Manitoba Music Export Spotlights Prairie Music at Annual Toronto Showcase
Toronto's Burdock to Host Manitoba Acts Roman Clarke, Sebastian Gaskin, and HAVS on October 23
The centre of Canada is bringing some stellar music to Toronto this month. Featuring new music from the prairie province, the October 23 Manitoba Music Export showcase at Burdock will feature powerhouse pop/R&B act Roman Clarke, R&B singer/songwriter and guitarist Sebastian Gaskin, and new wave hip hop and R&B artist HAVS.
This marks the eighth year that Manitoba Music has invited music fans and industry insiders to Toronto culture haunts for shows featuring some of Canada’s most buzzworthy emerging acts. Past performers include Begonia, Boniface, Greg MacPherson, Living Hour, The Small Glories, Micah Erenberg, Rayannah, Yes We Mystic, and more. Each of the 2019 showcase artists have been garnering praise and making waves.
Roman Clarke's music blurs the lines between pop and R&B, uses his unique and powerful voice to tell honest stories juxtaposed over tracks that snap your head back with thick beats and uplifting synth arrangements. He’s a versatile performer, equally comfortable behind the kit, at the piano, in front of a microphone, or in the producer’s chair. His new self-produced full-length album, Scorcher, is evidence of this. With the exception of a few choice string parts, Clarke wrote every lyric, played every instrument, and sang every vocal. His command of the creative process was fundamental in making this record and he was at the helm for every step, from the first demos through to the final mix. It helped earn him a Western Canadian Music Award nod for Songwriter of the Year.
R&B singer/songwriter and guitarist Sebastian Gaskin kicked off his music career with a #1 spot on the National Indigenous Countdown for his first single “6AM” in 2018 and went on to land the Indigenous Music Award for Most Outstanding Manitoban later that year. He makes music for your late nights and early mornings, creating reverb-soaked soundscapes combined with heart-thumping bass and melancholic melodies. His talents have taken him across Europe and onto the stages of multiple festivals within Canada. He recently signed with Mighty Cypress Talent and Paquin Artist Agency released his debut EP, Contradictions, in May 2019 and hit the showcase stage at BreakOut West earlier this month.
New wave hip hop and R&B artist HAVS draws inspiration from artists like SZA all the way to Mac Miller, blending many unique flavours of music into an adaptable sound. Her self-written content and experimental sound aims to encourage authentic expression in her listeners. Her 2018 solo album Distortion has captured the attention of media including Winnipeg Free Press, Virgin Radio, and Stylus Magazine. She has opened for acts such as Sonreal, Bliss n Eso, and Snak the Ripper, and is currently in the process of broadening her performance horizon, including BreakOut West showcase in Whitehorse.
The Toronto showcase is part of a busy season for Manitoba Music, which has been supporting showcases at the Reeperbahn Festival in Germany, AmericanaFest in Nashville, BIGSOUND in Australia, BreakOut West, and more. Bringing Manitoba music to new markets and intensifying business activity in existing markets is a key component of Manitoba Music's trade and business development activities.
Manitoba Music Export is funded by FACTOR and the Government of Canada, and Manitoba Film & Music. Through events like these, Manitoba Music is able to increase the connection between our province’s music industry and the broader national and international industry, which is vital to the career advancement of Manitoba artists and industry professionals, and contributes to the growth and development of Manitoba’s economy.