The Famly
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The Famly

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | SELF

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Band Blues Soul




"Turning Up The Volume On Ryerson's Music Community"

Whiteonblackinc isn't the only supporter of music-related ventures on campus. Professor Paul Swoger-Ruston, academic coordinator for the Chang School of Music and a part-time lecturer, is credited with being a catalyst for Ryerson-grown music success.

During his second year at Ryerson, arts and contemporary studies student Mark Calderone teamed up with long-time friends and fellow Ryerson students Elie Maalouf and Robert Riccio to start a band, The Family. In the last year and a half, all three students have balanced both school and music and have released two albums.

The Family says Swoger-Ruston is partly responsible for their success. “I’ve taken a bunch of classes with Paul and he’s very accommodating to students,” says Calderone.

While the university does have a growing music community, it's still without a music program. Gerd Hauck, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Design, is optimistic about a music program at Ryerson in the future. Hauck recognizes the complications of setting up a new undergraduate program at Ryerson, but has faith that these things can be overcome if students show their interest.

And that’s exactly what the musical talent at Ryerson is striving for.

“This is the first year we’ve really opened our mouths about ourselves at Ryerson and things have been happening…people are digging our music,” Maalouf says. “I wish we opened our mouths a little sooner. Although there isn’t a music program, there is a music community.” - Ryersonian Newspaper


Album: The Middle of Everywhere
Released: September 2010

Album: Livin'
Released: September 2011



A party has been brewing in the basements of this generation for some time now, and the celebration has gone on without a soundtrack for far too long. Enter the band that knows there’s no ‘I’ in Famly. The group draws heavily from the spirits of Motown, carrying on the soul tradition in their lively, dance-inspiring tunes. Pop and blues come together in their content as fast-paced, funky guitar riffs are accented by heavy, nearly hip hop drum beats. The keyboard, bass, and horns flow together between this rhythm and melody, layering the songs to create a sonic wall of uplifting sound.

Greet the leaders of the soul revolution, the chiefs of the groove movement, your relatives in the rebellion, and your kin in the good kind of sin. Every night they throw a bash in the honour of youth and you, so meet your joyful hosts.

Breathing air through twisted brass, blowing out the frustrations we repress, telling of the power that can come from the lungs, are Ernesto Barahona on the trombone and Aubrey McGee on the tenor saxophone. On the drums Rob Riccio pounds the skins with the elated force of a man trying to rumble the floor beneath your feet. Greg Calderone takes the phrase playing the piano to heart, as he hammers the keys with the enlivened bliss of a boy just being let out for recess. And if you need a way to the show, don’t fret, just ride the ripples running on the sound waves flowing from Elie Maalouf’s sultry bass lines. Summoning the spirits of old-time rhythm and blues Mark Calderone’s voice will inspire you to pull someone close, and his guitar playing will give you the courage to whisper something in their ear.

The band is made up of these six young men, but the Famly is ever growing, so here’s to you, the newest brother or sister. Welcome to the party. Welcome to The Famly.