Ria Mae

Over the past four years, Halifax pop artist Ria Mae has accomplished dreams she has openly spoken about: being produced by fellow Nova Scotia success story Classified and touring with Tegan and Sara and Coleman Hell. Since creating her self-released demo of “Clothes Off” in 2013, she has signed with Sony Music and Nettwerk Management. The former has helped develop the careers of Avril Lavigne, Barenaked Ladies, Coldplay, Dido, Sarah McLachlan, and many more. The finished version of the song – her major label debut – earned Mae her first Juno nomination, for “Single of the Year” in 2016, which put her in direct competition against Drake, The Weeknd, and Justin Bieber. From Mae’s new home in Toronto, only two days removed from a cross-Canada tour with Scott Helman, she spoke with Georgie about her sudden rise, working with Classified, stepping up as a voice for LGBTQ groups, and more. G—As you’ve discovered, you can make a lot of unexpected connections in a small town. But that can be a good thing because working with people who differ from you in their approach forces you to create from new perspectives. Do you ever have reservations about working with people who


Alma Haser

  Yes, those are origami sculptures hiding the faces of photographer Alma Haser’s subjects in her latest photo series, Cosmic Surgery. The Cosmic Surgery photos are created in two stages. First, Haser takes a photo of her subject and prints it. She folds that printed photo into an origami ball (known in Japanese as a kusudama or “medicine ball” structure). She then takes a second portrait with the paper kusudama suspended in front of her subject’s face, concealing the subject’s identity. The result is unsettling and strange. Why go to all that trouble to achieve an effect which could probably be closely imitated in Photoshop? Haser enjoys the process. “What is art or photography if you can’t use your hands?! That’s my initial thought. The best part of my work, and the bit I enjoy the most is the ‘making.’ I am very hands on, and always have been. I don’t see the point of spending hours on the computer, when you can perfect everything before you even look at it on Photoshop.” Much of Haser’s work involves labour-intensive manipulation of physical materials. She cuts and pastes her photos (IRL), folds them, and presents them in odd little pop-up books.


DJ A-Trak has been called many things: a legend, an innovator, a tastemaker – and they all aptly apply. His passion for music takes him beyond the decks as he continues to push music forward. Georgie caught up with A-Trak to talk about reinvention and how he stays ahead of the curve. G—You are often credited as being the bridge connecting hip-hop and electronic music. How is your audience responding to your musical evolution? A-Trak—I feel like my audience has evolved and grown with me. I’m lucky to have their cooperation and also be able to update my audience with time. I’m excited when I have fans who only know about my work from the last three to four years. They might not know that I’ve won DMCs or that I worked with Kanye, or this or that. G—Your record label, Fool’s Gold, is known for being cutting edge and you are known as a culture curator. Do you feel pressure to be an innovative sound-seeker for Fool’s Gold? A—I put the pressure on myself. I never want to be old school in my stance, in my taste, what I represent, or who I present. I always want to be