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Hi everyone!

I hope you like my playlist; I created it with a focus on amazing Calgarian/Canadian artists who are making cool moves in pop, as well as with a worldwide scope of people and bands that resonate with me and my style.

I started out with a few of my favorite local pop (or what I consider pop) musicians: Selci, Lexi Strate, Brett McCrady. These artists work hard not only in their craft, but also work hard in their live performance, which is what I mostly admire about these individuals. I admire those that have a knack for performing live as it’s very difficult to not only bare yourself on stage, but also to pull all the right moves/notes at the right time!

After focusing on my favorite Calgarians, I branched out to my favorite Canadians making big moves: Jocelyn Alice, Tegan and Sara, Kiesza, feist, Scenic Route to Alaska and many others. Many of these artists are Calgary-born and are now travelling the world with their music, showing that we really are one of the musically-inclined cities in Canada.

Beyond that, I threw in some of my favorites from around the world: Wet, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Honne, Clean Bandit and a few others. I mostly just am moved by their music.

I hope that you enjoy my playlist! It’s created with love and passion for the creators of these songs and I hope you love them as much as I do!

Chow!

Hayden McHugh

The post #NowPlaying: Curated by Hayden McHugh appeared first on Local Drop Magazine.

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Interview by Kendall Bistretzan

On Monday, July 9, Koi will be hosting their sixth monthly Female Songwriter Circle featuring Kayla Williams, Jess Smith and Amelie Patterson. Local Drop reporter Kendall Bistretzan caught up with the artists to discuss their style as musicians, experiences in the city and plans for the future.

Kayla Williams

How would you describe your music style?

Pop! I write singer-songwriter style songs and make them into unapologetic ’80’s sounding synth pop.

How do you find the Calgary music scene for up and coming musicians?

I have found some amazing venues and people to work with, but it seems more and more venues are shutting down, which creates challenges for an up and coming artist. I do think there’s some incredibly talented musicians in Calgary and there are opportunities if you look for them! It’s awesome that places like Koi run a songwriter circle; I think these kind of intimate shows are some of my favorite, as an artist and audience member.

What sort of adversity or challenges have you faced stemming from being a female in the industry? 

Being a female artist in the music industry, and a solo artist, you have to have a really strong backbone to believe in what you’re doing and not be knocked down by criticism. I think a great challenge is the superficial aspect of it all, in terms of looks and age. I think there is a pressure to look a certain way and that, as we age as a woman, this sometimes outweighs the actual important stuff – the music. At the end of the day it’s events like female songwriter circles that we need to celebrate! In playing together and bringing each other up, we acknowledge women of all kinds and can build an awesome community of artists who support each other.

 What’s next for you for the remainder of the year? 

I will be in the studio in July recording my second professional quality single that will hopefully be released mid-August. In between that, I am touring, playing some festivals over summer in various acts, and continuously writing. I also hope to continue applying for funding because I have some serious big time goals.

Jess Smith

How would you describe your music style?

The music I create is ethereal, powerful and groovy. I call my genre indie soul. My songs are melodic and lyrical because singing is the focus of my writing. I want people to feel authenticity in my voice. My songs are inspired from everyday living and that is how I hope they are enjoyed: driving home from work, spending time in nature, relaxing with friends. As an artist, I feel compelled to create beauty from the seemingly mundane moments because, in the end, simplicity is key. 
 

How do you find the Calgary music scene for up and coming musicians?

Calgary has #goodvibes down to an art. That’s what music is all about. Up and coming artists have a chance of success here because the community is supportive. Whether you want to hear hip hop or country music, on any given night of the week you can enjoy a live show here. I hope the musical worlds continue to merge and embrace one another. Connection is essential to creating vibrancy within a city. I believe we are consciously building a stronger connection every day in Calgary.

 What sort of adversity or challenges have you faced stemming from being a female in the industry? 

Being a female in the industry has taught me how to hold true to my artistic values. Sometimes there is an assumption that I am less musically intelligent because of my gender. I do not focus my energy on that. I believe in my vision and know what I am capable of and I leave it to my music to speak for me.

What’s next for you for the remainder of the year? 

This summer I will be on tour for a month to promote Revealed, the album I wrote and recorded last year. My first show will be on Coca-Cola stage at Stampede on July 6 and then I will perform on VIA Rail across the country. After playing a few shows in Toronto, I will head to Montreal to perform there. Then it’ll be back to the west coast to play in Vancouver and on the island. I am looking forward to seeing my friends and family and making music with the people I meet. This tour has taken almost two years to create, so it feels amazing to be at this place!

 
Amelie Patterson

How would you describe your music style?

Alternative folk. I try to be a songwriter first rather than a genre first, and I really enjoy the process of taking a skeleton of a song and fleshing it out with my band! 

How do you find the Calgary music scene for up and coming musicians?

Really supportive and creative. I often think that Calgary, Edmonton, and Winnipeg have the strongest music scenes in Canada. 

What sort of adversity or challenges have you faced stemming from being a female in the industry? 

I have always been lucky, but also selective with the people I work with. I love to surround myself with creative and positive people. I’ve been the recipient of some bullshit comments at networking events, but those were never contacts I would follow up with in a million years. I think it’s important to advocate for yourself and I try to do so whenever I feel the need. 

What’s next for you for the remainder of the year? 

I will be releasing my newest recording project called The Playlist. I’ll be releasing rolling singles to curate a groovy alternative folk playlist. I’m really looking forward to sharing new music!

The post Female Songwriter Circle Vol. 6 featuring Kayla Williams, Jess Smith and Amelie Patterson appeared first on Local Drop Magazine.

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Story and photos by Sara Kuefler

You know you are in for an enjoyable listening experience when you put on an album and the first song is a romantically toned ode to a motorhome, in which the line “you’re my little death machine” is featured, as in “Lady Pistol.” Not a lyric that the mothers of the band members were particular fans of. 

Listening to Please Hold, the first full length album by Calgary rock trio The Corey Hotline, you get the impression that Mason Jenkins (vocals, guitar), Brent Rossall (bass), and Jordan Phillips (drums) are not afraid of a little risk taking in life or in love.  In fact, the first single off the album, “Door Girl,” is based on an attempt on Jenkins’ part to woo a door girl at a bar after a show, while wearing a very shiny outfit. It may not have worked out quite as planned but now they are good friends so risk rewarded.

The Corey Hotline is a band with a sense of humour, but don’t take them lightly. There are some emotionally loaded lyrics on Please Hold. For instance, on “Tomboy Forever,” a song inspired by Jenkins’ experience as a transgender individual, Jenkins sings, “you’ve heard it all, have you heard that you’re fine, that who you are can’t be assigned.” Catchy yes, but the lyrics on this album are also often as deep as the ocean. “Crowsnest Pass” features geographic imagery that is metaphorically linked to two halves of a serious long-term relationship that had ended, with one half moving to BC.  Beautifully and succinctly described by Jenkins, “Prairies. Mine. Ocean. Hers” about the division. And if the album starts strong with “Lady Pistol,” wait until you hear the finish. The last track, “Threads,” has a full-body effect. You know those songs that get electricity running through your limbs, just under the skin, causing all your hair to stand on end, while you simultaneously feel your heart expanding and melting into the room – yeah, that.

Please Hold might actually strike the perfect balance between fun and gravity. You have got little details, like the interludes of phones dialing, voice mail, and dial tones sprinkled throughout, in keeping with the theme of the band’s namesake. The whole album is loaded with cheekiness, many hooks, melodic vocals, all set to the retro/pop punk/rock fusion sound. And then you also have beautiful instrumental surges and poignant moments in love adventures and life lessons.  So, pick up the album.  Who knows, it could just end up being the soundtrack to your own journeys in life or romance…

“Door Girl” and “Red Ryder BB Gun” are currently out as singles. Check them out on all streaming services now.  The full album will be available for your listening pleasure on July 7, accompanied by an album release at The Palomino with the Ashley Hundred, Emily Ripley and Deep Covers.

The post The Corey Hotline: “Please Hold” album release appeared first on Local Drop Magazine.

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Interview and photo by Will Geier

Are you originally from Calgary?
No, born Jamaican but it’s starting to feel like I’ve spent half of my life here. Starting to feel like I understand living here now. 

How would you describe your style?
Flexible. I never actually got good at music ’til I decided to write whatever I wanted. I play with lyrics more than I ever did before in my life. It’s freeing. 

How long have you been performing?
As a human, ever since I knew I could; as an entertainer, around five years.

What inspires you in your music?
Food, friends, and films. 

What is it like being a hip-hop artist in Calgary?
Awkward still in some parts to be honest. People are still figuring out that the scene exists and it’s taking some time to get crazy, but it will soon. I’m seeing to it. 
 
Do you find it collaborative?
More than anywhere I’ve ever been. Everyone here seems to know the city deserves more hip-hop, so everyone wants to help it grow. It makes it easy to work.

You have an upcoming show with Lyrique on the June 30. How do you go about preparing your set for a live show?
I rehearse lots, I have about a million anxiety attacks, I don’t eat and I don’t sleep. I’m a fan of boxing so I think I get just a taste of what it feels like for the champ on fight week. You wanna get in there and knock something out! I have lots of support from my team though, so it’s getting better. 

What would you like people to know about you?
That I am not just trying to get on; that I’m trying to prove something. I want people to listen to my record and know I’m serious at the craft and I’ll only get more serious. Everything is calculated but still free. I always wanted to be a true artist, no filters. It’s okay to be my fan because you know you can rely on me to put work in, every time. 

Where do you see Calgary’s scene headed?
Into a sea of treasures! People will be moving to Calgary to make it, so much more in like five years. I’m just honoured that I will witness history. Honoured that I might be in it.

What’s next for you musically?
Maybe a single with the homie Kid Mellow, who has settled nicely into Toronto, maybe an EP with my new official producer Michael Teh. We’ll see, you never really know. 

Where would you like to see your music take you?
To the other side of the world someday. I feel like less of a human because I think I know what the world is. I know it will be so much easier to do it how I want with music under my wings. 

The post Jae Sterling appeared first on Local Drop Magazine.

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Story by Andrea Wong
Photos by Will Geier

Following the success of her earlier Asian folk electronica albums, FOONYAP’s latest music video is nothing short of hauntingly beautiful. Animated by director Katie Yuen, “Mourning Coup” is a stunning visual piece that navigates the tension in revisiting internal struggle and fluidity in the courageous search for self-awareness.

The song, whose title was dedicated to an artist and close friend of the same name, is a remix by An Ant And An Atom from FOONYAP’s EP Apropros. Reverberating layers of drones, textured synths, and transcendent melodies of longing and pain embody the spirit of confronting difficult emotions and growing from them.

“We have this romantic idea that you can just let your past go and redo yourself,” Foon Yap explains. “But I realized that you actually can’t. What I needed to do was go back and look at the way my childhood and my experiences had affected my perception of the world now and to make conscious decisions about which parts I was going to keep and which parts I was going to change.”

Comparable to resetting a bone, Yap’s arduous process of healing delves into dark, clouded periods from her past. Growing up in Calgary as a talented classical violinist, she struggled with swelling pressures of success and depression, a cycle which eventually led to quitting the Conservatory and dropping out of high school. But in reaching her breaking point, Yap was able to find a new sound.

Although a career in the arts had never been encouraged, series of moments inched her towards full-time music. “Mourning Coup” first appeared on FOONYAP’s 2016 album Palempsest, which was a culmination of rediscovering her spirituality and heritage and also reconciling the brokenness in her life.

“For women, there are particular challenges in taking up space and saying how we really feel and having the courage to be honest about our needs. I was taught to be passive because that was a quality that was considered more feminine, but with Palimpsest I’m learning continually to be assertive and to practice emotional integrity.”

Now, when Yap steps into the space of her music, every movement, every sound is focussed with intention. She moves between her violin and electric mandolin like a fluid dance, the poignant bends in her notes mirrored by the rise and fall of her lyrics, echoing the vulnerability she has grown into.

“I love creating opportunities for stillness in my life and in my performances … I can let go of anxiety. I can let go of worrying about the future. I can just present myself and accept myself as I am in that moment, and that radical self-acceptance has been a skill I’ve been able to practice throughout my whole life.”

FOONYAP - Mourning Coup pushed by An Ant And An Atom (Official Music Video) - YouTube

The post FOONYAP opens a universe of raw self-discovery in new “Mourning Coup” video appeared first on Local Drop Magazine.

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Interview by Shane Flug
Article by Elle McLean
Photos by Will Geier

For many people, visiting a dental office for an annual or bi-annual teeth cleaning and check-up is out of reach without some sort of benefits or health care coverage. Sadly, there is a high number of Calgarians who can’t afford dental care, or who aren’t able to take the time off of work in order to access it. Citizen Dental Hygiene, which opened its doors in 2015, aims to make oral health accessible for all Calgarians.

Lace Shaw had been working one day a week as a hygienist at Shelly Lambe’s previous clinic, Endearing Smiles, for several years when Lambe and her business partner decided to go separate ways. Shaw was presented with the opportunity to become a partner in the new clinic Lambe wanted to open. However, it took a lot of hard work to turn the plans for their clinic into a reality. The pair both worked second jobs during their first year in business to maintain personal financial commitments such as rent and groceries until they could afford to begin paying themselves as hygienists.

As Shaw stepped into her role as partner at Citizen Dental, she brought with her many new, big ideas. The primary source of which came from her observation that “the chair was empty” at the previous clinic.

“I was seeing patients that were buying discounted whitening services – that was Endearing Smiles business model prior – and they were coming in after not having been to the dentist for five or ten years and paying $100 online for a whitening, thinking that was going to be the thing that could make their teeth look better,” Shaw remembers.

Seeing this gap in the knowledge of so many patients led Shaw to developing Citizen’s business model around the concept that education is the first step to promoting the importance of better oral health.

“You can tell me until you’re blue in the face that I need to floss, but until you tell me why, I’m never gonna do it,” Shaw states. This mindset is the reason that a large amount of the population neglects their oral hygiene and dental health, and this is what Citizen is striving to change.

Citizen provides a variety of options and services in order to make affordable dental care possible, including their Karma Program and student discounts, as well as offering financing for dental services. In addition to this, Citizen stays open until 7 p.m., Monday through Thursday, which is later than most other dental offices, as well as being open on Saturdays, allowing for working professionals to make an appointment without having to take time off from their jobs. As well, Citizen offers free laser teeth whitening with every cleaning covered by a person’s benefits. Shaw and Lambe have also partnered with a referring dentist onsite, should any further work be necessary.

The Karma Program is likely the most inventive and community-minded service offered at Citizen Dental, which Shaw has structured so that it has a cost of $200.

“You’d be surprised at the breadth and the width of who we’re seeing using the program,” Shaw says. She lists independent business owners, bartenders and waitresses, musicians, and the elderly among those who participate in the Karma Program.

The Karma Program is available for any first-time visitor to the clinic, and during the one-hour appointment the hygienist completes as much scaling and polishing as they can, as well as x-rays if needed. The hygienist also completes an oral check-up, and if they think more work is needed they will provide treatment options or refer the patient to a dentist.

If the patient is referred to a dentist and is unable to cover the cost for the full amount of the dental care, financing is an option that Citizen has made available. Citizen has partnered with iFinance Dental to be able to provide their patients with a financing plan called the Dentalcard. This plan allows patients to pay equal monthly payments, taking as little as six months to pay in full, or as long as six years. Financing can be easily applied for by filling out an application online or by speaking with a receptionist at the office.

For post-secondary students, Citizen offers a 20 per cent discount, and they accept all student health care plans with the exception of the University of Calgary. As well, Citizen does all the work when it comes to insurance by taking care of direct billing all insurance companies, so that the only thing their patients have to worry about is paying any difference in the balance due that is not covered by their plan.

Citizen is kid- and family-friendly, and appointments can be booked one after another so that multiple family members can take care of their dental cleanings in one visit. The hygienists focus on educating children about the importance of oral hygiene while ensuring that kids are entertained and enjoy their visit.

Shaw is working hard to make dental care accessible for all Calgarians and spread the word on how to better care for teeth and promote oral hygiene, and rumor has it she’s also got her own in-house tooth paste in the works!

“We’re not making a ton of profit, but that’s not what’s important. I mean, if you can pay your staff at the end of the day and you can keep the lights on and you can keep the business running, and you can help people . . . it’s not that hard to do the math.”

Citizen Dental always welcomes new patients, and you can book an appointment through their website or by calling 403.457.0250. To learn more, find Citizen Dental online and at 320 23 Ave. SW in Calgary’s Mission district.

The post Citizen Dental Hygiene strives to make oral health accessible for all Calgarians appeared first on Local Drop Magazine.

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Story by Jessica Melnychuk
Photo by Mike Tan

Eleven years ago, Sled Island founder Zak Pashak decided to organize a new alternative music and arts festival from the living room of his Sunalta home. In its first year, the festival showcased more than 90 bands including locals like Chad VanGaalen (who has since gone on to become a multi-JUNO Award-nominated and Polaris Prize shortlisted musician) and international musicians including Cat Power and Spoon.

Today, Sled Island is an internationally recognized independent festival, growing in size and scope every year. It has grown from an audience of 6,000 in 2007 to more than 30,000 attendees. This year, it will showcase over 250 acts across downtown Calgary, including guest curator Deerhoof, The Flaming Lips, Thundercat, Cherry Glazerr and locals like Lyrique, Bebe Buckskin, Slut Prophet, Miesha & the Spanks and more.

From the beginning, Sled Island has always been more than just a music festival. With an array of comedians, films and visual art exhibitions complementing the music lineup, there is something to discover and love for just about anyone.

That spirit of discovery is what Sled Island is all about, says Maud Salvi, the festival’s Executive Director. Though many people might look at the lineup and say, “I haven’t heard of most of these bands,” Salvi says that’s more than okay – that’s what the festival’s organizers want.

“Many of the acts we book are on the verge of becoming really big, and we get them right before it becomes almost impossible to see them,” she says.

Some of the other aspects of the festival – like film, art and comedy – help break up the pace for festival goers. Salvi says the non-music components were born out of the many side projects musicians tend to have.

“It’s a good reflection of a lot of the artists we work with, who do different things and express themselves in many different ways,” she says. “It really emphasizes the festival experience as opposed to it just being a series of concerts. All these things complement each other very well.”

In fact, most of the film offerings in particular tend to have some connection to music, like this year’s collaboration with Berlin-based artist community Videokills, The Explorer Series: Invisible City Symphonies. This unique cinematic and musical experience (which you can check out June 19 at HiFi Club) combines international short films with original scores performed live by local musicians.

This year, the festival is making a bigger effort to celebrate inclusion of Indigenous artists and attendees with special programming in collaboration with Indigenous Resilience in Music and others on National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21.

“Representation is important,” Salvi says, noting also that each year the festival receives more and more submissions from female artists in all the disciplines. “We want to create spaces where everyone feels welcome to participate, whether as an artist, attendee or volunteer.”

Salvi says one of the great things about the festival is having local artists benefit from sharing the stage with other national or international artists. “People will come to see a bigger headliner, maybe being unfamiliar with the local scene,” she says. “We want them to be aware that they really don’t need to dig much further than their own neighbourhood to find people who are really talented.”

Learn more about some of the Calgary musicians playing this year’s festival here.

Salvi thinks the inclusion and celebration of the local scene is part of what makes Sled Island stand out from other festivals. Having previously lived out east, working as artistic producer with POP Montreal, she says the community in Calgary is very special.

“[Music and arts] sort of started a little late here compared to other major cities like Toronto or Montreal,” she says. “But because of that I feel like there is an enthusiasm that people have and a willingness to support anyone who’s trying to create something good for the city, that I haven’t really witnessed anywhere else.”

Sled Island runs June 20 – 24 at venues across Calgary. Check out the full schedule at www.sledisland.com.

The post Not your typical festival: How Sled Island is making its mark on Calgary’s music and arts scene appeared first on Local Drop Magazine.

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Bad Animal presents: our lil playlist. Included are some of our favourite bands/artists that were formed and based in Calgary, both new and old. I’ll begin by saying: damn, that was hard to narrow it down! But we did our best to get some content that perked our ears up in the past, and who we are looking forward to hearing more from in the future.

One word… Women. That band laid down what was cool for a lot of us, and a lot of Calgary! To us, they still feel fresh and exciting even since their breakup in 2012. Some of it’s members went on to form Preoccupations, which is an obvious choice that we also added to the list! Another artist that changed the idea of local music to us was the very talented Chad VanGaalen. His international success was incredibly eye opening and dream inspiring for us – a shed of light for the Calgary music scene that has only gotten bigger and better since.

The back 10 songs includes bands and artists that are not local, but get listened to day after day at the good old Bad Animal House.

Thanks for including us Local Drop, and enjoy the playlist! See you all at a local venue soon!

The post #NowPlaying: Curated by Bad Animal appeared first on Local Drop Magazine.

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