With summer finally here and Honey Jam auditions around the corner, I thought I ought to write a blog giving thanks to the organization that helped me gain my footing in Ontario when I first moved here.
I officially moved here a year ago and I was completely distraught. I had left my band, my friends, my family, everything was gone. It was just me, my guitar and the massive province that is Ontario. Compared to Nova Scotia, Ontario was definitely no small feat and I felt like I had made a big mistake. My band was finally starting to get recognition in Halifax and I left all of it to move here, where no one had a sweet clue who I was. I became depressed, very quickly. I’ll be honest. I was not doing well. I didn’t get a job for an entire month, it was not looking good. I couldn’t believe that I was here, I actually did it. It had been a dream of mine to move to Ontario since I was 10 years old, but why did it seem so awful when it finally happened? I had gotten here on the skin of my teeth, yet I wasn’t grateful. I was angry. I was so angry that I made the relationships worse with my bandmates back in Halifax. They continued to do their music with others and I continued to get more and more angry… losing them even more than I already had. I was truly a mess and on a downward spiral.
Then, one day I was laying in my bed being my ole depressed self… when Honey Jam liked one of my photos on Instagram. I thought it was just one of those spam accounts, but upon looking into it I realized that it was totally valid, as well as I remembered that Reeny Smith (artist from NS) had been a part of it last year.
This was the beginning. I went into Toronto for the auditions and was the 4th person in line. I got there so early that I even went across the street to busk and made about $40 while waiting for auditions to begin. I was so nervous, I couldn’t believe how nervous I was. I’ve been doing this performing thing for a long time… so getting on stage to sing is actually more comfortable to me than interacting with people at a face-to-face level. But this was different. I hadn’t done any type of competition in years (since The Next Star LOL)… so this truly was a feeling that I had forgotten. My number is called and I’m actually shaking, it kind of felt nice to feel that nervousness again. I play my tune that I wrote about leaving my band “Just to Have You With Me”. I get 60 seconds to make an impression and of course, my guitar that I had just rented wont come through the sound system. So, we end up putting it to a mic which totally made me more nervous because I like to move when I play – either way – I got through the song and felt like I did a shit job. I left the audition thinking that there was no way this was going to happen for me.
Time went on and it was definitely in the back of my mind, but I truly thought I bombed the audition. At this point I had finally gotten a job and while sitting in my training class at work, I get a call from a Toronto number. I lean down under my desk and answer the call from Ebonnie Rowe. She advises me that I am one of the selected artists for the 2017 Honey Jam Showcase! I immediately ran out of the training class and called about 10 people in my family to tell them. I felt like I was finally doing something again, something that actually meant something to me.
Throughout the next 3 months, I am in and out of Toronto attending workshops, speaking sessions, visiting the google/youtube offices. I was spending time doing things that I actually wanted to do. It was amazing. Throughout the entire experience, I was also making friends who I am still in contact with today.
I may not be a part of the Showcase this year as an Artist, but I am putting as many volunteer hours as I can into Honey Jam because it gave me the chance to feel comfortable within myself as an artist, it lit a fire under my ass, it also allowed me to realize that you don’t need to constantly be competing with other artists. You need to be a team and work together to lift each other up.
I am writing this blog today in hopes of inspiring other female artists under 25 to audition for this years HONEY JAM SHOWCASE!! Head to HONEYJAM.COM to apply! If you aren’t within Ontario, don’t worry! You can send your application in online with a video! APPLY HERE!
I hope to see you around this year for all of the amazing Honey Jam events!
With that, here are some highlights from last year:
I don’t think we have to worry about there being no Sunshine as spring/summer is quickly approaching which means festival season is ON THE GO!!
I will be performing @ In The Soil Festival in Downtown St. Catharines on April 28th at The Warehouse Concert Hall with RHYME RUNNERS & JACK SHITT. I actually just discovered the artists I will be playing this show with and I am BEYOND excited as I’ve never played a show with Hip Hop artists before. This is the most amazing match and I know this show is going to be killer. Please head HERE for more info on the show.
I will also be playing @ STONE SOUP STOCK Presented by the 50th Niagara Folk Arts Festival on May 4th in downtown St. Catharines! I had the honour and pleasure of coordinating the music for this event and it’s going to be a true PARTY of local music featuring Theatre Crisp, J.I.N, Limestone Chorus, Katey Gatta & The Midnight Sons!
The last few months have been an interesting time for me. I have been caught in the middle of so many personal life questions that it was easy to find myself distraught. Coming from a life of constant music and devotion to my band, to what felt like a complete restart in Ontario was hard for me. It still can be challenging, but I have accepted this new challenge at this point and it only becomes more and more exciting.
I have taken a small break from gigging the last few months because I really wanted to focus on planning and properly executing my next moves. It has taken me a while to realize what exactly it was that I wanted to do next, and how to really mean it. Of course, my EP is something that is at the forefront, but I need more knowledge and wisdom in my life. I need to create opportunities for myself to play a role, to network, to help others like I hoped for people to help me when I was practicing my ass off and applying for festivals.
As some of you may know, I took on the role of Social Media Coordinator for The Carmel Fine Art & Music Festival in November. This was a huge excitement for me because I’ve never had the experience of being part of an actual board. I’ve shadowed festival producers before, but never was I an integral part of an event such as this. I worked on this for a few months, but the Festival President, the Festival Administrator and I soon came to realize that Social Media wasn’t exactly my strength. Though I’ve been doing great at my own social media for years, there were a lot of things that I didn’t know when it came to promoting something that I hadn’t nipped away on for years. Of course, I was always willing to learn and did my best – but the passion just wasn’t there, and they recognized where my passion truly belonged, and did something about it.
The position for Music Coordinator happened to open up a few weeks ago, and though I was tempted to apply for it, I didn’t want to commit to another huge task and not be able to execute it properly. Luckily enough, a new, intelligent woman came onto the board as Web designer, but she had more talents. She has gone to school and has real experience with social media and promotions, along with web design. It seemed as if the universe had heard my prayers, and I have now been offered the position as Music Coordinator for the 2018 Carmel Fine Art & Music Festival. I am so honoured and I feel blessed. This is a position that I’ve always wanted, and it begins now.
I now have the opportunity to directly work with the musicians that I will be able to bring into the festival this year. I am so excited to hear all of the amazing submissions, and I look forward to meeting all of the artists who will be a part of our event.
This is the position I have always been meant for. My entire music career so far, I’ve dreamed of creating and hosting a festival. This is the first step in gaining knowledge and experience in how to do so. Being behind the scenes in this way gives me a new perspective on my career, and allows me to realize yet again how important it is to have yourself in every corner possible so that when the time comes, you can do it all. You’ve got every skill and every talent in your field, and you will be the person people call on to make moves happen, as well as you will be able to call on yourself to make your own moves happen. That is what you want to be, a Boss.
I will also be helping to create one of the Friday night events for the 2018 Niagara Folk Arts Festival in St. Catharines. An amazing woman named Rhiannon who is also on the board with me for the Carmel Fine Art & Music Festival works with the Arts & Multiculturalism Organization in St. Catharines and has gracefully invited me to assist her in creating an amazing Friday night for their 50th Folk Art Festival. The Festival will run from May 3rd-27th and I will also be performing on the selected Friday evening. More details to come soon.
It is all coming together for me now. I am starting to realize that I absolutely do have the assist in creating amazing festivals and other events. The more experience I gain, the more knowledge I will have and right now, that is my main goal.
Along with that exciting news, I also have a gig coming up this week at one of Niagara Regions best venues, Warehouse. I will be opening the show for local St. Catharines bands J.I.N and Strange Love. Both bands have a beautiful sound and I am grateful to be in such a beautiful venue with musicians who just simply love what they do, and are good at it too. The venue owner Erik is also a great guy in the Niagara Music scene who I can tell has a great mind and I look forward to learning from him. To all my bands coming from out of town, Warehouse is the venue you want to play.
I also want to put a huge shout out out there to Deanna from In the Soil Arts Festival here in St. Catharines. I applied for this festival months ago, but I had no idea that I had been accepted to play. Deanna has been messaging me since December 13th. Yes folks – that is almost 3 full months that have gone by that I have not replied to her messages. For some reason, I hadn’t received a single one of the three messages she had sent me asking for my confirmation to play. She sent me a final fourth message from a different email and I finally received it last Thursday. I was so honoured that someone had put that much effort in to have me play in their festival. I have never experienced that before, and it humbled me. It also made me realize the kind of Music Coordinator I will be when I really believe in the talent of an artist. To me, her reaching out in such a manner goes further than the original acceptance to the festival. At this point, I feel like there are people who have never even met me, who have never seen me perform live that see something special in me that they know they would like to experience and bring into their event. It is the biggest honour to be sought after, and I think that this is a great start.
I am grateful for where I’m at right now. Looking back a year ago, I couldn’t have imagined myself in this position. Every day I still miss my band more than words can describe, but if I fill my time with positive things and helping others in the Music Industry, along with myself – I know that someday the pain of not being with my band wont be so strong anymore, and I’ll truly know that I’ve done the right thing in focusing on myself first.
The photo above is an iphone snapshot from the most recent photoshoot I did with Sarah Davison. The official photos will be coming soon and I am very excited to share them with you all. Sarah has been my photographer pretty well my whole career. She knows my angles well and I feel very comfortable with her. It is always a joy to work with her.
At the moment, I am currently taking it easy on the gigging side of things. I realized that I really needed to take time to focus on my EP, but also to focus on other things in life that I need to get done so that I can sustainably live off of music in the near future. There comes a point in every musicians life when they need to really weigh out the pro’s and con’s of trying to be a full time musician. Sometimes, we have to make the choice to rest on it for a while and work what I like to call a “normal person job”, save up money, and then reinvest that money into your career. It can be very hard, stressful, depressing, and honestly – make you feel like you are selling your soul to the devil. It is really hard to be an artist and know at this current time, you just cannot live off of your art. You know that soon you will, but you do need to make income from another source and that is just the way it is sometimes. For years I battled with depression in relation to this. I allowed myself to feel like being a musician was a burden. I “didn’t have a choice”. I was “born this way”. It’s true, I don’t have a choice and I was born this way. Being a musician is all I know, it is who I am, it always has been – but the thing is… it is always going to be there. There is this constant pressure to be famous. People say to me “Well if you’re not famous by the time you’re 25, you might as well just give up and do something different.” At this point in my life, I’ve finally taken a step back, realized all of my accomplishments thus far and I say hey – I deserve a moment to just get my life together outside of my music career and then come back full force. And it’s not like I’m still not working on my music. I am currently in the process of my debut solo EP and doing very well with it, and I am also the Social Media Coordinator for a festival in Niagara Falls called The Carmel Fine Art & Music Festival. I am still very busy and immersed in the music culture – I’m just not playing gigs at the moment. Before, I would have felt like I was a failure. I used to play no less than three gigs a month with the band. But now… I realize that yeah, gigging is amazing and great – but my god if my life isn’t stable on the outside of those gigs, the gigs just become torture. They aren’t enjoyable, they never pay enough to be enjoyable, and I’d rather be spending my time working on my EP or building my arts resume by working with the Carmel festival. I’ve been gigging non stop for three years. At this point, I think its very important for me to get behind the scenes a little more and create plans, goals – create more opportunities for myself through working really really hard on things that I haven’t done before. And that is what I am doing right now. I am working my ass off to become more knowledgable in all aspects of the music industry, instead of just performance. I’ve got that down pat. I’m a great performer and I know it. Of course I’ve got a lot to learn – but what I really need to focus on is handling my career as my own personal business manager. I’ve been great at creating a brand for myself thus far, but I really need to start pushing that further and breaking boundaries.
So, if you’re interested in knowing where I’ve been over the last few months – that is where. Of course I’ve never stopped posting, ect. – but when it comes to content & gigs – I am working my ass off to give you all the BEST content you’ve EVER heard from me. Content that will move the mountains in the rockies and blast your spotify’s, itunes & radios so loudly and proudly that you’d wished I hadn’t taken so much time to really focus and make my music and knowledge what it needs to be. Just kidding, you’ll be grateful that I did because this EP is going to be something that no one will ever expect from me. I am breaking down walls I didn’t know I had, I am speaking truths that I know more than many can relate to – this is so real. So please, bare with me as I make it the best release of all time.
I love you,
I am sitting at the Hamilton airport awaiting my flight to Halifax right now!! I am so very excited to be coming home… but before I do – I wanna share a few things with you all.
First things first – I got the opportunity to record the new theme song for What She Said Radio!! This was the first radio interview I had in Toronto and I am very grateful that they asked me to do their new theme. Below you can listen to a small snippet of the song! It was a great experience, creating music for someone else with an expectation that wasn’t my own. It felt very exciting and empowering to have them reply back with “We love it!” This was definitely a challenge for me as I’ve never really written anything that had no personal meaning to me. Of course the radio show is all about empowering women, so it meant a lot to me – but when I write my own music its always about experiences I’ve gone through in my life so it was wonderful to challenge myself to write something that was outside of myself.
I also got some great news that I will be performing my favourite Christmas song on Global Halifax on the morning of the 22nd! Global is one of my favourite places to play so I am excited that they will be having me back for something a little different this time. I’m also excited to announce that I will be having some special guests joining me on the broadcast. Try and guess who!
And of course – another honorary mention of my gig @ The Anchor on the 23rd! If you enjoy great food and great Christmas music, this is the place for you on Christmas Eve, eve. Please join me for this evening, I would love to have you!
As we move into the Holiday season, I become more and more excited as this has always been my favourite time of year. I love Holiday decorations, music, & family. Sounds pretty corny, but that’s just me. A corny gal loving the Holiday Season. I think a huge part of the reason why I love it so much is because of how large my family is. I definitely have at least 20-40 cousins, some that I don’t even know! My Grandmother on my Mothers side had 16 children, so you can only imagine how massive my family is. As well as my Grandmother on my dads side had 5 Children – so on both sides, I’m pretty full!! Since moving to Ontario, I’ve really missed my family, a lot. SO of course.. I couldn’t bare and wouldn’t dare to spend the Holiday season away from them – so in about two weeks I’ll be heading to Nova Scotia for 25 DAYS!! The trip wasn’t supposed to be that long, but pricing wise, booking the ticket was cheaper if I stayed longer. So it works out anyways as I am in dire need for some family time. I love my new life in Ontario. I’ve made some great business ventures which I will speak about below, as well as have accomplished a lot so far since I’ve been here, and I continue to accomplish things – but let me tell you.. I never realized how important my family was until I moved away. That sounds bad. Of course I realized how important they were – but since moving away, I call more, I ask more questions, I feel as if I am more engaged in my family’s lives because it is not as accessible anymore – and honestly, I think I really needed that. Sometimes we become too comfortable, or in my case, uncomfortable with our current lives that we forget about whats truly important – family & friends. I know I did. So moving to Ontario gave me a whole new perspective on this, and for that, I am really grateful.
During my time in Nova Scotia, of course I wanted to book about 30 gigs. It’s just who I am. I always want my name to be out there, no matter where I am. But then I remembered. When I went to Nova Scotia in July, I was only there for less than a week, if I remember correctly. With that, I booked 2 gigs & a TV appearance. I soon found myself regretting this during the time, as well as when I left to come back to Ontario, I found myself regretting it even more because I barely got to spend time with my family. Though I was grateful for these gigs, I was so focused on appearances that most of my time was taken up preparing and playing the shows. So, this time – I took it real easy on myself. 25 days, only 2 gigs. It couldn’t be more perfect. I will be playing a lovely private house show on the 22nd and then I will be playing at The Anchor on the 23rd.If you are in Halifax on December 23rd, please join us at The Anchor for an amazing evening of delicious holiday food and classic Christmas music with a Lindsay Misiner twist!
I have also decided it would be a great idea for me to record a Christmas album of sorts. Instead of paying to have a full band come into the studio to record an album, I’m taking the easy route this year. I have been downloading instrumentals from youtube and recording my vocals over the Christmas songs. I know – ridiculous… but the whole purpose of doing this little quick album is to give it away to family. Yes thats right… I will obviously not be selling them. So if you would like a copy – please let me know! I will also be uploading the songs on Soundcloud for all to hear – so it will be accessible! As well as I will be posting actual covers of with my actually playing them on my guitar very soon so stay tuned for those!
There are only 11 more days until I hit Nova Scotian ground and I could not be more excited. We will be decorating our tree as soon as I hit the ground most likely.. and Christmas spirit will be raging!!
I hope you all have a great holiday season! Remember – it’s not all about giving gifts. It’s about the thought, the love, the family & THE FOOD.
I’ve been so busy with planning and recording for my EP that I actually forgot to book any shows in November. So.. as soon as November 1st hit I scrambled and messaged a bunch of venues and actually got a date for this month. In Halifax it was simple to do such a thing because I knew a lot of venue owners so it was easy to just fill a spot on a show if it was open, but here in Ontario I am just starting to get to know the scene so it can be a bit more difficult to get someone to actually give you that shot if they don’t know who you are and your talents.
Thankfully, I did get a very kind reply within a few hours from the owner of Free Times Cafe in Toronto which looks to be an absolutely stunning venue. This will be my first gig in Toronto other than the Honey Jam Showcase at the Mod Club Theatre back in August… so lets just say I am really excited about it. The show will feature me of course, as well as another Honey Jam 2017 artist Jana Teovano, as well as Emma Lee Fleury who is from St. Catharines. I met her back in September when we did a show together @ Mahtay Cafe in St. Catharines, another one of my favourite venues in Ontario. They are both amazing ladies of song, hence the name of the event. If you are in the Toronto area on November 22nd, please join us for an amazing evening of intelligent songwriting and phenomenal vocal styles. This is definitely a powerhouse gig and each of us possess our own amazing talents respectively. I also have booked a gig at Plan B Brewery in St. Catharines where I played last month as part of the Songwriter Series that they hold there. It is a great venue with extremely nice owners and I am super excited to be back so soon. They have great homemade craft beer and its right in the heart of downtown St. Catharines!
Along with that, I have been spending the last three days sending out festival applications for every single festival I can find in Ontario. There are some that are actually in the early months of 2018, so I’m really hoping that the talent scouts from these festivals can recognize my talent with all of the material that I’ve got online thus far, and give me the shot of being a part of their festivals. I know I can impress, it’s just the fact of being given that chance to actually showcase what you can do in a live setting that means the entire world. To be honest, for me it is a bit more difficult because I do not have any solo released material at this time. I am currently in the process of my debut solo EP, so to some festival scouts that seems as if I have not accomplished much. Truth is, I’ve been doing this for almost 10 years now and I have accomplished a lot (with of course much more learning to do and more bigger & better accomplishments to come..), now I am just taking the steps to put it into physical form. I do understand that some festivals hold a higher standard – but if these festivals took the time to give an artist like me that shot, I know they wouldn’t be disappointed. Hands down.
This is actually something I’ve experienced for a long time. It costs a lot of money to get a professional EP/Album out there.. so for years I have been struggling to come up with the funds for such a project. As some of you may know, or if not.. you will now – I do have one EP recorded with my band Lindsay Misiner & The 7th Mystic from 2015, but it was done in a rush and only has two tracks on it. It is still great, but at this point it does not represent the music that I play. I am not complaining by any means, but what I am trying to get across here is that for me, it is beyond important to have a phenomenal first solo release. It can’t just be some demo that I have recorded in my bedroom, it has to be perfection. Perfection in my eyes means raw, natural, true, but done properly and professionally. The reason I speak on this topic is because I know I’m not the only musician to struggle with getting the funds to create their first official project… and when it comes to being a musician these days – you need content. When you apply for showcases and festivals and want to be taken seriously, it is beyond common that you need to have at least 1-2 releases before even applying. Like everything in life, you’ve got to do it for yourself. So.. what I’ve been doing is creating content in other ways while I am working on my EP at the same time. By no means am I taking on my EP making in a slow fashion – but the way that my funds are at this time in my life with rent, food & transit – it only permits me to work on it on weekends, that is – actually go into the studio to record and create. Otherwise, I am constantly working on actual plans, artwork, applying for festivals at the time of its release to promote, contacting media, general networking, playing gigs, etc. That is a part of the project that must be always ongoing – but as for content before the actual EP release – it is so important to constantly be blogging (not everyones cup of tea), posting videos, posting on Instagram, tweeting, Facebook sharing all of these things. These are the tools that keep and grow your fan base so that when you do release your project – people actually know about it and give a shit. You build yourself up until the release in other ways that are engaging and interesting. I know this will be a great next two years.. and I thank you all for being with me on the way up.
I am also really excited for December as I will be returning to Halifax for two weeks!! Last time I was only there for about 5 days which was really hard for me. I wanted to stay longer, but at that time I was a part of Honey Jam and had events that I needed to attend, so the trip was cut short. This time I already have taken the 2 weeks off of work and I am already making plans on who I’m visiting and when. I also promised myself that I would take it easy on the gigging aspect of things, as last time I went to Halifax I had booked myself 2 gigs and a tv interview which took away from my time with my family. It was great and I am grateful for those experiences, but for this time.. I wanted to spend the time with my family that I need so very much. So, at this point I’ve got one house gig booked and one gig on December 23rd at The Anchor, one of my favourite venues in the city of Halifax.
I have never done a Christmas themed show before, so I am really excited to pull out all of my favourite Christmas songs (there are A LOT.. I love Xmas) and serenade the crowd with my versions of their favourite classics. One of those being Silent Night by The Temptations, also my mothers favourite Holiday song. I am also working on getting a few appearances on local tv and radio around the city – so hopefully those pull through as well. There I go again – booking my entire family trip up with gigs and appearances. I honestly just can’t help it. It is who I am. And I do enjoy every moment of it… so if I’m there for 2 weeks with only 2 gigs and possibly an appearance or two… hey. It’ll be fine and fun.
Well.. I must continue with the festival applications now.
Thanks for reading,