We’re back! Have fun on your first date with these 5 showcasing artists! We’re got lots of show and food recs today – perfect for a Wednesday night to get you through the rest of the week.

Alexis Taylor – Huntsville, ON

What was the first show you ever attended?

The first show I ever attended was back when I was 14 or 15. I went to go see Mayday Parade, a pop/punk band, when they were performing in Toronto.  I remember being only a few rows from the stage, watching them sing every word like they meant it. That was the night I realized I wanted to do music for the rest of my life, no matter what.

What city/venue/festival would you most like to play at?

I would really love the opportunity to perform at The Ryman Auditorium or The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee one day. Both places hold so much history and have been graced by the presence of so many incredibly talented musicians. It would truly be an honour!

What was your favourite show you’ve played so far?

What was your favourite show you’ve played so far? I think one of my favourite shows that I have played so far would have to be when I was on tour in Scandinavia, opening for a wonderful friend of mine, Doug Seegers.  It was right outside of Sweden in this town square area beside the river, and here were people as far as I could see. What made it really special was even though many of the people did not speak English, they were listening so intently to every song I sang. It was amazing to feel that kind of connection to an audience especially of that size.

If you could trade places with any fictional character, who would it be?

Thats a tough one! I think if I could trade places with any fictional character, it would likely be Harry Potter because I think it would be so cool to know how to do magic, and be able to fly anywhere at anytime.

Anything exciting coming up in 2018?

Yes! I’m really looking forward to playing at Canadian Music Week this coming May!! As for the rest of 2018, I’m hoping to be in the studio and finishing up some new music I’ve been working on so I can release an EP album, which I am definitely excited to share with everyone!

 

Century Thief – Toronto, ON

What was first album you bonded over as a band?

Mike: We were all really into Broken Social Scene as teens and early 20s, when we met I had just got a Feel Good Lost tattoo. I believe we bonded over You Forgot it in People, we used to do a cover of Almost Crimes before we were even a band.
Kathryn: You forgot it in people/in rainbows
Adam: You forgot it in people
Colin: Nevermind – Nirvana, In Rainbows – Radiohead
Omar: I think for each member I have that one artist that only the two of us like and we bonded over, but You Forgot it in People and In Rainbows by Radiohead meant a lot to all of us. 

What are you most looking forward to at CMW?

Omar: We’re releasing our upcoming EP ‘Deaf Beneath the Waves’ right before CMW so I’m excited to share that with so many people. CMW is a great way to introduce yourself to bigger audiences and it’ll be great to have a new EP to share. 
Adam: Being able to go to as many shows as possible!
Kathryn: Checkin out bands and making new friendz.
Colin: The excitement that accompanies the shows all over the city and the great music! Specifically looking forward to: Beams, Bears in Hazenmore, Common Holly, The Moody Tulips, and cool bands I haven’t experienced before!

What is your favourite thing about being a band in Toronto?

Kathryn: Inspiration, networking, healthy competition to achieve greater things, lots of gear to get on bunz and ABI.
Omar: Toronto is home. There’s a real community in the city. Although there’s tons of people and musicians here, you start to recognize people at shows and in bands real quick. 
Colin: The variety of bands and welcoming venues around the city.
Adam: Being able to meet bands from so many other cities that tour through here!

What are you listening to right now?

Colin: Still coming back to Lomelda’s Thx and Aron D’Alesio’s self-titled album these days.
Kathryn: Andy Shauf
Mike: I just got into Angel Olson, I’m bingeing that right now.
Adam: Ive been really into Idles and their latest record brutalism, something about it is just so raw and satisfying.
Omar: I’m listening to KAYTRANADA, The Internet and I’m getting back into the Alarmists.

Where are your go-to places to eat?

Adam: Burdock, Lake Inez, Tacos El Asador, Hello Darling, Empire
Kathryn: Lebanon express & nova era
Omar: I’m currently big on late night Korean eats at The Owl. Besides that, my girlfriend and I try our best to try new restaurants every time we go out.
Colin: Currenty, Hogtown Vegan and Future Bistro for eats, and Almond Butterfly for coffee and treats
Mike:  Lot’s of good vegetarian restaurants in Toronto, Bloomers has amazing food and amazing vegan donuts, VegHed, Fresh, E. L. Ruddy,  Woodlot is great for fancier eats, Burrito Boyz also incredible, Hogtown vegan- I could keep going.

Jess Leung – Toronto, ON

What is your favourite thing about being a performer in Toronto?

I just love being exposed to the incredible diversity that we have in the city. There is amazing music being made by people with different backgrounds and stories, which creates a music scene that is so inspiring and eye-opening. As a performer, this diversity gives me the confidence to be truly honest with who I am in my music. There is no greater feeling than being cherished for being unique, for being myself. 

What was the first show you ever attended?

My cousin brought me to the Air Canada Centre to watch the Trans-Siberian Orchestra perform, and it was crazy. I never I thought I would love the Carol of the Bells so much, until I heard their rock arrangement of it.

If you could play in any city/festival/venue, where would you choose?

I’d love to play at an outdoor festival like Coachella and Glastonbury Festivals, but ultimately I’d love to play all around the world! As long as there are people who love music, I’ll be there.

Do you have any book/movie/show recommendations?

Most recently, I watched and loved Black Panther. For TV shows, I never listened to country music until I watched Nashville. The songs, specifically written for the show, are my favourite part. And can I tell you that my favourite childhood movie is Hoodwinked? It is still the most hilarious thing I’ve ever watched! Please watch it and let me know if you think it’s funny too. 

What are you most looking forward to in 2018?

I can’t wait for people to listen to my EP called Smile. I’ve been working on it for a while, so I’m itching to finally release it into the world. I’m also excited to perform more, write more, and record more music. It’s all a learning process, but I’m happy to be where I am. 2018 should be a wonderful year!

JT Soul – Montreal, QC

What was the first album you purchased?

I was given the “Eminem Show” and 50 Cent’s “Massacre” by my father, but the first time I actually bought an album, it was 2 of them. Drake’s “So Far Gone” and the “Slim Shady LP”.

What are you most looking forward to at CMW?

Well me and my team are setting up a live band so I guess what I’m most hyped about is delivering the performance, because we’re really working hard on it and meeting new artists is always cool.

What is your favourite thing about your city?

We have so many great artists in the city so definitely the music. Montreal kind of has it’s own really unique culture and is a huge party city, there’s literally events every week. Also there’s a lot of nice views and architecture like the Olympic Stadium & Mount Royal. Really cool places to visit in MTL.

What are you listening to right now?

Nowadays I’m listening to a lot of Frank Ocean and Anderson .Paak… just studying.

If you had to make a taco with only 3 ingredients, what would you choose?

BEANS, ONIONS, TOMATOES!!! 🔥🤤

 

The Look Back Now – Toronto, ON

What was first album you bonded over as a band?

Definitely “Hot Fuss” by the Killers. We were driving from Montreal to Toronto during our first tour when we listened first bonded over that record. With four people in the van, DJ-ing can get pretty sporadic. But when that album came on, nobody reached for the AUX cable. “Hot Fuss” front-to-back has huge choruses and an amazing vibe!

What is your writing process like?

Our writing process consists essentially consists five stages. The first is when Elliott comes up with a very rudimentary song structure. Then, the skeleton gets brought to the band, and the idea gets fleshed out on a whole other level. Once we’ve played the tune live a few times, we send a recording of it to our producer. He then hits us back with some suggestions, and we end up re-writing the piece as a band a few more times. After, we meet our producer for pre-production at his studio space to spend a few hours looking at the finer details of each track. Then, we nail it all down and get to recording.

What is your favourite thing about Toronto?

Our favorite thing about Toronto is that it is the axis of so many different communities, scenes and individuals. The members of our group grew up respectively in the downtown core, Mississauga, Markham and Thornhill. The four of us only met because of the deep and sprawling network of musicians and friends that call Toronto home.

What are you listening to right now?

In recent months, I recall listening to the following artists while driving from town to town: Bruno Mars, Anderson Paak., Kendrick Lamar, Pinegrove, The Talking Heads, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Killers, Alvvays, Bahamas and Tame Impala to name a few. Also, after every show we listen to a song called “Bliss” by the Flatbush Zombies which might be the most explicit, ignant song around. It is off their second mixtape which I believe is only available on DatPiff.

Which mythical creature do you most identify with?

Our drummer Michael Murad is a hybridized experiment gone rogue of the Demogorgon from Stranger Things and the alien from the Ridley Scott “Alien” films. So we most identify with his mythical, freak-show existence because he rolls in our squad.