National magazine with ties to Freetown, P.E.I., turns 40
‘The magazine has benefited substantially from just having an arm in this part of the country’
Canadian Musician Magazine is celebrating 40 years of publication and a lot of the work behind it comes from a small P.E.I. community.
At the helm of the magazine is editor-in-chief Andrew King, who is based out of his home in Freetown.
King is a musician himself, but not at the level of the people he interviews. King said he was attending university as an English literature major when he started to write for the student paper doing album and concert reviews.
Started that adventure while I was the assistant editor and within a year of that I was promoted to editor.— Andrew King, Canadian Musician Magazine
"I got into writing in university, out of school was looking for a job and there aren't many Canadian publications that focus strictly on music."
Canadian Musician Magazine was the first publication he applied to and he landed the job, King said.
"Started as assistant editor and worked my way up."
Based out of Freetown
Though he is based out of Freetown now, he used to work for the magazine out of their office in Niagara, Ont. Then, he decided to make the move back home and staff at the magazine told King they thought they could make it work, he said.
"Started that adventure while I was the assistant editor and within a year of that I was promoted to editor."
Canadian Musician Magazine serves Canadian musicians, professional and amateur, and the industry that supports them, King said.
"Essentially, we are trying to help not just artists but people who want to work in the business. Managers, agents, basically just navigate the ever-changing world that is the music business," King said.
Meeting the stars
The magazine contains anything from interviews with successful artists and music equipment reviews to business-building focused on timely subjects such as streaming.
Over King's career with the magazine he has interviewed high profile Canadian musicians and bands such as Lights and Alexisonfire, he said.
I've always been really floored not just at the talent per capita in P.E.I. or in Atlantic Canada in general, but it also seems like the general public here still values music to a higher degree.— Andrew King, Canadian Musician Magazine
"Lights, who is now an international success story, when she was first signed by an independent label."
King snuck into the back of one of her shows and watched her play a packed room, he said, and he had a friend working for the label she joined.
"Hung out with them as they basically made the deal to get her on the label."
Big city, little Island
King said having an office based out of Ontario helps stay connected to big city music, but working out of his home in Freetown reminds King to keep a balance in the publication.
"I've always been really floored, not just at the talent per capita in P.E.I. or in Atlantic Canada in general, but it also seems like the general public here still values music to a higher degree than we are seeing in other parts of the country," King said.
"I think the magazine has benefited substantially from just having an arm in this part of the country."
To have a publication be around 40 years is a feat, especially when the print industry has been suffering disruption the past few years, King said, but he has a simple answer for why the magazine has stood the test of time.
"Resilience and a real pride and passion for what we do."
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With files from Mainstreet P.E.I.