In this segment of Firsts, Favourites & Facts, I asked six Canadian artists and bands what the first song they performed live was.
Find out their answers now!
Guelph, ON-based singer-songwriter Hunter Sheridan, who has recently unveiled his latest single, “Northern Lights,” shares the first song he performed in public.
“The first song I performed in public was “Nothing Special” by a local Ontario band, illScarlett. They were one of my favourite bands throughout high school, especially their album All Day With It. We performed that song along with a few other originals at a battle of the band’s show, and that was the first time I ever played in front of an audience.”
Toronto, ON-based rock quartet Jane’s Party, who has shared their album, Live Again, reminisces on the first song they played live.
“The first song (to the best of my recollection) was “Don’t Let Me Down” by the Beatles. It was Halloween of ’07 or ’08, and we thought it would be cool to dress up in the famous rooftop concert outfits the Beatles wore in ’69. This basically meant three of us trying to find the most outrageous jackets we could, and one of us wore a suit. This was our first gig ever as the four of us, so we were just getting used to playing together. It was in the basement of a Fox and the Fiddle pub in North York on a crappy rented PA. Probably one monitor to share for the four of us.
I remember kicking into the song and belting out in three-part harmony the first lines “DON’T LET ME DOWN” and feeling like we’d harnessed a superpower. Something about the three of our voices singing together while Zach pummeled the kit behind us felt unique and special. Maybe it’s because we all have such different sounding voices, but from then on, we’ve always leaned into harmonies and vocals. We still pull that song out of our back pocket every now and then, and it always brings me back to that first feeling.”
Edmonton, AB-based artist VISSIA released her single, “I Just Wanna Hold U,” earlier this year. Today, she shares the first song she performed in public at a young age.
“Before music, my first love was dance. I was really lucky to have the opportunity to take classes as a kid: tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical… and then there was song and dance. Song and dance mean exactly what it’s called. You sing, you dance, very much like a musical theatre number.
So the first song I ever sang live was for a song and dance routine with the dance troupe I was part of as a kid. It was this cutesy song called “Norman,” – originally recorded by Sue Thompson in 1961. I’m not sure why my instructor chose this song for a bunch of girls under the age of 10 to perform (maybe because the lyrics are so easy and the melody is so straightforward) because I don’t think we would have understood what being “parked out all alone with darling Norman” meant, but we understood crushes! My first crush? Leo Dicaprio in Titanic.”
Vancouver’s Rusty Creek recently unveiled their album, The Road of Life. Today, the band shares the first song they performed live.
“The first song that we performed in public was in April 2016, at the Grant Street Social Club on Commercial Drive in the “Drive “ district of Vancouver.
We were invited down to play some of our new tunes.
The song we chose was “Looking Back.” This song became the name of our first album, Looking Back, and was featured in our first video.”
Nova Scotia-born, Toronto-based folk-rock artist Mike Legere has just unveiled his new single, “Kindness Heroic.” We asked him to share the first song he performed in public, and what a cute story we received.
“I grew up singing with my family quite a bit, we would sit around and work out 4 part harmonies and such, sometimes we’d perform together when I was pretty small, that’s all a bit hazy.
The first thing I can think of that I did alone was in grade 3. I had a classmate who hadn’t received any valentines. He was a bit sad and dejected and I wanted to cheer him up so I started riffing about being a dancing frog. It made him laugh so I kept going and a song was formed. There were sound effects, 3 verses and a chorus. I made my public debut with I’m a dancing frog at the talent show that year, complete with dance moves. I choose to remember that it made a pretty big splash.”
Toronto, ON-based indie-folk artist Alexandra Babiak dropped her new single, “Til It Burns You,” today. We also asked her to share the first song she performed live.
“The first song I performed live was a cover of “Extraordinary Machine” by Fiona Apple, and I sang it at the Free Times Cafe on College Street in Toronto. I hadn’t started singing my own songs live yet, but I had (and still have) the deepest admiration for Fiona Apple’s songwriting and the kind of career she’s carved out for herself. That song in particular is really about embracing peculiarities so it was really fun to start with.”
I’m Jenna, and I am the founder and editor of Canadian Beats. I have had a strong love for Canadian music, which started many years ago. I have a passion for promoting these talented Canadian bands and artists, and that’s how Canadian Beats came to be. I am so proud of what it has become over the last few years, with many talented music lovers and writers coming together to spread the word of Canada’s music.