Winnipeg pop band Panicland makes its mark online

A local pop band from East Kildonan is making an impression on young music-lovers in Winnipeg and beyond.

Group of teenage boys has turned down at least 1 major Canadian label, singer says

Panicland is a pop band of teenage boys from East Kildonan in Winnipeg. (Supplied)

A local pop band from East Kildonan is making an impression on young music-lovers in Winnipeg and beyond.

Panicland is made up of Ian Willmer, Travis Hunnie, Riley Basseofour and lead-singer Braedon Basseo — teenage boys who have been making music together since they were preteens.

Social media and musicians on the internet have played a bigger role in influencing their sound than the local music scene has, Basseo said.

"Back in the 70s and 80s all the local bands influenced each other, and there was a sound for every community and every community club, and now I guess it's a bit different with Twitter, YouTube," Basseo said.

The band shoots their own music videos as well as produces and records most of their own music.

In terms of promotion, they've taken the initiative to sneak into award shows in hopes of getting noticed. The band snuck into the most recent Much Music Video Awards ceremony and several industry parties in Los Angeles during Grammy Award week.

Basseo cited influences like Bruno Mars as musical inspiration.

"He's definitely my favourite just because he takes so much of what was done in the past and does it now," said Basseo. "The cool thing is the young people don't realize it's from the past. It worked then so it works now."

They also don't consider themselves a "boy band" in the classic sense, Basseo said, because they weren't handpicked by a producer, and they play their own instruments.

"I think until we're like 25 people will always say that. I don't mind that whatsoever, but boy bands typically work a lot differently than we do," Basseo said. 

The group hasn't yet signed a record deal, although Basseo said they have been courted by at least one major Canadian label.

"We turned it down because we want to shop around a little while longer," he said.

The band appeared on CBC's Weekend Morning Show with host Terry MacLeod Sunday.


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