Music Transcends Genres

image image imageFirst of all – apologies for the late post – I’m usually all over social media but for the first time in a while I’ve been simply just enjoying my surroundings – what a concept right?

We are so thrilled to be the only hip hop act this year at the Peak – & honoured to be so widely accepted.

The other night – Mindel Beach from BC & I were working on our collaboration track. Bob D’eith told me his son, Cameron, was a 15 year old rapper. We immediately were so stoked to have another artist at the camp who shared the same passion as us. So naturally, we invited him to join our session.

At the end of the track, our producer Josh Gwilliam suggested we do a gang vocal of the hook. We had everyone from JP Maurice to Bob D’eith and Cameron in there singing With us. As we were all singing together I was overtaken by inspiration and I realized a very important sentiment: music transcends genres/age/race/sex and can bring people together in an uncanny fashion.

We are all here for one reason – music. Regardless of your style of music – our passion binds us all together which forms a deeper connection than most ever experience.

Was that my tooth brush?

It was a Great montage video last night after the performances, a peek into the dorms we have claimed as our home all week… but Seriously… Ryan Guldemond who’s tooth brush were you using?

We had a listen to our collaborative song with the endearing Jesse Roper yesterday… There truly is some creative magic in the air here at Rocky Ridge Canyon. We got to hear bits and pieces of some of the other projects and it’s going to be an inspiring end to this week. Thanks to Russ Broom and Connor our multi talented Nimbit for all of your hard work. I’m really looking forward to the listening party.

Im Gonna miss this place

Todd Stewart


“Staggered it”

Monday at Bootcamp defied the dredge of the regular Monday blues commonly felt in the world. We usually bemoan this day but… I would take Mondays every week like this one. A great morning talk with Dave from Canvas Media who happens to be from the same area of Saskatchewan as our own Craig Aikman. We then dug into a stalled song with Ryan Guldemond who dissected and pushed it in ways I never imagined. It’s always tough to let someone put their hands on one of your babies but Ryan stirred a creative pot and pulled a song that I love out of my notebook and back on the table. Thanks Ryan.

Probably the hardest part of the day was the marketing challenge we faced with Scott Johnson from Warner. It’s not enough to create novelties and cool looking band designs… We were brought back to the root of It all…we had to explore the ideas of what we are connecting with? And with who and why?

Kei from Bold Love reinforced that with a publicity/PR slam, keeping it real with the delivery. Like real F***ing real.

But the highlight Of the day goes to our peers who put on the biggest showcase of the week so far. Mike Edel started it all out and he pitched the bar high with a great set full of great songs, Can’t wait to see him in good ol AB soon. Second set was dialled up with Leeroy Stagger, like really dialled up… We’re already LS fans so this set was a personal highlight. The panel used the term “Staggered” to dub the excellence, it was thrown around in comments for Find The Others and Transits set that took the house down. It was my Favourite night of music from start to finish this week, throw a bonfire in there and some chocolate haystacks and bam!… A Wicked Monday

day 5- still alive

imageTodd Stewart

Northern Beauties

Belated Blogging

Oh my goodness I can’t believe it’s the end of day 5 already.  It feels like it’s flown by but it also feels like I’ve been here forever!

This experience has really been amazing.  I knew that I would love it – but I didn’t necessarily think I’d feel this inspired.

Bootcamp has definitely been a literal bootcamp.  Up at 7:30 then non stop activity until 2am.  (This is my excuse for being a bad blogger! Although I see all the other AB bands are killing at this!)  It’s been gruelling but I LOVE being completely submersed in this learning environment.  The staff is so approachable, they do their absolute best to deliver some dry material (taxes, grants) in an interesting way, plus all the content is exactly what I need to be learning/remembering.

There’s been two stand out highlights from the bootcamp for me so far.  The first has been the two songwriting sessions with Ryan from Mother Mother.  Songwriting can be such a tricky and personal thing, but he talks about the art of it in such an inspiring way.  He makes it feel so attainable.  He’s also so impressively skilled in chordal harmony and is incredibly quick when it comes to doctoring a song.

Screenshot 2015-09-01 00.42.17

The second highlight has been working with the producer Howard Redekopp.  He’s been a total dream.  He produced one of my favourite records of all time (Sainthood – Tegan & Sara) and is incredibly encouraging.  From working with him I’ve learned that a producer is integral to a great album and I’m so grateful to have been given the opportunity to work with him and discover the magic that working with a producer is!

It’s really beautiful here and always feels amazing for me to be back in BC (my home province!).

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The other bands have been amazing – talented, creative, fun, and inclusive and I also feel lucky to be in the last year where BC and AB are together.

We’re all finished recording and performing so now I can work on my blogging 😉 !

Here’s a photo from our showcase – the shadow has given me a body builder arm!

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Until tomorrow!



Before I came here I was at bluegrass camp learning to play banjo.  This is a lot different.  Most people here are not over 50, rich, and retired.  Actually, no one is.  It was amazing to watch 60 year old people get up on stage for the first time in their entire lives!  It is similar here though.  I mean, there is much less grey hair for sure, but the nervousness and excitement,  love and passion,  the feeling that you can go to bed that night knowing that in that fight or flight moment you fought and won, even if you had played that song better every single time you’d practiced it.  I haven’t puked after playing a show in a long time but yesterday I came close.  Oh man, I was so freaking nervous.  The butterflies were coming in waves all day.  I feel relief that we are finished and also kind of silly that I was so afraid.  As the days go by I feel less and less afraid and more and more excited.  I am inspired. I’m inspired by the faculty, by the other bands, and by my bandmates.  I’ve found two of the hardest working people I’ve ever known to play music with.  I remember playing our set thinking I should have done this or that better  and I wasn’t even really worried about the judges at that point, I was more just wanting Nich and Sophie to feel happy and proud.  I’ve loved watching Sophie get inspired and grow.  I felt so proud of her today when she got up and workshopped one of our songs with Ryan. Yesterday she had the interview with Tamara I felt so much relief that I didn’t have to get up and do it and so proud that she did and she did such a good job.  We have this thing where when I’m nervous she says “Be brave little lion.”  I think she is the brave one.

Whole lotta love


Northern Beauty Be.Do. Have

You just can’t echo the experience here at Bootcamp with words. I can say, the longer were here the more you realize some reoccurring themes In your journey as a musician.

Be the change you want to see in your journey as a musician and leave nothing to regret. This is the only way to describe the first 4 days of our experience here at Bootcamp in this true Northern Beauty. I feel safe saying this will be one of the most rewarding musical weeks of my life, everything else from here on in will derive from it.  A lifetime of memories, a lifetime of friendships and a healthy dose of humility. We love it.

big thanks to all of the presenters and the  faculty that has made our journey here forever memorable so far.

Todd Stewart


Hey squad

Day 5 has begun. No phone for 5 days. I’m actually getting used to it, it’s refreshing not being so glued. I can definitely feel around the camp that the tension is lessing. Everyone seems to be less competitively driven and more open to having fun and making friends. The walls are breaking down which is nice. Ties are growing exponentially stronger and we’re even talking about organizing shows with other artists already.

I’m nervous about our show case, I’m excited for the feedback and I want to learn how to perform better, but there’s just so much anticipation and all I want to do is let it go and sing.

Camp has exposed me to a lot of things internally that I didn’t know about myself. I know now where I want to go, who I want to expose myself to and I have a slightly better sense of where we fit in the music world. Our instructors have shown us a lot, the pathway to our future doesn’t seem so dark and mysterious anymore. I feel less ignorant.

I feel inferior to every other performer, they’re all so good it’s astonishing. I think the majority of these people just need some good representation and I feel like they would be superstars. In that sense I know now we have a lot of improvement to do, it’s overwhelming and my anxiety has hit me like a freight train but it’s whats sustaining me. I’m so happy we’re in the middle of the woods or I would have gone insane by now. It’s also so nice to have so many talented guitar players and singers that jam out side during free time. Just hearing little riffs and songs lightens the mood and gives a nice campy feel to everything.

So as it stands right now, I’m learning a lot, picking up a lot and looking forward to the having my brain remoulded.
– Sam <3

no one understands my drake references.

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