Here are the finalists for the 2016 Casino Nova Scotia Artist In Residence. Give each one a listen and then vote for your favourite at the bottom of the page!
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Close your eyes and imagine being wrapped in the comfort of Feist and Joni Mitchell. LAURENN MARCHAND is an Indie/Folk singer-songwriter that will make those feelings come to life and bring warmth to your soul. It’s no wonder this modern-day songstress from Cape Breton has found herself gaining popularity by finishing in the Top 10 of the Much Music/Coca-Cola Covers Contest and has earned showcasing spots across Canada.
Her debut EP, Ghosts in the Garden (December 2015), offers an Indie/Folk approach to storytelling. Recorded in the picturesque Gaspereau Valley, producer Mark Adam captured the life and honest energy of MARCHAND. The release of Ghosts in the Garden will build upon past showcases including: Honey Jam (Toronto), Stan Rogers Folk Festival (NS), the Galaxie Young Performers Program (Winnipeg Folk Festival) and the RBC Breakout Stage as part of East Coast Music Week 2016 (NS). LAURENN MARCHAND is ready to captivate audiences across the Maritimes and share her stories of love and life.
Quake Matthews is a hip-hop artist who first made a name for himself in the underground battle rap scene in his early teens, triumphantly progressing to his current breakneck beats and unadulterated lyricism. His raspy voice and raw emotion have given him a signature sound, creating a captivating listening experience for his audience. The award-winning emcee just released his fourth studio album, “Rap Music”, which earned him a #4 spot on the iTunes Hip Hop Charts as well as coverage from a host of major outlets such as The Source, All Def Digital and Funk Master Flex's 'Indie Spotlight.' “Rap Music” won Hip Hop Recording of the Year at Music Nova Scotia Week and at the East Coast Music awards. It was ranked #27 on Hip Hop Canada’s Top 40 Up-And-Coming Canadian Rappers & Rap Crews of 2015.
Stellar songs, dynamic vocals, and superior musicianship mark the emergence of Port Cities onto the Canadian music scene. An exciting new group from the east coast, Port Cities brings together the award winning talents of Carleton Stone, Breagh Mackinnon, and Dylan Guthro.
Port Cities has now surfaced as the result of a genuine connection and a shared belief that the music they make together has endless possibilities. The outcome is a rootsy pop sound with an emphasis on powerful harmonies, outstanding songs, and an engaging camaraderie onstage and off.
The members of Port Cities are no strangers to great music, with six [solo] albums released collectively to date and collaborations with the likes of Juno award-winning duo Classified and David Myles, along with Hawksley Workman (Tegan and Sara, Serena Ryder, Great Big Sea), Howie Beck (Feist, Hannah Georgas, Hayden) and Jason Collett (acclaimed singer/songwriter and member of Broken Social Scene).
Andre Pettipas and The Giants are a three piece rock outfit based out of Antigonish County, Nova Scotia. Brothers, Andre and Travis have been playing together in bands for roughly six years. Completing the trifecta is drummer, Marcus Cosh who has been in their local music scene for roughly ten years. Andre Pettipas and the Giants’ debut album, Stay Gold, a project which; more than anything; speaks to versatility. Over the course of eight songs the audience is treated to a range of styles from the folk rock opener “Answers”, to the 90s alt rock inspired “Tragic Hero”, to the catchy pop hooks of current single “Long Way from Home”, to the bluesy punk mash up that closes out the record, “Common Ground”. There really is something for everyone. This harmony driven trio is a high energy band that is a treat to see live; hair flying, crowd engagement and leaving it on all on the stage is their forte.
Dave Sampson writes heart-on-your-sleeve folk/pop songs, delivered with a captivating and authentic voice that could blow down a brick house. His knack for crafting simple ear-worms and his high-energy shows have been winning him fans across Atlantic Canada for the past three years. Over this time, he has shared the stage and worked with artists such as Classified, Gordie Sampson, Mo Kenney and Ria Mae.
In 2014, Dave released his anticipated debut album “No Pressure, No Diamonds” with producers/collaborators Carleton Stone, Gordie Sampson and Dylan Guthro (Port Cities). With the released of this album, “ No Pressure No Diamonds” was nominated for Music Nova Scotia's POP album of the year, reached #1 on the ECC charts twice and received national airplay throughout Canada. Dave was also invited to Germany in 2014 with songwriters Carleton Stone and Breagh Mackinnon to participate in a songwriting retreat followed by a tour.
At the age of 26, Fiona MacGillivray is already a seasoned veteran of the music and art industries. Having toured internationally as lead singer of The Cottars for nearly a decade and a half—performing everywhere from Japan to Australia to Denmark, and on the stages of the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall, among others—she is now following in the footsteps of songwriting father Allister MacGillivray in a new solo project featuring her own material.