By Sarah Seeley
Jan. 15, 2014
The East Coast Music Awards (ECMA) organizing committee announced the artists who will perform during East Coast Music Week 2014 in Charlottetown April 2-6.
The ECMA committee received about 1,150 submissions and narrowed it down to 75 artists from across the Maritimes.
The artists include Andy Brown, Dave Gunning, La Viree, Matthew Hornell, Meaghan Blanchard, Paper Lions, Sherman Downey and The Ambiguous Case, SoHo Ghetto, The Town Heroes and many more.
Eastlink is the title sponsor for the event and they will provide national coverage for the ECMAs in high definition and on-demand. They will also air East Coast Music Unplugged, a TV series featuring behind-the-scenes segments of the artists.
Jennifer Evans, co-chair of the ECMA committee, said Eastlink East Coast Music Week will have economic, social, and cultural benefits to Charlottetown because of the surge of people attending the events.
“Charlottetown will just be buzzing.”
Mayor Clifford Lee said Charlottetown has hosted the event successfully in the past and he said this year’s ECMAs will be a grand celebration.
“We are yet again looking forward to another great big block party.”
Lee also said there would be a vibrant array of Island culture.
“East Coast Music Week is a wonderful opportunity for our city to come to life in a cultural explosion.”
Kayo Geuverra, a Halifax-based rapper, performed two songs from his demo EP S.L.A.V.E.
Gueverra was born in St. Lucia and moved to Canada in 2009. He toured with the Canadian rapper Classified in 2010 and now he is starting his solo career.
His goal is to portray his Caribbean roots in his songs.
“I try to make my music very real, approachable, and relatable to people and tug on their heart strings.”
This is Gueverra’s second time performing in Charlottetown. He participated in the Big Red Music Festival in July 2013.
He said the ECMAs are a time for artists to form connections.
“This is a good time to see your favourite artists and other music friends.”
Local folk singer Meaghan Blanchard performed Watching the Dandelions Grow from her album She’s Gonna Fly.
Blanchard got her musical inspiration from her grandmother, who was a country singer.
“She was a shy person, much like myself as a kid, but when she got up on stage she was like a superstar to me.”
The message in her music has progressed from adolescent insecurities to collecting stories.
Blanchard is thrilled the ECMAs are in Charlottetown because her family and friends won’t need to travel to watch her perform.
“A lot of luck, hard work, and good fortune have paid off.”
Her dream for the future is to grow as an independent artist.
“My big thing for the next five years is to really build an independent foundation of income from my music and being independent without having to be under a big label.” Tourism Minister Robert Henderson said the ECMAs are a chance for P.E.I. to showcase local artists on a national stage.
“Music is part of our culture, part of our economy and it’s our way of life.”
He also said the ECMAs this year will live up to its expectations.
“It promises to be a week to remember.”