The Pearl Company 16 Steven Street
I was invited by my friend Felicia at True North Records/Linus Entertainment to visit the set of All About Maggie‘s latest video – a duet with Jully Black! The two songstresses are fans of each others’ work and came together to collaborate on two songs. They were filmed at The Pearl Company and to be released online.
First off, I was really excited that the shoot took place at The Pearl Company, a legendary venue in Hamilton, but one that I had never been to. It’s a beautiful space and it’s hard to believe it took me this long to visit. Maggie noted the venue is one of her favourites and I remembered her telling me during our Rendezvous that it was where the record label first took notice of her. It’s a cozy and intimate performance space, and it sounds amazing in there.
I was welcomed in by Felicia and was introduced to Miss Jully Black, herself! She greeted me with a big hug right away. I feel like I’ve grown up with Jully’s music, having watched her videos on Much Music, listened to her songs over the years, and more recently, watching her on eTalk as a host and reporter. She has always been a standout Canadian talent and it was such a treat to get to meet her.
When I joined in, the women were just putting the finishing touches on their cover of Rihanna’s “Stay.” I hadn’t heard the song before but I liked hearing it for the first time sung by Maggie and Jully. A week later, Rihanna performed it at the Grammys. It’s an emotional song and they effortlessly captured that. Their soulful voices blend so well together.
As always, it was awesome to see Maggie again as well. I always love getting to see her perform and chat with her. It was a small group on set, so I got to sit back with those who were there and observe the shoot. Of course, lots of picture-taking and Instagramming took place to document the day.
For their second song, Maggie and Jully sang the Etta James classic “At Last.” Just hearing them try it out and practice before the cameras started rolling, it sounded amazing. It gave me chills hearing them sing it so beautifully. What a powerful, soulful collaboration. They chose the perfect songs, one new and one a timeless classic.
Maggie and Jully were accompanied by local musician Joey Vinegar on guitar and Young Pete Alexander on percussion. I’ve seen Joey play before when he was a member of Ascot Royals, and Pete is an accomplished drummer, producer, and songwriter who has played with Janelle Monae, among others. He was super friendly during the shoot and brought a great energy to the set. The minimal and subtle accompaniment was all that was needed and it let the singers shine.
There was a great vibe with everyone who took part in the shoot, from the performers to the crew, and I was happy to be part of it. Be sure to watch the videos – the first is up now, and the second on the way.