Happy Wednesday! Welcome to our fifth ever 2018 Artist Spotlight. Today we’re hanging out with Anna Mae, Bleu, Booty EP, Jenny Banai, and Adrian from Midnight Shine. If you love nature and the outdoors, you already have something in common with these five! Read on to find out more. Anna Mae – Willisau, Switzerland What was the first show you ever attended? Xavier Naidoo, a German singer & songwriter. Then there was Tina Turner, as one of the biggest fans I had to see her live (the very last occasion). And the show I can’t wait for at CMW is Christophe Maé – I love his energy! What is your favourite thing about your home city? Willisau is a tiny village in Switzerland. I like the fact that I can go out and have a walk in the woods anytime – I step out of the door into the nature. Family and friends are around here as well, so Willisau represents a bit of a nest for me. How does playing in Europe differ from North America? I can’t tell the difference yet. I’m looking forward to start my very first North American tour this April and I’m so happy to get the chance to play a showcase at CMW in Toronto! If you could make a pizza with unlimited ingredients, what would you choose? I’d choose loads of cheese, a beautiful sauce made of ketchup and mayonnaise, and I’d love to have crisps on my pizza. What are you listening to right now? I’m a lot into Hank Williams and Mark Geary at the moment. Bleu – Halifax, NS What was the first album you ever purchased? I think it was ‘American Idiot’ by Green Day. What is one song you wish you’d written? Definitely ‘Rock With You’ by Michaell Jackson, which was written by Rod Temperton who passed away in recent years. He was an absolutely incredible songwriter. What are you listening to lately? Lot’s of different stuff. The new Ancient Shapes record, Ravyn Lenae, Porches, and Hand Habits. I’ve also only recently come to appreciate the strength of some of the songwriting from the newest Alvvays record. What skill would you most like to have/learn? Probably construction of some sort so I could built a house or a boat or something. What is the best thing about your city? I recently moved to Halifax and everything is still new to me so it’s hard to choose. I like how it still has a small, east coast town vibe to it but really, it’s the largest city over here. Booty EP – Vancouver, BC What was the first album you purchased? Alli: I texted my dad, he said “Spice Girls :$”. Makes sense… Francis: Oasis – What’s The Story Morning Glory on cassette. What have you been listening to lately? This is a hard question, so in short: we love SALES, just getting into Snail Mail, Jo Passed, and we like to end the day with a little Lonnie Liston Smith. What is one song you can’t skip when it comes on? Anything from Beach House, they’re kind of hypnotizing aren’t they? What is your favourite thing about your city? Friends, friends, friends, food, ocean and mountains. What are you most looking forward to at CMW? Connecting with old pals and making new pals, and of course playing a show and attending a ton of shows. Jenny Banai- Vancouver, BC What was the first show you ever attended? A Christian pop singer, Jaci Velasquez. She was also my very first tape cassette purchase back in the 90s. What is your favourite thing about your city? Cycling anywhere and everywhere in under 20 minutes. If you could pick any band to do a reunion your, who would you pick? I mean, the Beatles? I wish. But that’s not even possible :(. What are your 3 most recent emojis? I literally, most recently used ✨ But my usual emoji pals are ♀️❤️ What music are you listening to currently? Unreleased albums by Danny Olliver and Kuri :). But also, Trouble Will Find Me by The National and anything Andy Shauf for forever. Adrian from Midnight Shine – Attawapiskat First Nation, ON What are your biggest musical influences? Tom Petty, Neil Young, Bryan Adams, Blue Rodeo, and a whole bunch more. What is your favourite thing about your city? I don’t live in a city – I live in Northern Ontario, in the Mushkegowuk Cree community of Attawapiskat. It’s near the coast of the James Bay, and it’s a pretty remote place. My favourite thing about where I live is being near nature, and being able to go out on the land with my family. It helps keep me grounded, and ready for everything else going on in the world. Are there any artists/bands you think we should be paying attention to? I’m not really sure which bands to watch for, but I do know that most bands coming to CMW are super talented. I definitely enjoy meeting other musicians at CMW, and taking in as many other shows as I can. What festival/venue/city would you most like to play at? I would really love to play Ottawa Bluesfest again – we played there last year on the Main Stage, two acts up before Tom Petty. Knowing we were playing on the same stage as him was a pretty surreal experience. I wish we got to meet him in person, but we didn’t. The CBC Music Festival in Toronto would also be great to play. There are so many great festivals in Ontario and Quebec that our agent has his eye on for us, so we’ll see how that all shapes up in the next few years. And we really enjoy playing at The Horseshoe. We’ve gotten to play there three times now, so it’s feeling really comfortable for us. What are you most excited for at CMW this year? Getting to perform and discovering new bands.