He learned piano, guitar, and saxophone at a young age, but John O (as his friends call him) was more into playing dress-up with his cousin Lisa while dreaming of a life beyond the Toronto suburbs where he was born. Of course, being the only kid on the block that wanted to pair a ballerina tutu from the tickle trunk with hockey gloves didn't always make things easy.
Listen to the Banned is a unique collection of contemporary songs by artists from around the world who have been censored, persecuted, taken to court, imprisoned and even tortured for a very simple reason -- their music.
Presented by Freemuse and Deeyah, the compilation is a musical statement by artists who are united in one single, important issue - the protection of the freedom of musical expression, a freedom many take for granted.
Mikela Jay is a Canadian singer, songwriter and performer as well as an established actor and filmmaker appearing in dozens of film and television productions. Mikela's voice can be heard narrating the multi-award winning Canadian documentary The Corporation, the 2010 docu-feature Pax Americana and the online release of Psywar. Her highly anticipated solo album The Distance is now available on iTunes and Amazon.com.
To learn more about Mikela, pay a visit to her website mikelajay.com
Back in 2007, Vancouver singer-songwriter Jasper Sloan Yip built a stage in the backyard of his childhood home with his father and performed for the first time, until the police arrived. These days, Jasper has a dynamic and versatile band behind him, and their latest album "Every Day and All at Once" has been played on all three CBC Radio channels, including a live performance on Radio One. To learn more, check out Jasper's MySpace page.
He's the Canadian-born singer-songwriter who's teamed up with an explosive live band featuring some of New York's most talented musicians. Zack recently finished recording his new EP Dollars Spent on Nothing" which includes the hit single "Here & There." "My songs are being taken to an entirely new level with my band. It's amazing to see their interpretation of the tunes, and is adding tremendous depth and musicianship to very personal experiences of mine."
Watch for the chance to win a free download on our facebook and twitter feed!
Library Voices is an eight piece pop collective from Regina, Saskatchewan. Blending tremolo soaked guitars with analog synths, vintage organs, circuit bent electronics, accordion, saxophone, strings, theremin, Tenori-on, and glockenspiel, their songs play out like an AM radio jingle; mixing the best of the 60's, 70's, 80's, and today.
To learn more about the band and their new album Denim on Denim, check out libraryvoices.ca.
Dartmouth musical artist Ruth Minnikin crafted her new album Depend on This with the vision of a tiny symphony swaying in her mind's eye. This orchestral opus spans the Atlantic Ocean and unites seventeen magical musicians, twenty-three integral instruments, a men's vocal choir, three pop producers, one sound artist, and a handful of visual artists. To learn more about Ruth and her Band Wagon, check out www.ruthminnikin.ca.
Said The Whale formed in 2007 as a collaboration between songwriters Ben Worcester and Tyler Bancroft. The pair’s debut EP, Taking Abalonia, featured sunny west coast indie pop, with breezy harmonies, shimmering guitars, and lyrical tributes to their home city of Vancouver. After several personnel changes, the group settled upon a five-piece lineup that includes bassist Peter Carruthers, drummer Spencer Schoening, and keyboardist Jaycelyn Brown. Their new album, Islands Disappear, draws on the experience of driving across Canada on tour.
Growing from the dark woods of a secluded island in Canada's stunning Georgia Strait, 24-HOUR Church of Beer evolved slowly, somewhat like mushrooms, or a lager yeast. The group is currently a power trio, consisting of Rev. Tim (bass, lead vocals, most words), Mutha Superior G (guitar, vocals), and Brother Lazarus (drums, vocals). To learn more about them and their new album Sacrelicious, go to 24-HOUR Church of Beer's MySpace page.