people you know
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people you know

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Band Rock Pop


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"Band Recalls 'Judge Stripping' After Their Performance"

Typically when you think of successful females in rock, you think of artists such as Joan Jett, Ann Wilson/Heart, Hole, Pat Benetar, etc...but for anyone who's ever seen People You Know, you know that they will soon be on that same list.

People You Know isn't your average indie rock band. They are all strong players and even better performers, and I don't just mean strong players for girls...I mean strong players! They dropped jaws and even got a judge to drop his pants after their performance in the 2010 YouDiscover Finale.

There was no doubt that the 2010 YouDiscover Summer Concert Series was dripping with talent this year, as 22 solid acts took the Oakes Garden stage; one being People You Know (aka PYK) which consists of Devon Clarke on Bass, Iman Kassam (The Drum-Master) and the striking Aimee Bessada on Lead Guitar/Vocals.

Applying to the competition less than two weeks before the submission deadline, it was hard to imagine that they would be able to get enough content, 'hot' votes and page views on their profile in time...but their fanbase proved that it could be done, and the band quickly became an inDiscover favourite.

They were selected to play in the Top 22, where they performed live on July 23rd alongside Blindsided Poets (which was a contrast, to say the least!).

PYK blew judges and audience members away as they played originals such as Good Girls, Virginia Gold and John Wayne is Dead, as well as a fantastic cover of Jett's "Bad Reputation".

The ladies definitely got the award for 'most autographs signed after a YD show' as they stayed back for almost an hour to sign autographs for fans, who came from all edges of the world.

With a great Top 22 performance and an overall high voted score on their page, People You Know was brought back for the Finale on August 27th to play with wordPEOPLE, Drive Faster, Infract and competition winners, Running Red Lights. The Finale was shot live in front of a huge audience and a panel of judges. The pressure was on, as the other four competitors were just as talented in their own right. That didn't seem to affect PYK's performance though, as they once again wow-ed the crowd with a stellar performance.

It's been a couple months since we saw them in the Finale, so we caught up with People You Know to find out what's been up with them recently, what's to come and how they felt during YD SCS 2010.

Alanna: Although you played on our stage once before, were you nervous at all before the Final show?

PYK: No we weren't nervous until we watched some of the bands that went before us. inDiscover did a great job of narrowing down the competition to 5 great bands. People You Know have been friends for several years so, when we get nervous, we do a really good job of pumping each other up and shaking it off.

A: What were you thinking about after watching a couple bands take the stage before you?

PYK: "Oh emm gee Oh emm gee OH EMM GEE they're so good!" That's what we were thinking. We loved the Top 5 line-up! The competition was stiff, the other bands were all so different and they're playing styles varied so much. While it was a little intimidating, we really liked the stiff competition. Every band was a winner.

A: Tell me about your experience on stage...

PYK: It was all a blur. There was such a build up to the final show that, by the time we were on stage, we were just so stoked and excited to be playing such a wicked concert. Having footage of our Top 22 show really helped us pump up our Top 5 performance. We knew that we were being recorded so we were all a little more focused on our instruments and on giving a strong performance. At the end of our show the entire audience was chanting "PYK"... one of the judges even took his pants off for us! It was stellar!

A: A bit of time has passed since we chatted; what have you been up to since the Finale?

PYK: We played a show in September with our fellow Top 5 Finalist - Drive Faster. They rocked the house! In October we headlined the Toronto Independent Music Awards showcase at The Central. Now we're writing out a story board (with the help of an incredible new media company) for our next music video and we'll be heading in to the Orange Lounge studio's in a month or so to record two more songs.

- InDiscover Record Label

"Up With People"

As the vocalist for all-girl indie rock band People You Know, Aimee Bessada simultaneously chronicles and reflects the pretentious leanings of the city's hipster glitterati, from pointlessly oversized nonprescription glasses to uncomfortably tapered denim, all with a self-aware wink of the eye. So it's safe to say the irony was not lost on the ladies when they made their live debut at The Wing Shack Bar and Eatery in Whitby this past May.

"Four obviously lesbian girls playing for the straightest Whitby audience — we just thought these people would not be impressed by us," says Bessada.

"It was a no pressure show," adds bassist Devon Clarke. "No one knew who we were and they'll probably never see us again."

Then a foursome with a bluesy vibe, People You Know has since parted ways with its original vocalist and hooked its sound around catchier, danceable Bloc Party-esque basslines, soaring guitar harmonies and a distortion pedal. The band now consists of 22-year-old vocalist/guitarist Bessada, 24-year-old drummer Iman Kassam and 24-year-old bassist Clarke. All three have been friends for a few years but clicked as bandmates when Clarke, a self-taught guitarist, decided to learn to play the bass.

In the past four months, the band has played regularly at Slack's, as well as scoring spots at Pride, the Bloor Street West Festival and at Sneaky Dee's, developing a modest, yet devoted following and earning the distinction of best local band as voted by Xtra readers.

Bessada attributes the poll results to their friends who keep coming out to their shows at Slack's. "It's the people we know. When we named the band it was because the name sounded cool but everything we've done is because of our friends and the networks we've generated," she says. "I genuinely believe they do love our music because they do keep coming back and giving us their money."

People You Know has already built up an arsenal of eight songs including the gentle, introspective number "Paper Boats," an upbeat ode to scenester kids called "Glamour in the Hearts of Many" and "The Sex Song," a slow-burning jam with a light reggae groove. The trio has plans to lay down a recording with Toronto-based producer Lorne Housell, who's previously worked with cow-punks Cuff the Duke and queer indie darlings Dance Yourself to Death.

For more on People You Know check out
- Xtra Magazine

"Young, Gifted and Queer"

Head to the Fruit Loopz stage to watch some hot up-and-coming performers courtesy of the folks in Supporting Our Youth.

The stages have been a breeding ground for terrific talent - Ryan Hinds, for example - and the vibe at the event is always electric. If you're lucky you'll see the soon-to-break three-piece rock outfit People You Know - easy on the eyes, easy on the ears - named best band in 2008 and 2009 by Xtra! Magazine - NOW Magazine


we sound way better live EP - 2008
EP - 2010



As unpretentious as they are pleasing-to-the-ears, this three-piece band is easy to listen to, easy to look at and even easier to love. But don’t think that the members of PYK assume that success will come easy.

Working their way up the ranks of Toronto’s music scene since April of 2008, this band of close friends has picked up new instruments, forged a new sound together, and put a few miles on some rental cars. With shows at Canadian Music Week, Toronto Pride, NxNE and a recent win as Extra Magazine’s ‘Best Band’ of 2008 and 2009, People You Know don’t show any signs of slowing down, or letting their snowballing success go to their heads.

PYK is a band that works hard, attributing their rise to the people they know who keep coming out to show their support. Catch PYK as they continue to debut new tunes that are melodic, thick, hot and slick without ever looking like they have to try – PYK is infectious, like a plague you don’t mind catching.

Comfortable in their own skin, this trio is true to where they’ve come from. If you don’t know PYK yet, you’ll want to. But hurry, because they’re taking off and as their track “Stay Golden” proclaims, if you don’t move fast “all that you’ll get is goodbye.” However, with a parting glance like this… it’s a goodbye you’ll look forward to again and again.

Stay Golden (live)