Toronto Music Industry And Trends

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Proper Lighting for Toronto Music Venues- The Top 4 Tricks

If you’re playing a local venue, you know how important lighting is to get the job done.  If its too dark it can be hard to see your instruments and wires, and this can be dangerous.  However, if its too bright, then you’re just flooded with light, and you can barely see anything at all!

If you are a local music venue owner, whether it be a bar that doubles as a live venue, or owner of an actual legit venue, it’s important that your lighting be up to high standards.  You need to have the right lighting for the musician, the audience, and the vibe.  I’ts not an easy balance to get right.  For example, if you own a dive bar, you’ll want to keep the lights low, but at the same time make sure that the musician and audience can see well enough.  In a case like that, it may be useful to get some recessed lighting installed by an electrical contractor.  I personally have used Transfer Electric’s services in the past and have great results.  Their website is  They did excellent electrical work in North York, ON recently for a friend’s music venue.

The Top Lighting Tips for Live Music Venues

1) Plan in Advance Before Gigs

A typical small music venue won’t have that many power outlets.  A small pub may only be able to provide you with 3000 watts of power for all your equipment and lighting.  A larger stage may possess a 32 AMP outlet that can power up to 7000 watts of equipment.  It’s important you figure out your power needs before the gig, and compare that with what the venue can handle to make sure there are no disappointments on the day you play.

electrician toronto

2) Rent Rigging Equipment

Rigging equipment is what actually you place your lighting on.  This allows you to place the lights at an elevated position, which obviously has its advantages in terms of providing more of an effect.  Purchasing rigging equipment is expensive, but if you’re just doing 1 or 2 big gigs, you may be better off just renting some rigging equipment.

3) Start Cheap and Simple

There’s no point in going overboard with your first gigs with lighting.  Instead, invest in very cheap but cool looking lighting and play around with it.  Once you’ve learned a bit about lighting, and your band is a bit bigger, that’s the point where you can actually start thinking about more elaborate and expensive equipment.

4) Have Someone Take Care of Lighting Controls

This is more of an advanced tip.  You can have another person at a lighting control box to actually play around with the lighting while you play.  This is what the biggest bands do, and this can lead to some amazing effects.  This is definitely something only a high end band should try out as this kind of lighting control isn’t cheap.

How to Make an Awesome Music Video in a City like Toronto

These days anyone can create a music video and upload it on the web. However, it’s something else entirely to create an awesome music video that will get people talking and have it go viral. Here are the factors that separate the great videos from the run of the mill.


If you watch the greatest music videos of all time, the one trait they share in common is originality. If your video isn’t unique there’s no way people will be able to distinguish  your video from the rest.

Why Not Tell a Story?

Telling a story will keep people hooked on your video and will make them want to watch from beginning to end. It doesn’t have to be conventional; don’t let the traditions and conventions restrict your storytelling, because all that matters is the viewer is satisfied in the end.

While you’re creating a video, keep in mind that there’s no need to match the content with the lyrics. It can be totally different, and that’s all right provided the content is meaningful in its own way.

Pay Attention to Video Production

No matter what the music video is about, you cannot overlook video production. Today’s viewers are very intelligent and they can tell the difference, so make sure that yours is handled by professionals who know the tricks of the trade.

The Song Must be Good

Last but not the least, the song has to be good, because at the end of the day, people will remember both your video and the song, so make sure both are worth remembering.


What the Interior of Your Music Studio Says About Your Musical Style

Your music says a lot about you, but so does the interior of your music studio. Maybe you’ve got all the gear, but the way you set it up and how the studio is arranged speaks volumes about the singer / songwriter. Here are some examples, so you can check where you fit in.

Studio Space

Some musicians work in large, spacious studios, not just because they can afford it, but because it’s the kind of setting that gets their creative juices flowing. If this is you, then you’re the kind who plays with a lot of instruments, does a lot of editing and works with several musicians and songs.

If your studio is small, then you prefer to work alone and focus more on songwriting than anything else. Really if you’re going to focus on writing songs, all you need is a pen and paper (or a mobile device).

toronto painters


Your walls can either make your music studio seem like a bright happy place, or a miserable lonely place.  Choosing the right colors is key, which is why I highly recommend hiring a painter company in Toronto to help you create a highly quality interior space.  I have used Greater Toronto Painters before, and they’ve done an excellent job for me.


Some music studios are complete with sofas, furniture, appliances, meeting rooms and kitchens, and this indicates you’re the musician who lives, breathes and sleeps in the place. In other words, you’ve made the music studio your home. On the other hand, there are music studios that only have the recording equipment and nothing more. In this case, it’s obvious that you only go there when you need to record, and you don’t spend as much time there, only when necessary.

Recording Equipment Installed

If you see a music studio complete with all the gear, acoustics, latest software and all the bells and whistles, it tells you he / she works on all aspects of the music, and exercises plenty of control. On the other hand, a studio with barebones equipment is indicative of someone who writes and sings relatively simple songs, and probably relies mostly on the guitar for the work and composition.

The Best Music Venues in Toronto

Another reason why tourists love the city of Toronto despite its hectic environment is the fact that it has the best music venues in the entire country. Plus, many thriving independent musicians keep the town alive and lively by playing their music of different genres in various corners of the city. What’s even more exciting is that Toronto is not only limited to bars and pubs but it also has historic concert halls where great crowds and renowned artists share their talents and affair for music. Three of most visited and beloved music venues are the following.

  1. Dakota Tavern

If you’re looking for a pub with a good laidback atmosphere, cold beer, and of course, a live music, then Dakota Tavern is the place to go. What’s even more interesting with the Dakota Tavern is that they serve big platters of delectable food from breakfast to late night, and have various genres of bands that differ every week, like blues, country, bluegrass bands and many more. Plus, the barista gives beer samples to customers to help them decide on which beer pint they’ll have to start the night.

  1. Massey Hall

On a different note, if you feel like going to a classic, historic kind of music venue, the Massey Hall is a great place to drop by. The grand old concert hall hosts hundreds of concerts from different genres possible and even musical and stage acts. The “Grande Dame” of all the music halls of Toronto has 2,700 seats available. Hence, one can surely get comfortable seats to get relaxed after a long day of work and tours.

Massey Hall

  1. Lee’s Place

Last but not the least, is the Lee’s Place. This is, however, different from the first two. This is where you’ll go if you love rock, loud, live bands. Seats are placed at the sides and a pit for dancing is set up front. When visiting Lee’s Place, new comers should expect mosh pits, lot of dancing and long night of rock music and party. Over all, Lee’s Place is just right for musically inclined people who would appreciate a crowd in a rather small and intimate place.

A Day in the Life of a Toronto Musician

Let me tell you straight up, being a musician in Toronto, or anywhere for that matter, isn’t easy. The Toronto music scene is alive and well, and people are always on the lookout for new talent, the next big thing. That’s great, but it also means I have to be on my toes all the time.

It’s a Job

People ask me what’s the secret to becoming successful in the business, and I always give the same answer: being a musician is a job. Some people think it’s all about wine, women and song, but I can tell you right now it doesn’t work that way. I have to do promotions, send out press kits, promote my stuff on the web, write songs, record and of course put on a good show.

It’s not as easy as it sounds, because while it’s a job it’s not like a regular 9 to 5 where you get off at 5 and have the weekend off. In my case the day can end at 3 in the morning following an evening show, and after a few hours of sleep I need to get up and promote my new single on the radio, online or go to the recording studio.

Local Muscian

And that’s just for starters. It’s one thing to do nightly shows here in Toronto, but I also go on the road and do shows throughout Canada, and believe me, spending hours on the road and rocking it up at night can be taxing. I’m not saying it’s no good; I love being a musician, but I just want to show you that it’s not as easy as some folks make it out to be. You still have to work.

Prepare for the Unexpected

One of the things that I’ve learned as a Toronto musician is that you have to be prepared for the unexpected. One time I was in such a hurry to go to the studio that I managed to lock myself out of my house. I never thought it would happen to me, but it did, and I felt panic because I didn’t have a duplicate key.

Fortunately my manager was able to get in touch with a local Toronto locksmith who helped me get the the door open. That only happened to me once, but once was enough so now I got the locksmith’s number on my mobile in case something happens.

Getting locked out of my own house was unusual, but it’s part of the life of a Toronto musician. I also have had to put up with disputes among band members, glitches during the show, promo mix ups and the occasional drunk in the crowd. Most of the time the Toronto crowd is nice, which is why I like to do shows here, but every now and then there’s an unruly guy or a commotion in the audience.

But for all the struggles, I love being a musician, and I wouldn’t exchange it for anything else. It’s fun, frenetic, and more than a little crazy yeah, but I won’t have it any other way.

The Top 5 All Time Toronto Rappers

Toronto is not just known for its fun and exciting pubs and jaw dropping historical halls but it is also known for having several  of the most talented and famous rappers in the entire country. The top five rappers who are celebrated and have brought the city’s pride are as follows:

    1. Choclair

Kareem Blake, also known as Choclair is considered one of the top 5 all time rappers in Toronto. He is known as one of the influential leaders of the Canadian hiphop regeneration from the mid to the late 90’s. He was also popular because of his hit album “Ice Cold” and single “Let’s Ride”, which won a “SOCAN” award. He has had 5 albums and his latest one was “Flagship” back in the year 2006.

  1. Dream Warriors

The Dream Warriors is composed of a duo, Capital Q. and King Lou. The duo has been known in Toronto because of their contribution to the jazz rap movement in the early 1990’s. Their album, “And Now The Legacy Begins” is considered as one of the best alternative hip hop records of the golden age. They have had 4 albums in which the latest is “The Legacy Continues”, released in the year 2002.

  1. K-Os

Another famous all time rapper in Toronto is Kevin Brereton, famously known as k-os. He has been one of the country’s leading hip hop stars. His music is focused on spiritual and positive message, created with a diversity of genres which include jazz, reggae, funk, rap and rock.


  1. Maestro

Another celebrated artist in the hip hop scene is Wesley Williams, popularly known as Maestro. Recognized as the “godfather” of Canadian hip-hop, Maestro is the first Canadian rapper who has had a Top 40 hit,”Let Your Backbone Slide”, which at this day continues to be the best selling single in the Canadian hip-hop history.

Kardinal Offshall

  1. Kardinal Offishall

Popularly known as Kardinal Offishall, Jason D. Harrow is considered not only one of the best rappers in Toronto but also the best hip-hop producers of the country. He is acknowledged as the “Hip-hop ambassador”, has released 5 albums, and has won 10 awards since the year 1999. The latest award “Juno Award for R&B/Soul Recording of the Year for ‘Can’t Choose’” was just given this year.