Canadas Talent


May 13, 2016

The INDIES w/ Indie88 Recap

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Written by: CT
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indies vid screen shot

Written by: Beatrice Hanley

Event photos by: Tia Belleisle

7 days, 60 venues and 100’s of artists…Canadian Music Week brings together people from all over the world to listen to, discuss and share music. Honestly it’s a music lover’s dream come true and one of my favourite times of the year. Mid-week, we had the opportunity to attend The Indies w/ Indie88, which took place at the Phoenix Concert Theatre. Presented by Indie88 and supported by the Ontario Media Development Corporation through the Ontario Music Fund, The Indies celebrate the best of both Canadian and international independent music. The awards ceremony was hosted by Indie88’s Raina Douris and featured special performances by Wintersleep, The Strumbellas, The Zolas, and Alberta Cross.

Check out some of the action in our video here:

We had the chance to chat with some of the people there, including Canadian Music Week VP of operations, Cameron Wright who shared some info with us. This is one busy man; he is in charge of overseeing the entire festival, booking a bunch of the bands as well as being on the programming team and overseeing the topics for the panels. Planning for the festival began last fall and as soon as one festival ends, it’s already time to start preparing for the next one!

Indies host and radio star Raina Douris (who is still recovering from a foot injury and was rocking a sparkly boot- decorated by her sister) shared that she may end up sleeping at the office that night…her wake up call would be 4am the next morning to do the morning show on air! She also shared about her experience attending The Rosalie Award event the previous evening, which showcases the talents of women in radio and highlights their accomplishments. It left her feeling inspired:

“It’s one of those things that I feel that’s really needed. To think when I was young and just getting into radio… I didn’t have a bunch of female mentors. It’s a pretty amazing thing to think how many women are making radio amazing… it was awesome.”

Here’s some of what the bands had to say:

The Zolas (on the creative process when songwriting):

“Musically the songs are about where we are at that moment, finds our centre point between the four of us. We don’t really listen to the same music at all. But like the lyrics, I just write them, its whatever I find, what ever gets me excited to listen to the song more than once. We find ways to say things that pop stars, or people don’t normally talk about.” The band won the Indie award for Alternative Group of the Year.

The Elwins (on their most interesting travel moment as a band): “We toured Japan twice and we stayed in these places called internet hotels yeah and they’re just so bizarre. You’re staying in this little cubical that you can hardly fit in and it just has like a mat like that couch (points at couch in the corner of the room) with a computer screen and they have these huge selection of comics….” The band won the Indie award for Rock Group of the Year.

HIGHS (on their favourite tour moment):

“The final date of our tour was our album release show at Lees Palace so that was something we won’t forget for a long time. We sold it out which was really cool. Indie88 was there and yeah we played our new album front to back. It was the perfect ending to the tour.”

Wintersleep’s lead singer Paul Murphy discussed the band’s latest album, “The Great Detachment”, which was recorded live-off-the-floor. He shared with us that the recording process took place in a cottage by the water near their home turf of Halifax. This added to the natural, organic sound of the record, which won them the Indie Award  (Single of the Year) for their song “Amerika”.

Experimental pop artist Grimes took home one of the evening’s top prizes, for album of the year, while Arts and Crafts’ Dan Mangan  won Singer-Songwriter Artist of the Year. Toronto talent had a strong showing, with locals The Strumbellas and Jazz Cartier winning group of the year and rap artist of the year, respectively. International artist/group of the year went to Southern rockers Alabama Shakes. A full list of nominees and winners can be found here.

Check out more photos from the event here.


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