Composer

His father’s death taught him to stop trying so hard. Now Royal Wood is reaping the rewards.

By Nick Krewen Special to the Star November 30, 2019 On December 3, local singer and songwriter Royal Wood will be fulfilling a lifelong dream by headlining a show at Roy Thomson Hall. Actually, it’s a two-part aspiration, but he completed the first half a few years ago when he sold out Massey Hall. “It’s funny, I got shown a video a while back where I said I wanted to…

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Maqueque new queens of Afro-Cuban jazz, with Jane Bunnett’s boost

Nick Krewen Special to the Star Nov 02, 2019 Like Hilario Duran, Gonzalo Rubalcaba and countless other Cuban musicians, pianist and composer Dánae Olano owes Toronto’s Jane Bunnett and Larry Cramer a debt of gratitude. With the continuing Cold War between Cuba and the U.S. unlikely to thaw under their present regimes, musicians occupying the island  have found it nearly impossible to find career traction when restricted to staying within…


Murda Beatz is in the House

How did hip hop producer Murda Beatz connect with Migos, Cardi B and Drake? Lots and lots of networking

Fort Erie record producer Shane Lee Lindstrom has made a name for himself in hip-hop circles as Murda Beatz. By Nick Krewen Special to the Star July 31, 2019 Raw talent is one thing, but how does a budding producer from the Canadian border town of Fort Erie become a top dog in hip-hop and work with the likes of Migos, Cardi B., Drake,  Nicki Minaj, Chance The Rapper and…


Clairmont The Second is up for a climb

Nick Krewen Special to the Star July 20, 2019 Clairmont The Second may be one of the more ambitious rappers out there, but he’s in no rush to achieve the lofty stardom to which he aspires. “We knew from the start that it was going to be the long game,” said the Juno-nominated hip-hop artist born Clairmont Humphrey, who hails from the Jane and Weston area of Toronto and brings…


Frank Dukes at Regent Park School Of Music

Meet Frank Dukes – the go-to producer for superstars like Rihanna and Drake

Nick Krewen The Toronto Star July 12, 2019 He’s the go-to guy when you’re a pop music superstar looking for a hit – and he’s from Toronto. Frank Dukes may not be a household name to the general populace, but the 35-year-old songwriter and producer is on the speed dial of everyone who is anyone in pop music these days. Lorde, J. Balvin, Post Malone, Rihanna, Eminem, Travis Scott, Camila…