Sophomore Album, Fandango

Fri Feb 12, 2021

Following their 2016 debut, Romanza: The Music of Spain and South America, Azuline Duo — the Hamilton-based ensemble — has just released its eagerly awaited sophomore album, Fandango. The record features 15 unique performances of music by some of the world’s finest classical composers, including Gerald Garcia and Santiago De Murcia.

The classical/folk-inspired ensemble features two award-winning, versatile musicians: guitarist Emma Rush and flutist Sara Traficante. In their career together, the two have always aimed to push the boundaries of their instruments and conventional programming with unusual and rarely heard repertoire and a dynamic onstage presence that engages audiences right from the very first note. They are a sonic force to be reckoned with.

Fandango includes Azuline Duo’s take on two works by the renowned Brazilian musician Chiquinha Gonzaga: “Lua Branca” and “Atraente.” “When we’re writing arrangements, we love finding all the different ways to use our instruments to bring the music to life — whether it’s singing through the flute, or recording percussion on the guitar,” they said. “Anything goes!”

New Moon Jelly Roll Freedom Rockers Release Vol 2 on Stony Plain

Fri Feb 05, 2021

Stony Plain Records announces a March 26 release date for New Moon Jelly Roll Freedom Rockers Vol. 2the second edition of music from roots “super group,” New Moon Jelly Roll Freedom Rockers: Charlie Musselwhite, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Jimbo Mathus, the late Jim Dickinson, and North Mississippi Allstars members Luther Dickinson and Cody Dickinson (just nominated for a GRAMMY in the Contemporary Blues category for their Up and Rolling album). Recorded at the Zebra Ranch Recording Studio in Coldwater, Mississippi, the 11 blues-drenched tracks on New Moon Jelly Roll Freedom Rockers Vol. 2  give fans even more bang for their buck than the first volume’s 10 tracks of sublime roots music. New Moon Jelly Roll Freedom Rockers Volume 1, released in September of 2020, was greeted with universal acclaim and became a Top 20 Billboard and Top 10 Living Blues chart album.

Pre-order the new album here: https://stonyplainrecords.com/lp/vol2/

Hilton Valentine Animal Guitarist Has Passed Away

Fri Feb 05, 2021

Hilton Valentine, founding guitarist of the 60s group the Animals and the man responsible for one of the most famous and recognizable  intros in recorded music has died at age 77. His now famous arpeggio guitar intro Am/C/F/D/ Am/E brought an old folk tune, “House Of The Rising Sun”, into the rock world with a simple progression that anyone with a guitar could play, and still play to this day.