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Arts & EventsBluesfest's Local Flair - Part 1

Bluesfest's Local Flair - Part 1

Bluesfest's Local Flair - Part 1

Ottawa Life’s Festival City Series is back! We'll provide a unique look at some of your favourite events.
We’ll go beyond the music with artist interviews, volunteer profiles, concert reviews and spotlights on
the tastes, sights and sounds of the festival season. 

Your city! Your festivals and events!
Like a good sunscreen, Ottawa Life has you covered.


This year on top of some startling headliners like LCD Soundsystem, Muse and Tom Petty among others, RBC Ottawa Bluesfest announced one of its strongest local lineups in years. Given there's so many great acts playing, we've talked to some of can't miss artists in the local scene to let you know who they are, why you should see them and who they can't wait to see.


Malak

When & Where:
Sunday July 9th @ The Barney Danson Theatre, 3:30 p.m.

How would you describe your music in one sentence:
An exotic spin on lyrically and melodically driven electro-pop.

How did you start:
I grew up in Cairo, Egypt, where I started piano and voice lessons at a young age. I never knew as a 7-year old - singing along to the likes of the Backstreet Boys and Christina Aguilera – that I would end up writing my own music, graduating from my dream program and playing a festival as prominent and international as Bluesfest. I was fortunate to have excellent and inspiring voice teachers who taught me pop, jazz, and classical voice. I always knew music was my calling so at 16 I moved to Ottawa, Canada to pursue a music performance and song writing  degree at Carleton University. The Egyptian culture and environment that surrounded me growing up, as well as my exposure to the Western World through the internet has definitely manifested itself in my music.

What can people expect from your show:
This show is going to be a lot more intense than all of my previous shows. I have amazing players joining me in Barney Danson Theatre. People can expect to be surprised and moved, and above all, entertained. They will be as much a part of the show as we will.

What makes you stand out?
A lot of people have told me they spotted me a mile away because of my hair! But I think my instrumentation, melodic arrangements and lyricism will be what stand out to Bluesfest attendees.

What artist are you most excited to see at the festival:
A lot of my friends will be playing so I’m really excited to go see their shows. Phantogram, Muse, A Tribe Called Red, and P!nk are definitely must-sees for me, but honestly I lost my mind when I found out about 50 Cent.


FEVERS

When & Where:
Wednesday July 12th @ Claridge Homes Stage, 6 p.m.

How would you describe your music in one sentence:
Infectious electro rock dance-pop with some sass.

How did you start:
Your typical bedroom laptop project turn five piece electro rock ensemble.

What can people expect from your show:
Some dancing, some head-banging, some sweet vocals. Don't miss out!

What makes you stand out?
Well, that's tough - I guess we don't take ourselves too seriously (not that you can tell from our picture!). We love making music for the sake of making music - so we hope that comes across! So I guess genuine is the word I'm looking for. Our sound is quite unique too!

What artist are you most excited to see at the festival:
LCD Soundsystem. Probably the inspiration for the band starting in the first place, so to be playing on the same night is a bit of a dream come true (for Jim especially!).


Mushy Gushy

When & Where:
Saturday July 15th @ Claridge Homes Stage, 4 p.m.

How would you describe your music in one sentence:
Just think "Boys of Summer" by Don Henley but noisier.

How did you start:
One of us unsuccessfully moved to Vancouver. Then they got a job back in Ottawa and met two others. Than another joined. Then we played a show right away. Recorded a tape right after. And we're still going.

What can people expect from your show:
People can expect a combination of 80's hair metal with indie garage rock tendencies in a way that has definitely been done before only we like to think we're pretty good at it. We call it "Butt Rock".

What makes you stand out:
Our really loud, really catchy certified slappers.

What artist are you most excited to see at the festival:
Slack Bridges, Telecomo


Future States

When & Where:
Saturday July 8th @ Barney Danson Theatre, 6:30 p.m.

How would you describe your music in one sentence:
We make experimental pop music (we really just keep trying to dial in a traditional pop song, but get side-tracked along the way!).

How did you start:
 
A classic friends meeting friends meeting friends situation. Two members (Chuck and Brodie) grew up together, while another two attended university together (Nick and Dave). When Nick and Chuck met while attending grad school the streams crossed and Future States was born! Dan, our drummer, was the final puzzle piece. He was recruited via his weekly spot playing at the Dep Cafe in Montreal, where Dave worked at the time. Musically, it all fit together pretty quickly.

What can people expect from your show:
Grooves, fast and slow, and lots of wobbly noises. Also, lots of singing together, in perfect harmony, except when we are just out of perfect harmony, which ain’t so bad, really.

What makes you stand out:
 
We all really enjoy singing, and incorporate a lot of group vocals and harmonies into our music. 5 voices all singing earworm melodies is pretty much the definition of sing-along.

What artist are you most excited to see at the festival:
Yonatan Gat - A really incredible psych-y proggy, avant-garde guitar player, who is playing on Sunday, July 9th. He’s known for wild performances and will often insist that his band set up on the floor, off-stage, with the audience crowding in around them. We’re excited to see whether they try pull off a similar interactive set-up at Bluesfest.


Old Man Grant:

When & Where:
Friday July 14th @ Barney Danson Theatre, 6 p.m.

How would you describe your music in one sentence:
An energetic fusion of bluegrass/folk/blues, with a hint of southern gothic.

How did you start:
The band started in the summer of 2014 when Jensen Grant and Peter Klaassen met while working as session musicians at Audio Valley recording studios, with Ally Snedker joining in the summer of 2016.

What can people expect from your show:
An Old Man Grant show is a bit like a musical roller coaster. The group aims to lead the listener through a range of genres and moods while always preserving the energy and authenticity that never fails to captivate their audience.

What makes you stand out:
Our skilled musicianship, combined with tight three part harmonies all performed around a single mic is a new take on a traditional trio format.

What artist are you most excited to see at the festival:
For the past year the band's "get pumped" soundtrack has been Anderson Paak's Tiny Desk Concert. They were more than excited to find out we would be sharing the day with such a talented and hardworking group.

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