This week, professional singer/songwriter, voice actor & co-founder of Silverthorn Studios recording, Taylor Abrahamse joined us in the studio at SongTalk World Headquarters. Taylor was a Top 40 finalist on Canadian Idol, has performed on stages across Ontario, has also written & produced musicals, and music for animated series and viral internet music through Corus, DHX & Super Planet Dolan.
Taylor is on the verge of a breakout moment in a promising career. After creating a spontaneous performance opportunity on the conference floor of Canadian Music Week, Taylor was contacted by Grammy-winning producer and engineer Eddie Kramer (Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, Carly Simon, David Bowie, Michelle Branch & many more), who wanted to produce & develop Taylor. Now close to the release of his debut record of original songs, Eddie describes Taylor as ‘A true artist, and songwriting genius’.
We were very excited to have Taylor drop by so we could catch up and hear his talent for ourselves.
Sarah Hiltz is a contemporary folk artist based in Toronto. Her current project has her researching the ways Canadians experience, express and suppress anger in modern society, especially women, and creating a song cycle in response.
Sarah’s last album, Beauty In The Blue, compiled songs and stories culled from her multiple journeys across Canada as a travelling musician on VIARail’s passenger train, “The Canadian”. Beauty in the Blue features lush, nuanced vocals and jazz-influenced songwriting.
Sarah has independently released three full-length albums and two EPs since 2009. Her work over the last decade as a talented singer-songwriter has landed her opening slots for Canadian icons Gordon Lightfoot and Ron Hynes, Top 3 placement in a nation-wide music competition (She’s The One), a Best Folk Album nomination (Toronto Independent Music Awards) and earned her an invitation to give a TEDx talk in 2014.
This week SongTalk welcomed Robert Ball to our studio.
A native Torontonian, Robert Ball is a multi-faceted singer who has traveled to and performed in over 60 countries around the world.
His sound has been described as soulful, jazzy, Neo-soul and he is a much in-demand session singer. Most recently he toured his EP “Need” & single “Breathe” throughout Toronto, New York and many PRIDE circuits including Brooklyn Pride, DC pride and Jamaica Pride. Also making appearances on CTV, CP24, Bold TV, Rogers Nighttime & Daytime on Rogers, Casa Loma “Soul in the City”, Friday Night Live at the ROM.
His new single ‘River (Into You)’ was released last fall and is available everywhere.
We talked with Robert about:
his sources of inspiration
breaking out of typical pop song structures
getting the most from producers in the studio
how to communicate your musical ideas to your backing band
This week SongTalk Radio has a special episode celebrating the 35th anniversary of the classic film, “This Is Spinal Tap”. And joining us in our trip down memory lane is one of our favourite guests on the show Blair Packham. We talk about where and when we first encountered this classic cult comedy and how true it was to our own experiences in the music business (hint: very!)
On this episode, Neel, Phil, Michael and Blair talk about:
how the film was made
what has made the movie so popular many decades later
This week Song Talk welcomed Patrick Ballantyne back to our studio. Patrick is a veteran songwriter and musician who has worked with many top-selling artists such as The Trews, Meredith Shaw and Big Sugar.
On this episode, Patrick brought in a few songs from his upcoming new release so our Song Talk audience got to hear the premieres of two tracks – Vicious in Your Vanity and Beneath Your Skin.
We talked with Patrick about:
the origins of the songs on his new album
the difficulty of writing lyrics
his collaboration with Colin MacDonald from the Trews
how to organize songs for an album
the way lyrical inspiration changes as the songwriter ages
Toronto singer/songwriter Michael Thorner dropped by the studio for a chat about his music. He brought two catchy tunes from his recent webcast/album release The ehMTee Show; Don’t Let it Go and Point Edward Fair. We talked about:
South Sudan-born, Toronto-based indie fusion singer, model and writer Amanie Illfated joined us to talk about her songwriting journeys across nations and cultures. Guest host and singer-songwriter Kayt Lucas filled in for Phil – thanks Kayt! We talked about:
Amanie’s journey from Regina to Toronto at age 16
blogging and modelling as they apply to songwriting
trance vs. pop
the use of melodrama and operatic aspects
the influence of a multi-cultural Toronto on Amanie’s music
using different languages in your lyrics
connecting emotionally with your audience
setting and achieving goals in life, but also appreciating the process of getting there