Toronto-based pop singer-songwriter Mike Ruby’s narrative is anything but mundane. Embarking on his musical journey at 19, he went to New York City to pursue jazz as a saxophonist. Awarded a full scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music, Ruby’s education became a cornerstone of his musicianship that shines through his songs.
After signing a record deal with a Universal Music subsidiary, he was propelled into the world of synth-pop playing alongside the Brooklyn-based band St. Lucia. This collaboration expanded his horizons, opening his ears to synth and dance-like possibilities. His 2020 debut EP, You Wrote These Songs, was a chart-topping hit on Top 40 radio across Canada and the Billboard charts.
His second solo EP, A Million You’s, is a sonic tapestry woven with threads of speculation, self-discovery, and introspection. The emotionally charged title track, “A Million You’s,” invites listeners on a poignant expedition through the lens of a vulnerable songwriter. Co-produced with Nathan Ferraro, a formidable songwriter in his own right, this lyrically-driven single is complimented with resonating instrumentation, offering ample space for both the melodies and lyrics to breathe, bringing listeners into Ruby’s inner monologue.
Originally from Uxbridge, Ontario, Tom Hanley got his musical start as the singer and guitarist for a series of pop-punk bands with “terrible names.” Playing shows at high school parties ignited Hanley’s passion for band performances and music composition.
In college, he pivoted into the realm of funk, starting a six-piece band called JUICE, which went on to record and tour for eight years. Countless wedding band gigs and 60 original songs later, Hanley is fresh off the release of his debut solo single, “Overnight.”
Collaborating with songwriter/producer Nixon Boyd (known for his work with Hollerado and Dizzy), Hanley takes the first steps toward establishing his sound and production aesthetic as a solo artist. “Overnight,” written at the onset of the pandemic, serves as a musical reflection on the tumultuous early days of lockdown, capturing the whirlwind of rapid change and the unsettling sensation of losing control. It is also the title track for his upcoming EP. His funk chops are evident in the track, offering a soulful mid-tempo groove with a sultry feel and killer guitar tones.
iskwē | ᐃᐢᑫᐧᐤ (derived from waseskwan iskwew, translating to “blue sky woman”) has released her latest single, “Part Two,” signifying the unfolding of “the second act in the story of a wonderful love affair that came to a crashing halt.”
In the words of iskwē, the song encapsulates the tale of her shattered heart following the breakup of a rocky relationship. Reflecting on the journey, she expresses, “We should have known, and we probably did, that things would end as passionately as they began. We ran the other to the ground while simultaneously pulling each other back to our feet, but the landing got slipperier and slipperier with each recovery, until enough was enough.”
Collaborating with the 7x Grammy-nominated producer Damian Taylor and Ali “Willa” Milner, iskwē crafted “Part Two,” channeling their collective efforts to capture the emotions she sought to unleash. The song, marked by club-infused tension, pauses to let its chorus melodies cascade forth: “Well enough is enough, our game has passed overtime. Enough is enough, we’re falling down from the high.”
3x GRAMMY Award/2x JUNO award-winner Chin Injeti’s latest album, VESSELS: Volume Three is a collection inspired by the art of collaboration and made through meaningful conversations and friendships. Mostly produced by Injeti, he was joined by daysormay, who features on the album’s focal track, “Make You Understand.”
Most of the tracks in the album are a poignant exploration of self-realization, reminding the listeners that no one is truly alone. Drawing inspiration from a melody initially shared on TikTok, Injeti and daysormay crafted “Make You Understand” as an attempt to make someone perceive the reality of one’s life.
The title itself encapsulates the essence of striving to be seen for who you truly are. Stylistically, the production of the track is a dynamic interplay of highs and lows, loud and soft, designed to allow the lyrics to shine through.
Featured photo: Mike Ruby