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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…

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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…


Liner Notes: Hard Won, John Cody, ole red dot, 2017

JOHN CODY HARD WON   LINER NOTES: APRIL 4, 2017   Nick Krewen     It was a race against time. The circumstances behind the recording of John Cody‘s fourth album, Hard Won, may sound panicked and urgent, but there’s a reason for it: they were. In May 2016, the Montréal-based singer and songwriter received the news that no one wants to hear, especially if you’re a musician: his larynx,…


Future of pop music is in great hands with Bruno Mars: review

Mars’s 90-minute set Saturday night at the ACC demonstrated the pop star’s gifted intuition for pop music. Nick Krewen Music, Sun., Aug. 27, 2017 Bruno Mars at the Air Canada Centre, Aug. 26, 2017 He had razzle. He had dazzle. And on Saturday night, for the first of two hotly anticipated Air Canada Centre sell-out concerts, Bruno Mars had the audience eating out of the palm of his hand with…