“Canada is a beautiful country,” says Jeff Waters’ friendly voice over the phone. Though his band was formed in Ottawa in the 1980s, this will be Annihilator’s first headline tour here in over 20 years. In the early days, there was money flowing in the metal industry, and the musicians teenaged Jeff found were really good. However, the serious musician life isn’t for everyone, and the band’s core figure would soon start learning other instruments to fill in the holes left by some of the less-committed. After releasing 3 successful records and the worldwide touring that followed each release, Jeff eventually made the step intoRead More →

Growing Your Mailing List Is Like Ice Skating: Your Guide To Brilliant, Miscalculated and Illegal Moves: As of writing this, my local hockey team is winning, or something. Downtown Elgin street’s pubs are filled with red jerseys and face paint, and Ottawa has even made internet news for being so polite with our celebrations; only dancing in the street while we’re not blocking traffic. Now, I have never played hockey in my life. Growing up, figure skating was my sport. As you can probably guess by my personality, I cared far more about putting on a show than about winning points for grace and elegance.Read More →

So, your friend wants to set up automated Direct Messages on their Twitter account. Do us all a favour and show them this article – after you finish face-palming, of course. If you’ve followed smaller musicians on Twitter lately, chances are you’ve run into automated, robotic messages they’ve programmed to send out to everyone. I know I’m not the only one to be annoyed; so, here are a couple of reasons why I think they’re a bad idea. Note that I come from a musician background, and now work on the media side. I interact with artists on and offline everyday, and tend to preferRead More →

By 23rd Hour | Listen to their music on SoundCloud As musicians, we can’t control how we compare to our peers. While we should strive to be the best musicians we can possibly be, there will always be somebody who can do it better. We can’t control how good other people are but we can control how pleasant we are to work with. We believe that being awesome clients can be a key differentiator. We are thus starting a series to inspire other musicians to use this strategy to advance their careers. Hiring a publicist: Expectations vs. reality Expectation: Getting a publicist means you can focus on the music andRead More →

Six years is a long time in the music industry. While it seems like young artists are releasing quick singles every month for fear of losing relevance, adult contemporary/pop (with an edge!) singer-songwriter Chantal Hackett is on the edge of jumping back into her own show after half a dozen years. While still singing the National Anthem at sports games, doing guest performances, background vocals and cover songs, what kind of artist waits that long to release new original material in this digital age? One who builds their own company, that’s who. The 31-year-old “artist-entrepreneur” is also the owner of Ottawa-based Sing House Studios, aRead More →

Congrats, you landed an interview! You’re excited, we’re excited, we’ve set up a date and time, and you’re counting down to it. Here are a couple of things myself and other music bloggers would love to let you know. We want to make you look good. “I think having an attitude of respect for the blog is good. They should read another interview from the site. I mean, when David Ramirez told me he read my interview with Noah Gundersen… WOW.  I was blown away.” – Greg Jones, Ear To The Ground We run/work at music blogs because we love music, and can even sometimesRead More →

For a Canadian in Ottawa, I realize that I’ve never talked about the Quebec music scene. For those of you from other places in the world, Quebec is the French-speaking province just across the river. Whereas the English Canadian music culture fights not to get swept up by it’s bigger neighbours down south (to the point where there are regulations stating that 30% of music on the radio must be Canadian), Quebec’s language difference means that they built themselves a formidable and distinct music culture. Enter Marie Onile, a 20-year-old singer-songwriter from the small town of Lac-Megantic, population 6000. Google “Lac-Megantic, Quebec” and the firstRead More →

Have you ever stumbled across a YouTube makeup video? You know the kind: pretty girls with their DSLR cameras, perfect winged eyeliner and white bedroom walls? The top beauty gurus have millions of subscribers, who tune in 2-3 times a week to watch them host a tutorial, review a product, or give an update on their life. This up-close-and-personal style builds super fans, the kind of loyalty any musical artist would love to have. After doing a ton of research (*cough,* watching YouTube videos), I’ve managed to boil down the elements of a makeup v-logger, and found a lot of similarities to musicians on socialRead More →

“I don’t want it leaving my studio, with our name on it, if it isn’t quality,” C.T. Strickland Jr. proclaims over a cup of hot black tea. The craftsman describes himself over the phone as sitting at a solid oak workbench with a granite slab insert at the centre, one he made with his hands. He’s been making things since 1976. C.T. Music Straps Inc. is a small business that makes custom straps for guitars, mandolins and banjos. These detailed works of art are made out of full-grain, vegetable tanned leather (the only leather than can be tooled), are stitched by hand, and embellished withRead More →

Last week was my second time at CMW 2017. Last year, it was part of the coolest field trip ever, courtesy of Algonquin College’s MIA program. This year, while still in Music Industry Arts (I’m doing the program in two years instead of one), I bought my own ticket, took care of my own lodgings, but got to ride with my classmates. This little compilation contains links for you to check out their respective works, with larger articles coming later. Enjoy! Rick Barker Last year, Rick directly said to me “if school is getting in the way of your career, why are you in school?”Read More →