ORIGINALITY - Calgary’s Midwest Mindset includes Red Deer in their spring line up. They perform next month at Bo’s Bar and Grill.

Calgary’s Midwest Mindset to perform at Bo’s next month

Soon to perform in Red Deer, Calgary band Midwest Mindset was recently selected as one of the top 25 groups in Canada for their CBC searchlight competition.

They are gearing up for a show at Bo’s on June 10th. Other highlights coming up include the release of a new music video for Footsteps.

“We were chosen as number one from the Calgary and Southern Alberta region,” said Travis Omen, who is an Emcee with the band. Rounding out the slate of the band’s membership are Jared Buote (keyboards), ‘Danny Epic’ Atsbaha (emcee); ‘BenOfficial’ Larsen (turntablist), Berkley Roth (guitarist/vocalist) and Jordan Swanson (drummers).

The guys have roots in Red Deer as well.

“We are all Red Deer born and raised, but moved to Calgary in recent years,” he said.

The band had hopes of advancing to the top four in the CBC competition, but it wasn’t to be. Still, ending up as one of the top 25 groups in Canada was and is a tremendous accomplishment. Not to mention they took the number one spot in Calgary and southern Alberta as well out of about 200 bands in that particular region.

Meanwhile, what started out as more than 2,000 Searchlight submissions from across the country has now been whittled down to four finalists.

“Even when we got to the top 10 in Calgary, we thought that was huge,” he said, adding it was quite unexpected.

Midwest Mindset was formed in 2011 out of the young but growing culture of Canadian hip-hop music.

“We have managed to stay relevant and active, performing over 60 shows around Alberta and British Columbia, all while retaining an unprocessed original style,” note the band’s web site. “We can proudly say that we were one of the very first groups in Alberta to perform original hip-hop music written and composed by a full band.

“We have organized and played dozens of genre-mash shows that brought together fans from all forms of music: metal bands playing with jazz bands and rappers playing with punk bands. Together, through musical expression, we have seen the unity music can bring, even amongst the most diverse areas of Alberta’s subculture.”

Since forming, Midwest Mindset has also successfully produced an EP and a full length album composed of all original songs, four high quality music videos and independently embarked on two western Canadian tours.

Omen recalls the beginnings of group as essentially bringing two sets of artists together. Things clicked pretty much from the get-go.

In his own life, he recalls having a desire to entertain from early on. “I think I always wanted to entertain onstage – be in the talent shows at school.” During his middle school years is really when he started delving into hip hop.

“That was kind of the direction that I wanted to take,” he explained. “Me, Danny and Ben all performed in the Grade 12 Lindsay Thurber Idol. So we started focusing on making music in high school.

“From when I was young, something just drew me to it,” he says of the band’s selected genre. “I think there is a lot of truth in the lyrics and with the right production and the beats, I think it’s always been catchy and different compared to other genres.

“And for me, the lyrics matter more than the beats.”

As to the physical demands of rapping – it takes more than people might think.

“Especially when it’s live – being able to have breath control and crowd control and doing that for an hour-long set can definitely be demanding,” he said. “It’s about practice – it took a lot of time to get it down pat where we are able to get through a full verse without stopping for breath or anything like that,” he added with a laugh. It’s also about the quality of the words. “I think a lot of it is in writing the lyrics – you’re not going to have those lyrics come through clearly if they’re not written properly and there isn’t a cadence and a structure to how you write the verses,” he said, adding that the group’s songs spring from a collaborative effort.

Meanwhile, with their recent video Erasing My Mind gaining over 10,000 views in under one month, and a follow-up video for Footsteps already on its way, 2016 is shaping up to be the band’s breakthrough year.

The band had this to say about Erasing My Mind on the CBC Searchlight web site – “Erasing My Mind was an unexpected stand out song from our debut album 1313.

“It was one of the first songs recorded for the project and initially we didn’t expect a lot of feedback or support. However, once we started performing the song live and hearing from friends and fans, we knew the track contained something special.

“By blending the raw lyrical side of hip-hop with live instrumentation usually reserved for rock ‘n’ roll we feel we can convey a message that is true to our Alberta roots, yet relatable across Canada and maybe worldwide.”

Indeed – and that pretty much sums up their vision to this point and in moving forward as well.

“It’s about having that goal in front of you to progress and go further. I think that’s what kind of drives us to keep making music and keep on getting bigger and better.”

Check out www.midwestmindset.ca.

editor@reddeerexpress.com

Just Posted

Team Alberta ends Games strongly with 44 medals in week one

Alberta is currently sitting in second place of the medal standings

Jayda Monilaws raises over $7,000 of cupcakes for Central Alberta Humane Society

This is the most the 10-year-old Red Deerian has raised so far

PHOTOS: Alberta male team takes silver in Winter Games relay speed skating

Alberta was close behind Quebec in the team relay speed skating finals

WATCH: Pet therapy brings calmness to Winter Games athletes

Canada Winter Games in Red Deer continue on until March 2nd

Jayda Monilaws is selling cupcakes again for Central Alberta Humane Society

The 10-year-old Red Deerian is selling cupcakes today from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Indigenous leaders, politicians say Trans Mountain report flawed

The National Energy Board has endorsed an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline a second time

People gather for funeral of seven children killed in fast-moving Halifax fire

Traditional portion of the service will be followed by words from community members

R. Kelly charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse

R&B star has been accused of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls for years

Child advocacy centre raising funds through Dream Home Lottery

The child advocacy centre in Red Deer uses its resources to help kids all over Central Alberta

Trudeau tells Canadians to listen to clerk in SNC-Lavalin matter

Privy Council clerk Michael Wernick delivered a blunt assessment at the House of Commons justice

Mueller report looming, new attorney general in hot seat

Robert Mueller is required to produce a confidential report to pursue or decline prosecutions

B.C. woman shares story of abuse with church officials ahead of Vatican summit

Leona Huggins was the only Canadian in the gathering ahead of a historic summit at the Vatican

Sylvan Lake’s Megan Cressey misses Freestyle Skiing Big Air podium

Alberta’s Jake Sandstorm captured silver in the men Freestyle Skiing Big Air contest

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Most Read