Celebrate our sounds with CBC Saskatchewan
Weekly artist profiles highlighting the dynamic creations and contributions of musicians in our community
The Saskatchewan music scene has been vibrant for more than half a century. From the days when Western Swing and Scandinavian polkas ruled our airwaves, to watching our present day artists succeed globally with their unique blends of Bhangra and hip hop, or their spin on traditional country.
We need to celebrate these sounds.
To do this, CBC Saskatchewan is sharing profiles of amazing local musicians every week to highlight their dynamic creations and notable contributions to our community. With each submission, the artists explain their sound, how they got their start and why they love the local scene.
Check out our features, told in the artists' words, below! For more Local Music Project content, visit the official page.
Cupid's Heart, Prince Albert
There's such a childlike excitement when you hear brand new music from a brand new artist.
If you're already full of pride and passion for the music being made here at home (like me), that excitement can quickly escalate especially when you find out that the new artist is a Northern Saskatchewan duo featuring a cellist and electric guitarist. Presenting Cupid's Heart: an exciting alt-rock experience that blends in elements of punk and country. According to our pals over at the North Sask Music Zine their aptly described as "Chrissie Hynde Pretenders vibes with a pinch of Nirvana".
Although you'll have to wait until Jan. 6, 2023 to hear their debut single 'Juliet'. For now, we asked them to describe their sound, tell us how they became local musicians and give us some insight on how they feel about the Saskatchewan music scene.
Experimental. We are having a hard time choosing a "genre" because we are still trying to figure that out ourselves. Each genre we try on fits a bit baggy: It's a bit grunge, it's a bit rock, it's a bit soft and a bit hard.
The combination of cello and electric guitar is unexpected and the sound pairs well with our vocal style. We've been described as Chrissie Hynde Pretenders vibes with a pinch of Nirvana if that helps at all. We stumbled across this in a truly happenstance way and we are allowing it to take shape and grow.
A desire to share our sound.
Music is a way to evoke feeling. It can be used to celebrate happy moments, to bring excitement, to reminisce, to get through hard times — there are just so many ways that people experience music in their lives. We started playing music together along the same trajectory as getting to know each other.
When we started jamming with cello and electric guitar, it was interesting and exciting. It progressed from trying a couple songs together, to playing a few open mic nights, to writing and performing our own material in a steady way. We felt a strong appreciation for our music early on, and so we decided to really jump into it— recording and playing as much as we can. Being able to share music with others and doing it together as a duo is a special experience for us.
We're lucky to have met some truly wonderful people with a lot of knowledge early on — some through SaskMusic, and some on our own.
People such as Erik Mehlsen are strong mentors who are willing to share their time and experience and this really helps us progress as a band. Orion Paradis is a true professional in the studio and we benefited from his experience, patience, and generosity. Other musicians we have encountered are very open to teaming up for shows, and the spirit really seems more of a comradery than of a competition.
We get the vibe in Saskatchewan that we are all here to celebrate each other and help each other grow. There are artists in the scene right now doing some amazing things and you can see the maturing of grassroots organisations like North Sask Music Zine, and The Sit Down Podcast from Funky Moose who are helping to raise artists up and get them more attention.
There are always going to be challenges, but in Saskatchewan you'll find the dream team to help guide your next steps, and a community to celebrate your success.
People of the Sun, Regina
Leading up to their debut LP, scheduled to be released on Jan. 20, 2023, Regina's People of the Sun is a group to keep an eye on. An eclectic eight-piece R&B and hip hop collective, the group keeps releasing infectious single after infectious single, each one better than the last. Their October single Applause was so well received by everyone here at CBC that we aired it on two province wide radio shows and our popular weekend show.
We asked the band to describe its sound, tell us what sparked the decision to become local musicians and share thoughts on the Saskatchewan music scene.
With eight people in a band, our sound is a real mix of genres! I feel like golden era hip hop and alternative pop are the strongest flavours.
Both of our lead singers have unique voices and both of our emcees have unique flows. All four of them have different stories to tell. It's like a four-strand braid — you can see the parts, but it makes something strong together. There is so much ear candy in each song when you get to hear different voices.
All of us have a different story to tell. We decided to come together collectively to make a statement of reconciliation and inclusion in decisive times. But also, that local clout, I mean c'mon! Telling your co-workers you're airing on CBC on a Friday afternoon lets you walk a little taller around the office, ya know?
Jokes aside, a lot of us just love music so much, and when you're with other musicians, you feel like you're with your people. That's what links us.
The Saskatchewan music scene is the perfect mix. The community is small enough that you can get to know almost everyone in the scene if you try. You can be a generalist, checking out different cliques, like the classical or metal community, all in the same weekend. At the same time, it's big enough that we have some major infrastructure facilities and organizations that help us feel legit on the world stage.
I don't think any of us would have chosen this to be our home music community, but we're all doing our best to make the most of it, and that can-do attitude is contagious.
Amanda Hagel, Saskatoon
Rooted in rural Saskatchewan, Amanda Hagel is empowering — personally and professionally. A gifted musician, she uses her talents to inspire ever-growing audiences with her unique country style.
We asked Amanda to describe her sound, tell us what sparked her decision to become a musician and share her feelings about the Saskatchewan music scene.
As an inspirational/country music artist I have embraced my calling and purpose as my catalogue of music and its messages continue to be discovered, shared and recognized both nationally across Canada and around the world.
My sound and style reflect my country roots, having been born and raised on a farm in southwest Saskatchewan. Beyond my country influence, my music's messages and melodies inspire, uplift and bring positivity.
My music is a direct reflection of my own personal spiritual journey, which is why I call myself an inspirational artist. The title track of my most recent album, Be the Light, is a highly energized and uplifting track, with a contemporary sound and style that's unique and refreshing. Its message is one of empowerment that speaks of the journey to discover and outwardly express your highest expression by following the promptings of the heart.
The album as a whole delivers this heartfelt expression with beautiful melodic sounds, stunning vocals and storytelling with inspired, uplifting messages of hope.
I was called to music at a young age, asking for my first guitar at the age of nine. My passion and love for music has spanned my whole life. Becoming a part of the local music scene was an easy choice. I have expanded my reach as an artist, and developed my skills as a performer and songwriter by collaborating and networking with many amazing musicians and industry folks in the local scene.
The Sask. music scene has so much to offer. From the music organizations, to the musicians, producers, visual art companies and live music venues, there is no shortage of collaborative and developmental opportunities.
Latino Mariachi Band, Regina
For many people, culture can be celebrated by sharing music. Not only does it help people feel at home, it also opens many eyes and ears to a refreshing, new sound. Such is the case with Latino Mariachi Band — proudly Saskatchewan's first Mariachi band!
We asked founder Ana Hernandez to describe the group's sound, explain how it started and share how she feels about the Saskatchewan music scene.
Traditional, full of good rhythm, Mexican music!
Our music will get everyone on the dance floor. Some of our songs are full of energy for children, teenagers and adults! However, older people just love some romantic slower songs we play as well!
The band got together in September 2021. It consists of a group of 10 Latin members from Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Chile and one Canadian!
Mariachi Latino debuted Sept. 10, 2022, with great acceptance from the public!
Be ready to forget all your problems, sing and dance along with us. Music does not know about colour, race or distance. It makes everyone's hearts beat at the same rhythm!
Here in Saskatchewan there was no Mariachi Band. The Latin community often wished to have one to celebrate our events such as weddings, birthday parties, Mother's Day and so on.
One day, a group of friends decided to jump and do it. We opened the invitation to Latinos in the community to join the band.
The members of the band:
Ana Hernandez (Mexican/Canadian) - Singer
Ana is the founder of the mariachi band and the lead feminine singer!
Martin González (Mexican/Canadian)
He plays several instruments, sings, teaches and guides the entire band. He is a musical genius! Wait to hear his voice!
Christian Echeverria (Chilean/Canadian) – Vihuela
Experienced guitar player and now plays the vihuela. Christian is a very talented musician and he leads the guitars!
Martin Melo (Colombian/Canadian) – Guitarrón
Experienced bass player who has transitioned to play the guitarrón. Music runs in his blood! Nobody practices more than he does. He rocks!
Carmelle Pretzlaw (Canadian) – Violin
Carmelle is pure gold! She as an experienced and talented violin player. She plays for the RSO as well!
Marcel Alapizco (Mexican/Canadian) – Violin
Marcel is the youngest member. He is only 12 and he is very talented. He is also member of the youth conservatory orchestra!
Luis Alapizco (Mexican/ Canadian) – Trumpet
Luis is still new to the trumpet, but has shown some amazing skills to learn! Way to go Luis!
Sandra Y. Zapata (Colombian/Canadian) – Guitar
She is a guitar player and singer. She is a very talented, dedicated and successful woman!
Paula Andrea Rendon (Colombian/Canadian) - Flute
She is the youngest of the female musicians. She is a very smart and talent beautiful girl!
Regino Zavarce(Venezulean/Canadian) -Singer
Everyone knows Regino! He is the happiest member of the band and he is a Singer!
Carmina Burnett (Colombian/Canadian) – Guitar
She is a guitar player and music is her passion!
Our beginning was challenging as some of the instruments such as the guitarrón and vihuela are only manufactured in Mexico, as are the outfits. We did some fundraising, applied for grants and did the trip to Mexico. The community has given us an amazing welcoming and acceptance!
We love the creativity and the talent that can be found locally. We also love the support musicians receive from the government and grants, so that more people have exposure to what we all do at a lower cost. Music cheers our souls and becomes part of our own life history. Good job Saskatchewan musicians!
Wenches and Rogues, Saskatoon
Sometimes a specific musical culture is the perfect accompaniment to specific genres. Case in point: the high-energy, crowd pleasing approach of Celtic music goes hand-in-hand with punk and metal. It's not easy to take traditional instrumentation and adapt it around a specific genre, but for Saskatoon's Wenches and Rogues, it appears seamless.
If you love punk, metal and/or Celtic music, you just found your next favourite band in these veterans of the Saskatoon scene!
Read on to find out how they describe their music, how they got their start and what they feel about the local music scene.
Wenches and Rogues is a six member Celtic-Punk-Metal band: two powerhouse lead vocalalists, fiddle, whistle, oboe, guitar, bass and drums that you should try to keep up with!
Our tunes are basically a combo of driven vocals and harmonies, heavy groove guitar riffs, a punk-style rhythm section, all joined with traditional melody instruments from an Irish trad circle. Put simpler, you can jig, mosh and sing gang vocals all at the same time.
Music has always been in our blood. Wenches and Rogues members were already musicians from various backgrounds before we were a band. Some of us were regular karaoke stars, band nerds, playing in an orchestra, teaching music, performing in fiddle camps or musical theatre (both on stage or pit orchestra), and in other punk or rock bands growing up.
All of this brings us a lot of energy and motivation when writing or on stage. We came together through these music connections and the rest just happened naturally. Music is a passion we could not ignore, so we made it a reality.
We are grateful to everyone for supporting us. Wenches and Rogues are currently working on a couple EPs, with the first one to be released in the new year.
The Saskatchewan music scene has always been pretty exciting to be part of. It has given us a lot of opportunities to play music in varying settings and styles. We've played at Folkfest at the Scottish Pavilion, acoustic and traditional sets, the Saskatoon Highland Games, and various local venues both in Saskatoon and around Saskatchewan.
We find people here are always so excited and passionate about music, which is amazing to be a part of. These experiences also happen in smaller towns, some of which are our fondest memories! Wenches and Rogues wouldn't be a band without the Saskatchewan music scene, so we have a lot of gratitude and appreciation for it.
Music has always been categorized. Most artists get placed into a specific genre according to their style and sound. Thankfully, every once in a while someone unique comes along and makes it virtually impossible to put them in one box.
Introducing Grimelda. The Saskatoon duo, formerly known as the Faps, takes influences from several fun genres and even won a contest to open for Detroit's clown princes of hip hop Insane Clown Posse. They're hard to define and impossible to forget.
Do your ears and brain a favour and plunge into the wildly creative music of Grimelda by checking out their latest single George Thorogood, which we've added to our playlist below. Here's how the pair described their the sound, how they got their start in music and how they feel about the local music scene.
Ring-ting-ting bonk! WooooooooOOOOop boinnnnng zip zip zooooooot bonk bonk bonk bonk bonk bonk bonk bonk bonk bonk bonk bonk bonk …… bonk. Screeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. ..uh just kidding. We don't really know.
We try to mess around with preconceived ideas of genre. It's a little absurdist, a little heavy, creative, and oddly keeps one foot in the realm of catchy pop. We always try to make people smile, whether it's through our live show or little unexpected moments in the music.
Both our dads are musical and so we were always around music, but local? I don't know if we had a choice. There was definitely an epiphany around our teens when local shows became the thing to do. Lots of local punk and hardcore was happening in southern Saskatchewan and we'd go and check it out as often as we could.
That scene led to all kinds of bands coming through. Acts like Mahogany Frog, Despistado, Run Chico Run, and Tugnut definitely gave us a glimpse into unconventional or straight up bizarre music and led us to seeking those styles out. It's vital to have communities like that. They help your dang brain grow some.
We've toured a lot now and realized that bigger cities are large enough to create whole scenes within genres. That's really cool to see and creates one kind of artist community, but the nature of shows around Saskatchewan just doesn't allow it.
There was only a handful of other young bands in Moose Jaw when we started playing community halls at 15 years old. It wasn't uncommon for a show to have an acoustic opener, a metal band, a hip hop artist, whatever was available.
There's definitely an element of Grimelda that mocks gatekeeping and genre purists. That's probably because we came up in Saskatchewan, where if spaces weren't inclusive they simply wouldn't have existed. We try to take that spirit with us when we play and tour.
You know that feeling when you find a new favourite song or band? That up-the-spine tingle driving you to listen to the same song on repeat all day? I got that feeling recently when I first heard GreenWing and the title track from the debut album Late Bloomer (you can stream it in the playlist embedded below).
Balancing alternative rock with elements of punk and pop-inspired hooks, GreenWing is a great Saskatchewan band writing great music.
But don't take it from me. If you really want to get to know a band, it's best to go directly to the source. Here's how guitarist Matt Stinn describes the sound, how he got his start in music and how he feels about the local music scene.
To me, GreenWing is not quite a punk band. Sure, we have loads of classic punk elements, but at the bottom of it all is catchy pop-formatted writing with a focus on lyrical content and hooks that a listener can easily grab on to.
I remember thinking, when I was 14 to 16, that 'real' bands didn't play in bars. Obviously that was a very wrong perception to have, but it lasted until around 2008, when I unknowingly walked into Amigo's Cantina in Saskatoon and saw a band called Young Empire with local support from We Were Lovers. This show literally changed everything for me. The intimacy, the crowd pushed up to the stage, the electric feeling in the room as 300 people all nodded along. I instantly knew two things: I was wrong and holy hell did I want this!
Saskatchewan's music scene is as diverse as the people who live here. Besides being an obvious stronghold for country and folk music (go figure), Saskatchewan also offers incredible rock, pop, soul and hip hop. Every time I feel like I have a good grip on what's going on in the scene, I'm instantly blown away by another band or artist I'd somehow never heard of. I think this sort of melting pot atmosphere drives Saskatchewan artists not just to be unique, but to also push themselves on a professional level with touring and releases.
ka lok, Regina
When it comes to local musicians, it's not uncommon to see someone branch out. When a music community like Saskatchewan's is so tight knit, new bands and new projects become very common. However, it's rare for an artist to branch out by embracing a brand new sound and style.
If you've ever listened to the ambient rock of Bears in Hazenmore, rocked out with Megan Nash & the Best of Intentions or soaked in the traditional Western Swing style of Wolf Willow, you'll probably quickly recognize trumpet player Dalton Lam. Dalton recently released a solo project and its not what you'd expect.
Enter ka lok and his debut single Opium Boy, an EDM heavy, soft vocal gift for anyone who loves a great anime soundtrack. Even if any of these styles aren't for you, I'm willing to bet this song will quickly become your next ear worm. You can hear it in the official playlist below.
Here's how ka lok describes his sound, how he got his start and how he feels about the local music scene.
I don't really know how to describe my music, but I can talk about my influences and perhaps that can inform you on why my music sounds the way it does.
I listened almost exclusively to soundtrack music as a child. I remember spending a lot of time in my childhood learning movie, anime and video game soundtracks on the piano. It just felt so good to be able to replicate music that gave me so much joy during that period of my life.
Although my music taste has expanded quite a bit, many of my musical ideas are unintentionally influenced by the epic and over-the-top soundtracks of my youth. Over COVID lockdown, I spent a lot of time listening to James Blake, Bon Iver, Moses Sumney, Jon Hopkins, Flume, Toro Y Moi and Son Lux. The production and songwriting from those artists are incredible and I would say that much of my influence also comes directly from those artists.
I also got to see Moses Sumney live in Wisconsin during a music festival called Eaux Claires. He was making music that I didn't think could exist, but there it was, existing.
I also went to my first rave a few years ago, right after the COVID lockdown had lifted. The experience really broadened my understanding of EDM and helped turn me onto the electronic production side of music.
I have played in indie bands, orchestras, wind bands and jazz bands all my life, but electronic music was entirely new to me. I remember the wide range of emotions I had during the rave and wanted to be able to replicate that in my music. Understanding sound design was a big take away from that experience and has definitely found its way into my music making process.
I also have been blessed with my experiences hanging out with my bandmates, Bears in Hazenmore and Megan Nash. They have helped me understand songwriting and production so much and I will always be grateful to have become friends with them. I'm sure that all of these experiences have helped shape my music in some way.
If I had to describe the sound of my music, I would say that it is extremely "extra," anime soundtrack music.
I started this project mostly due to the pandemic. I love performing and I love showing others what I think sounds cool. I was unable to make music or perform with my band and I really needed a musical outlet.
I remember being so excited to play the Broadway Theatre with The Garry's for Juno Fest, and that got cancelled due to the pandemic. I also had just been laid off from my teaching job, as schools closed quite quickly.
After this, I started making music on Ableton. I spent hours every day, realizing how fun it was to piece together ideas. At the same time, I would binge-watch a lot of live performances on YouTube. I watched Jon Hopkins's 2015 Glastonbury set almost once a week for the entire spring. I didn't realize how much I would miss experiencing live music.
I also felt pretty unfulfilled at the time of the lockdown. Making music made me happier and gave me a sense of fulfilment. There is an incredibly euphoric feeling that comes from breaking through sticking points while in the process of creating. I feel incredibly happy and excited every time I am able to break through a creative rut, whether it's a larger creative concept such as the songwriting behind the song, or more specific decisions such as the inflection of how I sing a phrase.
I guess the reason I became a local musician is pretty selfish. Making music and performing makes me feel fulfilled and happy, and I would love for others to experience what makes me happy.
The Saskatchewan music scene is incredibly supportive of local artists. There are many incredible musicians around who create their own unique sounds. What I find great is that the music scene is pretty inclusive. It seems like all the different music genres in Saskatchewan respect each other. I saw so many interactions between local musicians at Regina Folk Fest this year and it warmed my heart.
I have met some pretty terrible people on tour, and I am grateful to not have experienced or witnessed much of that negative energy in Saskatchewan. I feel like kindness is the general vibe I get from the music scene here and I am all for it.
Matt Kaip, Regina
If you've ever taken a deep dive into the Saskatchewan music scene, you've undoubtedly heard the name Matt Kaip.
A member of countless local bands and trios, Matt's love of music isn't just apparent through his own. As a guitar builder and video game music creator, he has continued to showcase his endless creativity and talent.
Most recently, Matt ventured into the solo artist territory, releasing a wonderful daydream-inducing instrumental EP called Moon Reflected in Water (with Regina's Les Schaeffer on drums). We've added his single Ha Ling Peak to the Local Music Project official Spotify playlist embedded below.
Here's how Matt describes his sound, how he got his start and how he feels about the local music scene.
Most of the music that I have been involved with has been heavily influenced by dance and jazz. Like the song Moon Reflected in Water in spirit, but different in its inception. It's more dreamy because it was written without a band.
I started playing in local clubs in Regina when I was 13. I began touring when I was 17. I slept on lots of floors, and in hotels, band houses and gas station parking lots.
Around 2017, I began gigging steadily around the province with my own jazz combo and really liked playing shows and waking up in my own bed. I still will play road shows. It's just such a new experience to be at home with my family on the weekend watching a movie.
I experienced many weird and wonderful things touring when I was younger, but this new chapter is really interesting and new to me.
I like the local scene because we have so many strong musicians in Saskatchewan. Just listen to Les play drums on my track, Ha Ling Peak. Regina especially has an extremely high level of musicianship.
The Gladstone, North Battleford
If you've never heard the band The Gladstone, unfortunately you never will. Although the music sounds like it's coming from a full band, it's entirely created by one person, Madison Hemmerling.
His unique synth-heavy, '80s-inspired songs are both powerful and captivating. No surprise, really, when you find out that he spent much of his youth touring North America with his very large family gospel band Double Portion.
We first heard about The Gladstone after receiving his music via our Submit Local Music form and haven't stopped listening to it since! Have a listen for yourself: We've added his brand new single Never Ending Nights to the Local Music Project official Spotify playlist embedded below.
Here's how he describes his sound, how he got his start and how he feels about the local music scene.
I would describe my music as being rooted in the classic indie genres, while mixing in pop sensibilities for a more up-beat sound. I love writing melancholic melodies, emotionally compelling chords and intricate grooves and guitar riffs. I have always adored '80's music, which has influenced my choices during production to include synths, making it one of the main elements in my songs. My goal is to always inspire the listener and surprise them with what they hear.
I have been playing music with my family's band full time since I was 13. Before that I would sing on stage as a child and play drums on a couple of songs every night. Although I started on the drums I slowly became interested in other instruments, such as piano, bass and guitar. Basically, anything that can make a musical sound I enjoy messing around on. I became more interested in pursuing music as an artist around 2015 when I started to record and compose my own songs.
I love that the Saskatchewan music scene is so supportive of their local musicians. I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered the opportunities and resources that are available to the up-and-coming artists and musicians of this province. I appreciate how inclusive and friendly other artists are — it is not as though we are in competition, but that we are all in this together.
Brad Proudlove, Rosefield
With a population of roughly 16, you may have never heard of southern Saskatchewan's Rosefield. After listening to music from resident Brad Proudlove, you'll wonder why you haven't.
Many of the artists we've featured create their songs based on their surroundings and Proudlove is no different.
Stripped down and rooted in country, Proudlove's folk sounds are memorable. His latest release and catchy single Fair to Middlin' (a term used to describe above-average grain prices) bring this point home on several fronts.
Here's how he describes his sound, how he got his start and how he feels about the local music scene.
I'm probably best described as a folk singer. My music has touches of country and Americana, but I like to think it's influenced by a wide range of genres. First and foremost I consider myself a songwriter, though. I've always had a soft spot for an acoustic guitar and a good story, or a clever turn of phrase.
It's hard to pinpoint exactly when I got involved in music, I grew up singing in church, at provincial music festivals, and was involved in school music programs (way back in the day when rural schools still had such a thing). When I was 13 my folks bought me an old used Takamine acoustic guitar from the 60s for $100, and I've been playing that same guitar for nearly 30 years now.
Saskatchewan has an incredible amount of great musicians, but the real heart of the Saskatchewan music scene are the supporters of local music. No matter the size of the town or venue, I'm always humbled by the number of people who are willing to come out and listen and connect with new music.
There's something powerful about music intertwined with an artist's beliefs. No one knows that better than Jamaican-Canadian musician Kevin Anthony Fowler — otherwise known as, K-Anthony. A man of faith, he uses his music to help spread his message.
This power was on full display when this Yorkton resident performed his single Free as part of our Black on the Prairies launch celebration. To be honest, the hairs on our necks still haven't gone down.
A 2021 Juno nominee in the Contemporary/Christian Gospel Album of the Year category, K-Anthony's light continues to shine bright. With the release of his powerful new single I Saved it All, it's only getting brighter!
Here's how he describes his sound, how he got his start and how he feels about the local music scene.
I would best describe my music as something that is meant to create hope for those who listen. Life can throw everyone obstacles and it is my duty to use my God-given gift to give hope, encourage and inspire.
My music isn't solely about hope, but rather pointing people to the source of my strength, the author and finisher of my faith, Jesus. He inspires my creation and I want to use my platform to praise Him and all the good He does for each and everyone of us.
I was in the music scene prior to moving to Saskatchewan, as it has always been a passion of mine. However, when I arrived I was instantly adopted into the Saskatchewan family. The generosity and goodwill that I received here will never be forgotten, so it is very important for me to give back by representing Saskatchewan in what I do, which is making music honouring Jesus for the world to enjoy.
What I love most about the Saskatchewan music scene is how supportive the people are. It is wonderful to see how welcoming they were to both me and my family when I arrived. Everyone welcomed me into their community with open arms and supported me in my journey to inspire.
Origin of Spin, Regina
Origin of Spin (Adam Parwez) is a self-taught Pakistani/Canadian beatmaker. Raised in the analog era of turntables, drum machines and samplers, he navigates through technology in the digital age, searching for sounds that invoke emotion, passion and affect the listener in a profound way.
My music is a blend of trip-hop, lo-fi, electronic and jazz music.
Inspired by producers such as Nujabes, J Dilla, Flying Lotus, Pete Rock and Bonobo, I make whatever I feel at the time.
My musical tastes and output often fluctuate, which can be heard in the progression of my work. Being confined to one genre feels limiting, as I am a lover of many different genres of music and get inspired by all the sounds I hear.
After learning how to play bass, guitar and drums in my teenage years, I started recording myself, scratching vinyl on a cheap turntable and making beats on a cracked version of FL Studio.
I was jamming with friends and doing photography and videography for local artists and rappers in high school. I then started making my own beats, songs and music videos with very little knowledge of the recording and mastering process. I would just plug in the mic, record and release. It was all for the love back then (and still is).
- Local Music ProjectSaskatchewan's new generation of musicians draws inspiration from home and abroad
I moved to Vancouver in 2012 to study audio engineering and music production, with the intention of learning how to hone my craft in recording, mixing and mastering. I started networking and working with incredible and prominent producers, musicians, emcees, singers and DJs in the B.C. music scene, most of whom have seen great success and accolades.
During my six years in Vancouver I evolved as an artist and became Origin of Spin. In 2019 I released BLVNT TAPE VOL. 1, followed by Abstract Perception in 2020, and my recent single, Reflection in 2021.
This year I plan to release BLVNT TAPE VOL. 2, which features a lot of local emcees along with a Canadian hip-hop legend. I can't wait for everyone to hear it.
Other projects I have lined up for 2022 include an album with singer/songwriter Ava Wild, an album with emcee Bizzness, a beat tape with producer Enzo, and an EP with emcee Info Red, as well as a new studio album with my band People of the Sun.
I love how the Saskatchewan music scene has grown and diversified with vibrant cultures of people and genres of music since I've returned. Seeing all the new talent emerging is refreshing, and the sounds they are making are really exciting.
I think the Saskatchewan music scene is going to see a huge boom in the next few years, and I am so happy to be a part of it.
Anna Haverstock, Saskatoon
Once the radio-ready, catchy alt-rock pop tunes of Saskatoon's Anna Haverstock hook you, they never let you go. CBC Radio 3 has compared her with Serena Ryder and we couldn't agree more. Anna's electric vocals, rock rhythms and overall energy are just a few of the many reasons we wanted to celebrate her sound.
My music is a little grungy, '90s alternative rock mixed with easy-going California vibes.
I've been playing guitar since about second grade and I grew up being surrounded by music. I've always loved music so much and enjoy playing the guitar, so I figured one day I would be in a band. I was very shy back then so I didn't imagine being the lead singer, but here we are!
The Saskatchewan music scene is so supportive and the energy is good here. We are very lucky, because that's not always the case in other cities. People in the music scene here like to support good folks and good projects.
Constant Reminder, James Smith Cree Nation
A band of brothers, Saskatchewan's Constant Reminder has been rocking stages locally and abroad for more than a decade. The group is fuelled by drive, determination and true talent — it's fitting that its album and EP titles through the years have included the words passion and love.
We here at CBC Saskatchewan have "loved them all along,'"as we've had their super catchy 2014 single of the same name in regular rotation on several of our shows since its release. Here's how the band members describe their sound, how they got their start. and how they feel about the local music scene.
Our music is a combination of a bluesy pop/rock sound.
Our music was a pastime for us, then it flourished into something bigger then we expected. We love music with a sincere, respectful passion and we play it within our own brotherly frequency. Now our music is being listened to around the world.
We love the Saskatchewan music scene because its broadening is horizon without boundaries.
We are Sask made, Sask proud and Sask strong!
Canadian Christian/gospel singer-songwriter Elenee (ah-LEN-ee) Young has a gift and, thankfully for music lovers, she's sharing it. Vocally, lyrically and musically, her songs empower and uplift.
Winner of the 2017 Songwriter of the Year at Nashville's GMA (Gospel Music Association) Immerse event, she continues to pursue her artistry while bridging Canadian and American gospel music. She is half Greek and also holds Métis citizenship, and is proud to represent her cultural diversity at the ever-growing table of gospel artists.
Here's how she describes her sound, how she got her start and how she feels about the local music scene.
My music can be beat described as warm, uplifting and familiar. There is a certain element of unpredictability as I dabble in many different styles of music, yet they all have a common denominator of hope.
I've loved music my whole life. I grew up listening to anything from B.B. King and Eric Clapton to Amy Grant, Abba and the Bee Gees.
I love how music has the ability to withdraw emotions and memories. It's also a universal language that everyone can identify with and I love anything that brings unity.
The Saskatchewan music scene is SO diverse! There are so many artists and the scene is so colourful. It feels like a big happy family!
When you hear the music of Saskatoon's Blaeser, you know from the very first chord you're in for something special.
On April 29, Blaeser released Lies Below featuring Kim Bouchard. The powerful new single is what he describes as an "anti-National anthem about residential schools in Canada." You can hear it for yourself in the embedded playlist below.
Here's how he describes his sound, how he got his start and how he feels about the local music scene.
It's like an aggressive acoustic folk-rock with finger style elements and a soft spot for lyricism. I'm heavily influenced by The Tragically Hip and singer-songwriters like Dan Mangan and Dallas Green, and then toss in some of the rhythm of finger stylists like Jon Gomm or Calum Graham.
A big part of my style development through the years has been trying to enhance the experience of the audience. I can't hit those high notes like a pop star, so instead I focused on writing (what I hope are) interesting riffs and unique lyrics. I draw a lot on my linguistics background to create rhymes and phrases in unexpected places, trying to maximize the impact I make, even down to the way I place syllables and sounds.
I installed a custom triple-pickup on my guitar, which along with my pedals gives me a bit more control over how the sound mix comes out and what I can do with it. It gives me the flexibility to make a single guitar sound as big as I need it to — as well as more ethereal, more aggressive, more abrupt and so on. It sounds like a lot but it all comes together nicely, I promise.
I grew up on a farm north of Kindersley. Unfortunately, I was allergic to almost everything when I was young. I had to spend a lot of time indoors, so when I was 6 or 7, my parents got a piano and my aunt taught me and my siblings how to play. From there I took drum lessons, played the sax and keyboards in the school jazz band, and learned bass and guitar as a teenager.
I've played in a few different bands, including one (Crack the Lens) that won a few awards and toured a bit. But it wasn't until about 2018 that I started to really find my own sound. Once I had a couple of small festivals under my belt, I was hooked.
It doesn't matter how big or small the show is, as long as the audience is enjoying themselves and I can build those connections to the crowd. No performance is perfect, but they're always passionate and that's much more important to me anyway.
It's like a close-knit family here, where successes are celebrated together and there's always encouragement to keep going after a setback. It doesn't matter if you're in a wild crowd or watching something more subdued, that thread of genuine joy is always there.
I think the distances between communities in the Prairies lends itself to a fierce pride in the music that's produced here, and even the small festivals shine that spotlight on local musicians in such a big and endearing way.
I live down the street from where Joni Mitchell played her first show in Saskatoon, and every time I walk past it's a reminder that this is a province where small seeds can turn into great, grand things if you nurture them. It defines our whole identity, so why should the music scene be any different?
Music heals and no ones knows that better than Sask rocker ZAYD. Music was the crutch that kept him standing strong through some of his darkest times and now it's his way to becoming a shining light within our industry.
Quoted as 'seeing his music as a cause, a way to empower and a way to fight for your own mental health' ZAYD talks the talk and walks the walk with a visceral, fist-in-the-air style of music that resounds louder with every listen. As a means to showcase his diverse talents, we've added his latest single 'Wicked Ones' plus the acoustic version of his single 'Father' to the embedded playlist below.
Here's how he describes his sound, how he got his start and how he feels about the local music scene.
Hard hitting music and raging guitar licks, soulful ballads and EDM, my music pulls from every genre to express each story. My music is about trauma, fighting with yourself, being different and how to cope. When life knocked me down, it was always music that pulled me through and now I want to pay it forward. Each song and each story has the power to connect with people. Take what you need from it, and push on.
My singing is influenced by Chester Bennington, Chris Cornell and Myles Kennedy. And my guitar playing is heavily influenced by Mark Tremonti.
I'm a believer in experimenting and pushing my skills, whether it's with the singing or guitar or the overall sound of my songs. On all of my released and unreleased songs, I've tried to introduce different styles so that it's soothing for any type of listener.
One album changed my life and made me the musician that I am today - Linkin Park's very first album Hybrid Theory. Chester's screams and his vocal melodies just mesmerized me. From the moment I heard his voice, I was in love with it. That day, I decided that I wanted to be a musician when I grew up. Not the answer every parent would want to hear at that age, ha-ha.
Also, Chester's voice and his lyrics helped me to go through some tough times in my life. So I want to do the same for others. Whenever someone reaches out to me and says that my music helped them in their tough times, it gives me peace and encouragement to keep on writing, keep on telling my stories.
So that's how the journey started. Still to this day, I blast that Linkin Park album and sing along. That album still inspires me to keep on pushing for my music dreams. To honour Chester Bennington, on March 20th, 2020, I released my debut single "Father" on his birthday. Since then, I've never looked back.
Saskatchewan is a hidden gem that's yet to be discovered by the world. There are so many talented musicians out here from every genre. It's incredible. Also, our music community is humble and kind. The support from this community especially from SaskMusic is amazing. From the beginning of my career, SaskMusic has been a blessing. They have guided me through different steps that I wouldn't even know.
I'm proud to call Saskatchewan my home. Being able to represent Saskatchewan on the world stage is one of my dreams.
The Radiant, Saskatoon
Proudly building a wall of sound, the music of Saskatoon's The Radiant is layered with countless genres and influences. By having an open door policy for their craft, the band members have welcomed in an ever growing audience of music lovers looking for something unique.
To celebrate this uniqueness, we shifted our focus for this submission and asked each individual band member the same questions below. After reading their answers, check out their latest single 'Clear' on the official Local Music Project Spotify playlist.
Here's how they each described their sound:
Mikhaila: Heavy hitting wall of sound with a psychedelic underbelly. Energetic, but you can get lost in it.
Mike: The Radiant is alternative rock group with psychedelic, indie pop, noise pop influences with an electronic spin. The group brings influences many areas from jazz, classical, folk and blues, to prog, electronic and indie rock.
Jordan: The Radiant's music is hard-hitting psychedelic alt rock with electronic influences. It's groovy to keep you dancing but trippy enough to keep you guessing where it'll head next.
Evan: An eclectic fusion of the best parts from psychedelic alternative pop and rock.
Paul: Hard-driving groove based alt-rock with electronic and psychedelic elements.
Here's how they got their starts:
Mikhaila: I have always had a passion for performing. I looked up to the people I am lucky enough to play with today, so it felt natural to follow that journey.
Mike: I became a local musician to continue my musical journey and to be inspiration to the students I teach. Music is a journey one continues on so many levels.
Jordan: Ever since I started playing an instrument seriously I knew I wanted to play music in some capacity, but meeting you guys [The Radiant] and having subsequent experiences with you has really just put gasoline on that fire.
Evan: I was always going to be a musician in some capacity. If I wasn't local to Saskatoon, I'd be local to somewhere else.
Paul: Music has had a profound impact on my life. A big part of what drives me to continue making music is the hope that our music will have a positive influence on the lives of others.
Here's how they feel about the local music scene:
Mikhaila: I love how surprising it is. Huge talent comes out of this province with sounds you'd never expect, and the loyal fans really show up.
Mike: The Saskatchewan music scene has many loyal, die hard music lovers that go out to shows every weekend. You will find many underrated bands that put on a killer show and put so much passion and inspiration into their music.
Jordan: Despite not having a large population in comparison to other places in Canada, I feel like Sask. has a really active/lively music scene, as well as lots of great venues and places to play (specifically in Saskatoon) which I really appreciate. I guess what I'm trying to say is the music per capita is high.
Evan: The Sask. music scene is surprisingly dense for its size. It is a fairly supportive and inclusive scene, given its somewhat reduced resource pool.
Paul: The Sask. music scene is very supportive of local artists, and despite the lack of major music city centres there are a great many artists who continue to put great music out into the world with passion and determination.
- Listen to our Local Music Project Spotify playlist here or below