Women in Music: A Singer/songwriter Showcase Vol. 6

Women in Music: A Singer/songwriter Showcase Vol. 6

Victoria Staff, Kalyna Rakel, Rae Vermeer, Roveena, Lora Ryan

Sun, July 29, 2018

Doors: 6:00 pm / Show: 7:00 pm

C'est What?

Toronto, ON

$10.00 - $15.00

This event is 19 and over

Lora Ryan
Lora Ryan
Lora Ryan is a singer/songwriter from Montreal, Quebec. She relocated to Toronto, Ontario where she works in the Music/Entertainment Industry full-time. 

In early 2017 Lora released her single “Best of Me” - An empowering pop-ballad with a strong message about being happy in your skin and knowing your self-worth. “Best of Me” had traction on radio across Canada and is available on any digital platform. 

Lora’s expertise goes beyond writing and performing. She has a strong background in Artist Development and spent invaluable six years as a Vocal Coach/Mentor at West Island Music Academy (Montreal) helping mould the talent of today’s youth. From vocal lessons to songwriting workshops - Lora takes pride in helping others succeed, grow and develop as artists.

The vivacious blonde, who participated in two Songwriters Association of Canada (SAC) SongWorks pro writing camps in 2015, is currently in studio working on a full-length pop/electronic album.
Victoria Staff
Victoria Staff
I was born and raised in Toronto and I knew when I was little that I loved music (it went hand-in-hand with what my parents call "my dramatic personality"). I started in musical theatre, playing background parts in cast of Oliver and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. But unfortunately, I was born with two left feet, so my dream had to change course a little. Soon after I switched to classical music and joined a children's choir in downtown Toronto, VIVA! Youth Singers of Toronto, as well as three choirs in high school. At the ripe age of 13 I decided to start writing my own music. I had always been writing music, but until then it had been a cappella and honestly, really terrible. Inspired by my then-idol, Taylor Swift, I picked up my sister's guitar and taught myself to play.

From there it picked up quickly. I wrote songs about boys I liked, boys I didn't like, my friends, my family, and absolutely anything I could set a tune to. I settled into a singer-songwriter feel pretty easily. Throughout high school I played markets, school concerts, and open mics, trying to get coverage on the few songs that I was truly ready to showcase. I had a small YouTube channel with 50 or so dedicated subscribers (my family and friends) where I posted bedroom covers filmed on my Blackberry. I loved the little music culture I had created, and I thrived on the energy it gave me. But after deliberation and a lot of nights going back and forth, I decided I wouldn't pursue music as I wanted a "stable career" and a "real degree".

At 17, I left music behind to pursue (what I thought would be) a prosperous and thrilling career in neuroscience at the University of British Columbia. I left my friends and family behind only to be smacked in the face by life and spent the next year feeling like I had made a terrible mistake. I had shipped my Martin guitar cross-country with me, only to realise my program gave me very few opportunities to pull it out, and fewer opportunities to keep writing. I was frustrated and terrified and upset with the path I had picked. Around halfway through the term, I had decided to work towards filming a couple of good quality videos to to post on YouTube to add to my collection of embarrassing phone-filmed covers. Sort of a "last hurrah" with my music career. A couple of songs soon became an album and I before I could get my wits about me I was booking studio time. I had given myself three and a half months in Toronto to do it all and I named it The Blue Book Project, after a notebook in which many of my songs were originally written. Looking back, there are things that I may have done differently, and I don't regret doing it the way I did. The time crunch was stressful but the result was incredible. It pushed me and made me really evaluate what I'm doing and why I'm doing it. ​

So here we are. My little YouTube channel has more than doubled, I have a full-length album and I'm writing a backstory for a website. And yes, I love getting positive feedback, I love getting likes and follows and streams, but when it all comes down to it, I write music and I sing because it makes me happy. It made me happy showing my parents the first crappy song I ever wrote, having 10 people watch a video I filmed in my basement, or seeing that 2,000 people have listened to my album so far. I write music and push myself in this direction because it is the thing that drives me to wake up every morning and the last thing I think about before I go to bed. It's something that makes my day infinitely better. I move forward with the hope that someone else will find themselves in my songs and that's all I can ask for. I said it when I first announced my album, and I stand by it: This is my joyride, but everyone is welcome to ride shotgun.
Kalyna Rakel
Kalyna Rakel
n 2007 'Kaleena' was a 16 year old rising RnB singer with a video featured on Much Music and an album of original songs. At 18 she became severely ill and for three years was left with barely enough energy to go about her days. Bed ridden and disillusioned she let her dreams of music go. After healing she embarked on a life-changing trip to Europe; in her first week everything she had was stolen and she found herself sleeping on the streets. There she met a group of street musicians who inspired her to try music again. On her return she taught herself to play guitar and began busking, writing songs and developing her sound as Kalyna Rakel. Since then she has released 4 albums of original music, performed across Europe, Canada and the United States and been featured in festivals and on radio stations all across the world.
On June 15th 2016 Kalyna released her latest album The Other Side. A brooding, atmospheric journey, the songs tell stories of finding hope in the darkest of times and learning to love yourself and those around you. The album has been featured on CBC’s Here and Now, The Signal and Metro Morning where host Matt Galloway called Kalyna Rakel one of the most exciting new voices in Canadian music.

Kalyna is currently hard at work on her next album and playing with her quintet. She also works regularly with philanthropic causes in Toronto, including The Matthew House (www.matthewhouse.ca), peace activist Emmanuel Jal and a recent commission to write a song raising awareness of the 1932 Ukrainian genocide.
Rae Vermeer
Rae Vermeer
Rae Vermeer is a Toronto based singer/songwriter who's rustic sound is brought to life through her melodic vocals and gentle guitar. Originally from the Niagara Region her music is influenced by her rural upbringing, incorporating elements of folk, country, and indie pop.
Roveena
Roveena
Over the past year vocal powerhouse Roveena has been taking the music scene by storm. Following the release of her sophomore album Fearless in October 2017, co-written with James Bryan (Sony/ATV - Nelly Furtado/The Philosopher Kings/Prozzak), Roveena’s extensive, gripping vocals also earned her the title of 'Best Pop Artist' in the 2017 Toronto Independent Music Awards.

Her virtuose musical interpretation of Shawn Mendes’ “Stitches” reached over 150,000 spins on Spotify and a shattering 8 million views in a YouTube video collaboration, while her current single and title track to the new album “Fearless” has been gaining attention locally and internationally (BBC Radio).

Her first EP received critical acclaim, with Roveena quickly being recognized as “a stunning voice that needs to be heard” and garnered attention from various media and radio outlets, including glowing reviews from CBC Radio and Cheek Magazine.

Her musical breakthrough followed after she reluctantly posted a video of herself singing “At Last” on YouTube. Catching the eyes of Toronto’s City TV producers and landing a guest spot to perform on the show, Roveena dazzled host Kevin Frankish with the power of her voice so much, that a planned one minute segment turned into eight minutes - an appearance that would launch Roveena’s career.

“Everything snowballed from that point,” she says. Soon after her Breakfast Television debut, Roveena was invited to sing the national anthems at Toronto Blue Jays and NFL games, and placed in the Top 3 on the singing competition show TVI’s Superstar, which boosted her profile, both in Canada and internationally.

Roveena has experienced a rather nomadic life, living in Sri Lanka, the U.K., and Nigeria prior to settling in Canada with her parents. She comes from a musically-oriented family, and was singing almost from the cradle. “My parents have audio tapes of me singing along to ABBA songs at 18 months,” Roveena recalls, laughing. Growing up, she frequently mesmerized listeners at family events and community concerts and also became proficient as a pianist.

Roveena’s key early musical inspirations were the three leading divas of our time, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, and Mariah Carey. She studied classical piano and composition at The University of Waterloo, but chose to pursue a career in human resources. Her love of music never diminished though, and the fateful City TV appearance encouraged her to plunge headfirst and pursue her passion for music with total commitment.
Lora Ryan
Lora Ryan
Lora Ryan is a singer/songwriter from Montreal, Quebec. She relocated to Toronto, Ontario where she works in the Music/Entertainment Industry full-time. 

In early 2017 Lora released her single “Best of Me” - An empowering pop-ballad with a strong message about being happy in your skin and knowing your self-worth. “Best of Me” had traction on radio across Canada and is available on any digital platform. 

Lora’s expertise goes beyond writing and performing. She has a strong background in Artist Development and spent invaluable six years as a Vocal Coach/Mentor at West Island Music Academy (Montreal) helping mould the talent of today’s youth. From vocal lessons to songwriting workshops - Lora takes pride in helping others succeed, grow and develop as artists.

The vivacious blonde, who participated in two Songwriters Association of Canada (SAC) SongWorks pro writing camps in 2015, is currently in studio working on a full-length pop/electronic album.
Venue Information:
C'est What?
67 Front Street E.
Toronto, ON, M5E 1B5
http://www.cestwhat.ca