The “For the Record” team started off Day 2 of the 2023 Sled Island Music & Arts Festival visiting the wonderful people at CJSW Radio, and had the wonderful opportunity to sit in on a couple of their live radio sessions. Thanks once again to Helen, Darian, Cam, Adam and the wonderful CJSW volunteers for hosting the team, it is always a pleasure to visit our radio friends!
The first live session was from the Portland, Oregon Pow Wow Punk band 1876. The group has ties to the Northern Cheyenne and Amskapipiikani (Blackfoot) Nations and sings in both languages. The unique combination of Pow Wow drums and bells with aggressive guitar playing and traditional punk sounds really shapes the group’s sound. Since forming in 2020 they have released 3 EPS and 3 singles, check them out on Bandcamp.
The second session was drummer and electronic artist Mineo Kawasaki from Matsuyama, Japan. Mineo’s performance is something different to take in, while performing on a full drum kit he also works in synths, a electronic drum pad, loop pedals, and pre-produced backing tracks. His music becomes a mix of Sci-Fi inspired tones, Hip-Hop breakbeats, and danceable themes you’d find in modern EDM, Drum & Bass, Techno, and House.
The team was able to head to Sloth Records and catch their curated showcase. Sloth Records is a small independent record store located in Calgary’s Beltline area that is occasionally converted into a live music venue. With record bins pushed to the side, the space became a very intimate setting for a show.
Aladean Kheroufi was the first artist the team could catch at the Sloth Records showcase. Aladean is currently based in Edmonton, AB but is from Algeria originally. He blends elements of Indie Rock, Blues, Folk, Country, and Roots with powerful and soulful lyrics. His crowd interactions really added to the intimate setting the venue provided, and made the whole experience more than just standing in a room and listening to music while surrounded by vinyl. The solo performance included the use of electric guitar and a drum machine that were utilized so well that it sounded more like a duo than a solo artist! Watch out for Aladean in Lethbridge as he often collaborates with local legend Skinny Dyck. Thanks to Aladean for taking the time for an interview with us.
The showcase continued with Calgary artist Kaeyae Alo. Her music masterfully blends R&B, Soul, and lyrics that intentionally makes the listener feel something. Kaeyae’s band really added to the atmosphere of the space and added a bit of a Funk element to Kaeyae’s performance. Check out her debut EP 17times.
Brooklyn artist, the della kit, closed out the showcase in a spectacular fashion. She really used the intimate setting to her advantage, often engaging the audience with more than the standard calls and responses, at times inviting the crowd to hum certain notes to feel more of a connection with the music and those next to you. The performance ranged from strongly built vocal looped acapella tracks to produced backing beats that blended elements of Lo-Fi, Hip-Hop, R&B, Pop, and Jazz. She also decided during her set to showcase some talent that Calgary has to offer and included collaborations with R&B singer Jared Daniel, Hip-Hop/R&B/Soul performer K-Riz, and Hip-Hop/R&B artist Tea Fannie. the della kit closed out the set in the spirit of Hip-Hop with a freestyle that saw not only the feature artists join in but Calgary Rapper RTC Profit and Montreal/Calgary artists Maky Lavender drop some bars. It is moments like this that really showcase the sense of community Sled Island strives to cultivate!
A big thank you to the staff at Sloth Records for putting together such a great show and for hosting us in their space.
Outside of Sled Island, Calgary always has live music going on! The best example of this was the team stumbling upon an outdoor performance from Lost Decade. Though it was the end of their set it was great to be able to see them perform again after they joined us back in March for CKXU Loves You.
The team headed back to Commonwealth Bar & Stage for the evening for another packed night of amazing performances.
Dai was once again able to take in performance from Gitxsan artist, The Northwest Kid. The Northwest Kid started his music career as a member of the Hip-Hop duo Mob Bounce and has since gone on to develop a very intimate solo style. Blending elements of Hip-Hop, EDM, Pow Wow, and Electronica with powerful lyrics about the Indigenous experience. He even talked about the inspiration from Kainai scholar, Dr. Leroy Little Bear’s research at the University of Lethbridge in Aboriginal philosophy in a couple of his newest songs. His most recent achievement was the inclusion of his collaboration with The Halluci Nation on their track, Mother Mother, in the video game Fortnite.
86LOVE gave an energy filled performance backed by a drummer, scratch DJ, and a mix DJ. He uses the Hip-Hop styles of Trap, Grime, and Boom Bap mixed with 808 drum & bass and elements of Hardcore, Punk and Metal to really get a crowd jumping and moving. His upcoming release is a concept album and is a satirical embracing of growing up in Alberta. Check out the first single from this album, Alberta Big Dick Swingin!
K-Riz has always been an amazing solo performer but adding in the full band has really elevated the live show experience. The band adds elements of Funk and Soul to K-Riz’s Hip-Hop and R&B style. The performance also included collabs with Tea Fannie and the della kit, continuing the community feeling from the Sloth Records show. The team is excited to see a full release from K-Riz & The Family.
Maky Lavender continued the night with a slightly chill set. Maky is a bilingual rapper originally from Montreal, but has called Calgary a second home since the 2022 edition of Sled Island. His work features elements of Hip-Hop, R&B, Soul, and Alternative Rock along with lyrics in English, Québécois, and Haitian Creole. His music is both pop-forward and laid back, integrating a variety of dynamic worldly and creative influences from track to track. Thank you to Maky for taking the time for an interview with us!
Nigerian, Toronto based performer Akintoye ended the night with support of a full band. He made his debut in 2020 with the full length album Vertigo and has gone on to release two more, Centerpiece (2021) and Anxiety & Circumstance (2022). He became a viral hit in 2022 when his track “Pizzazz” blew up on TikTok. His signature style explores mental illness, struggles with anxiety with a mix of Hip-Hop, Trap and Alternative Rock. His success has led him to be able to collaborate with Idris Elba on the track “Aces”. His Sled Island performance was the first time Calgary and area fans could see Akintoye live, it is these kinds of opportunities that Sled Island is amazing for.
Another packed day done with some much more to see the next 3 days. Sled Island is an amazing experience with so many diverse events and shows!
The annual Sled Island Music & Arts Festival is back June 20 to 25, 2023!
Experience five days of music, comedy, film, and art in diverse venues across Calgary, Alberta! Featuring genre-defying indie/alternative artist Bartees Strange as guest curator, garage rock chameleons Osees, Chicago-based indie rock three-piece DEHD, cosmic free jazz legends Sun Ra Arkestra, Latin folk innovator Helado Negro, Toronto’s viral hip-hop sensation Akintoye, gothic folk artist Emma Ruth Rundle, Philadelphia-based punk rock revolutionaries Mannequin Pussy, alternative R&B/hip-hop artist Amindi and many more!
Check out the full Sled Island 2023 lineup and get your passes and tickets at SledIsland.com.