TEA Volume 15 artists Naria spark the Canadian release of TEA Volume 15 on January 3, 2012. Created in the Fall of 2010, with professional opera singer Katya Tchoubar at the helm, it didn’t take long for 1 to become 4 with the addition of fellow opera talents Anna Bateman and Michelle Danese with the group rounded out by pop sensation Annaliese Jelilian – thus NARIA was born.

NARIA is and contains 4 brilliant voices whose vocal prowess and original choreographed compositions features opera, pop, techno and world music with classical high notes while exhibiting their intimate personal style. While “aria” refers to the show-stopping moment in an opera, the “n” stands for “the north” — NARIA is proudly Canadian.

Determined to perform original pieces in a techno-operatic format, NARIA sought the professional expertise of two diversified musical arrangers: Haim Mazar from Los Angeles and Toronto’s Dima Graziani. In October 2011 NARIA launched their debut CD, NARIA Opera Pop Supernova, accompanied with their first video, “The Witch”.

NARIA’s music has been featured on The New Classical 96.3 FM, CHIN Radio as well as Britain’s International British Showcase, and internet radio stations including Woman of Substance, Indie Castle and ruKus radio with live performances currently occurring in Canadian cities. Undoubtedly in the not too distant future, NARIA will be taking center stage in Mexico, Europe and Asia, building international fan bases and winning over international audiences.

All in all, recording our fist album was very rewarding in many respects. There is a special feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment when you create something that you can truly call your own. As talks are underway regarding our next album, we are excited for this wonderful journey to continue… We hope you enjoy “Naria: OPERA POP SUPERNOVA”!

Congratulations Naria! They are going to Midem in Cannes, France to be showcased as one of three winners in the Sonicbids International competition

Check out their Thank You video to fans

James Ashberry

james ashberry albumTEA Volume 14 & 15 artist James Ashberry has been singing since the 2nd grade and playing guitar since the age of 10. He has involved himself in dramatic theatre, and it’s safe to say that between choir performances and school plays, the stage became comfortable for him at an early age. After experimenting in several high school bands, come graduation he had made up his mind to get serious. Already writing songs of his own, James had also begun to amass a plethora of cover material and he decided that he had the ammo to hit the circuit. There’s nothing like the trenches of the club scene to help you hone your skills and within a year or two, The Ashberry Jam was becoming quite a hot item. The years between 1990 & 2000 found James touring the GTA and southern Ontario circuit steadily. He has opened shows for the likes of Kim Mitchell and April Wine, performed in legendary clubs such as The Opera House, The Elmocombo, Lees Palace and The Horseshoe Tavern to name just a few. In 1994 James won the Best New Band title at the Rock n Roll Canada pageant. The band took the free studio time they won from this competition and recorded their first EP. With well over 4000 gigs under his belt and 3 independent CD’s to his credit, James has an incredible cover repertoire and prides himself on being able to cater to any room.

james ashberry micJames’ own songs have been described as an intimate and thought provoking, eclectic mix of melodies and harmonies, spanning topics ranging from the state of environment, the pursuit of enlightenment and the complexities of love. A naturally gifted multi-instrumentalist with a unique intensity, James Ashberry gives 110% of himself to every note, of every song he plays. You can purchase James’ music at Indiepool and keep up to date with his live shows on his website page. James has a hard rocking instrumental track on TEA Volume 15 that showcases his high level of musicianship and songwriting talents.

Listen to James Ashberry

Dennis Mouck

TEA Volume 15 artist Dennis Mouck offers up a minimalistic approach to songwriting with his honest melodic offering “Back To You” featured on the TEA Volume 15 compilation release. Dennis Mouck is your typical closet musician. Leave him in a back room with a guitar and a note pad and that is where he finds tranquility. For years, his songs remained hidden, as he continuously played for the masses of the walls and creeks and cracks that surrounded him. Over time, Dennis amassed a repertoire of songs that even he couldn’t hold on to and protect forever. It became apparent to Dennis and to the people who were fortunate enough to be exposed to his sonic enterprise, that these songs needed to be set free. Dennis entered the studio with the goal of turning these simple sketches into full blown works of art and bring a voice to the songs that had such humble beginnings.

Inspired by sonic landscapes, lyrical melodies and musical exploration, Dennis builds off of his acoustic guitar and vocal and blends the sounds of the past, present and future to provide the listener a place both familiar and unique to explore and enjoy.

Making of ‘In the Goldilocks Zone’

The digital age has been a bittersweet pill to swallow for Dennis. He is an advocate of the new anarchic wonderful reality of music that exists, where anything is possible and everyone has access; however, the bitter part for Dennis is that the real time element of going to the record store and buying that record, CD or tape with the excitement of getting home to listen to it appears to be disappearing. That tangible excitement is slowly dying in the current press a button, like or dislike, reality that now exists.

In this vain, Dennis thought he’d open his bucket list and blindly pull out what came first. Dennis decided to make a record in homage to the albums that were so pivotal to who he became as a person.

He had a repertoire of about a dozen songs written and ready for an audience. Searching extensively for a studio in order to find a home for his songs, Dennis met with James Pew of Euphonic Sound, a recording studio that offers full involvement with the production and promotion process under the title of Studio 2.0. James allowed Dennis to have unlimited studio time with a production team in order to help make the album that Dennis envisioned. He also brought in a multi-instrumentalist percussionist by the name of Adam Campbell to co-produce, help arrange and play many of the instruments on the record. Dennis focused on his acoustic guitar and voice, which were the building blocks of his songs while Adam, and James built around these seemingly humble beginnings.

They then began, piecing it all together, bit by bit. As a music hobbyist, Dennis was like a kid in a candy store, doing what he always dreamed of doing with musicians of the highest caliber supporting him. His team of musicians also included the services of Sean Daley on Bass guitar, a Euphonic Sound in-house bass player/producer. Also, for one fine afternoon, Dennis had the services of Maneli Jamal, who may be the finest acoustic guitar player this side of the 49th parallel and beyond.

As for the music on In the Goldilocks Zone, the songs are reflections of Dennis’s experiences and thoughts. They span from his early adult life away from home to life as a married man who spends as much time following interest rates as he does playing the guitar. However, Dennis uses songwriting as an escape from elements of the world around him. In song, he finds a friend and he feels that if he writes a good enough song, it becomes a friend who understands him. It is his ambition to share these songs in an attempt to help others with music, the way music has helped him.

Dana-Marie Battaglia

TEA Volume 15 artist Dana-Marie Battaglia offers up a beautiful track “The Struggle to Forgive” for the TEA Volume 15 compilation CD release. After traveling in and out of her vulnerable, passionate melodies and charming toe tapping grooves, you’ll understand what the phrase ‘emotional roller coaster’ really means. With her sweet, energetic presence, captivating voice, and deeply honest expression, Dana-Marie Battaglia will rip your heart out and gently sew it back in.

Since inspiring Olympic Athletes with her soul baring performances in private concerts and performing solo on site at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, the artist developed an international fan base and piqued the interest of European radio. Over the past few years Dana-Marie made headlines by performing international anthems in multiple languages, taking the stage at festivals, entertaining crowds of thousands, and sharing the bill with several Juno Award winners.

Meanwhile the self-taught composer and gear-headed singer-songwriter built a home studio to fulfill a burning urge to arrange and record accompaniment to her songs. Exploring her feel for haunting, classical compositions, the resulting sound of her demo was an unparalleled blend of acoustic folk-pop melodies with tragic, grand orchestral elements.

The indie artist was thrilled in 2009 when the complexity of her compositions captivated John MacArthur Ellis (Jeremy Fisher, Dan Mangan, Leeroy Stagger, The Be Good Tanyas), a major label contractor and award winning producer who agreed to work with her as an independent artist. After two years of co-engineering and co-production on top of the same track beds that Battaglia started, came an album of exceptional quality on the indie scene.

Battaglia’s 2011 debut release entitled “Songs of utter despair, guilt, empathy, lust, longing and/or hope” comes to life on stage as she’s joined by Tim Bartsch on cello and her sister Tanya Maria on background vocals and keys/synth. In the summer of 2011, the trio completed a Western Canadian Tour leaving in their wake a vast trail of new enthusiasts suddenly undergoing much self reflection.

When you find yourself strapped in to her emotive wavelength, keep your eyes open and your hands up. With just enough sweetness to make you forget your anguish, Dana-Marie Battaglia will ensure that when the ride stops, you’ll be excited to line up all over again.

The Weak Need

weak-need1TEA Volume 15 artists The Weak Need are currently working on a new album. You can hear one of their new songs on the up and coming TEA Volume 15 compilation CD release on January 3, 2012.

If COLDPLAY, PINK FLOYD and THORNLEY all hung out and decided to make an album, it would sound just like The Weak Need’s  debut band release entitled “Restitution.” This eclectic group of guys who’s style and influence range from jazz to 80’s electronic, to power punk have found one vision, one dream, one band that they all believe in. They are: The Weak Need A high energy pop act being regularly compared to such bands as Keane, Coldplay, Muse, Pilot Speed and U2. Their emotive delivery at their live shows has their fans saying that they were “blown away” and “speechless” afterwards. “They are like the Coldplay of Canada.” Sean (Lead vocals and Keyboards) himself is quoted as saying “I love Keane and Coldplay and I really like their sound but honestly, I don’t listen to them a lot of the time because I don’t want to start writing like they do. I’m totally influenced by their sound, but I really try to take it somewhere totally different.” Different indeed.

weak-need-albumIt is easy to hear the 80’s influence of bands like The Cure, The Smiths, Brian Ferry, and U2, along with newer bands like One Republic, and Never Ending White Lights washing through The Weak Need as the listener is bathed in Croley’s unique intimate vocals, textured harmonies and intricately woven lyrics.

“There is no other band in Canada with a sound like you guys” says Juno award-winning producer, J. Richard Hutt.

The Weak Need performed a well liked and powerful set at the TEA Summer Showcase on Saturday July 18, 2009 at the Rivoli on Queen Street. They are also on the TEA Volume 12 and 15 compilation releases. New material will be showcased on the up and coming TEA Volume 15 compilation CD release.

Listen to The Weak Need