Blue Sky Miners – Toronto


Photo Credit Melanie Baresic

Love it when good music finds its way to us. Blue Sky Miners proudly Canadian with the perfect blend of west meets east coast, Rocky Mountain desert rock. Organically grown and finding their own, their collaboration is true testament that all things come together as they were meant to.  – Fresh Independence


Name:  Eric Duquette 

Age: 26

Where are you writing this:  A coffee shop in Toronto.

How did Blue Sky Miners come to be…

Jay and Jena (the two lead singers in the band) had a couple of chance run ins with each other while each living in Victoria. I met Jena after she moved to Toronto and we began jamming some cover songs together. She was hosting a music night at a small bar on College Street and Jay happened to walk in to play some of his songs. He had just moved recently too. It was a very loose, laid back environment and we all sort played on each others songs and eventually decided we should start writing our own songs together. I think we immediately sensed there was an interesting dynamic there to explore.


Introduce us to your band members and tell us what they bring that makes Blue Sky Miners rock…

Jena Gogo (Lead Singer, percussion) – Her voice. It will seriously stop you dead in your tracks. Also perhaps the greatest tambourine player in the world today.
Jay Mitchell (Lead singer, rhythm guitar) – Theatricality. Jay’s performance on stage is like watching a dramatization of the lyrics.
Mark Lavoie (Bass) – If you watched only Mark on stage, you would think he’s playing in an 80’s hair metal band. His dance moves are second to none.
Stefan Hegerat (Drums) – Stef holds everything together and prefers to end every song with an epic “Detroit” ending.
Me Eric Duquette (Lead guitar) – I’m the spaceman, I’ve somehow convinced the band to let me go wild with spacey effects and weird sounds on stage.

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Rayland Baxter- Nashville

Rayland Baxter

a rayland baxter black & white

We first saw Rayland Baxter when he opened for Shakey Graves in Vancouver last year where he set the room on fire with a heartfelt passion and sincerity that resonated through his set. Doing what he loves and always searching for more as he digs deep down to find life’s answers in his music. Rayland Baxter offers his latest album Imaginary Man that will touch you in all the right places and keep you coming back for more. – Fresh Independence

R A Y L A N D  B A X T E R 

Home is where your story begins, please tell us a little about yours.

– i have no home actuaLLy… i have aLL of my beLongings in a storage unit… aLthough nashviLLe is home aLways… it’s a very speciaL place and i have many great friends here that are doing great things with their Lives… it’s pleasant to be surrounded by the amazing creation that is happening in nashviLLe… it’s unLike any pLace in the worLd.

a rayland baxter toque

How did music find you and begin to grow within?

– i moved to israeL when i was 25 and Lived there for a few months… during my first trip out there i started writing songs and since then i have become slightLy obsessed with it aLL. i have returned to israeL a few times since then because one of my mentors Lives there. i have aLot to learn from him so i go back whenever i can to visit.

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Ben Holland – London

a ben holland by sandi hudson francis

Photo by Sandi Hudson-Francis

Music has the ability to reach out and touch us in ways we never expected. Just as Bob Dylan shares the ebb and flow of his life through song, so too does London’ s own Ben Holland. He brings a genuine sincerity to his work and gives your restless heart a soft place to rest it’s weary head.

– Fresh Independence

B E N  H O L L A N D

A Ben Holland Kid

Home is where your story begins… please tell us a little about yours.

I was born in Carlisle, north west England. I went to school there and had my first few jobs there- but I knew I needed to be in London to do what I do, so I now live South of the river near Camberwell. I like London a lot and don’t see myself moving anytime soon.

When did music find you?

Bob Dylan’s to blame. I heard his music and wanted to learn it. I learned about two hundred of his songs then began to write my own.

What is the song writing process like for you?

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RYKKA – Vancouver – B.C.

a rykka movies by Lynol Lui

Photo Credit Lynol Lui

Vancouver born Christina Marie found refuge in music as a child growing up under the influences of Heart, Blondie, Madonna, Bjork, Cyndi Lauper, Kate Bush, Pat Benatar. This lone wolf made her presence known in 2013 winning the prestigious ‘Peak Performance Music Project’  before a howling crowd of supporters. Rykka has found her sound deep in the nature of Canada and Switzerland and it is there that she has been busy writing her new music. Working hard out on the road she is finding her own rhythm and pace as she lays down her mark in music history. Change is constant and time keeps on turning, leaving us open to feel the good vibrations and sense of wonder that Rykka delivers within her latest song MOVIES


Home is where your story begins – please tell us a little about yours.

I was born in Vancouver and grew up in Surrey. There was never too much to do, so I spent a lot of time using my bedroom walls as a free canvas and listening to Mariah Carey.

How did music find you and begin to grow within?

My mom took choir in high school and taught my brother and sister and I to sing harmonies in the car. As I grew up I was really ADD + ADHD and found that constant art output was the key to help me function as a human.


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