He’s a part of the DJ Crew “The Freshest”, production duo “Live Evil”, and a rep for “DJ City”. A music connoisseur and fashion designer by day, and a highly reputable, multi-genre DJ by night. Vancouver born and Surrey raised DJ Marvel tells us more about his professional evolution in Part 4/4 of our local DJ Highlight Series. Michael Henry (professionally known as DJ Marvel), was born in North Vancouver and lived in East Vancouver for a few years prior to moving to the Surrey in 1986 with his family.
Music has always been a large part of his life from a very young age, so it was almost inevitable that he would evolve in the music industry and make a career out of it. “Growing up, my parents had a solid record collection and always had music playing in the house. I took some piano classes & even played the Tenor Sax at Bonaccord Elementary School.
Around the same time in Grade 6 I started listening to 2 Live Crew, & Public Enemy and used to drive to Bellingham on the weekends to stock up on Cassette Singles of whatever the popular songs were at the time.” Marvel recalls a time in grade 7 when one of his friends threw a birthday party, and he got asked to bring his own home stereo set-up and play a mixture of whatever cassettes and CD’s he had. “[I was] not doing any mixing, just selecting songs but I guess that was my first taste of playing music for people.”
He started his record-collection not long after that -whether he bought them himself, or “borrowed” them from his parents collection, but it wasn’t until his grade 12 year where he got his first set of turntables (Technics 1200), which he split between his high school friend. With the shared turntable, one of his parents’ home-stereo turntables, and a Radio Shack Mixer, Marvel had pieced together his first full dj set-up. He lived in the Guildford area for all of his school years and graduated from Johnston Heights Secondary in 1997. “Surrey is where it all began for me and I’m proud of where I come from.”
From the high school years onwards, he looked to Four Color Zack, Miles Medina, Jazzy Jeff & A-Trak for inspiration, and he spent countless hours of practice in the bedroom behind closed doors, before he started stepping out into the scene and showcasing the evolution of his craft. First, he began DJing for friends’ house parties and second, local warehouse parties.
From there, “My first club gigs were In Kits at The Urban Well where I would play sets between comedians. I did this for a while, and then one day my dad showed me that Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines [were] hiring DJs, and I got hired to DJ for them.” At 19-years-old, DJ Marvel had the exciting opportunity to travel all over the world mastering his craft of DJing with a widely diverse demographic.
“It definitely opened my eyes to different cultures and playing for a wide range of people [with different ages and cultures].” He worked for the Cruise Line for 3 years, and once back in Surrey, he began a residency as the in-house DJ at The Mirage Club in Surrey where he played up to 4 nights a week. The evolution continued from there.
While working at Mirage, Marvel began doing guest DJ sets at a ‘legendary party’ called Get Up Get Down that took place in downtown Vancouver at the Tokyo Lounge. Then came the initiation of his DJ Crew, The Freshest, which later launched the Good Life Sundays party brand, which has become Vancouver’s longest running club night.
“Around 2006 I started traveling more for DJing playing in Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and building relationships with DJs around the country. After that I started playing more shows in The States and have played NY, LA, SF, Miami, Seattle, Texas, and all spots in between.”
With all the evolution in his craft over the years, he now considers himself as an ‘open-format’ DJ that likes to work with different music genres while always incorporating aspects of hip-hop style, scratching, clever transitions, and “most importantly, [a] good flow”. “My ideal set-up is 2 technics 1200 Turntables and 1 Pioneer S9 mixer.
The S9 is an incredible mixer and has become an integral part of how I sound and DJ.” And how many albums does he currently have in that collection of his? “I sold and purged a lot of records when I moved downtown, but I still have about 1k records on hand.”
Nowadays, DJ Marvel holds down several DJ residencies in Vancouver while managing to travel quite a bit. He is constantly creating original music, edits, and remixes, while also acting as a representative for the World’s largest record pool – DJ City.
And for those who want to learn more, where does DJ Marvel recommend heading for some great DJ instruction? “Table Tutors in Burnaby! They have a great infrastructure, curriculum, and even a few great instructors from Surrey (shout out to Wundrkut, & G-Nius)!” “I feel that music is one of the greatest forms of self expression and that when you tell your true and honest story, that is when you make the strongest connection with fans that will stick with you your whole career.
Once one person has that voice it can touch people in a very positive way and inspire change.” DJ Marvel has definitely found his voice, and we are grateful for that. He has impacted the local music culture and beyond, while staying true to his roots- and will continue to make waves in the scene wherever he goes. And that deserves a playback. Want to find DJ Marvel playing in the city? Find him at Parlour on Thursdays, Gran Reserva on Fridays, Fortune Sound Club on Saturdays and Republic on Sundays.
Check out DJ Marvel’s personal social media channels mixed with his other collaborations and clothing brand here:
Legendary Canadian Band HONEYMOON SUITE Hit the Top 30 Rock Charts for the First Time in 19 Years
36 years on, that headline above makes the fact all the more impressive. Canadian classic rockers Honeymoon Suite hope you “Find What You’re Looking For” in this, their newest single – available now!
The newest preview for the iconic band’s forthcoming album, “Find What You’re Looking For” has been eagerly ushered in by fans and critics alike, hitting the Top 30 rock charts in Canada in no time flat. It’s their first chart-climber in 19 years, and follows late 2019’s “Tell Me What You Want” – their first single release since 1992.
The two tracks lift the curtain, revealing the latest in what’s to come from the band who’ve long made themselves a household name. Early listens show the release has an unmistakably fresh energy to it, while still keeping true to the classic Honeymoon Suite sound fans have loved for nearly four decades.
First formed in 1981, Honeymoon Suite first broke onto the scene thanks to hit single “New Girl Now” taking the cake in a ‘Homegrown’ radio station contest put on by Toronto’s Q107. Founding members Johnnie Dee and Derry Grehan would soon be joined by Gary Lalonde, Dave Betts, and Peter Nunn, and go on to win a JUNO Award for ‘Group of the Year’, countless nominations, and continued International recognition over their near-40 years.
“Sometimes you just know when everything starts lining up, and sounding really good early on,” says Honeymoon Suite. “This new album will be the strongest new music we’ve released in a long time.”
“Find What You’re Looking For” is available now.
New Livestream Company Creates Value For Musicians And Audiences
New startup online event company DSTNCE Media presents Livestream concerts to create income for musicians and provide a high-quality experience for fans.
DSTNCE Media, a new online event company, was created in response to the COVID-19 crisis. The company partners with local musicians to present high-quality, seamless Livestream experiences that provide income for artists and a better viewing experience for fans.
The livelihoods of many musicians, creatives, and crew disappeared overnight as a result of province-wide restrictions on large gatherings. Artists flocked to the internet to create impromptu, ad-hoc Livestreams to sustain themselves. The content that resulted
was unique in nature and gave fans intimate access to their favourite artists.
The majority of streams, however, left a lot to be desired. They varied in quality, featured unforeseen technical difficulties, or resulted in poor engagement. With rumours of large in-person gatherings being banned for a year or more, it is clear that technology and online engagement has become more important than ever.
Audiences continue to seek a safe haven in the form of live music but have lost the ability to interact with each other face-to-face. Artists, in turn, need to find a way to connect consistently and professionally beyond the short-term, bringing the experience of a live event to the screens of new audiences.
Made up of a team of professional musicians, production staff, writers, and visual artists, DSTNCE Media Inc. was created to unify artists and audiences in this pursuit.
“Our goal is to remove the challenges that artists have faced in producing their own Livestreams and instead help them present a curated, consistently excellent product,” said Anthony Cenerini, President and CEO. “In doing so, we’re creating revenue for both artists and secondary service professionals in BC’s music industry. Our market research indicated that the number one audience pain point with Livestreams was poor quality and limited interactivity, so by resolving those issues, we’re creating something that viewers want to watch and engage with.”
“We [the founders] lost our music industry jobs as a result of the pandemic and decided we wanted to create something that actually helps artists,” Cenerini continues. “It’s undoubtedly a difficult time to work in music though it’s often a crisis that breeds creativity and opportunities. We want to be part of the solution.”
DSTNCE offers the following incentives to artists seeking to run Livestream concerts:
- Equal share of net sales from events and the ability to set ticket prices
- Shared promotion responsibilities to maximize revenue and fan engagement
- Custom programming opportunities (i.e. on-air interviews, album release parties, VIP viewing rooms, etc.)
DSTNCE: Season 1 is a curated three-month series highlighting BC talent. Livestreams are broadcast in SD or better with the audio mixed in real-time. The audience will be able to interact with artists throughout the performance. Artists will also be able to see and hear the audience on a large monitor in the performance area.
Top 100 2020 CBC Searchlight Finalist ALEXIS LYNN Says “I Can’t Relate” In New Single & Video — Available Now!
New Track First to Land Following Vancouver-Area Urban Pop Artist’s Recent Song, “Circles”
Watch “I Can’t Relate”
Top 100 2020 CBC Searchlight finalist Alexis Lynn says “I Can’t Relate” in this, her newest single and video – available now!
The Canadian urban pop dynamo’s second single of the year lands after February’s “Circles” and September 2019’s breakthrough debut, Things Get Good. The seven-track release – and each single thereafter – teems with the First Nations artist’s irrefutable musical magnetism and signature songwriting, delving deep into topics of love, lust, vulnerability, self-awareness, and everything in between.
“It’s about looking in on a friend’s toxic relationship, and reflecting what I might do in that situation while also trying to help them see they’re worth more,” Lynn shares about “I Can’t Relate” and its inspiration; she drew from personal experience as the scenario was one Lynn frustratingly found herself in.
“I was venting to my co-writers that I didn’t understand how my friend couldn’t see what I saw was going on, and couldn’t see that she deserved so much more. “I was also saying how I would never put up with the type of treatment she was receiving. “I was coming from a place of love and concern, and wanted to be really careful not to come across as ‘preachy’ or ‘bragging,’”
she continues, noting the delicate line she walked penning the track. “I didn’t want to sound like I was somehow ‘better’ than someone by saying I wouldn’t put up with that, but rather give them all the reasons they themselves shouldn’t put up with it.”
The video paints a decidedly vibrant picture, and “a real throwback to a 90s/00s vibe with the track and sound,” she says. “For the video, we bounced a lot of ideas around and Carlos, the director, came up with the concept of me playing a therapist running a consulting firm for broken hearts. We wanted to go with something funny and colourful, and decided last minute I should play each of the ‘clients’ as well.
“It was important I stay cautious about ‘preaching’ to other people or acting like I know what’s best,” she reflects. “This was critical so we figured, if I played both parts, I’d be giving myself my own advice.” “I Can’t Relate” is available now.
Aman Bassi set to release her third music single
Aman Bassi, Surrey’s youngest and coveted Executive Producer/ Director released her third new single ‘Meri Jaan’ on Saturday, April 4th. Earmarking her success from the direction and production career, Aman forayed into the music industry in 2019 with her two previously launched songs ‘Chaali Jaan de’ and ‘Vibe’ that turned out to be one of the most trending songs on Spotify.
Popular for her incredible work in the film and television industry, Aman has also been a part of some really popular music videos such as ‘High rated Gabru’, ‘Issa Jatt’, ‘Too Hot’, ‘Pagal’, ‘Baby Baby’, ‘Jatta Ve’, ‘Circles’, ‘Closer’ and many more.
The new song ‘Meri Jaan’ is a cross-genre song between EDM and techno music which is very unique to the Punjabi music industry. The song has a catchy hook to it and is likely to be the new dance number leading the charts.
Video Chat Interview with DOP and Recording Artist Aman Bassi
Talking about the new launch, Aman Bassi said, “I’m extremely thrilled to launch this song as it was written about 8 months ago for someone who has always supported and inspired me to grow further in life. I’m sure everyone who will listen to this song will be able to relate to it and be able to dedicate it to their special person or that guiding light that motivates them to grow.”
There is an extremely talented team behind the launch of this song such as Empire Major, the producer who has been a part of some big Sweden bands such as Swedish House Mafia. Mixing and Mastering is done by Adam Fulton who has worked with profound artists like Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande. The song will be launched on Aman’s YouTube channel and be available on all music platforms – Apple music , Spotify and Youtube
Aman Bassi is a young (24) and popular Executive Producer and Director. Born in 1995 with numerous awards and accolades to her name such as ‘Best of Show’ and ‘Best of DOP’ at Whistler Film Festival and she was also nominated as the ‘Best New Director’ by PTC. Aman’s creative instincts have always set her apart in any crowd. Since an early age in life, she has been glued to the camera at all times making her a celebrated Director today.
Aman went to high school in Surrey, BC and attended LA Matheson and Princess Margaret. She then graduated from the Art Institute in 2015. Her career in this industry started with working as an assistant in the film industry at the age of 16. She eventually worked her way up to being the Executive Producer on sets for Vancouver production houses.
Owing to her young age, Aman faced difficulty in proving her might and ability to others.
So far, she has been a part of some major Netflix productions such as ‘Sabrina,’ ‘Firefly Lane’, ‘Stranger Things’, ‘6 Underground’, ‘Sacred Games’, Red Notice (in production)’ and ‘Riverdale (on going). She has also worked on Directors Guild film projects including ‘Ghosting’, ‘When the Lights go out’, ‘Descendents 2’, ‘The Mighty Ducks’, and ‘Bates Motel.’ Her feature film projects include major titles such as Quentin Tarantino’s Oscar winning ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’, ‘Hobbes and Shaw’, ‘Deadpool 2’, ‘Jumanji 2,’ and some iconic Punjabi Films including ‘Manje Bistre 2’, ‘Ardaas Karaan, ‘PR’ and the indie film ‘Monster.’
Some incredibly popular music videos under Aman’s work profile are ‘High rated Gabru’, ‘Issa Jatt’, ‘Too Hot’, ‘Pagal’, ‘Baby Baby’, ‘Jatta Ve’, ‘Circles’, ‘Closer’ and many more.
She has also released her own music videos in which she debuted as a singer such as ‘Chaali Jaan de’ and ‘Vibe’ in 2019. These have turned out to be one of the most trending songs on Spotify.
Coffee Concert With the Bergmann Duo and Special Guest April 9
Bergmann Piano Duo, and Clarinetist, Jose Franch-Ballester join forces for Clarinetastik! Part of Surrey Civic Theatres’ Coffee Concert Series
Surrey, BC – With virtuosity, and charm, Elizabeth and Marcel Bergmann on piano, with Jose Franch- Ballester on clarinet, delight audiences with classical and contemporary music.
Part of Surrey Civic Theatres’ Coffee Concert Series, April 9, 2020 — social hour at 10:00 AM, concert at 11:00 AM.
Tickets Online: tickets.surrey.ca
Box Office: 604-501-5566
Where: Surrey Arts Centre, 13750–88 Avenue, Surrey, BC.
“From the first note to the last, it was a pleasure to hear these two natural musicians, who breathe, think and play as one.”—National Post
On April 9, entertaining musicians and storytellers, The Bergmann Piano Duo, bring their charm and musical alchemy to Surrey Civic Theatres’ intimate and casual morning concerts.
For Clarinetastik! the Bergmanns welcome clarinetist, Jose Franch-Ballester to entertain audiences. Franch-Ballester is an award-winning musician, assistant professor of clarinet and chamber music at UBC, and is considered one of the finest classical soloists and chamber music artists of his generation.
Based in White Rock, the Bergmanns met when they were both students with the same teacher at music school in Hanover, Germany. It was that teacher who suggested that the couple should perform as a duo. “Our teacher encouraged us to prepare a two-piano concerto for a festival in Greece, collaborating rather than competing against each other. As a result of that positive and inspiring experience, over the next year we started learning some of the standard duo piano repertoire …and of course for many years after that!” said Marcel.
Marcel also said that working with your spouse definitely has its pros—and cons! “There are many positive aspects: the best thing is being so closely connected to each other personally and not having the same boundaries that exist when playing with other musicians. However, the fact that you can be more free and honest with each other, can, at times create some tension! For instance, during rehearsals when there are disagreements about certain aspects of the music and interpretation. We certainly went through a time where we argued about those things…but once we worked through those issues, things became easier and much more enjoyable.”
The Bergmanns said they both enjoy the Coffee Concerts because it’s a chance to share music and stories with audiences in a much more relaxed and informal way. They both also enjoy the opportunity to collaborate—and showcase fellow musicians. “Jose is a fantastic musician with a very impressive career. He is also very passionate about the music he plays. He has a very genuine, warm personality. So we think—and hope—our audiences will enjoy our upcoming collaboration as much as we will,” said Marcel.
Bonus: Bus Trip—Leave Driving to the Coffee Concert to Us!
For patrons who don’t want to drive to the theatre, there is the option of taking a bus from South Surrey Recreation and Arts Centre.
This service drops people off at the Surrey Arts Centre in time for the social hour and concert, and afterwards brings them back to the South Surrey Recreation and Arts Centre. Tickets for the bus tour are $50 (price includes return bus trip, social hour with treats, and the Coffee Concert).
It can be registered for online: https://bit.ly/2Tk08fn. Patrons can also call and register at 604-501-5100. The bar code to register online or over the phone for the Bus Trip and Coffee Concert is #00017483
“He [Ballester] is a natural onstage…he is also a musician of some depth.”—New York Times
About the Performers
The Bergmann Duo are laureates of the Dranoff International Two Piano Competition and enjoy dazzling audiences around the world at festivals and on tour.
Jose Franch-Ballester is a multi-award-winning Spanish clarinetist hailed for his “technical wizardry and tireless enthusiasm” (The New York Times), his “rich, resonant tone” (Birmingham News), and his “subtle and consummate artistry” (Santa Barbara Independent). The recipient of a prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2008, and winner of both the Young Concert Artists and Astral Artists auditions, he is a solo artist and chamber musician in great demand.
Individual tickets are $26–$33 and are available online now at tickets.surrey.ca or from the box office at 604-501-5566.
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