Nfld. & Labrador·FIRST LISTEN

RPM Challenge 2019 creates 'beautiful, amazing music,' says organizer Elling Lien

Elling Lien of Unpossible NL is listening his way through a pile of brand new music made in Newfoundland and Labrador last month as part of this year's RPM Challenge.

Have a First Listen to some RPM Challenge 2019 creations

Elling Lien of Unpossible NL shows off some of the original music created in Newfoundland and Labrador during Februrary 2019 as part of the RPM Challenge. (Heather Barrett/CBC)

"This is just a scratch on the surface of all of the beautiful, amazing, super awesome music that comes out of this place every year," says Elling Lien.

Lien is sorting through stacks of music created during the Newfoundland and Labrador RPM Challenge 2019.

The RPM Challenge is a call to make and record an album of original music during the month of February — just because you can.

101 albums

Elling Lien and the group, Unpossible NL, have been running the RPM Challenge in this province for the past 12 years.

This year, Lien said he has received 101 albums of original music, with a few stragglers still to arrive in the mail.

The music is coming from as far away as Natuashish, although Lien noted that most RPM Challenge albums were made in the St. John's  area.

Lien said this year's offerings features more more hip-hop and electronic music, and lots of groups of children.

Ethan Gough, 10, made his ninth RPM Challenge album in February. (Krissy Holmes/CBC)

"That's one of my favourite parts of the RPM Challenge," said Lien.

"Because they [children's recordings] happen alongside professional musicians who use it as a personal challenge," he continued.  

"Kids just want to make music, and put it on tape."

Listen here to some of Elling Lien's favourite RPM Challenge 2019 recordings

Elling Lien of Unpossible NL brings in some of his favourite music created during the month of February for the Newfoundland and Labrador RPM Challenge 2019. 21:16

Do you have a new album of music that Weekend AM should know about for First ListenEmail us: wam@cbc.ca and tell us about it.

You can hear First Listen Sundays on Weekend AM from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. (5:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. in most of Labrador) on CBC Radio One.

Subscribe to the Weekend AM Podcast 

About the Author

Heather Barrett is the host and producer of Weekend AM on CBC Radio One in Newfoundland and Labrador.