For over 16 years, The GATE has been obsessed with covering all things entertainment, culture, and style; from film, music and television, to travel, gaming and electronics. The GATE is Toronto's online entertainment magazine.
Girl Pow-R’s “This Is Us” is the empowering pop song your kids are going to want to hear.
The pop group wants to help bring girls together and lift each other up, while also supporting charities, and local initiatives, like SickKids, the Toronto Humane Society, and the Give and Restore Hope Children’s Charity.
“We started as a group by writing messages about friendship, acceptance and support that we find inspiring,” said the band. “We really enjoy seeing what other girls and women add as messages to other people all around the world!”
Aged between 10 and 17 the Toronto Independent Music Award nominees have played over 100 shows to date with numerous TV appearances, including YTV The Zone, eTalk Canada, and TVOKids.
Their last single, “Never Let Go” debuted on the iTunes Canada Children’s chart at #2, and only stopped there because of the hit “Baby Shark” was a cultural phenomenon.
Folk and rock blend together perfectly with Nordic and Gaelic roots in the Aerialists’ striking music video, “Group Manoeuvre II”.
The Juno-nominated band dubbed their sound prog-trad, for the way they mix together folk traditions with a post-rock coloured sound, and it’s a perfect way of summing up their wonderfully different style of music.
The band consists of Scottish harpist Màiri Chaimbeul, neo-folk guitarist Adam Iredale-Gray, with Elise Boeur on fiddle. They released their album Group Manoeuvre in 2018, and are already working on their next album after an extensive tour of the UK last year.
Royal Wood has been one of my favourite Canadian artists since I first saw him perform in Toronto in the late 2000s. He’s one of the most stylish, interesting singers, and “Make Your Mind Up” is smooth, sweet, and completely catchy.
From Wood’s 2018 EP, Love Will Linger, and as the artist said, “The song was written about the anxious feelings you are bombarded with when you first meet your love. How not knowing whether they feel the same way about you leaves you with a pit in your stomach.”
“Like passionate butterflies you attempt to will them into flying into a formation, but fail miserably and know it. It’s only when you are finally reunited and hold each other that for a moment that you feel certain that your love is forever.”
The video was created by Andrey Sorokin.
Watch the video for Royal Wood’s “Make Your Mind Up” below and then follow him on Twitter & Instagram. Check out his upcoming tour dates at royalwood.ca.
Royal Wood - Make Your Mind Up (Official Lyric Video) - YouTube
What a voice. Hanorah’s “Long Road” is one of the most mesmerizing, bluesy singles I’ve heard in ages. It’s groovy, and moody, and downright perfect.
The independent singer and songwriter grew up on a range of music, and that shows in the track. She was into Led Zeppelin and The Beatles before she caught on to legendary female vocalists like Etta James, Amy Winehouse, and Joss Stone.
A victim of sexual assault in 2012, she suffered psychological distress until she found help, and she persevered making music thanks to stories from other survivors.
Since then, she’s been making her mark in Montreal and Quebec, playing over 100 shows in one year, making it to the quarterfinals of Quebec’s reality show La Voix, and onto Journal de Montréal’s list of inspiring women in 2018.
Pterodactyl Problems “Spreading Fear” is a blistering, electric, metal-and-rock-fused live track that kicks you in the teeth–in the best way possible.
As lead singer Davey White puts it, the song is about “shitty politicians” and if you’ve ever wanted to vent about that topic, this is the perfect track.
Filmed live in Toronto at the Danforth Music Hall, the video will get you ready to line up for the band’s next show.
“Spreading Fear” is from the band’s new album, Esoteric Hobbies, which they consider “probably the best musical project we’ve been a part of, and definitely the most collaborative.”
Lyrically, the songs on the album “speak about a lot of the confusion and pain around growing up dealing with serious mental illness, either in ourselves or others, but also the joy and growth that can be found in the multitude of experiences that make up our early life.”
Pterodactyl Problems is Davey White, vocals and Guitar; Jack Neila, Guitar; Ciarán Neely, Bass and Guitar; and Oliver Salathiel, Drums.
Luke Cyrus Hunter’s “Old School Jam” is pure, old school Toronto in one track that’s brimming with funk and pop. The new single is also packed with classic hip-hop references from the 90s, and Hunter’s unique style.
Hunter picked up his keyboard style–playing digital and analog keyboards at the same time–while he was in the Waterloo band Stereola a few years ago. Since then he’s been developing his sound and for this single, he decided to go back to the early days that influenced him.
“I can remember when Hip-hop was new, and artists like Rob Base, Run DMC, and Young MC were breaking into popular music; it was fun and exciting,” Hunter said. “That was the starting point for this song… and as I was writing it, I realized I wanted to show my appreciation for these artists, and the inspiration that they have given to me.”
“Looking for inspiration, I started listening to some Young Mc tracks. “Gotta Roll With the Punches” caught my ear, so I wrote the name of the song down. I also came across an artist by the name of D Train, who I had never heard of, and his song “You’re the One For Me” so I wrote that down too. Later on, when I looked at the paper I realized I had the first line for my song: ‘D Train, You’re the One For Me/ Gotta Roll With the Punches like Young MC. It was too good not to use.”
And what about the girl in the video? That’s Hunter’s daughter, Rachel, and they shot the video with his wife on a cold day in March.
Luke Cyrus Hunter debut solo album RE-NEW was released in 2017 and this summer he’ll be releasing a series of new singles. Watch Luke Cyrus Hunter’s video for “Old School Jam” below, find out more about Hunter at lukecyrushunter.com, and follow him on Facebook and Instagram.
Old School Jam - Luke Cyrus Hunter (Official Video) - YouTube
What does music look like? For Canadian pop-R&B singer and songwriter Neena Rose, it depends on the song, but they all take on a colour for the up-and-coming artist.
“Songs are colourful for me,” Rose said. She is one of many artists working today with the condition chromesthesia synesthesia, and creative people are more likely to have the condition. “Every song I hear or write has a very, very specific colour visual attached to it.”
“I associate certain colours with specific sounds.”
For her new single, “(You A) Machine Gun”, Rose brings a staccato rhythm to the track, with a strong group of women for the music video.
As she put it, “I want people–especially girls–to gain empowerment from my music. I want it to communicate to them: ‘you’re powerful, you’ve got this.'”
Neena Rose will release her new EP 333 later this year, until then watch the video for “(You A) Machine Gun” below or stream it on Spotify. You can follow Rose on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Neena Rose - (You a) Machine Gun [Official Music Video] - YouTube
Singer and songwriter Marshall Potts released his new album That’s How It Starts recently, and “Hearts In The Sky” is his latest single that features a very personal connection for the video.
The Kamploops, BC artist shot the video for “Hearts In The Sky” in a Spanish town as a way of bringing things back to his family.
“It’s a Universe thing,” Potts explained. “My mum passed in 2013. She succumbed to cancer like so many of us these days. When I was thinking of a destination for the video I thought of where she would want to go. She always felt a connection to Spain, ironically for a woman raised in Salford, Manchester, or perhaps not really considering how life seems to work.”
“I knew she would choose Spain. In particular Sitges, a town about 35 kilometers southwest of Barcelona, in Catalonia. It has this old world feel and is sleepy compared to bustling Barcelona.”
Potts said, “I wanted an ethereal feel to the music video and in the early hours of the morning, while the locals and visitors slept, we shot the footage and returned later that evening at sunset to capture the sunset scenes.”
“It’s about two souls crossing paths, a chance meeting where two become one. It’s about not searching for what we all crave most and in that empty space love finds it’s way.”
Andrea Wasse is one of my favourite indie musicians. Before she moved to LA, she was the lead singer of Toronto’s The Weekend (the band that, incidentally, forced singer The Weeknd to drop the e in his stage name), and since then she’s moved on to write and co-write numerous singles, and perform with the goth pop duo Digital Daggers.
Her new single “Anchor”, which you can hear in the Lifetime movie Girl in the Bathtub, sums up some of Wasse’s greatest strengths as a singer and songwriter. There’s a delicate peace to the track, as well as yearning and heartache, but most of all, the single is just beautiful and moving.
John-Robert is one of the most talented young singers I’ve heard in a while and if you only check out one of his tracks, you need to watch his acoustic video for “Strangers”.
One track, and I bet you’re going to be hooked.
The incredibly talented singer and songwriter from Edinburg, VA has a powerful, emotive voice, and his lyrics are frankly stunning. He balances a mix of soft, often playful vocals, with soaring, and turbulent highs filled with emotion.
“‘Strangers’ is my second original song,” the artist said. “The video was shot and edited by my friend Hunter Lyon. Thank you so much for taking the time to listen, I hope you like it!”