Arranger

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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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…


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…


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…


‘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…