Elyse Simpson
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Elyse Simpson

Oakville, Ontario, Canada | SELF

Oakville, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Band Folk Alternative




"Teen wins LA Music Award"

Young Oakville musician Elyse Simpson is not new to winning awards, and now she’s doing it internationally.

The 19-year-old folk fusion musician has just added the Best International Artist honour from the Los Angeles Music Awards to her list of credentials.

The awards honour independent musicians and were handed out at The Avalon Theatre in L.A. last week.

To get her award, Simpson beat out hopefuls from as far afield as Jamaica, Austria, West Africa and Italy. Audience members chose winners at a nomination performance night earlier in the year at L.A.’s Whiskey A-Go-Go.

“It’s really a people’s choice,” Simpson said. “That’s why I’m so honoured to get the award. I was selected by the people who heard me and they were moved by the performance. It meant a lot to me that that was the reaction.”

There were more than 110 nominees for a number of categories at the awards, and Simpson said she was surprised to win considering the level of talent in her category.

At the awards ceremony, Simpson shared the red carpet with such performers as James Brown II, the son of the late James Brown, Michael Jackson bassist Alex Al, and Keith Olson, known for working with bands such as Fleetwood Mac and Santana. She also got to meet and speak with Al, Olson and pianist David Osborne.

“The whole time at the music awards people treated me fantastically,” she said.

Furthermore, the awards show is a source of inspiration, Simpson said.

“People aren’t just looking at each other and going, ‘Oh, that person is winning that award.’ They’re looking at each other and saying, ‘Wow, that could be what’s next. That can be the new trend of where everything is going.’ You then go home and it inspires you. It’s this continuous cycle in a really positive way of creativity.”

In 2010, Simpson received a Canada’s Top 20 Under 20 award for her Jangle Records independent music label, which helps up-and-coming musicians. Her single, Scarlett Rabbit, is available on iTunes.

To learn more about the musician, contact www.elysesimpson.com. - Oakville Beaver

"Teenage ‘folk-fusion’ musician paves her own way in the music biz"

Story by Deborah Everest-Hill
Photography by Peter C.McCusker

Growing up in Oakville, Ontario, Elyse Simpson was surrounded by creativity. She enjoyed drawing, singing and listening to children’s performers ‘Sharon Lois and Bram’, but she didn’t consider the arts to be anything more than a hobby until she attended a music workshop at Appleby College.

Today, Simpson is one of few 18-year-olds with her own blog, website, compact disk (CD) and record label. If that’s not enough, she is in the process of completing, Go Tour or Go Home: three months, three cities, one goal, a documentary chronicling her recent tour of Ottawa, Montreal and New York City.

“I got into singing because it's such an amazing instrument,” explains Simpson. “You can take it with you anywhere, anytime, and it can be molded into so many shapes and colours in such a personal way.”

Simpson’s first CD Raw was recorded at Massive Tank Studios in Oakville and released in September 2010. Inspired by folk artists she listened to growing up, the CD features folk-fusion tracks such as “Scarlett Rabbit”, “Pink Motel” and “Engineers”, and is influenced by whatever genre she was listening to at the time. “Mom introduced me to Tom Waits, Cyndi Lauper and the ’60s folk scene at a very young age,” says Simpson.

Simpson’s mother Lynne Tomlinson, recognized her daughter’s passion for the arts early on but attempted to steer her toward a more stable career. “I tried to convince her that she was going to be a doctor,” says Tomlinson. “It worked well until she was about 14 years old and attended a music camp where she found her calling.”

“While I can picture myself doing other things for a career, I cannot picture myself doing anything else with as much enthusiasm and genuine love as I have for music,” explains Simpson.

During two summer music workshops at Appleby College, her interest in the arts evolved into a desire to become a musician. She completed vocal lessons with Ann O’Kane at The Oakville Academy for the Arts and learned to play the guitar. Performing seemed to be the next logical step and before long, she was singing in small local venues like CJ’s Cafe and The Moonshine Cafe, and performing for larger crowds at The Docks, El Mocambo and The Sound Academy in Toronto.

While Simpson writes her own music and lyrics, she enjoys producing a good cover. “Trying to take something you already love and make it comparably different is such an amazing feeling,” she says. Simpson tries to listen to everything to expand and develop her writing but says she enjoys folk, rap, rock and classical music. She is inspired by modern day folk-based bands like Wilco, and Iron and Wine, and aspires to being signed by ANTI-Records. “They have such an amazing mission statement and approach to the industry, not to mention an incredible line-up of musicians,” she adds.

In the meantime, Simpson has completed courses to become a certified music business specialist at Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she plans to pursue a dual major in vocal and music business in 2011. Other well-known musicians who have graced Berklee’s halls include Diana Krall, John Mayer and Paula Cole. Her record label Jangle Records markets, packages and sells music. It also schedules shows, directs photo shoots and produces materials for folk, rock and alternative artists.

Creating her own label not only enables Simpson to exercise control of her own music career, it gives “off-the-radar artists a collective voice,” says Larry Mah, national program manager for Youth in Motion. Simpson was a 2010 Youth in Motion Top 20 Under 20tm Award recipient and also won the support of Halton Region, receiving $5,000 in funding from the Ontario government’s Summer Company program.

Like many young people her age, Simpson loves her iPod and other high-tech gadgets but she realizes “new” doesn’t always mean “better.” While websites like MySpace and YouTube have provided musicians with greater accessibility to prospective fans and industry representatives, she says some of the music out there lacks the “resourcefulness and spark” typical of earlier artists who had less to work with. She says she would love to see the return of vinyl. “There is no comparison between analog versus digital sound,” she says. “It’s like comparing Madonna live with someone doing Madonna on karaoke.”

The surge in file sharing is also impacting musicians. With less profit in record sales, musicians must rely more on touring for exposure and income, something Simpson doesn’t mind. “Touring is the largest scale form of sharing your music with people,” she says. “It’s what we, as artists, would be working toward anyway.”

With the release of her CD and the filming of, Go Tour or Go Home: three months, three cities, one goal, nearing completion, Simpson looks to the future with anticipation and excitement. Go Tour or Go Home… will capture the realities of Simpson’s tour, chronicling everything from arranging gigs and practicing, to set-list creation, performances, travel, accommodations, and her videographer walking out on her on the first day of filming. So far, two television stations have shown interest in the finished product and Simpson is excited about sharing her experiences with the public.

Simpson’s mom is impressed with her daughter’s ability to marry running a business with being a performing artist. “What a wonderful combination to take her through life," Tomlinson says. Future goals include playing at The Knitting Factory in New York City and a tour of Europe within the next few years. “Whatever happens, I really hope to [be a] part of where the industry is headed,” Simpson says. “I just love the feeling of being on stage. I feel like I’m where I’m meant to be.”

For more information about Elyse Simpson and to check out her music, visit www.elysesimpson.com. Her blog is “Ramblings of an Anemic Musician
- Oakville Arts Council

""RAW" EP Review"

Web: www.elysesimpson.com
Location: Ontario, Canada
Genre: Folk/Songwriter
Key Tracks: Scarlett Rabbit

Elyse Simpson has been quoted as “The Female Bob Dylan”. This is an accurate opinion in my book as she has the right roots, mellow rock instrumentation and an
acoustic sound. Whether or not you’re a fan of Bob Dylan or this style of music, real music lovers will dig this young lady.

Although she’s just a teenager, she has the soulful sound of some of the greats. When you’ve got it, you’ve got it. It doesn’t matter the age.

In regards to content, Elyse has a bit more to say than her counterparts. Whereas
most young girl’s lyrics would be focused on typical teen things, like flirting with boys and hanging with friends, Ms. Simpson goes a bit more in depth. She does it so eloquently. It’s also great to see that she’s so in control of her work. She’s a
songwriter and label owner, www.janglerecords.com

I'd recommend you check out this future music star.

Review by: Leslie White
- IAE *I Am Entertainment" Magazine

"Three young musicians set to hit the road"

They have a mantra: to go on tour or to stay at home, and these young musicians aim to go with the former.

Oakville teenagers Elyse Simpson, Chris Flynn and Kira Montfort will spend the next few months touring and performing in Montreal, Ottawa and New York.

The tour, called Go Tour or Go Home, kicks off on Sept. 4 with a concert and Simpson’s folk fusion CD release party at Oakville’s Roxy’s. The 17-year-old was recently selected as one of Canada’s Top 20 Under 20.

The tour will span some three months, over which time the trio will perform in about 30 shows. Some of the venues will include Montreal's Mariposa Cafe, Ottawa's Rainbow Bistro and New York's National Underground.

But there is more to this tour than making a name for themselves on a national and international level. It is also about getting a close look at the not-so-glamorous life on the road and showing it to the world.

Simpson will be directing the filming of a documentary series, which will focus on the trio’s adventure. Rounding out the group will be videographer Luke Van Loenen from Dundas, Ontario, who will record the trip. The 30-year-old shot the 2005 Iron Maiden tour.

“The public view of the music industry is very dramatic,” Simpson said in a press release. “A lot of people expect this musician devil-may-care attitude but the majority of people are hard working dedicated individuals doing their job. That is what I want to show through the documentary series, the slightly unglamorous events that are the humanity within the music industry.”

Simpson said she hopes the series will eventually end up on television in the new year.

“We want to show the world what we did and our perspective of the industry that it’s not just sex, drugs and rock n’ roll. There is that hard working side, there is that humanity to the industry,” she said in an interview with the Beaver.

Simpson, a musician, entrepreneur and a recent Iroquois Ridge High School graduate, won the Top 20 Under 20 national award for her work at her own music label.

She began Jangle Records to help young, unsigned up-and-coming artists like herself get established in the industry.

Simpson already has a music business specialist certificate from the Berklee College of Music in Boston that she completed online. In January she will be attending the school full-time for a double major in a vocal and music business program but said she will continue working on her music career while at school.

But before she enters the classroom in a few months, she aims to perform on as many stages as she can with her two fellow musicians.

Simpson is excited about the tour.

“I love traveling, I love music and I love meeting new people and this is just a great combination of all three,” she told the Beaver earlier this summer.

“I hope for experience,” she added recently. “I hope to reach a larger fan base and audience. Traveling is wonderful, the people you meet, the experiences you get from just submersing yourself in a different culture, even if it is still Canada and it isn’t that far away, it’s still a different atmosphere and that can really improve your writing and creativity.”

Bassist and tradesman Flynn, 18, is the hands on guy of the tour, otherwise known as the street team manager, roadie and equipment specialist. His counterpart, 19-year-old percussionist and songwriter Montfort is the balance of the group using her technical and performance experience to work with live recording on the tour. She’s also a music student at Carleton University.

The Sept. 4 kick off party runs from 9 p.m. to midnight at Roxy’s, 380 Dundas St. E. Simpson will launch her EP, titled Raw, and will perform with her backing band of Montfort and Flynn, known as The Cofunkabil-a-Buddies. Raw features original folk-style tunes. There will also be tour merchandise on sale at the concert and guests will receive gift bags with information and freebies from the tour sponsors. Tickets cost $5 in advance or $8 at the door. Price of admission includes refreshments. Tickets can be purchased at Roxy’s.

The group plans to provide a glimpse into its travels through live streams and social media website updates. Additionally, Simpson will hold several live YouTube streams before the actual CD launch. Dates and times are available on the tour website at www.gotourorgohome.com.
- Oakville Beaver

"Moonshine Café performers showcase talent in Toronto"

Acts that have become familiar faces on The Moonshine Café stage are taking their talents to the bright lights of Toronto.
The Moonshine Café Showcase runs Thursday, Sept. 18 at Hugh's Room.

The brainchild of the event is John Marlatt, co-owner of The Moonshine Café. He said he's had the idea to showcase local talent in a major concert hall for three years.

"I want to take some of the performers and put them in a world-class venue and put a different dynamic on their performance," he said.

Musicians lined up for the showcase are Mike Branton, Jerome Godboo, James Parker, David Celia, Ricky Joe Vella, James MacKay, Redman Live, Chris Boselle, Elyse Simpson and Kelly McMurtry.

Music genres encompass a little bit of everything, such as pop, country, folk and blues.

"This show is for anyone who likes music," said Marlatt. "There's something there for everybody. It will be a nice night out."

The ages of the artists taking part in the showcase span from 14 to more than 50. Some of the musicians are seasoned performers, while others are emerging talent.

Many of the young and upcoming artists have 'learned their chops' on the stage at The Moonshine Café, according to Marlatt.

"We have performers like Chris, Elyse and Kelly, who are young, but have taken guidance and worked very hard at improving and have become very good, so for them, this is their reward," he said. "Others, like David Celia, Mike Branton and Jerome Godboo, are all world-class players, so they are there because of their experience and they are a draw."

The artists are solo or duo acts, performing mainly on guitar.

The majority of the musicians hail from Oakville. Marlatt said the show is a good opportunity to support local talent.

"I think it would be wonderful if people from Oakville could support Oakville artists, wherever they are playing," he said.

The showcase will also be an opportunity for the performers, as there will be representatives of major management agencies and artistic directors of music festivals at the event, Marlatt said.

"We're hoping some of them are interested in the performers, but I think the showcase is really an experience for the artists to play in a large, famous venue and that will take their performances all up a notch," he said.

Hugh's Room was an obvious setting for the first showcase for Marlatt. He said he is hoping to make it an annual event, but is considering moving it to different venues from year to year.

"Hugh's Room is known as the premiere venue for the roots and blues music probably in the country, but in Toronto for sure," he said. "I've talked to people at other venues who are interested, so we'll see what happens next year."

Hugh's Room seats 200. Ticket sales are going well, with about half already sold.

The Moonshine Café Showcase goes Thursday, Sept. 18 at 8 p.m. at Hugh's Room.

Tickets cost $20 in advance and $22 at the door. Advance tickets are available at The Moonshine Café, 137 Kerr St., 905-844-2655, www.themoonshinecafe.com or at Hugh's Room, 416-531-6604. There is also a bus, leaving The Moonshine Café at 6 p.m. and returning at 11 p.m., for an additional $10 per person.

- Oakville Beaver September 12, 2008

"Moonshine Cafe to wow Toronto"

The Moonshine Café is proud to present a showcase of local musicians during an unforgettable night of music. This special event takes place on Thursday, September 18, 2008 at 8 pm at the renowned Hugh’s Room in Roncesvalles Village, Toronto. Featured musicians include: Mike Branton, Jerome Godboo, James Parker, David Celia, Ricky Joe Vella, James MacKay, Redman Live, Chris Boselle, Elyse Simpson and Kelly McMurtry.

Tickets are $20 pp/in advance or $22 pp/at the door. Bus transportation leaving from the Moonshine Café at 137 Kerr Street at 6 pm for an additional $10/pp. Visit www.themoonshinecafe.com for more details.

Says event organizer John Marlatt, owner of the Moonshine Café, “Our goal is to promote the talented musicians living within our community. Some of our performers are seasoned veterans, while others are just emerging onto the local music scene. Many have started out on our open stage night at the Moonshine. Some have even moved on to play opening sets for touring artists such as Madison Violet, Nathan Rogers, Michael Pickett and Steve Payne. We encourage Oakville to come out and show their support.”

Musicians range in age from 14 to over 50 and represent an array of styles from blues and country to pop and folk.

“They have been coached and encouraged to the best of our abilities,” says Marlatt, “and this Showcase will move them forward as performers.” Talent scouts will also be in attendance.

Located at 2261 Dundas West, Hugh’s Room has hosted the finest in Canadian and International folk/roots artists, since opening in April, 2001. For more details, visit www.hughsroom.com or call the Moonshine Café at 905-844-2655. Advance tickets can be purchased at both locations.

- Oakville Today September 11, 2008

"Interview: Elyse Simpson"

I'm simply blown away by some of the teenage talent that graces the music industry in Canada. Elyse Simpson is no exception. With song writing skills to match some twice her age, and some killer vocals at her disposal, Elyse is someone to look out for. Here's what she had to say to theMOVEMENTZ.

How did you first get involved in music? Is it something that you hope to pursue for the long haul?

I got involved with music at a young age, around 6, I was listening mainly to classical music and started to take up the cello. Around 7 years later I took up vocal and shortly after began to teach myself guitar. I then started to listen to more rock and psychedelic music such as Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton. Now over the past two years, I have been working to pursue music seriously as a career and I hope to continue.

How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it before?

People have told me my music sounds like Bob Dylan with a little bit more Billie Holiday vocals. Personally, I would like to think or hope it reflects the feeling that was evident during the folk movement in the 1960s in Greenwich Village but with a bit more of an edge.

Do you have an album in the works? If so, what types of themes/ideas are working their way into the songs. When do you think it will be released?

Technically I am always working on an album since I am always working on new material and writing music. In the past, I have independently released singles and plan to release more very soon, but right now I'm focusing on putting together a solid body of work before I think about releasing an album. But, it is definitely something I will do.

Where does your song writing inspiration usually come from?

I think a lot of my song writing inspiration comes from elaborating on really simple situations and taking those situations and deconstructing them to see what is at the root and what sparked them to happen. It's really looking at the connection between cause and effect and how that impacts me emotionally.

Who are your favourite artists and how do you think they have influenced your style (if they have)?

My five favorite artists that influence me the most are: Tom Waits, Sufjan Stevens, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Beatles and Bob Dylan. I find these artists influence me a great deal lyrically and with their obscurities that make their music so distinctive. As far as stage presence goes, my main influence will forever be Mick Jagger.

How do you feel about the Canadian indie scene? Good or not so goodplace to be?

I feel the Canadian indie scene is definitely growing and has made a lot of big changes over the past couple of years. It is beginning to become more globally recognized and that helps me a lot as an artist because as it grows so will my exposure opportunities.

Where do you hope to be in five years (in terms of your music career)?

I hope to be happy and the way I will be most happy is if I can continue to do my music and share it with other people and hope it affects them as much emotionally as it does me.

What is the best part about making music?

For me the best part about making music is being able to share a spiritual experience with a group of people. It's being able to walk into a concert or a show and feel the connectivity and energy between a roomful of strangers. All in all, it's the anticipation that leads up to making that experience happen.

Any upcoming events that we should know about?

On February 25 I will be playing an all ages event at the Moonshine Cafe in Oakville.

Where would people go to purchase your music/ learn more about you?

If you want to learn more about me you can visit www.sonicbids.com/elysesimpson and if you want to purchase my music or drop me a line you can contact me at elysesimpson@live.ca
Comments (13)

maxx said:
"I think a lot of my song writing inspiration comes from elaborating on really simple situations and taking those situations and deconstructing them to see what is at the root and what sparked them to happen."

People tend to over think things a lot of the time when they write. I find that a lot of the best songs come from very simple concepts.

You have an amazing approach to writing and clearly it is working for you!

February 16, 2009
Votes: +0
blandesque said:
I wub you elyse. Good interview and all that jazz. You still have to help me get famous later.

p.s. hot pictures.


February 16, 2009
Votes: +0
Ryan Goodman said:
Pretty Solid
Great interveiw Elyse,

Your well on your way. I'm looking forward to hearing how your album turns out, you got alot of great tunes to pick from Great things are in store for you Elyse good work

-Ryan Goodman


February 16, 2009
Votes: +0
MusicFiend16 said:
Great Interview!
Not only are you gorgeous but have such intelligence, i loved the way you answered, just gave me a wow feeling but in a good way


February 16, 2009
Votes: +1
DR3 said:
Where can i buy your music?
i was wondering where i could buy your music... I've been a longtime fan and can't seem to get my hands on any more of your songs... make a Cd already so i can buy a dozen of them

February 16, 2009
Votes: +1
Pantalone said:
I am another Canadian indie musician, and I personally find it very inspiring, to see somebody so young, to be so determined and driven to reach success. From one musician to another, I wish you the best of luck with your music career, I know you'll make it!
-Adrian Pantalone

February 16, 2009
Votes: +0
daveysetz said:
congrats your makking it you little rockstar!


February 17, 2009
Votes: +0
momo said:
Na dann bin ich mal gespannt was es in Zukunft so gutes von dir zu hören gibt
report abuse vote down vote up

February 17, 2009
Votes: +0
Magic_fingers_on_ba*s said:
Lucky girl
Hey Elyse!
Congrats on a great interview! ive been a long time fan and im pretty jealous
Im for sure coming to your gig on the 25th !
Keep up the good work! Hope to see you big one day !


February 17, 2009
Votes: +1
TheOriginalGamesta said:
Just like to say
That Elyse is amazing! I don't think ever been so delightfully entranced by a performer before. I just she'll still remember me when she's famous!

February 17, 2009
Votes: +0
Kish said:
Simply amazing
In all seriousness its musicians like this that keep music going

February 17, 2009
Votes: +0
Canoodle said:
Looking forward to your show
Awesome interview. I really enjoyed yous song Scarlett Rabbit and I hope to hear more in the future. I am looking forward to your show on the 25th. Keep on singing and congrats on making it big lol .

February 19, 2009
Votes: +0
brody,pippy,dyson said:
dont worry I'm not an a*shole :P
hey elyse
I saw you preform at the el mocamvbo in toronto and it was a bomb time the music was actually amazing
writing your own stuff is awesome and youve got an amazing talent
keep up the good stuff
--------------------------------------------- - The Movementz by Lia Karidas February 16 2009

"Simpson hits all the right notes"

Elyse Simpson is not your typical 16-year-old.

Simpson, a grade 11 Iroquois Ridge student, owns and operates her own record label, thanks in part to Halton Region.

The music mogul won the 2009 Halton Region RBC Business Plan Competition in early June, and was awarded $1000 to put towards her label, Jangle Records.

She is also applying a Summer Company Grant from the Provincial government to the development of Jangle Records, and is on the verge of signing her first two artists.

Part of the family home is being converted into a recording studio, where Simpson can hone her craft and that of her artists.

“It has a real Andy Warhol vibe to it,” she said. “Green shag, lots of chrome.”
Music has been an important part of Simpson’s life for as long as she can remember.

“I’ve been doing my own music for two or three years, and I played the cello as a kid,” she said.
After learning the guitar a few years ago, Simpson took vocal lessons, and the results speak for themselves.

Simpson has been a fixture at CJ’s Café in Bronte and the Moonshine Café on Kerr Street, and recently competed at an independent music competition in Markham.

“It was a great opportunity to perform in a competition like that,” she said.

Drawing inspiration from artists like Bob Dylan, Sufjan Stevens, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Beatles and Tom Waits, Simpson’s music can be best described as a mix of folk and alternative.

“All of them are just incredible,” she said. “They all put so much into what they do.”

Giving it all musically is where the idea to form a label came from.
“I’ve been performing for 18 months or so, and I thought I can help other artists,” she said. “Opening a label combines music and business. I like that it’s multifaceted.
“I’m very excited about this,” she added.

Simpson has three songs of her own down pat, and has nearly 15 that are works in progress.
“I’m kind of a perfectionist,” she said. “I don’t want to perform them unless I think they’re perfect.”

To fill in the rest of the slots on her set lists, Simpson plays myriad songs from a wide array of artists.

Her favourite is from one of her favourite bands.
“I love to perform Don’t Forget Me by the Chili Peppers,” she said. “The lyrics are earth- shatteringly good. I like Hallelujah, even though it’s overdone,” she added. “I also like to do Don’t Think Twice by Bob Dylan, and I’ve added a new cover: Poker Face by Lady Gaga.
“I like to think I’ve put my own spin on it,” she said of the Poker Face cover. “She’s always pushing boundaries, which I love.”

Speaking of musical loves, Simpson admits to a long-standing love of vinyl.
“I have over 300 pieces at home,” she said. “My parents didn’t keep any of theirs, so I’ve had to acquire them on my own. Vinyl makes it sound like you’re right there, something you don’t get with CDs or mp3s,” she added.

Before she slides on her blue Yamaha APX 500 guitar and takes the stage for a performance, Simpson goes through a pre-show ritual.

“I do yoga to Bobby McFerrin’s Circle Song Three,” she said. “It helps me focus and it’s great for my anemia.”

Focus is something she relies on while going for her Music Business Specialist Certificate from the Berklee School of Music in Boston.

“No matter how tired I am or what I do, I don’t see this as work,” she said.
Simpson is learning the inner workings of the business from instructors like George Howard and Michael King.
“They are fantastic instructors,” she said.

Fantastic would barely begin to describe Simpson’s reaction if she ever got to perform in her dream venue.
“I really want to play at Abbey Road,” she said. “It would be impossible not to be inspired there.”

http://www.oakvilletoday.ca/arts_and_entertainment/article/264773 - Oakville Today by Scott Stewart

"New Music Spotlight - Elyse Simpson"

From the very first note, Elyse Simpson's amazing vocals will instantly draw you into her magical world. Nominated for Best Female at the Ontario Independent Music Awards recently the extremely talented Singer/Songwriter sixteen year old Elyse is making music that will delight, entertain, and excite fans both new and old. In this recent spotlight with our Webzine, we speak to the sixteen years old protégé in this exclusive spotlight.

Isaac: How do you sum up 2008 for Elyse Simpson?

Elyse: I can't complain. It was a good year. I got to play a lot of great gigs, meet a lot of great people. For me, 2008 I think was just a lot of change in a very positive way.

Isaac: What do you feel was your biggest accomplishment for 2008?

Elyse: Surviving... ? Seriously though, I think my biggest accomplishment was starting to get a balance in music. Finding how to balance creation with performance and work with creativity. It's an ongoing task but I think 2008 gave me a solid start on finding balance and that will be with me for the long haul so I take a lot of pride in that.

Isaac: Describe the music scene in Oakville/Ontario, Canada.

Elyse: I think the music scene in Oakville, Ontario Canada is really varied. There isn't really one specific genre that is more prevalent than others and that makes it exciting to go to shows or meet fellow musicians because you never really know what to expect.

Isaac: What has been your favorite venue to perform at and why?

Elyse: I basically adore every venue I play at because each one offers something different. Although my top two would probably be The El Mocambo and The Docks/Sound Academy, I love the El Mocambo because of the history. So many absolutely stellar performers have played there like The Rolling Stones and Stevie Ray Vaughn, so to get to play there as well is quite an honour.

I love the The Docks/Sound Academy because it's right near the water. There is something so responsive about playing a show and then being able to walk out onto a dock and just watch the sun hover over the water.

Isaac: How do you feel being such a young performer (16 years old) in the music industry will help you in the long run?

Elyse: I think the benefit of being young in the music industry is that it gives me time to develop as a musician. Being younger, I just have more time in the long run to practice and mold who I am and what I can and want to become and hopefully, that will make me a better artist and performer overall.

Isaac: You were nominated for Best Female at the Ontario Independent Music Awards. What did this mean to you as an artist receiving this recognition from the Ontario Independent Music Awards?

Elyse: Receiving this recognition from the Ontario Independent Music Awards meant a lot to me both personally and professionally.

Personally, because it's always fantastic to have someone acknowledge your music. And professionally, it opened a lot of doors for me and I'm extremely grateful for the new opportunities.

Isaac: Elaborate a little about whom were your biggest influences in the music industry and why?

Elyse: My top 5 biggest influences are Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Sufjan Stevens, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Tom Waits. Each of them as artists offer something completely different but they all have the ability to evoke such powerful emotions and each one does it differently. Bob Dylan has his timeless poetry, Tom Waits has the blunt candidness, Sufjan Stevens has this sort of melodic kindness, The Beatles just have such a wide variety of material and The Red Hot Chili Peppers have the most incredible energy level that can only come from a well connected band.

Isaac: You have released your first single titled Pink Motel. Let's talk about what you feel you will bring as a solo artist to the music industry?

Elyse: As a solo artist I'm really forced to wear a lot of hats. It allows me to really see the industry from multiple perspectives instead of just one and helps me understand the industry better as a whole and hopefully that will give me an edge.

Isaac: If you had an opportunity to work with one artist or group, who would it be and why?

Elyse: It definitely would be Tom Waits. All his music is so uninhibited and wild. I'm under the impression that if I was lucky enough to work with him, even in the smallest amount, that it would spring something grandiose and new simply because on his albums he tries anything and everything and that is something fantastic to find when working with someone.

Isaac: What type of feedback have you received about your music?

Elyse: It's positive….I think…I hope it is otherwise I'm out of a job. Ha Ha. My favourite comments and feedback is when people tell me that they found some form of themselves within one of my songs. It may sound terrible but one of my favourite parts of performing is when I make someone cry because it shows my music impacted them to such a degree and that's an amazing feeling, to know you made an impact.

Isaac: Where can fans locate you at online?

Elyse: They can listen to my music at www.myspace.com/elysesimpson or if they want to give me a shout or purchase my music they can contact me at elysesimpson@live.ca

Isaac: What can fans expect from Elyse Simpson in 2009?

Elyse: I think they can expect a lot more original material, new singles, higher frequency of shows in and around Toronto and greater emphasis on and a wider variety of instruments in my music and shows.

Isaac: Time for some shout outs to your family, friends, and fans…

Elyse: hi?...love you?

Isaac: Final words from Elyse Simpson…

Elyse: Thanks to anyone who took the time to read this and thanks to Junior's Caves for listening :)

- Junior's Cave

"Indie Pick of the Week - Elyse Simpson"

by Marya McLaughlin in Quick Chats & Interviews

Elyse Simpson is making waves with her intricate and soaring folk fusion, and her music business know-how. At the young age of 17, she is already a critically acclaimed independent artist and performer, as well as the owner of the independent record label, Jangle Records. So, we can expect to hear a lot more from her in the future. While she still had time to fit us into her schedule, we caught up with this savvy artist about the future of digital music, the comeback of vinyl, and what’s next for her in the world of music.

When/How did you first start playing music?

When I was 15, I was invited to play at a “Women in Song” night at The Moonshine Café in my hometown of Oakville, ON, Canada. I played a collection of guitar and piano originals for a half hour set. I was used to playing at the venue for some crowds for Open Mic Nights but I didn’t really expect anyone to come to hear me play. Surprisingly, a good crowd showed up and it was great way to really break myself into the rhythm of performing.

What’s the best gig you ever played?
It is hard to narrow it down to just one gig. I would say my favorite show was probably at The Reverb in Toronto, Ontario a couple of years ago. I had just written my song “Engineers” and the show was the first time I had really played it in front of a large crowd. The audience was so responsive and incredible and actually bowed to me at one point. Having that vote of confidence from people who genuinely loved my music was huge and makes the show really stick out in my mind.

How has social media effected the way you market/promote your music?
Of course, as an independent musician and owner of an independent record label (Jangle Records), social media has helped me reached fans and individuals that would otherwise be unavailable to me. Being able to update a network of people simply by updating my Facebook status or Twittering or sending out my Sonicbids EPK is huge. That said, I feel there are a lot of things we have lost through technological development. The importance of album artwork and smaller details is something that has been slightly over shadowed. If the industry can find a balance between the two I feel a new frontier can be reached.

What’s your prediction for the next big advancement in how we find/listen to/share music?

History repeats itself and I believe this is what the advancement will be. To combat with file sharing, the recording quality will have to increase and although the convenience of mp3s will not become obsolete there will be a shift back to the reproduction of vinyl records as we have seen in places such as HMV already. This shift back to analog recording will make the contrast in quality, between ripping tracks off the Internet and legally downloading them, more obvious. This change will then increase revenue for labels and artists and hopefully have an impact on what they are able to provide for their fans. Overall, this is what I see happening in the next five years. Maybe I’m optimistic but if this was allowed to grow and develop, the impact positively on fans, labels and artists would be huge.

What’s your next big gig coming up? When/Where?
My next big “gig” is actually a series of gigs since I am going on tour this fall. On September 4 the tour kicks off with my album release “RAW” at Roxy’s in Oakville, Ontario. At the same time as the tour I am leading a team to film a documentary series about our experiences called “Go Tour or Go Home” which will be broadcast in the New Year. Myself, as well as my team, will be traveling to Montreal, Ottawa and finally New York, so to pick just one gig I’m excited about would be much too hard.

Want to hear more? Check out Elyse Simpson’s EPK on Sonicbids here.
- Sonicbids August 2010

"Go Tour or Go Home"

| Aug 19, 2010 - 12:09 AM | Go Tour or Go Home

NORTH OAKVILLE TODAY – Three Oakville teens, Elyse Simpson, Chris Flynn and Kira Montfort are heading off to Montreal, Ottawa and New York in September to put their musical ambitions to the test, make a name for themselves and see what life on the road is really like.

As one of Canada's Top 20 Under 20 and a Certified Music Business Specialist from the Berklee College of Music in Boston, 17-year-old Folk Fusion musician Elyse Simpson combines her music and business skills to lead the team tour at various venue events in the three cities (Montreal, Ottawa and New York City) including Montreal's Mariposa Cafe, Ottawa's Rainbow Bistro and New York's National Underground.

Simpson will be directing the filming of a documentary series of their experiences titled "Go Tour or Go Home" which will be broadcast in the new year. The team will be joined by Luke VanLoenen from Dundas as videographer.

"The public view of the music industry is very dramatic. A lot of people expect this musician devil-may-care attitude but the majority of people are hard working dedicated individuals doing their job." says Simpson. "That is what I want to show through the documentary series, the slightly unglamorous events that are the humanity within the music industry.”

The tour and the release of Simpson's EP "RAW" kicks off at a ticketed launch on September 4 at Roxy's, 380 Dundas St. East, Oakville from 9pm - Midnight.

Simpson and her on tour backing band, The Cofunkabil-a-Buddies (Kira Montfort, Chris Flynn) will be performing original music from "RAW" along with presentations and perspectives from the crew members.

An accomplished bassist and tradesman Flynn is the "Hands On" guy of the tour taking on the role in the Go Tour or Go Home team as Street Team Manager, roadie and equipment specialist.

Currently a student at Carelton University for music, percussionist and songwriter Monfort is the

balance, using her technical and performance experience to work with live recording on the tour.

The final team meamber is 30 year old Luke Van Loenen who's experience includes Videographer for the 2005 Iron Maiden Tour.

The launch will feature a presentation of the tour itinerary. Go Tour or Go Home merchandise will be available and guests will each receive sponsor gift bags with information and freebies from the tour sponsors.

Tickets are $5 per person in advance or $8 at the door. Tickets may be purchased at Roxy's.

- Oakville Today August 19 2010

"2010 Top 20 Under 20™ Award Recipients"

Elyse Simpson
Oakville, Ontario
Age at time of award: 17

Elyse is building her career as a solo musician and her performances to-date include an engagement at one of Toronto’s premier music venues, the Sound Academy. Elyse’s business smarts have powerfully connected her love of music and respect for hard-working, yet largely unknown musicians. Proposing a collective voice for off-the-radar artists, Elyse’s business plan won the support of Halton Region and received $5000 in funding via the Ontario Government’s Summer Company program and the Business Plan Competition. Within one month of launching her business, Elyse signed two artists! Her Jangle Records is now established as an independent label geared towards folk, rock, alternative artists. Through Jangle Records, Elyse markets, packages and sells music; books shows; directs photo shoots; and produces artists’ materials. Elyse is a certified Music Business specialist from the Berklee College of Music.

- Youth in Motion

"Cutler, Simpson and Loucks to take the stage at Moonshine March 31"

Women in Song, the monthly celebration of music by female performers, returns to the Moonshine Cafe next Wednesday evening.

Oakville’s Julie Cutler, the host of the event, performs her beautiful country/ folk/ acoustic music and has different special guests each month.

Elyse Simpson, the talented mind behind Jangle Records, and Peterborough native Sarah Loucks will also be performing at the event.

Tickets are $5, and are available by calling 905-844-2655.

For more information, visit www.themoonshinecafe.com.
- Inside Halton

"Women in Song"

Peterborough’s Sarah Loucks and Oakville’s own Julie Cutler and Elyse Simpson were all smiles following last Wednesday’s evening of Women in Song at the Moonshine Cafe. The talented trio entertained an appreciative crowd at the venerable Kerr Street establishment. Women in Song is hosted by Cutler on the last Wednesday of every month. For more information, visit www.themoonshinecafe.com - Inside Halton April 8 2010

"From mobility aids to music management, entrepreneurs seize the day"

Elyse Simpson, 17, Oakville, Ont.

Elyse Simpson is all about seizing opportunities.

Her long-term goal has always been to launch her own record label, but she figured it would have to wait a few years until she established a career as a solo musician.

But last year she heard about a summer grant opportunity through Ontario's Halton Region providing $3,000 to set up and run a company complete with career counseling and mentoring. She got the grant, then entered the same business plan in another regional competition to net an additional $2,000. By October 24, 2009 — a month after her 17th birthday — Ms. Simpson launched Jangle Records, an independent label featuring folk, rock and alternative artists.

"I thought, 'If the opportunity is there, why not try it now,' " she says. "There are a lot of great artists, who have great potential and great music . . . but there's so much out there that I think sometimes these independent musicians get lost along the way. There are a lot of artists I know — I really love their material and I thought they need a chance to get their music out there."

Within two months, Ms. Simpson had signed two musicians to her label and is now branching off into marketing and merchandise.

She is also focusing on her own upcoming tour, with performances booked in Ottawa, Montreal and New York.

"I'm lucky to have a lot of great people supporting me and I've had great opportunities and met great people in the music industry," she says. "I've always known I wanted to do this and I love travelling. So it combines the best of both worlds."

Come January, Ms. Simpson will be heading back to school to do a dual major in vocal performance and music business at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she has already completed a course to be a certified Music Specialist.

"It's my dream school," she says. "I'm really lucky to be going there."

- The Globe and Mail June 7 2010

"Young musician featured at an evening of music Nov. 28"

An Evening of Music at the Moonshine Cafe will include its youngest artist ever on Nov. 28 in 15-year-old Elyse Simpson.
The Grade 10 student will be performing seven or eight original songs she has composed and written for piano, guitar and voice.

"I have been hosting Ladies Night at the Moonshine for two years, and Elyse is the youngest performer yet," said Julie Cutler, a local country musician.

Home schooled until the age of 10, Simpson's music is described as an eclectic folk rock style, featuring her bluesy vocals.

Her lyrics and musicality reflect a mature retrospection on life, filled with iconic emotions and sensitive visual imagery.

Phrases such as "You asked for nothing, you got so much less" or "bluebird you're flying with a broken wing" conjure personal responses from the listener, but are private revelations for Simpson, who delves into private issues such as the death of a loved one and a growing feeling of oppression.

Her latest work, Pink Motel, unravels her short journey as an artist yet provides appeal to all those who have encountered change.

"I write to express inexpressible feelings," Simpson says.

She will appear Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 8 p.m. at Moonshine Cafe, 137 Kerr St.

Reserved seating is recommended for all shows.

Call 905-844-2655 or email moonshinecafe@cogego.net to make a reservation.

http://www.oakvillebeaver.com/news/article/138098 - Oakville Beaver

"Toronto Independent Music Awards Interviews Elyse Simpson"

By BD Marie Hughes

I had a chance to catch up with some of the talent on June 24th, 09 @ The Central to do some interviews with artists participating in the TIMA “Best Live” competition.

Elyse Simpson

She is not your average singer/songwriter. At 16, Elyse Simpson delivers her interpretation of modern folk music through expressive lyrics that contradict her years.

BD: Did you face any negativity or indifference early on in your music career?

Elyse: I am lucky enough to be surrounded by people that not only encourage my work but go out of their way to support my music. I will always have negativity follow my work because I am my own biggest critic. This struggle with myself is the only way I will really show improvement in my performance and writing.

BD: What types of feedback, and from where such as fans, family, friends, let you know you’re on the right track?

Elyse: The love and support from my family and friends is irreplaceable. But my favorite feedback is from the more unsuspected sources. There is a level genuineness and sincerity that always comes when receiving praise or compliments from a stranger. Overall, it’s when people tell me my music is really part of their lives. Having someone say they have my myspace set as their homepage, one of my tracks set on repeat, or that they listened to my music while experiencing a huge change is their life means I’m making an impact. That’s all I can ask for really at the end of the day.

BD: A few months ago I interviewed a hip hop/reggae artist from Montreal named Empire Isis. Her advice to other artists was, “Associate with people who make sense in your life.” Do you identify with that?

Elyse: Positive energy breeds positive energy. Associating with people who make sense in your life is what spawns positive energy and inevitably puts you in a positive place in your life. Artists are known from creating their work based on struggle and hardship. But to be able to draw inspiration from cold hard places and events and turn it into something beautiful takes a level of positivity to be able to see the solution, resolution or lighter side of things that comes with these problems. So, yes, I identify with filling your life with people who make sense because bottom line is people want to be happy. To succeed in what they are doing, having good energy fields, and environments has a lot to do with both.

BD: How do you write? Is your process organic or very structured?

Elyse: I would say my writing process is sporadic more than anything. If needed to, I can sit down and churn out lyrics or music to finish a song. But the base of what will spark me writing is unpredictable and cannot necessarily be done on command. Having this style of writing means I can find myself sometimes in dry spells. On the other hand, it also makes the writing process incredibly exciting because, to some extent, it will always be uncontrollable and wild.

BD: You have recently received a grant. What can you tell us about that?

Elyse: It is a $3,000 dollar grant from Halton Region given to young entrepreneurs. I received it for my record label Jangle Records. I cannot express how much it has helped me in getting my company off the ground. Beyond simply the financial aid, the opportunities I have had to meet with mentors have opened so many doors for me. It’s allowed me to become more aware as a consumer as well as a label owner.

BD: How do you create opportunities? Is starting your own record label part of that forward momentum? What can you share with us?

Elyse: I try to make opportunities for myself as well as for my label by putting myself out there in the right places at the right time. It can be challenging. So it’s essential for me to just keep pushing constantly until the place and time line up in my favor. The label makes it possible for me to be around the right people. This makes the time and place line up so much quicker and enjoyably. Running the record label allows me to interact with people who make sense to me creatively and starts the chain reaction that breeds opportunities for me and for them.

BD: What’s next for you?

Elyse: I’ll be working a lot with my own label. I recently signed my first artist, Russell Horton, and will be signing my second by the end of the month. So there’s a lot of work associated with that as well as with merchandise, promotion, photos, media and getting ready for the launch coming up in October. Other than that, a big part of me is stepping back from the business side of things. This allows the right side of my brain to be active in the forefront at least for a while. So that means more writing and hopefully getting to experiment a bit in the studio sometime soon.

- TIMA September 23 2009


"RAW" EP - Released September 4th 2010



Selected as Best International Artist at The 21st Annual LA Music Awards (2011), Best Female at The Barrie New Music Awards (2011), one of Canada's Top 20 Under 20 by Youth in Motion (2010) and recently nominated Best Acoustic at The Toronto Independent Music Awards (2012) with an international tour under her belt, nineteen year old Elyse Simpson's immediate vocals and physical guitar bleed through deep seated lyrics to create progressive Folk Fusion

Playing live shows at venues including Arlene's Grocery (New York, NY), The Opera House (Toronto, ON) The Whisky a Go Go (Los Angeles, CA) and The Red Room (Boston, MA), Simpson uses a diversely eclectic pool of influences to build an energetic, layered performance.

Building booming anthems about contrast and collective uncertainty, Simpson channels classical roots, an upbringing including Tom Waits and Dire Straits and a love of both electric and acoustic guitar. Tied together with lyrics including "The potency of your impatience is turning me off" and "Got a tambourine soul and a record heart" connect her audience through a personal and expansive experience.

Driven by spirituality, a barking respect, genuine love and a sultry inclination towards performing, Elyse Simpson breathes sincerity from a fiery core.


"Whether or not you’re a fan of Bob Dylan or this style of music, real music lovers will dig this young lady." - Leslie White for IAE Magazine

"Elyse is a breath of fresh air in an industry falling too far into electronic music." - Michael Howie, Editor of Oakville Today

"Elyse Simpson’s solo guitar performance, the third of the night, was enthralling. She produced sounds that were mellow and expressive, rupturing into an epic and surreal exhibit of her love for music, for her guitar, and showcasing her convictions towards the meaningful words in the lyrics she wrote by the sudden upbeat chorus.

A truly genuine performance with hints of jazz and soul, highlighting her emotive songs like 'Impatience'. An epical and gratifying experience for all" - Raz Mataz Magazine (In Response to Performance at Clinton's Tavern Nov 2011)

“Elyse Simpson has a knack for writing melodic folk fusion tunes and thoughtful lyrics. Her originals show serious potential, and her cover of “Be My Husband” is one of the best you are likely to hear anywhere.” - Paul De Burger, Author and International Public Speaker

"Simpson's sincere and passionate offerings crossed all boundaries and transcended through her skills on electric strings." - The Examiner (In Response to Performance at The Whisky A Go Go Sept 2011)

"One of the best performances at our annual voting event.......ever." - Al Bowman creator of Los Angeles Music Awards (In Response to Performance at The Whisky A Go Go Sept 2011)

"....An incredible job.......a powerful voice. Keep using it!" - The Estate of Nina Simone (In Response to Cover of Be My Husband)