1 / 1


Feb 25/2015
WORDS Amanda Purdie PHOTOGRAPHY Sandy Phimester HAIR + MAKEUP Nickol Walkemeyer STYLING Raelee Balanag


It’s easy to assume a career in music would be a birthright for someone like Kandle Osborne. After all, as the daughter of 54-40 front man, Neil Osborne, music is part of her genetic makeup.

But for this Bardot-esque, Victoria-born beauty, growing up surrounded by Canadian rock royalty wasn’t the first-class ticket to musical stardom you might expect—or even what she thought she wanted.

Listening to her critically acclaimed debut album, In Flames—a dark and sultry blend of rock, blues, and a touch of country twang—it’s hard to believe Osborne’s haunting voice isn’t the product of years of training. But, she says, “I had no idea I was going to be a musician. When I was a kid I couldn’t sing or play anything, and I really didn’t care to.” It wasn’t until her late teens when Osborne learned how to play the guitar that she realized she had a knack for song writing.

When she and her sister Coral formed The Blue Violets with their friend Louise Burns, Osborne was content to take a backseat, writing songs and getting her sister to sing them. When the band dissolved, it forced Osborne to become more confident—not only as a solo performer but also as a singer. “I found myself alone with all these songs and no one to sing them. So I made myself learn how to sing properly.”


Determined to make it as a solo artist, Osborne tried doing what any child of a successful, well-known musician father would do—she reached out to his connections. But her initial attempts to get her name out there weren’t taken seriously. “I thought, if I start a band it will be easy because I know everyone—but no. The people in the industry who I thought would help me basically said, “Good for you, honey.”’

Osborne felt her only choice was to carve a reputation separate to that of her father’s, so she moved across the country to Montreal—where she hooked up with indie heavyweight Sam Goldberg Jr., of Broken Social Scene.

She and Goldberg first collaborated on Kandle, Osborne’s self-titled EP, after she offered up her talent behind the lens in exchange for Goldberg’s guitar skills. “He wanted me to do a photo shoot for [Broken Social Scene]. He asked me what I would charge, and I said ‘Nothing, if you play guitar on my EP.’ He said if I was ever in Montreal we should start a band, and I showed up a month later.”

Their musical partnership has continued well beyond the EP, with Goldberg co-producing In Flames alongside Osborne’s father. The album—featuring guest vocals from Béatrice Martin (Cœur de pirate) and Sam Roberts—reflects a more mature sound, which Osborne acknowledges. When I listen to the EP I hear a weaker singer. I’m very proud of it but there’s a big difference between that and the record. I took risks and I can hear the confidence in my voice. The skill is greater now.”

When I listen to the EP I hear a weaker singer. I’m very proud of it but there’s a big difference between that and the record. I took risks and I can hear the confidence in my voice.”

Since moving to Montreal, Osborne has gained popularity on both the Montreal airwaves and the festival circuit, including performances at Osheaga and Pop Montreal. But she has yet to break through on a national scale—something she partially credits to a lack of Canada-wide media exposure available to up and coming homegrown artists. “How do you get heard in this country? Quebec is great because it has lots of TV shows and tons of magazines, but we’ve done them all.” All of which begs the question—now what?

For the time being, Osborne’s main focus is on trying to push her music outside of Quebec, which will mean lots of cross-country touring. She’s also looking to find a new manager, a job she’s been doing herself for the past six months.

There may be challenges ahead, but Osborne is a woman in charge—and she seems well prepared to handle whatever the industry throws at her. “The biggest thing is to be confident in who you are and what you want to do musically. If you feel weak and insecure about who you are as a writer and a musician, you’re going to listen to other people and you’re going to regret it. I always make a point of going with my gut.”


  Duckwrth cannot be pinned down. The 28-year-old rapper, born Jared Lee in South Central, landed like a splash of mixed paints with his debut full-length I’m Uugly in fall 2016. Its 10 elastic tracks stretch across hip hop, chill wave, funk, and punk, all shrouded in a soft-focused haze. He aptly calls this impressionistic concoction “psych rap.” Early last November, Duckwrth released An Xtra Uugly Mixtape. Whereas I’m Uugly exalted the beauty that lives within the harshness and griminess of everyday life – from the physical to the political to the socioeconomic – An Xtra Uugly Mixtape encourages being unapologetically you. It is, as Duckwrth writes on his Soundcloud page, “the anthem for your rebellion.” Fittingly, the tape is higher in energy; the guitar sounds are cranked. An Xtra Uugly Mixtape is his attempt to put hip hop and rock on equal footing within the same piece of music. An Xtra Ugly Mixtape is also a gradual step towards fulfilling his stadium rock ambitions. Duckwrth had one of his most formative musical experiences at a stadium show. “I used to do the whole protest [thing] and be more politically driven,” he says. “But then there was a time when


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


Scott Helman

  Three years after the release of his first EP, Augusta, Canadian singer-songwriter Scott Helman has unleashed his debut full-length LP, Hôtel de Ville, a collection of 12 alt-pop coming-of-age tracks. The 22-year-old Toronto native who successfully broke into the music industry in his mid-teens earned himself two Juno Award nominations, certified gold status for his hit, Bungalow, and began quickly fielding comparisons to the likes of Vance Joy and Jeff Buckley. With a new level of acclaim awaiting him, Helman has recently finished his cross-Canada Scott vs. Ria tour with fellow Juno nominee Ria Mae. We thought it would be the right time to ask him about his momentous musical journey. G—You got your first guitar when you were ten. Was this what led you to become a musician? Scott Helman—I used to mess around on my friend’s guitar, and really wanted to learn how to play. So, I asked my parents for a guitar for Christmas. I remember coming down the stairs and seeing it, and knowing instantly what it was because of its shape. I never put it down after that. G—What kind of music did you listen to growing up? SH—My parents are British immigrants, so