Canada

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…

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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…


Brain injury from Toronto crash derailed Kiesza’s pop career. Now she’s back.

Nick Krewen Special to the Star If you’re wondering where three-time Juno award winner Kiesza has been the past couple of years, don’t blame her – it’s not her fault. The Calgary-born singer and songwriter – best known for taking the world by storm by her house-influenced dance smash “Hideaway” and its accompanying album Sound of A Woman –  had just relocated to Toronto two years ago from the Big Apple…


Ariana Gillis: Hamilton singer-songwriter spent years overcoming a concussion and her new album is a triumphant comeback

On the Buddy Miller-produced The Maze, her first album in six years, Ariana Gillis has finally found her sound. This may not seem like such a big deal, but for a time, there was a question whether the 28-year-old singer-songwriter from Hamilton, Ontario, would ever play any of her riveting, self-described “Canadiana Americana; edgy pop with steel guitars” again due to a debilitating accident she suffered four years ago. “We…


Murray Lightburn Photo: Murray Lightburn

Murray Lightburn, Dears’ singer, on new solo album: ‘There’s a man on this record that I aspire to be.’

June 1,  2019 Nick Krewen Special to the Star. Oh, Dears. The Montréal-based indie rock band’s founding frontman, Murray A. Lightburn, released his second solo album Hear Me Out earlier this yearand discovered an unexpected dividend during the sessions: freedom.  Lightburn, 48, initially expected to follow what he describes as “the production narrative” of his first Dears-free album, the 2013 science-fiction musical Murray A. Lightburn’s MASS:LIGHT. With one-time Arcade Fire…