Christmas Canada Pop Artists

EH440

MAGICALLY FUSE OLD & NEW
INTO A MUST-HEAR SOUND

Eh440, the incredible Toronto-based vocal group has been stunning audiences worldwide since they first hit the stage a few years ago.

With just a beatboxer, bass vocalist, and 3 very different lead singers, this means that they are technically an ‘a cappella’ group but most people think of them as something very different.

You forget that there aren’t any instruments because they really do sound like a full band!” said one fan.  “They sound hip and current.  It’s like they magically fuse old and new into a must-hear sound.  And I love that they write their own songs because it makes me feel so connected to them as people.

Following the release of their award-winning 2014 debut release Turn Me Up, Eh440 wanted to step things up to a new level.  A level they hadn’t yet achieved – the boss level!

Boss Level is a phrase that stems from gaming culture and is now starting to creep into the mainstream.  In a video game, the final level to win the game (where you encounter & battle the biggest & strongest character – the boss) is called the Boss Level.  But now, any ultimate level of achievement where you take on your most formidable foe is the boss level.

When they started writing songs for their next album, the band claims that the songs felt very ‘top level’ so when they wrote Boss Level, naturally that was going to be the title track.

Boss Level’s September 2016 release has generated some exciting fan reviews too.  Some are saying they can’t stop playing it on repeat.  Others are saying that a particular song has inspired them in some way.  So this latest release is clearly a step in a new direction for Eh440 and they are getting exactly what the album title says ‘boss level feedback about a boss level album’ and they couldn’t be more excited!

THE JOURNEY STARTED OVER
A DECADE AND A HALF AGO

Eh440 started harmonizing together in 2012.

But their journey really started over a decade and a half ago.

As kids, Janet Turner and Stacey Kay used to compete against each other in singing contests.

The first time they met, Stacey was just 8 years old and Janet a little older. Over the years they each took their turn winning various contests and even though some competitors took it a little too seriously, they actually cheered on the other and became lifelong friends.

While on a North American Broadway Tour for Godspell a while ago, Stacey thought she heard a voice from the heavens.  Was it Jesus?!  Well, Jake Stern was playing the role of Jesus in the production!

Years later, Stacey approached Jake about joining Eh440 and the fit was perfect. Jake had been performing professionally in theatres, film, and TV since he was in high school, so the opportunity to travel the world while sharing his talents is a dream come true for him.

Luke Stapleton (aka the Human Record) started beatboxing as a small child. Coming from a “show biz family”, Luke would listen to his dad play the drums in their house and recreate the sounds using only his mouth. He also maintains that his childhood stutter was gone upon the introduction of music to his life. “My brain was faster than my mouth“, says Luke.  If you see him beatbox now, you can see quite clearly, that his mouth has caught up!

Joe Oliva started his musical journey later than most kids who dream of being on stage. In his last year of high school, Joe joined his school choir after the director heard his bass voice barrelling down the school halls and begged him to join. And he hasn’t stopped singing since.

So in early 2012, Eh440 was born and they got lucky from the start.  Most bands’ first gig is at a backyard BBQ or wedding.  Eh440’s first gig was performing the national anthems for the Valentine’s Day 2012 Toronto Raptors vs. New York Knicks NBA game. Singing in an arena for 20,000 people? Pretty good first gig!

So, Eh440 is a mix of 5 people from 5 very different backgrounds and musical genres.  Joe’s been a low bass singer his entire life, Luke’s an urban beatboxer, Janet identifies as a country/pop singer, Stacey’s soul/rap/pop, and Jake likes contemporary vocal/pop music.

Together they form “an unforgettable combination of crazy beatboxing, sassy rapping, killer harmonies, and fresh, urban, RnB-influenced compositions”.

Their debut album Turn Me Up exemplifies these many influences, and Boss Level, of course, takes their writing and sound to a whole new level, but performing in front of people gives them their greatest joy.

I thought I was getting an ‘a cappella’ show but it was much more.  I’m still amazed at what they could achieve up there while singing, and they were also so relaxed, personable, and funny while talking.” said one local promoter.  “Never before have we had so many people emailing and calling the day after a show and insisting that we bring an act back.

So the history of Eh440 has been written and the future always remains somewhat uncertain, but doing what they love – writing and recording more music and performing their amazing live shows – is a given!

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Christmas Canada Pop Artists

Sarah Vann

Born and raised in small-town Alberta, Sarah is a Calgary-based music therapist and singer-songwriter.   Though raised on the piano and classically trained, Sarah was able to find a variety of influences in music in her travels through England and Australia.  She credits Ella Fitzgerald, Damien Rice, Counting Crows, Madeleine Peyroux, Glen Hansard and Elbow as having an influence on her musical stylings.   She likes to purge her house of unused goods, cook with butter, sugar, and gluten, and fall down interior design website wormholes.

Sarah is available for your event, as well: www.facebook.com/rsvpweddingsyyc

Learn more about music therapy and Sarah’s amazing singing below:

Christmas Canada Pop Artists

Olivia Penalva

Rising pop artist, Olivia, is captivating audiences and critics alike. This Canadian born musician has already embarked on an incredible career with massive success, seeing her hard work pay off when her song, Fight For You, garnered her a spot in the top 15 Finalists for the International Songwriting Competition in 2014.

That was only the beginning. She placed in the top 10 at the Ottawa Blues Festivals’ “She’s The One” competition and saw two of her breakout singles, Christmas for Two and Outshine the Stars break the top 100 at Canadian radio summer of 2016. September 2016 saw her rise as Bell Media’s pick for CHR Future Star and in a few short weeks her track Skyline has garnered her a top 40 spot at CHR, with her track being the top downloaded song at Canadian radio plying at stations from Newcap to Bell Media across the country. In such a short time, Olivia has amassed an already impressive career, touring across Canada and visiting radio stations from British Colombia to Ontario and even Quebec. To date, Olivia holds the #37 spot according to BDS/Nielson and is the 81st most shazamed song at Canadian radio.

Olivia discovered her unique sound when she began song writing in Vancouver and Los Angeles with a multitude of songwriters including Sony/ATV writer and fellow Canadian chart topper Andrew Allen, writer/producer Josh Cumbee (Madonna, Nick Howard), Laurell, DJ Project 46, Robin Ghosh, and then moving on to work with hit producer Brian West (Nelly Furtado, Maroon 5) on her 2015 single, and radio Airplay 1st Runner up in the Summer Song contest, Ferris Wheel. She then went on to write and record her songs for her newest EP, Weightless, with fellow co-writer, Robin Ghosh. Released in May of 2016, and recently hailed as one of the most delicious EP’s of 2016 by Canadian Music Blog, Olivia also earned herself the Artist of the Year in the Starlight Music Chronicles Teen category, and recipient of the Artist max scholarship to work alongside Ken Caillat (Fleetwood Mac) and Colbie Caillat in Los Angeles at the end of October.

Olivia also loves to film music videos and has numerous covers and originals on her You Tube page, with over 659,000 views and over 7000 subscribers, the content of which attracted her the sort of attention that got her nominated as Female You Tube Artist of the Month by Star Central Magazine out of Australia in 2015, as well as several nominations by Cover Nation. Despite being a pop artist, Olivia recently did a country music cover of H.O.L.Y. which earned her a nomination by Country Entertainment site, Whiskey Riff, as their country cover of the week. and the legendary Bob Kinglsey of Country Top 40 selected her cover for their H.O.L.Y. Country Challenge, and she won.

The new EP, is a fun, flirty, and refreshing take on the positive vibes and hopeful exuberance that Olivia radiates. Each track effortlessly vibes with current pop trends while remaining distinctly youthful. With each new release Olivia not only finds her niche, but an audience that relates to her pop aesthetic, and a sound that is all her own. Remember her name!

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7LrLEicuhI

Christmas Canada Pop Artists

Laurell

WITH 6 HIT SONGS TO HER NAME, Laurell’s profound writing intuitions are being sought after by industry professionals around North America.  Her recordings have been featured on MTV’s “The Real World”, NBC’s “The Biggest Loser”, CMT’s “Meet The Wilson’s”, Bravo’s “Vanderpump Rules”, and Muchmusic’s “Degrassi” and “Life With Boys”.

Winner of the Billboard Songwriting competition, a finalist in the John Lennon Songwriting competition, and winner of People’s Choice Song of the Year at the Canadian Gospel Awards, Laurell has partnered with Vancouver production team Westsonic Music on artist development and songwriting. She also writes regularly in LA and Toronto with various hit writers.

 A vocal jazz major and classical pianist, Laurell writes using guitars, synths, ukuleles, and house beats.  A “brave thinker”, Laurell’s boundary-breaking melodies, driving chords, and intuitive lyrical convinctions make her an unstoppable force on the writing scene.

Christmas Canada Pop Artists

Tyler Shaw

For Tyler Shaw, the success of a song is measured by how readily his growing audience can find their own experiences reflected in it. “I want to make music that’s relatable; the kind of songs that make you say ‘that’s exactly what I’m feeling right now.’ If people can make that personal connection, immediately, I’ve done my job.”

It’s fair to say the 22-year-old, Toronto-based singer/songwriter is off to a great start. Thanks to the strength of his 2012 debut single “Kiss Goodnight,” Shaw’s become a rising star in the Canadian pop scene. Co-written with Stephen Kozmeniuk (Madonna, Kendrick Lamar, Nicki Minaj) and Todd Clark (Phillip Phillips, Tim Hicks), the song garnered some major accolades in the music industry. The catchy pop track received a MMVA nomination in 2013 in the key category of Video of the Year. “Kiss Goodnight,” saw great traction with radio as well, spending 17 weeks in the Top 10 at AC Radio and peaking at #5 on that chart. The following year, Tyler really broke on to the scene with an impressive JUNO Award nomination for Breakthrough Artist of the Year. All this off the strength of his debut single.

Following the award nominations and the great radio success, Tyler released, “By My Side” and “It Happens All the Time.” The happy up-tempo, “By My Side” cracked the Top 10 AC charts and proved Tyler a forceful songwriter. His third single “It Happens All the Time” followed Tyler on his musical journey and gave a more introspective look into his life and personal relationships at the time. This track continues to be a fan favourite.

Although honoured by the attention his signature brand of rock-tinged pop has received, what’s most important for Shaw is that it inspire in listeners the same positive attitude he brings to his own life and music. “As far back as I remember I’ve always focused on the good things that can come out of any situation. My motto is simply: Never give up.”

Through his teens Shaw always dabbled in music, eventually posted recordings on YouTube and played open mic nights in his hometown of Coquitlam, BC, but still didn’t consider taking up music professionally. Instead, he aimed for a career as a professional soccer player and earned an athletic scholarship from the University of PEI.

After entering a national talent competition in 2012 and taking the top spot out of 13,000 people, Shaw suddenly found numerous doors opening for him musically, and relocated to Toronto. Shortly thereafter, he inked a deal with Sony Music Entertainment Canada and found himself working and recording with a variety of co-writers, who, he says, have been integral to his ongoing development as a songwriter.

“By Fall 2012 I’d gone from performing for small crowds at the campus pub to playing in front of 20,000 people on the Canadian We Day tour, but I wasn’t nervous, just excited.” His growing profile also led to an opportunity to travel to Kenya in July 2013 with Free the Children, which really put life into perspective for him: “When I landed, it was immediate culture shock. The people I met had so little, but they were some of the happiest people I’ve ever met. As a songwriter, the more life experience you gather, the better,” Shaw continues. “Kenya definitely touched me, and experiencing it for myself brought my awareness of the struggles so many people face to a whole new level.”

“Kiss Goodnight” was ultimately certified as a Gold selling single, helping Shaw to land opening slots on select Canadian shows with artists including Ke$ha and Pitbull. Additionally, his track “Showtime” was adopted as the Official Song for the 2014 FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup Canada. This fall he will head out on a Canadian tour opening for powerhouse, Kelly Clarkson & special guest Nick Jonas.

Currently, Shaw’s new single “House of Cards” is racing up the charts. The track boasts a huge superhero-themed video, which successfully matches the tone of this big ballad. The video is a larger-than-life ode to superhero films set as a dramatically styled movie trailer, complete with a crime fighting heroine and starring Tyler in the role of a young police officer. The heroic video was

directed by RT! and produced by The NE, who worked closely with Tyler to give the romantic song an epic visual to match its powerful tone. “House of Cards” is Tyler’s 5th single and is currently charting Top 20 at Canada CHR, AC, and Hot AC radio, and climbing.

While Tyler Shaw has been thrust into the national spotlight, his focus remains the same as it did when he first started out. To write from his heart and inspire listeners to make the very best of their own lives, and to make a conscious effort to improve the lives of those around them in equal measure.

Christmas Canada Pop Artists

Hudson Station

Hudson Station is like a craft beer. Bold and distinctive flavours, local influences, and a familiar taste that tickles the palette of any folk music aficionado.

Coming from different worlds, this duo combines the collaborative efforts of two individually talented musicians. Andrew Allen, known best for his top 10 pop singles ‘Loving You Tonight’, ‘I Want You’ and ‘I Wanna Be Your Christmas’ as well as his EDM hits ‘Reasons’, ‘These Wounds’ and his largest offering ’Last Chance’ was featured on Kaskade’s Grammy nominated record ‘Atmosphere’. He’s hit the stage supporting some of the world’s biggest artists including Bruno Mars, One Republic, Andy Grammer, The Barenaked Ladies, Joshua Radin and The Script, and has written with the likes of Meghan Trainor, Rachel Platten and Carly Rae Jepsen to name a few. Cole Friesen, with influences like Bob Dylan, The Milk Carton Kids and The Avett Brothers, has developed a skill on the guitar that’s been compared to that of John Mayer, and appropriately has been hired to back up many emerging Canadian artists including Wes Mack (CCMA winner), Raquel Cole (CCMA winner) and numerous others with tours ranging from Vancouver to Florida.

Cole began working with Andrew as a hired guitarist, but quickly demonstrated not only incredible skills on the guitar, but also in his writing ability, his stage presence, and showed an undeniable passion for creating great music. Hudson Station was formed in the desire to pen songs with meaning. Lyrics that tell a story, and lyrics that matter are important to this band, and they’re boxed up with two acoustic guitars and thick harmonies, harrowing back to the era of Simon and Garfunkel.

In just a few short months since the bands inception, and going the alternate route of performing all their originals live before releasing the recorded versions to the world wide web, the duo has already gained the appreciation of Sony/ATV, and their song ‘Busy’ is currently being featured in a UK television show.

If there was ever a train you didn’t want to miss, it’d be this one.

Christmas Canada Pop Artists

Luke McMaster

Luke McMaster, his song writing, his band and their live performance, all reflect the very essence of Soul Music, from the past, the present and moreover, leading into the future.

Formerly one half of Gold selling Canadian duo, McMaster & James, Luke McMaster cut his teeth with some of the biggest acts of the day, opening for Randy Bachman, Justin Timberlake, Christine Aguilera and more. Following writing collaborations with such global superstars as Rihanna, Luke has returned to his passion and performing roots, as a solo artist.

Heavily influenced by such icons as Al Green, Hall & Oates and Marvin Gaye, Luke’s first solo album “ALL ROADS” was released by EMI/UMG in January 2013, as a “Romantic but powerful collection of new originals and covers of all time classic love songs, in a contemporary tribute to Blue Eyed Soul and early Motown”. It included Luke’s smash hit “Good Morning Beautiful“, that successfully vaulted to #3 on the Billboard AC Radio Charts across the USA, supported by extensive live performance touring throughout the USA and Canada.

Late Spring 2014, Luke and the Band released his second solo album, “THE HEART OF SOUL” through Greenhill/UMG, as a 12 track covers album and further tribute to the soul and Motown sounds that have continued to inspire and frame his music.

Currently, for release in early Spring 2016, Luke and the Band are prepping a new album named “TRENDING” that looks to the future of Soul in a breakthrough collection of new original tracks, described as “Retro Funk and Classic Soul, on the cutting edge of today’s soundscape of popular music, in the vein of throwback artists like The Weeknd, Chromeo and Bruno Mars”.

With numerous production and performing collaborations underway, Luke’s prolific song writing continues to fuel new touring plans for Canada and USA. For those lucky audiences, Luke’s exciting  live performance captures and projects the power and emotion of his ongoing journey to leverage and promote the timeless appeal of Soul and Motown music, while also leading it into the future.

Christmas Canada Pop Artists

Jocelyn Alice

About Jocelyn

Jocelyn Alice is a Canadian singer and songwriter with a fiercely powerful voice, heartfelt lyrics, and magnetic style influenced by her favourites such as Amy Winehouse, Lauryn Hill, Robyn, and Ed Sheeran. She is known for her flawless vocal control and extraordinary range of diverse pitches. Jocelyn’s debut single as a solo artist, the 2015 summer hit ‘Jackpot’, was certified Gold in Canada in early August 2015 and reached the top 15 on multiple Canadian commercial radio charts including #11 Mediabase Hot AC, #12 Billboard AC, #12 Billboard All-Format Airplay, and #14 Billboard CHR/Top 40. Jackpot also reached #12 on the Shazam Canada Top 100, #13 on the iTunes Canada Top 200 Pop Songs chart, and additional Billboard Canada chart peaks of #16 on Hot 100 Airplay and #38 on the Canadian Hot 100.

Prior to her solo career, Jocelyn and bassist Lisa Jacobs performed in the indie soul pop duo jocelyn & lisa (a unique sound-blend of pop, soul, reggae, and funk). Within their first two years they played nearly 300 shows (including NXNE and BreakOut West) and released an EP that charted #2 on CJSW. The duo was featured in the documentary, Crave, by LA filmmaker and best-selling novelist Erwin McManus, as well as in a Destination Calgary television commercial promoting Calgary internationally. Their single, Open Wide, off their 2012 album Weary Warrior was featured in the documentary, 1000 Days, by award-winning director Jeth Weinrich (Jann Arden, Chantal Kreviazuk, 54-40), as well as the TV show Degrassi.

Jocelyn has co-written music featured on the hit TV shows One Tree Hill and Pretty Little Liars, the movie Dear Santa, television commercials in Canada for Shaw TV and Tourism Calgary, and a USA nationwide Target television commercial. The cover single “So Groovy”, recorded by Jocelyn and Right The Stars for Target, has sold over 40,000 downloads and charted at #2 on the iTunes Singer/Songwriter chart in America.

Jocelyn is currently writing and recording and will be releasing new solo material soon.