With The JUNO Awards fast approaching, a distinct buzz can be heard around Hamilton. You can feel the excitement in the air, and almost see it rising in a cloud over downtown, palpable with hope and intensity.
Recently, The JUNOs Turn It On Songwriter Contest tapped into the creative spirit that is circling the city with a call for local musicians to record and submit a theme song for the awards. Presented by Judy Marsales Ltd., over 60 original songs were submitted to the Host Committee, showcasing talent across all genres. Judges Boris Brott, Terra Lightfoot, and Steve Strongman selected a winner on-air after a live competition on Cable 14 on February 18th – Kirby, Hachey the MouthPEACE, and Ace Bailey won with their song “Turn It On.” The contest didn’t end there – polls for the Fan Favourite Contest were open online until last weekend, with votes being cast until March 2nd. The momentum sparked by this project continues to burn and it was just announced this morning that 110 Studios took the Fan Favourite title.
Anthony DiDomenico, Joanna Bis, Dre Pao, and Don Carlo from 110 Studios have big plans for their JUNO 2015 Theme Song. They have already released a lyric video for their track, recorded in collaboration at 110 Studios on the Stoney Creek mountain. This first video features drone footage of Hamilton, an ariel view of the city shot by local videographer Moe Masoudi. DiDomenico and his collaborators contacted Masoudi after seeing his footage online and envisioning it as a part of their design.
The group has a powerful and synergistic outlook on their project, and on the city and its future. The musicians were already looking for a project to sink their teeth into when they heard about the JUNO contest, and immediately knew it was the perfect vehicle for the creative energy they had been harbouring. They have been reaching out to local businesses to get involved in the video they are filming, to taking the contest and giving it back to the city. They say that from the beginning, people have wanted to help. Starting with Masoudi donating his drone footage, he then edited it for their lyric video for free and even renamed his video to reflect its new vocation. The surrounding community wants to help, with people and businesses offering donations and support. Bis describes it it as a “chain effect of intention,” where they have found themselves aligned with local businesses that share the same values and intention. She has been surprised by how easy it has been for them – there has been no red tape to get through, no pushback from any of the partners they have been working with. Everyone seems to have the same vision, which is one of help, support, and community.
Both DiDomenico and Bis agree that they would have continued with this video even if they didn’t place as a finalist in the Songwriter Contest – the movement has gathered a momentum of its own, and the energy is unstoppable. Through making the video, they have been in contact with various members the community they may not otherwise have met. Inspired by a metaphoric quote from a 5 year old girl, they are also encouraging the community to ask children what they think about the future of Hamilton, and to Tweet the replies with #WhatKidsSayAboutHamilton.
Plans for the immediate future include a music video featuring as many local businesses as possible. They want to showcase the aspects of the city that inspire them, and the lyrics of their theme song reflect the entrepreneurial spirit they aim to capture and showcase – anything is possible if you believe. As young adults, this is their way to give back and to promote others. Their motives are pure, cemented by a vision inspired by the law of positive attraction and good intention. They believe that by doing what they love and connecting with other people who share the same perception, they will create genuine relationships that will serve as fuel for what DiDomenico calls a “passion with a purpose”. When asked about the future of their project, Bis says they are making lots of connections and that “there is no reason for it not to be successful”.