24-year-old Singer/Songwriter Alec Benjamin is on the verge of something big and if the success of his gorgeously-moody single Let Me Down Slowly is any indication of what’s to come, be ready for a lotta Alec. The Track which also has a version featuring Toronto’s Alessia Cara while released last spring, suddenly has caught fire, just entering the Top Forty in the U.K., achieving Platinum certification in Canada and Gold in the U.S.
He’s prepping the release of his debut album for Warner Music Canada coming this fall, Narrated for You and currently is bringing his Outrunning Karma Tour to theatres in sold-out numbers. Toronto was no exception. Not bad, considering he had a false start after being released from his contract with Columbia Records not too long ago. His career quickly has regained momentum and we had the opportunity to chat with Benjamin even though he was fighting a cold, prior to his show at The Mod Club.
The Phoenix native lost access to his data and was trying to get his iPhone X to connect without luck until venue Wi-Fi came to the rescue. I ask him what Instagram and Twitter are like for someone with hundreds of thousands of followers and it’s actually pretty much the same as it is for the rest of us. You see every single “like” and comment on the former, while the latter filters and groups things a bit more. I know now, I actually got to play on his accounts.
We ask him about Elon Musk, someone he really looks up to and epically getting a Tweet back from the technology entrepreneur after suggesting to him on Twitter, the idea of eco-friendly tour buses.
Benjamin: “It was pretty cool, because I’m a huge fan of his. There’s pretty much nobody in the world doing things that he is doing. And so I feel like he’ll be one of the most influencial inventors of our time, so to know that he knows that I’m alive, that’s pretty cool.” .
Himself fighting to stay healthy, we ask Benjamin about surviving the rigours of tour life.
Benjamin: “One of the struggles of tour life logistically, not just on your body, is how I understand what the tour bus is doing to the environment and I’m not the most caused-based person, but I do care about a lot of things. It’s difficult to reconcile the environment with the necessity of day-to-day life so I have to go out and tour and go out and burn gas and fly. Sometimes I feel like a hypocrite.” .
“I thought if I could get a tour bus that was eco-friendly, that’d be great so I’m gonna TweetElon Musk right now.”.
We ask Benjamin about his dream collaborations after having worked with Toronto’s Alessia Cara.
Benjamin: “Definitely Elon Musk” , he says semi-kiddingly. “I just wanna make better Music on my own first.”.
Benjamin‘s Music embodies a mood all its own. We wonder what we can expect from his forthcoming debut Disc.
Benjamin: “I think this batch of songs is gonna be slightly more mature than the last. A lot of those songs I’ve been saving for a while because I had a whole batch of Music I made when I was signed to Columbia Records and subsequently I was dropped from the label. I didn’t want to lose those songs, so as I was signing a new record deal, I got those songs back. I wanted a few of those songs to have a life on Narrated for You.” .
What’s next for Alec Benjamin? Benjamin: “I’m just gonna keep touring and writing songs. It’s a constant struggle in my life to keep making music and try to stay happy. Maybe I’m just chasing something that doesn’t even exist. I’ll play this venue and then I get to the next one and I go maybe this one, that’s the one!”.
Now in its third edition, iHeartRadio JINGLE BALL NORTH took place at Scotiabank Theatre, ringing-in the Holidays in festive fashion! The Audience was treated to a four-hour extravaganza headlined by The Chainsmokers, Dua Lipa, Khalid, Alessia Cara, Johnny Orlando, Lauv, Loud Luxury, bülow, EWXJF, Delaney Jane and more, a mixture of international and homegrown talent.
We’re delighted we got to hit-making headliners The Chainsmokers! They’ve been here so many times, we don’t believe it took this long to happen! Comprised of members Drew Taggart and Alex Pall, the Duo known for smash hits Don’t Let Me Down, Roses and Closer, currently are developing a Film based on their hit Paris with Tri-Star.
See our Snaps. Hover cursor right to navigate slideshow.
Even though they were pushed back a bit this year, it was better late than never for the 2018 iHeartRadio Much Music Video Awards. The event celebrating the tastes of Canadian Music fans, took over Bell Media headquearters at 299 Queen Street saw headliners Shawn Mendes, Halsey, 5 Seconds of Summer, Alessia Cara and more perform before a live outdoor audience, seen across the country on CTV. The fixture held annually on Father’s Day, was pushed back till now.
Filling hosting duties was Awkwafina, Star of Box Office hits OCEAN’S8 and CRAZY RICH ASIANS joking with the audience how she has the voice of a wrestler and the body of a Pikachu.
Among the big winners of the night were Pickering’s Mendes who won Best Pop Artist of the Year and Fan Fave Artist and Fan Fave Video for In My Blood. Halsey was named Artist for Change, while Toronto’s “6ixGod” Drake won Best Hip Hop Artist, seeing his track God’s Plan win Best Director – emerging young talent Karena Evans receiving the honour. Bebe Rexha’s duet with Florida Georgia Line,Meant to Be, won her Best Collaboration. Coveted Video of the Year went to Logic ft. Khalid and Brampton native Alessia Cara‘s 1-800-273-8255. Toronto’s Loud Luxury won Song of the Summer for Body (featuring Brando).
We were out and about sighting the stars and see who we saw!
BRUNO MARS took home top honours at the 60th annual GRAMMYAwards. The Hawaiian-born Singer/Songwriter for his Tracks 24K Magic, That’s What I Like and Album 24K Magic, won Album of the Year,Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best R&B Performance, Best R&B Song and Best R&B Album.
Mars says, pleading not to be cut-off during his speech in which he recalls performing at the age of 15, “Babyface, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Teddy Riley wrote many of the songs I’d be singing. I remember people who’d never met each from two sides of the globe all would be dancing and all I wanted to do with this Album was to see everybody dancing and everybody moving. I’d like to dedicate this award to my heroes, these teachers who laid down the foundation.”.
See his performance with CardiB on the Remix to Finesse:
Taking place in New York City this year, the GRAMMYs took place at Madison Square Garden after having been in Los Angeles for the past 14 years. Funnyman James Corden filled hosting duties and his parents Malcolm and Margaret even came out again to support him, joking they snuck-out to see Hamilton while the show was going on! New York native and 14-time Grammy Winner Alicia Keys stated upon presenting Record of the Year to Bruno Mars, “I love it better when the GRAMMYS are in New York”, drawing applause from the crowd.
Other big winners from the evening included Bruno Mars‘ labelmate Ed Sheeran who won Best Pop Solo Performance for smash hit Shape of You and also Best Pop Vocal Album for ÷.
GRAMMY Darling Kendrick Lamar won Best Rap Song, Best Rap Performance and Best Music Video for HUMBLE. and his Rihanna Collaboration LOYALTY. won Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. His Disc DAMN. won Best Rap Album.
Canada saw The Weeknd win for Best Contemporary R&B Album with his top-selling Starboy Disc, while national icon Leonard Cohen post-humously won for Best Rock Performance with You Want it Darker. Our Alessia Cara won coveted Best New Artist and while her version of How Far I’ll Go didn’t win for Best Song for Visual Media, the Moana Theme sung by Auli’i Cravalho would go on to win.
Lady Gaga was on early with a fantastic acoustic Medley of A Million Reasons and Joanne:
Kesha would make a return to the GRAMMYs after a few years away delivering her nominated Praying with the help of Cyndi Lauper, Bebe Rexha, Camila Cabello, Andra Day and more:
While it was announced recently that Elton John soon will retire following his upcoming Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour, Miley Cyrus would join him on-stage for a rendition of Tiny Dancer:
After feuding for many years after a fallout in the ’90s, Broadway legend Patti Lupone would take the stage to perform Don’t Cry for Me Argentina from EVITA for Composer Andrew Lloyd Weber, who was being honoured this evening for his achievements. Lupone performed the same song at the 1981 GRAMMYs. See the performance:
Known affectionately as the MMVAs, the iHeartRadio MuchMusic Video Awards took place in Toronto this weekend, honouring the best and hottest Music Videos. Co-hosting this year were Brampton’s own Alessia Cara and Joe Jonas, the latter who has appeared on multiple occasions dating back to his days with his fraternal trio.
In town for the occasion were a litany of talent including performers Imagine Dragons, Arkells, Camila Cabello (formerly of Fifth Harmony), Julia Michaels, Iggy Azalea, Jessie Reyez, Lorde, Post Malone, DNCE (Jonas’ new band) and Niall Horan (formerly of One Direction).
Presenting awards this year are a who’s-who of television among the intended target audience of the awards show including KJ Apa (Riverdale), Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black), Brandon Flynn (13 Reasons Why), Keke Palmer (Scream Queens), Dove Cameron, Lilly Singh, Nikka Bella, Darren Criss (Glee), Kat Graham (Vampire Diaries), Shay Mitchell (Pretty Little Liars), Carly Rae Jepsen, Bea Miller and supermodel Martha Hunt.
Shutting down a portion of Queen Street at the famed Bell Media headquarters, fans lined the streets and braved the rain for the Red Carpet. The evening’s biggest winners included: A Tribe Called Red ft. Yasiin Bey, Black Bear and Narcy – R.E.D. for Video of the Year, Shawn Mendes – Mercy for Best Pop Video and iHeartRadio International Artist of the Year went to Lorde.
Most Buzzworthy Canadian Artist was awarded to Drake, who beat out Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes, The Weeknd and Alessia Cara.
We spotted some of the stars of the 2017 iHeartRadio MuchMusic Video Awards around town this weekend. Check out our Snaps!
As H&M Canada plan their unveiling of their Flagship Eaton Centre store today, the Media got an amazing preview of the newly-renovated fashion powerhouse. Stars came to ring-in the occasion with Brampton’s own teen hitmaker Alessia Cara performing an four-song acoustic set and also Actress/Singer/DJ Taryn Manning (8 Mile, Orange is the New Black) gracing the stage! Jillionaire of Major Lazer unfortunately wasn’t able to make it in, likely impacted by the storm conditions, which delayed Manning‘s flight from Chicago this afternoon.
Pear-Vodka Cocktails were poured, Appetizers like Jerk Chicken Waffles, Mini Grilled Cheeses with Brie and Pear, among other delectables were served. The shop would then transform into a huge dance party with multiple dance circles formed with many of the City’s fashionable elite.
Organized by top Event Planning duo Candice + Allison, guests left satiated and ready to spread the word about some of the 58,000 square foot store’s new additions including:
-LED Screens and a fully LED screen-illuminated facade
-H&M HOME Section (very kitschy and colourful decor selection)
-The David Beckham Modern Essentials Collection (we’ve seen it and can confirm it’s stylish and priced affordable)
-H&M Studio Collection Spring/Summer 2016 (bright prints, demin and handcrafted elements)
Are you ready?
H&M‘s newly-renovated Eaton Centre Flagship Store unveils Thursday, February 25, 2016.
19-year-old singer/songwriter Alessia Cara certainly is a star on-the-rise. And if some of her famous fanbase counts for anything, you can expect this Brampton native to among the biggest and best. For one, Taylor Swift can’t stop singing her praises on Social Media and she even joined the Pop Queen on-stage on the Tampa leg of her 1989 tour.
If you listen to radio, Cara‘s debut single Here has been impossible to ignore since surfacing this summer. It is one of those rare tracks that has a crossover appeal to Alternative, Urban and Top 40 audiences, getting lots of support locally before the likes of Ellen DeGeneres began championing it. Here reached number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100, impressive for any new artist, let a long a girl with a guitar from Brampton.
Cara is now set to release her debut disc Know-It-All via Universal Music Canada/Def Jam Recordings, later this week and she has been hard at work in the city yesterday and today promoting the album which she finally got her hands on today when appearing at KISS 92.5 on The Roz & Mocha Show, where she played a cover of Nick Jonas‘ hit Levels acoustically.
We got a quick Selfie with Cara as she head in and she was amazingly-nice and friendly to take a minute to stop with an action-packed day ahead. We are expecting big things ahead and know we’ll look back at today as a blessing before she fills arenas one day.