Hey everyone. It's been a great 2013, and I'm looking forward to head into the new year. This post is for you to get caught up on what I got up to this year, and the music I pushed out. I'm so thankful for being able to go for it all every day, and I hope you all keep challenging yourself..while being inspired to trust in your ideas.
Jan 1 was quite the day cause I left Sydney, Aus at noon and landed in Vancouver on Jan 1 at 7am..so it was pretty much the longest new year's day I've ever had. I wrapped up a one month tour in Australia playing at various festivals and gigs in Sydney + Melbourne. Shouts to Foreigndub who were my hosts again and always have my back :) Here's some footage:
I recorded a bunch of vinyl samples right before my trip so I could work on music on my days off in Aus. I managed to finish a tune called She Wanted It which sampled an old Roberta Flack song. I gave it away in early March.
On March 14, I did my first show in Toronto in 5 years! It was alongside the Archi-Textures collective who are all solid artists, and their Thursday weekly is still going strong. It was my first 90 min set with the ableton set-up, and it felt nice to play all kinds of deep tunes for an open minded crowd.
My homie Hans Ohm
Photos by ADPhotographe
On May 1, Kline and I released a mixtape project called Open Minds. We were originally going to do one song around July 2012, and then our chemistry in collaborating led us to keep building on ideas. Kline made some nice soulful and organ filled hip hop beats with hints of electronica. I spent about 8-9 months adding vocals which crossed over between rapping and spoken word poetry..and also included layers of beatboxing in a couple songs. Kline had the idea to put all the songs together in mixtape style, and sure enough they all flowed nicely together. So 8 songs later and the 30 minute release came to life! For more info on Open Minds check out our perspective on it here, and make sure you check out Kline's new Mirror EP which just came out on Low Indigo. Also big thanks to High on Beats for their post about the mixtape as well.
My summer festival season started in late June. My pal (and ever so talented + Juno winning wonder) Kellylee Evans from Ottawa invited me to join her for a couple tunes at the Vancouver Jazz Festival. She was touring around Canada and Europe after releasing her I Remember When album. It was an honour to perform with her band in the middle of downtown Vancouver outside the Art Gallery.
Edmonton was fun, and the Step'd Up guys were my hosts..big love to Ootz and the whole crew! After some dope re-branding and a new concept they are now the United Bass Kollective, and have been throwing some serious shows in the 780. The Fozzyfest crew had a roller coaster week prior to their festival. After the Alberta floods took over the Kananaskis area where the fest was scheduled to be held, they had only a few days to decide what to do. Honestly I still can't even imagine how they did it, but at the last minute right before cancelling they found a new spot to hold the event. And what a spot indeed. Lake Kookanusa in the East Kootenays became the new site, and it made the festival feel like summer vacation!
I had a great time, and the weather was amazing. First time ever being in sandals and shorts at 11pm! Props to the Fozzy family for pulling it off and believing in a miracle :)
Photo by Vindaloo Photography
As social media manager for Astral Harvest, I was getting excited to head to Driftpile Valley, AB for a 6th straight year. I did an interview with the Edmonton Sun about the fest, and it went to print (read it here) right before the festivities kicked off. This was the best year for Astral Harvest, and it really felt like people all over Canada are starting to hear about this gem of a weekend way up in Northern Alberta. I've said it once, and I'll say it again..there's something magical about that land..and I feel it every year. As mentioned in the article, Astral is 100% family vibes, and I've watched so many of my peers grow..and it's been beautiful seeing new families come out.
Photo by Chris Hoban
Photo by RA Osiris
Had a fun jam with the Freak Motif cats right before my set. Photo by Emily Rozitis.
Photo by Alliekat Photography
Hadn't been out to MoNo in a few years, and the fest has grown quite a bit..and moved from Alberta to BC. I think out of all the events this summer, I had the most good chats with heaps of friends there. I was only around for one day, but managed to catch up with several of my AB/ BC peeps..there was a hilarious game of Cards Against Humanity with like 15 people..and one of the funniest late night campfire gatherings (mostly cause it got VERY cold) on the Saturday. If you were there for either..then you know :)
This was my 5th year in a row being a part of Bass Coast, and the fest moved from Squamish Valley to Merritt. I hold Bass Coast close to my heart, and it's a great opportunity for anyone to see what's happening in Western Canada. Many more good chats were had, and by this point I had run into a lot of homies multiple times all summer. It's sweet how we're all creating, writing, crafting, all year..and then we come together to share on outdoor land. It started raining during my set, and the wind began to blow the decor right in my face..but somehow I pulled it off..and some people braved the rain and kept dancing!
Shortly after that a huge rainbow emerged over the entire festival grounds!! I took this from my campsite:
I didn't get a lot of pics on the weekend cause it rained a lot, but here's a couple great ones that Vasho took:
At this point I'm realizing, I haven't even mentioned who my favourite acts were, and more details about all these memorable times..but please know they were all inspiring times with many wonderful moments amongst friends. It's hard to pick my favs right now, or single anyone out. I saw and heard a lot killer music/ shows, and encourage you to check out some of these events for yourself! It's more than the music too..it's the feelings, vibes, togetherness and more :)
By mid August I thought my summer was winding down. Then I got booked for the Salmon Arm Roots & Blues Festival at the very last minute due to a cancellation. I was to do a 45 min beatbox jam with Finland sensation (and youtube phenomenon I might add) Felix Zenger. The whole process of getting booked happened in 24 hours. I'd always heard about the fest from my friends in the Shushwaps/ Okanagan..so I was pumped to make it out there finally. Felix is freakin unreal with huge amounts of skill when it comes to beatboxing. We met about a half hour before our set, and pulled off one of the most fun acappella jams I've been a part of! Picture hundreds of people gettin down to only 2 human voices:)
Later on, I ran into Skratch Bastid backstage. I opened for him once in Calgary and jammed with him at a Fractal Funk jam at Shambhala..and it was cool chatting with him for a bit. I've been a big fan of his for years now, and was stoked to see him perform. He then proceeded to play a BOSS set which was the grand finale of the festival. At the end, he called up Felix and myself to jam with him..which was a fun time! Felix and Skratch did a turntable scratching back and forth, and then Skratch cut and played an acappella while I beatboxed. Energy was high!
Huge thanks to everyone involved with all these events, sound crews, volunteers, first aid, the artists, and everyone who came out!
In mid August I did a remix of Blue Coast by Numbersix & Emily Spiller which came out on East Van Digital. The original was a deep and melodic drum n bass song, and I brought it down to 60bpm which actually was quite the task!
Fall 2013 was a good time to reflect on summer, and to do some shows around the city. I did 5 shows in Vancouver: a gig with Sweet Soul Burlesque at Keefer Bar, Nautilus at the Anza Club, Dissolve at the Cobalt, a Shah DJs monthly at Backstage Lounge, and Back to the Farm at Five Sixty.
The shows went well, and it was a pleasure working alongside good people/ crews around this city:) I've been living here for 5 years now, and am thankful to be a part of this shining community. So what's next? I have a few collabs coming out in the next couple months, a new EP that's getting mastered right now, and working on my continually evolving live show. My main focus is production right now, so I hope to keep learning and playing an even bigger role in all the music I make :) I was also recently in India, so stay tuned for some pics and new developments in the photography front :) Wow, thanks so much for reading if you made it this far! Peace & love going out to each of you as the new moon and new year appear. You can do anything if you put your mind to it..just have to really believe and get out of your own way if you're holding yourself back! All my links are at the top of this blog if you want to stay updated!
Leaving you with a verse I did over an Oddisee tune…