The new artist experience, what do they get off the ground and get established? Host Christ Batstone has an in-depth discussion with Zamani and Selby Evans.
Singer, songwriter, producer – Zamani won the 2019 Atlantic International Film Festival (FIN) Award for Best Atlantic Original Score. The winning score “What’s So Great About Him” was written for a ten minute short film titled Cockblock, directed by Halifax filmmaker Tamar Dina and stars musicians/actors Kirsten Olivia Taylor and Samm Reid, along with actor Ryan Willis. The award was announced and presented at the Linda Joy Media Arts Society FIN Awards Luncheon on September 19th, 2019. This award comes on the heels of Zamani’s recent success in capturing the 2019 TD International Jazz Festival Stingray Rising Star Award receiving a $3000 cash prize from Stingray Music.
Zamani began singing with her family at community events at age 12. Versed in many Black music genres, Zamani became inspired to expand her repertoire of R&B, Urban Jazz and Pop after receiving praise from the late veteran vocalist Sharon Jones who caught her performance- while then only 14 – with her jazz guitarist father Harvi Millar at the TD Halifax International Jazz Festival. In 2018 Zamani received ANSMA’s Portia White Youth Music Award and the Jongleur Youth Arts Award. In 2018 she received ANSMA’s Emerging Artist of the Year Award and released her first self-titled EP Mix Tape shortly after. In 2019 Zamani mae her first international appearances performing at New Skool Rules Festival in Rotterdam, and opening for R&B veterans Maya and Genuwine and Pop artist UB40, at the Caribbean Roots and Soul Festival in St. Lucia. More about Zamani.
Selby Evans is a young bilingual emerging artist currently based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Having recently graduated from Dalhousie University with a degree in music, Selby quickly garnered attention with the release of his first bilingual EP Emmène-moi, in December 2015. He has performed in numerous prominent concerts over the last year, most notably, with Symphony NewBrunswick for seven sold out shows last fall in La Vallée des Possibles, and in the Francofête en Acadie as well as several other french music festivals. Two singles from the EP are receiving considerable radio play, Emmène-moi and Dis-moi encore, with the latter projected to enter the ARCANB top ten chart. An english single, On your Own has also received play on local radio. Further, Emmène-moi was listed in the top ten sales for Distributions Plages, in both March and April 2016, and digital sales (Itunes) continue to do well.
To produce this first EP, Selby surrounded himself with several notable collaborators, including trumpet player and multi-instrumentalist Sebastien Michaud who coproduced the album, poet Hermenegilde Chiasson who contributed lyrics on L'ettre D’amour, as well as drummer and engineer Danny Bourgeois, to name only a few. These prominent session musicians form an important part of Selby’s team going forward. The release of this self funded debut EP was not only an important first step in terms of career development, but also provided many important lessons and insights about product development, live performance, marketing and the music industry more generally.