Songwriter

‘Unknown band’ is opening for Cher in Toronto — but their leader is not worried

Nick Krewen Special to the Star April 18, 2019 Nile Rodgers is discovering during the Cher opening slot that Chic’s relative anonymity is working to his advantage. “We’re an unknown band opening for a big star,” he says over the line from New York. “We walk out onstage — most people don’t know who we are — but by the end of the show they go, ‘Jesus Christ, I know…

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Woman stuck in refugee camp sees album she co-wrote score Juno nomination

Nick Krewen Special to the Star March 11, 2019 When it came to recording Naath, the 2019 JUNO Award World Music Album of the Year contender by  former Sudanese child soldier Emmanuel Jal and his sister Nyaruach that was crowdfunded by what Jal calls “invisible angels,” there was also a very visible one who donated to the cause. Peter Gabriel. “That was a shock,” says dreadlocked rapper Jal, 39, during…


Matt Mays – Seeing Double

October 25, 2018 Nick Krewen   Saturday night and Sunday morning. That’s how Matt Mays describes the difference between his albums Once Upon A Hell Of A Time and the just-released Twice Upon a Hell of a Time: the former, an energetic, electric offering and the latter, its mellower acoustic twin. “I thought these songs should have been a bit more torn-down,” says Mays of his motive behind making Twice….


Cape Breton’s Fertile Music Scene

Story by Nick Krewen | September 17, 2018 For SOCAN Words & Music On Cape Breton Island, the music flows like water. Despite its relatively modest population, at 132,000 residents, this Northeastern tip of Nova Scotia, spread over 10,311 square km, has launched a number of tuneful tributaries surnamed MacMaster, Rankin and Sampson: artists that have impacted lands and listeners far beyond its borders. The Island’s musicians are largely known…


KILLY: Capturing The Energy of the Moment

Story by Nick Krewen | May 2, 2018 For SOCAN Words & Music… KILLY season has arrived. Five years after his first club performance, Scarborough’s Khalil Tatem – a.k.a. KILLY – is killin’ it for real: joints like 2017’s “Killamonjaro” and “No Romance” are racking up streams and views well into the eight figures. Now, with his 11-track independent album Surrender Your Soul, and a summer world tour that will…