Speaking at Canadian Music Week

CMW 2015 is under way and my ears are already ringing (Thanks, Metz!) The 3-day music conference begins on Thursday, May 7, and you can sign up for a FREE meeting with me at the Mentor’s Cafe from 12- 1p.m.

Click here for the link! 

BSOMA Presents: How to Release Your Album – April 15th

Click to buy tickets.

Click to buy tickets.

I’m moderating this session again… and tickets are already over 50% sold out so act quickly!

Want to make sure your album is praised by critics and gets you tour offers? Come hear how album-releases in Canada actually happen and how to create your own strategic plan as independents or like those in the big leagues do.


IAN CHAI – Founder, Buzz Records & Artist manager
Trained as a lawyer living in London and Dublin, Ian Chai found himself working at Arts and Crafts Records as a manager for 1 year before co-founding Buzz Records in 2012. Since then, Buzz Records acts – including Greys, Odonis Odonis, HSY and Weaves – have been praised by tastemakers like Pitchfork and Vice, as well as touring on the international festival circuit. He is Toronto-based.

AMANDA RHEAUME – Independent Artist
Performing over 160 shows a year, Amanda Rheaume has delivered her unique and soulful blend of folk-country-pop twinged tracks to audiences around the world opening for artists such as Emmylou Harris, K’Naan, Lucinda Williams, and Ani Difranco. Rheaume recently received a Canadian Folk Music Award for Aboriginal Songwriter of the Year (2014) and a Juno Award nomination for Aboriginal Album of the Year (2014) both for Keep a Fire. In 2015, Rheaume has tour plans in Canada, Europe, and UK, and will be performing at the Pan Am Games in Toronto. She is currently writing for her 4th album, the next development of her singer-songwriting craft featuring elements of country, soul, and folk while keeping true to her distinct storytelling through songs.

MARY JELLEY – Regional Manager, Warner Music Canada
Mary Jelley has been a force in the Canadian music industry for more than 25 years. The first woman hired as a regional manager for Warner Music Canada, her primary focus is to oversee the sales, marketing and promotion of Warner artists in Eastern Ontario. It may not sound glamorous, but over the years, Mary’s tireless, behind-the-scenes efforts have been a major factor in the success of many Canadian artists, including Alanis Morissette, Michael Bublé, Blue Rodeo, Great Big Sea and Brett Kissel, to name a few. Mary continues to work with artists signed to the Warner label, helping them reach new audiences through traditional marketing techniques while also making use of emerging technology and social-media strategies. Considered an expert in the music business, Mary is often called upon to judge talent, participate on panels and speak to students about her long career as an insider in the Canadian rock ‘n’ roll scene.

Ottawa Citizen Features YouRockRed & BSOMA

Click to read the full article.

Click to read the full article.

Why there’s been no updates: Speaking Engagements Galore!

I’ve been a little slow to update here as it’s been anything but at the YouRockRed office. I’ve been bouncing between Ottawa and Toronto.

I’m thrilled to confirm that the Bluesfest School of Music and Art info sessions have been continued (April is booked! May is in the works!). I hosted one 2 weeks ago on how to make money in the music industry and another a week back on how to become involved as a music educator in the Blues in the Schools program.  The latter was even profiled in the Ottawa Citizen praising the importance of the sessions influence on the local artists. One gaff, they called me a musician; now while I sing along a ton to whatever is playing on the radio or my headphones, I just work with musicians.

I’ve sat down with some really driven clients for artist consultations (1 hour sessions with me where an artist can get questions answered by an industry expert and objective guidance) in Ottawa to as far as Alberta.

I even popped in on the Tara Recording Academy to give a guest lecture last Monday night to about 30 audio engineering students. We talked about punk rock and how to self-promote to get future clients when they’re out in the production world, including the importance of grant writing. It was a cool connection too because the teacher was an artist that I’d interviewed for a now defunct publication on the street in front of a now closed venue (turned dirty nightclub).

I LOOOOOVE doing speaking engagements and hope to do more here in Toronto and wherever else will have me! Teaching is something I’ve done in the past that just excites me. Back in 2007-8 I taught history of contemporary Canadian music to ESL teen students, but being able to teach to engaged and interested musicians/industry is my bread and butter. Nowadays, it’s my strong journalism background that allows me to research and ask questions to panelists that come out to the sessions.

More news to come!

With teacher Marty at Tara from Autumn's Canon

With teacher Marty at Tara from Autumn’s Canon at the school after my talk

BSOMA Presents Music Publishing Seminar feat. Jeremy Fisher

Thrilled to announce the second info session I’m organizing with Bluesfest School of Music and Art. Music publishing is confusing. I’ve got books o the music industry that go on for a full chapter only to say, check with your lawyer or just go buy all of these other books.  Instead I’ve assembled a crack team. I love these sessions because I get to learn too! The journalist in me is fascinated by being able to provoke the most interested and helpful answers.  Plus, a lot of research goes into panels that I’m not as familiar with as say, grant-writing which was the first topic BSOMA presented and I’ve spoken about at other festivals.

Who Owns It - poster


The first one in late November sold out in less than a week, so if you’re interested in hearing this expert panel, be sure to buy your tickets in advance.

This is part of the first Megaphono Music Festival happening February 3-5 (reserved wristband holders also have access to the event). I’m going to be hitting up a bunch of the panels on Wednesday and Thursday in advance of the session.

Ticket URL

Facebook event.

Top 10 Concerts of 2014 w/ live show photos of Nick Cave, Stars, Constantines…

Best Shows of 2014

*All band photography by me. Shot on Canon DSLR EOS 60D or Iphone. I go to minimum 1 concert a week. Warmer months mean festival season and this summer was packed with hundreds of great performances.

  1. Stars, Tribe Called Red, Kevin Drew- Google Plus Launch party Toronto, ON (Wait for the film as to why it was so excellent.)

    stars cmw

    Stars- Toronto

  2. Nick Cave, Osheaga, Montreal QC – I had never seen Nick Cave. I feel like my life up until now was not complete. All front men need to aspire to the power he has over an audience. Also if you’ve not seen 20,000 Days on Earth the semi-doc on him, stop what you’re doing and go download it off Itunes now.

    Nick Cave

    Nick Cave- Osheaga

  3. Tanya Tagac, Polaris Prize, Toronto, ON – I had no idea who this woman was, she came out and delivered a more metal, more emotionally intense performance than any male performer I’d seen all year. Plus it was just the wtf is this amazing sound, noise coming out of this tiny human!?)

    Tanya Tagac at Polaris Prize, Toronto

    Tanya Tagac at Polaris Prize, Toronto

  4. Band of Horses, Osheaga, Montreal, QC – watching the lead singer of Foster the People and the happiest singer ever of AWOL National shout out the lyrics in the pit in front of us instead of watching OutKast then high fiving us in between awesome song breakdowns to make sure we’re enjoying it was just awesome. Plus, only a handful of people were at this far stage for them initially so it was a really cool private experience.

  5. Dum Dum Girls, Club Soda, Montreal QC (I love Dee Dee and all things Dum Dum Girls)

    Dum Dum Girls MTL

    Dum Dum Girls MTL

  6. The Constantines, Arboretum Festival, Ottawa, ON – I had never experienced the raw energy and emotionally charged performance of the Constantines like this before. It was dark. I was up front centre photographing it all. I stomped my feet along and lifted my hands up high high high to classics from Shine a Light. Also was somehow transported back to second year university and romances that were set to.


    The Constantines – Ottawa, Arbfest

  7. Phantogram, Bluesfest Ottawa, ON- You know when an audience is really pissing you off and just taking away from the performance? I wasn’t supposed to see Phantogram as I’ve been a longtime Killers fan. I was transfixed by the lights that sparkled off lead singer’s disco-themed cape as she got on an illuminated box to serenade us to dance beats that would become the soundtrack for my summer. We kept repeating how glad we were to be watching this intimate show with only maybe another 200 people not mashed up together but all commenting to each other, “This is so much better than the Killers.” Friendly audiences make a world of a difference.

    Phantogram, Ottawa Bluesfest

    Phantogram, Ottawa Bluesfest

  8. Metz, Lee’s Palane, Toronto, ON – ears meltingly awesome. Was exhausted from NXNE shenanigans and was blown away. Walked away thinking how stupid I’d been to have missed all their hometown shows for the last few years. Now dedicated to seeing them perform as much as possible, whenever possible.

    Metz, Lee's Palace, Toronto

    Metz, Lee’s Palace, Toronto

  9. Fucked Up, Field Trip Fest, Toronto ON – I brought a folk-singer friend who has never been to a hardcore punk show and she was converted. The performance included guest vocals from Gord Downie of the Hip, George Petit of Alexisonfire and Damian’s toddler son who watched proudly as his sweaty bare-chested daddy ripped beach ball after beach ball and formed a new fashionable hat for himself AND the audience members. Ears hurt. It was worth it.

    Fucked Up, Field Tripfest Toronto

    Fucked Up, Field Tripfest Toronto

  10. Blondie/Lady Gaga, Bluesfest, Ottawa, ON – both divas, both genius, all worth singing at the top of my lungs.

    Blondie, Ottawa Bluesfest

    Blondie, Ottawa Bluesfest

Who should have made the list: Gaslight Anthem. I miss you. I forgive you for cancelling Folk Fest in Ottawa, but next year, we will be besties. Or at least I’ll be in the photo pit singing back every lyric Brian Fallon shouts out.

Who did not make the list:  Julian Cascablancas, Opera House.  Why?? Half the audience left about 20 minutes in and I was included in the exodus. Only played 1 Strokes song and it was so obscure and mangled it was pitiful.

Repeat offenders: Tribe Called Red- that huge round dance at Field Trip was epic.


Kevin Drew

Kevin Drew, you were everywhere I went…. Except that Uber car ride.

BSOMA Thanks! Ottawa Musicians PACK first info session

Thank you so much to the 70 people who packed Bluesfest School of Music and Art’s new venue in Westboro last Thursday night for the first ever BSOMA presents. It was a fully-sold out house and it wouldn’t have been possible without the amazing organizing support and creative team from Bluesfest. It was a total pleasure being able to collaborate and make this whole thing happen and a little birdie has now said that the next one will be February 2015!

bsoma me talking

From l-r: Chris Wilson and Dan Hay from Amos the Transparent, Caroline Matt of City of Ottawa, Megan Jones of Factor and me!

Big thank you to Megan Jones from Factor for making the trip from Toronto to talk to the audience.  By the way, what a diverse audience- wow! All ages, ethnicities, and GENRES.  Metalheads to folk rockers to pop singers. I feel absolutely honoured that people held on to the panelists’ words like they did.

Seriously, it’s almost a week from the fact and I’m still gushing.  It was amazing to talk to all the artists afterwards eager to set up their special BSOMA-sponsored appointments with me as YouRockRed.  People had such positive comments including “That was the best $10 I’ve ever spent,” to just telling me how inspired they feel and how they can’t wait to meet with their band that week to talk about how to get THEIR group to the next level with all this new information.  This was a first of sorts for Ottawa.  The reason I pitched the info session series concept was because I go to sessions like these all the time at music conferences like NXNE and CMW and wanted people NOT in the music industry or music-specific training programs to be able to take advantage of education/networking opportunities.  I think the mission was accomplished.

bsoma mark

Mark Monahan thanking everyone for coming out and telling the audience how these sorts of sessions are exactly what BSOMA intended to do when founded. (I’m trying to hide how much I’m smiling at those kind words but the smirk is breaking through!)

Again, big thank you to Mark Monahan, Caroline Matt of City of Ottawa and my pals in Amos the Transparent.  Beaus- your beer was much appreciated by everyone afterwards in the swanky BSOMA lounge.

I’m meeting with BSOMA this week and can’t wait to read all of your feedback.  There’s a lot of subjects that can be future conferences- I’ve got about 25 already brainstormed with min. 3 people for each.  Stay tuned here and thank you again!

All these photos are from Ming Wu and Jackpine.  Thanks for the great shots!


Look at that crowd!

Look at that crowd!

BSOMA and YouRockRed Presents: $how me the Money- Record Funding

I pitched an educational info session series to Bluesfest School of Music and Art in September after attending a ton of music conferences like NXNE and CMW.  I thought, why do Ottawa musicians need to go all the way outside their city for this sort of industry guidance and knowledge.

I’m thrilled to be presenting this first info session with BSOMA on Thursday, November 27, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Festival House (450 Churchill Ave) with panelists Amos the Transparent, Factor and City of Ottawa! It’s been an absolutely pleasure working with the Bluesfest team already on putting this together as the organizer and panelist myself.  They’re also going to be offering up individual band consultations with YouRockRed through BSOMA at a discounted rate so stay tuned for that.

Tickets are only $10/each or $20 for a band with up to 5 members… and it’s halfway sold out ALREADY. If that doesn’t say Ottawa wants this sort of info session, I don’t know what does!? Oh, and the Beau’s on tap. Musicians always like beer.

Anyways, please RSVP on FB HERE and I so look forward to seeing many of you there!


event image


MORE DIY Rock and Roll Halloween Costumes

I wrote this post last year about kick-ass Halloween costumes last year and it continually gets the most hits on the blog part of this website.

If you’re stumped for ideas, here’s some fast costumes that you can easily pull out of your, or your girlfriend’s closet.  Enjoy!!!

janis joplin style

Click for Janis Joplin, Lou Reed, Sex Pistols, Led Zeppelin and more costume ideas!


Getting stoked for Indie Week & Chatting to College Students

Last week I had the pleasure of speaking on Music Entrepreneurship at Algonquin College to a class of about 75 for an hour.  It was so much fun! The students are pursuing diplomas in Music Industry Arts and had loads of questions for me about what my daily schedule looks like, challenges of being a woman in the music industry and just how to get to running your own business.

I ended up staying to chat to another handful of students afterwards about their bands, their career prospects in Canada and abroad- it was honestly so inspiring to see that people in my hometown of Ottawa were dedicated to working in music as there was no program like that when I was in post-secondary. (My studies were focused on Liberal Arts in college followed by Film and English in university, which I have no complaints about but having this option close to home would have been advantageous…. then again, my job couldn’t have existed 11 years ago when I first started!

(I’ve been invited to speak at another highly respected music institution too in the next month so stayed tuned for more info!)

Indie week photo

I walked away feeling so pumped for this week’s speaking engagement at Indie Week in Toronto (October 13-18).  I’ll be joining some of the industry’s leading professionals and artists in the field on the subject of Funding Your Project (RSVP or more info HERE).

And they’re putting me to work! I’ll be an official judge on Friday night’s band showcase at the Silver Dollar so look out for the friendly redhead and be sure to say hi.


Thanks, Algonquin!