[NAS MEDIA REVIEW] INDIE WEEK 2017 | Heard It From Nas

Indie Week is back again and it’s better than ever! From November 7-12, it was nothing but a fun jam packed week full of informational seminars from music industry leaders, amazing showcases/performances by talented musicians from all over the world, and great networking mixers in between. Nas Media had the pleasure of covering Indie Week this year and we couldn’t be happier with the turnout of the weeks events.

One of the first mixers was held at Supermarket, which is a venue located in the heart of Kensington Market. This mixer was hosted by Sony Music Canada and was filled with members of the press, artists, and music industry professionals. This mixer was dedicated to having bands rehearse and do their soundcheck before their showcase later that evening.

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Alessia Cohle was the first to go up on stage that night and perform her soundcheck and rehearsal. Her country-pop vibes filled the room and had guests excited to listen to her full showcase later that evening.

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Up next on the soundcheck was Black Collar Union. They performed their soundcheck and brought out some cool rock music vibes to the venue.

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Later that evening, Nas Media had the honour of being a judge at a showcase at B-Side venue located on College St. The showcase had a stacked bill which had us excited to listen to the emerging talent. On the roster was Casati, The 12/21, and Ozconscious.

The first band to perform was Casati, from Winnipeg, Manitoba. This duo played an incredible mix of folk, jazz, and pop music during their showcase and had the entire crowd mesmerized by their heartfelt lyrics and graceful rhythms of their instruments.

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Next up was punk rock band The 12/21 also from Winnipeg, Manitoba. This trio rocked out on stage and brought so much energy (and a lot of head banging) to this Toronto crowd. Their stage presence was high and their songwriting was eurythmic, this band definitely showed Toronto how Winnipeggers can rock out!

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Last but not least was Alt-Rock/Pop band Ozconscious who are also from Winnipeg, Manitoba. This six piece band brought cool pop/rock vibes to the room and had the audience bobbing their head along to all of their original songs and singles. The bands energy was great and they were very interactive with the crowd which made the ambience of the venue full with good vibes and lightheartedness!

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As the evening came to an end, the judges had to put in their verdict of who they thought should go to the next round at Indie Week. It was a tough decision but the winner of the night that got to perform again at another showcase on Saturday was Casati!

Friday, November 10 – With a full day packed with informative seminars, we had to make sure that we caught them all! Starting first at the venue The Hideout was Publicity and Branding in Music with moderator Eric Alper. On the panel was Serena Ragogna (Ole), KJ Jansen (Artist), Melanie Kaye (Melanie Kaye PR), Steve Waxman (Warner Music Canada) and Samantha Pickard (Strut Entertainment).

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This seminar talked about the ever changing delivery systems and formats in the music industry but how the most important thing of all is the need to market and promote yourself. All the panelists gave the audience their opinions, and perspectives and shared their stories from their point of view being in the music industry for several years.

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Following this seminar was Sponsorship and Branding with panelists Erin Kinghorn (eEK!), Brandon Roberts (Hop City), Paul Eastwood (Freelance), and Matthew Smallwood (Flying Colours). This seminar talked about making an impact in traditional industries while still holding onto your musical roots. The panelists also discussed avenues that could help you in your success as a musician such as tech, media, influencers, and being creative with marketing and advertising.

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Up next at The Hideout was a seminar for Women in Music. The panel featured some powerful women who spoke about their stories in the music industry and how to overcome any inequality issues that a woman might face in this male dominated industry.

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The last seminar of the evening took place at Nest and was one of the most anticipated seminars of the week, with tour manager of Alice in Chains and The Cult, Chuck Randall, and Martin Atkins from world renowned band Nine Inch Nails! This feature panel offered advice, anecdotes, and stories from the two heavily involved music professionals. These two music experts provided decades of experience to discuss with the crowd and opened up a Q&A to have audience members leave the discussion with a new perspective. Needless to say it was a full house with aspiring artists eager to learn more about the music industry.

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Later that evening, Nas Media had the pleasure of being a judge once again during another showcase! We headed over to Bovine on Queen St West and walked into an already full room of people waiting to hear the first act on stage set to perform at 9:30PM. The bill for the showcase was Body SprayHorta Project, and The Corks.

First up to play was metal band, Body Spray. This four piece band from Philadelphia delivered hardcore metal tunes with the lead singer providing a ton of energy on stage alongside an incredible passion for his music. Their stage presence was strong and they truly rocked out on stage and captured all of the guests attention.

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Next up on the bill was Horta Project coming all the way from Brazil! This instrumental rock band had some incredible rhythms and tunes and definitely knew how to shred the electric guitar. They brought in everyones attention and had the venue filling up quickly with fans bobbing their heads to their songs.

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Next was Montreal Canadian band The Corks. This isn’t The Corks first time playing Indie Week and they sure brought over those rock and roll tunes that we know and love. This bands energy was upbeat, cool, and had the entire venue on their feet dancing along to their songs. This band definitely has the ‘it’ factor as well as a unique sound in the rock genre.

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After listening to all three bands, the judges had to make their decision on which band will go on to the next round and perform at the next showcase. It was a difficult decision since each band sounded great but the judges could only chose one winner of the night… and it was The Corks!

Overall Indie Week 2017 was a success and one that brought invaluable content and experiences to all aspiring and emerging artists that are taking their first steps into the music industry. With so many new bands from all over the world to discover and some great connections that were made throughout the course of the week, we are happy that we were a part of Indie Week this year and we are already looking forward to next year!

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