Favourite Music 2013

I was asked to talk about my favourite 2013 artist, and I honestly have a hard time paring down my choices – I love music and musicians, so it’s almost like a “Sophie’s Choice” scenario where I just can’t pick one! So I won’t! Here are some amazing musical artists that I want to share with you, as they share their spirit, love and craft with us. Enjoy!

1) SERENA RYDER: This Canadian singer-songwriter is a talented guitarist, visual artist and 4-time Juno award winner, with a beautiful repertoire of strong, symbolic songs that transcend genres – her music speaks to pop radio, rock, and has even been used in the CW & BET TV show “The Game.” Her unique voice puts her in the same category as Amy Winehouse – a little retro, with a brand-new feel to it. Her passion is obvious as she explains that the song “Stompa” is a thank you to using music as medicine, to get out of your head with your personal issues, and feel liberated and find a way to survive. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AJ78nz8DGk

2) TEGAN & SARA: the best Canadian twin act on the scene! Sisters Tegan & Sara Quin are accomplished singer-songwriters who play a mean guitar and keyboards, and write hauntingly beautiful lyrics. Winners of the Junos, the Grammys and the MTV Europe Music Awards, Tegan & Sara make simple yet meaningful music – just listen to “I Was a Fool,” one of the better “looking back after a breakup” songs! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZHGeg_0Rlo

3) SLIGHTLY STOOPID: When Ska meets Funk, starts dating Reggae, and becomes friends with Rock & Roll, Hip Hop and Punk, there’s bound to be an incredible energy behind the music! This San Diego band has played with the best of them (Snoop Dogg, The Grateful Dead, Dave Matthews Band) and feeds off the energetic vibe of their band mates, but most importantly, their fans, to let the good times roll. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RT_H-YUwR8

4) BEN PEARCE: While travelling in London this year, I fell upon the song “What I Might Do” and this UK DJ. An up & coming artist, this is someone to watch for in the future, to bop our heads to great beats. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFhSLB-Ys0k

5) DAVID MYLES: Ever hear a song so light, breezy, with wonderful musical accompaniments, you feel like it’s summer? David Miles’ song “So Blind” will take you to that feel-good place! Keeping it real with “roots” music, and collaborating with the rapper Classified, this Juno & SOCAN winner keeps his craft fresh, blending jazz, pop and blues into a solid listening session. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRi-xMCcTjw

6) HÜSKER DÜ: One of the best feelings music gives me is when I discover good music, as if it’s my personal secret treasure-trove, and wondering why I haven’t heard it before! This is how I felt when I heard “Celebrated Summer,” a song released in 1984, from this 1980’s US hardcore/punk band. Nirvana has been quoted as saying, “Nirvana’s musical style was nothing new; Hüsker Dü did it before us,”). Listen to the first 5 seconds of the song – do you hear a similar guitar rift from Greenday’s “Basket Case?”

What songs did you hear this year that stopped you in your tracks?!

Happy holidays and best musical wishes for 2014!

About Parul Gupta

Parul is the founder and principal teacher of Infusion Dance Studios, www.infusiondance.ca, based in Toronto and Montreal. Her choreographies are part of 3 Cirque du Soleil productions: “Love”, “Kooza” & “Totem”. Parul is committed to continually advancing her dance technique with reputable teachers in both Canada and India. She is supported by the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts for her artistic development, and was awarded the Shastri Indo-Canadian Arts Fellowship to study dance in India. Parul has given performances and workshops across Canada, in the U.S.A and in India.

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