Music’s Guardian Angel: The Unison Benevolent Fund

Unison Benevolent Fund has helped more than 800 music professionals in Canada. The charity itself now needs help. By Nick Krewen Special to the Star October 23, 2019 Two-and-a-half years ago, Bill Bell, long-time guitarist for Tom Cochrane, was lying on the floor of his Toronto home in the midst of a nervous breakdown when he received the call that changed his life. Bell’s friend, music executive Allan Reid, had…


U.S. immigration crackdown inspires Jessie Reyez’s charged new music video

Nick Krewen Special to the Star Oct 07, 2019 In the visually compelling video for her latest song “Far Away,” Toronto’s Jessie Reyez pulls no punches when depicting immigrant persecution in Trump’s America. During the two-minute-and-50-second scenario directed by Peter Huang, Reyez’s character and her male love interest are dancing at a party that is suddenly stormed and tear-gassed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, who end up…


How Toronto’s master guitar maker brings a new instrument to life — and why she worries

By Nick Krewen Special to the Star October 02,  2019 “Whoo-oo! Would you look at that?” Pleased as punch, musician Stephen Fearing is leaning moon-eyed over an open case, cooing over his latest custom-built, flat-top, six-stringed guitar, its European Spruce surface kissed by the slightest toasted-sunburst finish and adorned with a mother-of-pearl replica of Fearing’s signature on its fingerboard. Linda Manzer, the world-renown luthier who spent more than a year crafting…


Regent Park School of Music is glad to have a friend in Taylor Swift

By Nick Krewen Special to the Star August 26, 2019 The Regent Park School of Music has discovered that it’s nice to have a friend in high places – especially if that friend is named Taylor Swift. It turns out that several Regent Park School of Music students between the ages of nine and 18 appear on the Nashville-based Swift’s latest album Lover, released last Friday: specifically on the sample…


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…