Spotlight on Musicians: Rose Cora Perry and The Truth Untold

Rose Cora Perry and The Truth Untold have been taking the nation by storm. Perry is the songwriter and plays guitar/sings, while fellow bandmates Tyler Randall and Amber Gorham play drums and bass respectively. After getting together in 2016, they’ve performed at several major festivals, such as: Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Regatta, Elora Riverfest, Guinness World Record Attempt by Epidemic Music Group,Winter NAMM/Ultimate Jam Night showcase at the legendary Whisky a Go Go Los Angeles, and our very own Carmel Fine Arts & Music Festival in Niagara Falls.

Many sources of inspiration are used for the bands unique sound. Perry looks up to artists like Sarah Brightman, Loreena McKennitt, Alanis, Courtney Love and the band Veruca Salt. Randall and Amber are influenced by Travis Orbin, Jakub Zytecki, Freddie Mercury and Beethoven, to name a few. The group is incredibly passionate about music and the power it has.  The versatility, relatability and ability to inspire are what drives the band to continue writing, creating and performing, “Playing music brings me great joy and is a powerful means of self- expression and connecting with others. There’s something quite special about getting caught up in a great song: whether you’re performing it yourself and taking in the performance of someone else. It’s nothing short of a transformative experience.” says Perry.

Over the two and a half years the band has been together, they have come up with a few points of sound advice for those looking to break into the local music industry: “For starters, do not be afraid to get your music out there. Connect with other musicians and people in the industry to get your name out there and pave the way for future opportunities. Be professional and courteous. Always be willing to learn and improve. Lastly, know the difference between confidence and having too much of an ego. Confidence is key, having a large ego is not.” After playing at last year’s Carmel Fine Arts and Music Festival, the band quickly discovered that the Niagara art and music scene was unlike any other. They were particularly impressed by high level of professionalism and inclusiveness in all aspects of the festival. Another thing they found to be unique to the Niagara region is the support within the diverse artistic and cultural communities. From my perspective, after interviewing several artists and musicians who are from the Niagara region (or live here now), it is easy to see how the band got this impression after performing at one festival.

The Niagara region takes pride in showcasing the talent of all styles and degrees of fame, which was noticed by Gorham, “I would have to say that what I like best about the Niagara Region is the fact it is filled with so many different styles that all celebrate music at its core. Being a ‘border city’ allows more diverse styles to be brought in from all over and its proximity to Toronto exposes musicians and artists to a lot more influences. Huge artists and not as well- known artists have travelled through and performed in Niagara Falls. It’s an excellent haven for talent.”

Catch Rose Cora Perry and The Truth Untold on the only Canadian date of Vans Warped Tour this summer! If you would like to learn more about the band, visit rosecoraperry.com

For more information about the Carmel Fine Art and Music Festival, look around the site and check out our Artists & Musician Lineup for this year!



About the Author:
Valerie Fraser is a 22-year-old student from  Hamilton, Ontario in her third year of Media Communications at Brock University. She has a great appreciation for art and music and has experience in theatre, voice, piano, violin and guitar. She has worked in the customer service industry for many years and enjoys engaging with her community in various capacities.

Spotlight on Musicians: An Ode to David Flack and the Paradigm Shifters

I had the privilege of sitting down with David Flack, lead singer of David Flack and the Paradigm Shifters at the Mahtay Café in Downtown St. Catharines; one of my favourite places in the city.  The calm and serene atmosphere beckons you to take a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life to sit down and simply be present in the moment. Mahtay is considered “not your typical average”, as is David Flack and the Paradigm Shifters.  

I had the privilege of sitting down with David Flack, lead singer of David Flack and the Paradigm Shifters at the Mahtay Café in Downtown St. Catharines; one of my favourite places in the city.  The calm and serene atmosphere beckons you to take a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life to sit down and simply be present in the moment. Mahtay is considered “not your typical average”, as is David Flack and the Paradigm Shifters.  

David met his fellow bandmates, Raphael Keelan and Frances Locs at the Staircase Theatre in Hamilton, Ontario in 2010.  In 2016 they recorded their first album, entitled “Not Your Typical Average”, which is available as a physical CD or digitally from their bandcamp site (www.thenewparadigmshifters.bandcamp.com).

David plays guitar along with vocals, Frances plays the flute, saxophone and keyboard while Raphael provides vocal harmonies.  David describes their sound as acoustic folk containing bits of poetry, autobiography, humour and social commentary. When writing songs, the band tends to focus on songs reflecting environmental issues, love ballads and their real-life experiences.  For example, cranberries inspired the band to create “Cranberries In Song”, a three song EP, dedicated to beauty and the power of the cranberry.

For those looking to break into the local music scene, David had some fantastic advice.  For starters, show appreciation and respect for your fellow artists. Showing your support is one of the best things you can do to help your local music community flourish.  Next, become personal with your fans. Making connections with them will leave lasting impressions, help you get feedback on your music and allow you to grow as a musician.

David loves the music scene in the Niagara Region.  The various festivals, craft fairs and lively culture make it the perfect place to enjoy and share music.  David especially enjoys the weekly performances of local musicians that you can see throughout the region.

The band as a whole is down to earth and sticks to their roots.  They love to perform in outdoor festivals, such as the Earth Day Celebration at Beyond Montessori School in St. Catharines.  They hope to continue performing at other festivals in the future.



About the Author:
 Valerie Fraser is a 21-year-old student from Hamilton, Ontario in her third year of Media Communications at Brock University. She comes from a very artistic family across all platforms, including: painting, theatre, opera, piano and other instruments. She has a great appreciation for art and music and has experience in theatre, voice, piano, violin and guitar. She has worked in the customer service industry for many years and enjoys engaging with her community in various capacities. Her hobbies include: photography, video games, spending time with friends, eating ice cream and hanging out with her dog Sophie.

Spotlight on Artists: Chance Mutuku – The Art of Finessing

 

It is no exaggeration to say that talking to Chance restored my faith in humanity.  In a world full of darkness and terror, people like Chance serve as a small glimmer of hope in a seemingly hopeless future.  Chance’s goal through his art is to connect with people of all backgrounds, help them understand the world around them and to show how art can be used to turn negatives into positives.  In his words, “To take negative experiences and finesse them into positives ones”

Originally from Waterloo, Ontario, Chance came to Brock University on a wrestling scholarship to study Kinesiology.  Through Brock’s “Both sides of the Brain” campaign, which is designed to encourage students to incorporate creativity in their academic studies, Chance was able to integrate his love for Kinesiology with his passion for art.  Most of Chance’s work centres around visual art and art instillations. He partnered with the Brock Athletic Department to create what he calls “The Perfect Athlete”. This piece is a visual art piece featuring compilations of photos of several athletes at Brock into one athlete; representing unity between Brock and its athletic community.  

Another piece to note is one he created in a troubled neighbourhood in Waterloo.  Chance spoke in detail about creating a space where kids of all backgrounds could come and create.  Within this installation, local kids were taught how to brain storm, paint, draw and use a camera for different forms of expression.  He believes strongly in the importance of expression.

Taking matters into his own hands, Chance has started his own company known as BBBBlanc*, with the four B’s representing moving forward towards the future and the asterisk representing the uniqueness of the brand.  BBBBlanc* is a collaborative platform aiming to assist in the creation of projects by youth and young adults, as well as providing services in brand strategizing.

Being a student in the Niagara Region, Chance noticed the lively and diverse culture that Niagara has to offer.  Unfortunately, many students return to their hometowns at the end of the school year and miss out on the opportunity to experience the culture in Niagara to its full potential. Chance hopes to encourage these students with his art to engage in everything region has to offer and make them feel as though they belong here.  Give them a place they can call home, just as he has.



About the Author:
 Valerie Fraser is a 21-year-old student from Hamilton, Ontario in her third year of Media Communications at Brock University. She comes from a very artistic family across all platforms, including: painting, theatre, opera, piano and other instruments. She has a great appreciation for art and music and has experience in theatre, voice, piano, violin and guitar. She has worked in the customer service industry for many years and enjoys engaging with her community in various capacities. Her hobbies include: photography, video games, spending time with friends, eating ice cream and hanging out with her dog Sophie.

Building a Community: The Power of Music

Music can take many forms.  From the birds chirping outside your window, or your next-door neighbour whistling a friendly tune as he tends to his garden, to a pop song blaring out of your kitchen radio.  It surrounds us and is a part of almost everything we do.   It affects our lives in so many different ways. 

For starters, it affects our emotions. Think of a recent movie or TV show you watched… was there an emotional moment? A powerful moment? A happy moment? What kind of music was playing in the background when these moments were unfolding on screen? Soundtracks are used to help influence the audience in how they should be feeling during a particular scene.  If a main character dies on screen, it will most likely be accompanied by a sad and somber song in the background; evoking feelings of sadness.  This idea holds true in our own lives as well.  For example, if you have just been given a promotion at work, you may be feeling excited and overjoyed. On the commute home, you may choose to put on a happy/upbeat playlist to celebrate your success. Music gives us something to relate to and can help express and discover how we are feeling at a given moment. 

One of the most incredible things about music is its ability to bring people together.  Music festivals, concerts, karaoke nights and amateur nights are all events dedicated to people from all walks of life coming out to enjoy and appreciate different types of music.  Thousands of people who have nothing in common but the desire to be immersed in a piece of music.  In a sense, music has the ability to form and even enhance a community.

We so are lucky in the Niagara region to have many outlets to showcase and appreciate musical talents.  Whether it be listening to an up and coming band at your local bar, or a music festival like the Carmel Fine Art and Music Festival, the Niagara region offers something for everyone! As the music scene grows, our little community grows too.



About the Author:
 Valerie Fraser is a 21-year-old student from Hamilton, Ontario in her third year of Media Communications at Brock University. She comes from a very artistic family across all platforms, including: painting, theatre, opera, piano and other instruments. She has a great appreciation for art and music and has experience in theatre, voice, piano, violin and guitar. She has worked in the customer service industry for many years and enjoys engaging with her community in various capacities. Her hobbies include: photography, video games, spending time with friends, eating ice cream and hanging out with her dog Sophie.