Calgary's Midwest Mindset includes Red Deer in their spring line up. They perform next month at Bo's Bar and Grill.

Calgary's Midwest Mindset includes Red Deer in their spring line up. They perform next month at Bo's Bar and Grill.

Calgary’s Midwest Mindset to perform at Bo’s next month

Red Deer originals chosen as top 25 groups in Canada, Mindset plays June 10th

  • May. 26, 2016 7:00 p.m.

BY MARK WEBER

Soon to perform in Red Deer, Calgary band Midwest Mindset was recently selected as one of the top 25 groups in Canada for their CBC Searchlight competition.

They are gearing up for a show at Bo’s on June 10th. Other highlights coming up include the release of a new music video for Footsteps.

“We were chosen as number one from the Calgary and Southern Alberta region,” said Travis Omen, who is an Emcee with the band. Rounding out the slate of the band’s membership are Jared Buote (keyboards), ‘Danny Epic’ Atsbaha (emcee); ‘BenOfficial’ Larsen (turntablist), Berkley Roth (guitarist/vocalist) and Jordan Swanson (drummers).

The guys have roots in Red Deer as well.

“We are all Red Deer born and raised, but moved to Calgary in recent years,” he said.

The band had hopes of advancing to the top four in the CBC competition, but it wasn’t to be. Still, ending up as one of the top 25 groups in Canada was and is a tremendous accomplishment. Not to mention they took the number one spot in Calgary and southern Alberta as well out of about 200 bands in that particular region.

Meanwhile, what started out as more than 2,000 Searchlight submissions from across the country has now been whittled down to four finalists.

“Even when we got to the top 10 in Calgary, we thought that was huge,” he said, adding it was quite unexpected.

Midwest Mindset was formed in 2011 out of the young but growing culture of Canadian hip-hop music.

“We have managed to stay relevant and active, performing over 60 shows around Alberta and British Columbia, all while retaining an unprocessed original style,” note the band’s web site. “We can proudly say that we were one of the very first groups in Alberta to perform original hip-hop music written and composed by a full band.

“We have organized and played dozens of genre-mash shows that brought together fans from all forms of music: metal bands playing with jazz bands and rappers playing with punk bands. Together, through musical expression, we have seen the unity music can bring, even amongst the most diverse areas of Alberta’s subculture.”

Since forming, Midwest Mindset has also successfully produced an EP and a full length album composed of all original songs, four high quality music videos and independently embarked on two western Canadian tours.

Omen recalls the beginnings of group as essentially bringing two sets of artists together. Things clicked pretty much from the get-go.

In his own life, he recalls having a desire to entertain from early on. “I think I always wanted to entertain onstage be in the talent shows at school.” During his middle school years is really when he started delving into hip hop.

“That was kind of the direction that I wanted to take,” he explained. “Me, Danny and Ben all performed in the Grade 12 Lindsay Thurber Idol. So we started focusing on making music in high school.

“From when I was young, something just drew me to it,” he says of the band’s selected genre. “I think there is a lot of truth in the lyrics and with the right production and the beats, I think it’s always been catchy and different compared to other genres.

“And for me, the lyrics matter more than the beats.”

As to the physical demands of rapping it takes more than people might think.

“Especially when it’s live being able to have breath control and crowd control and doing that for an hour-long set can definitely be demanding,” he said. “It’s about practice it took a lot of time to get it down pat where we are able to get through a full verse without stopping for breath or anything like that,” he added with a laugh. It’s also about the quality of the words. “I think a lot of it is in writing the lyrics you’re not going to have those lyrics come through clearly if they’re not written properly and there isn’t a cadence and a structure to how you write the verses,” he said, adding that the group’s songs spring from a collaborative effort.

Meanwhile, with their recent video Erasing My Mind gaining over 10,000 views in under one month, and a follow-up video for Footsteps already on its way, 2016 is shaping up to be the band’s breakthrough year.

The band had this to say about Erasing My Mind on the CBC Searchlight web site Erasing My Mind was an unexpected stand out song from our debut album 1313.

“It was one of the first songs recorded for the project and initially we didn’t expect a lot of feedback or support. However, once we started performing the song live and hearing from friends and fans, we knew the track contained something special.

“By blending the raw lyrical side of hip-hop with live instrumentation usually reserved for rock ‘n’ roll we feel we can convey a message that is true to our Alberta roots, yet relatable across Canada and maybe worldwide.”

Indeed and that pretty much sums up their vision to this point and in moving forward as well.

“It’s about having that goal in front of you to progress and go further. I think that’s what kind of drives us to keep making music and keep on getting bigger and better.”

Check out www.midwestmindset.ca.

editor@reddeerexpress.com

 

Just Posted

The Government of Alberta identified 115 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, bringing the provincial total to 3,089.
(Black Press file photo)
Red Deer drops to 71 active cases of COVID-19

Province adds 127 new cases of the virus

Police officers and their dogs undergo training at the RCMP Police Dog Services training centre in Innisfail, Alta., on Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Mounties say they are searching for an armed and dangerous man near a provincial park in northern Alberta who is believed to have shot and killed a service dog during a police chase. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
RCMP search for armed man in northern Alberta after police dog shot and killed

Cpl. Deanna Fontaine says a police service dog named Jago was shot during the pursuit

Alberta now has 2,336 active cases of COVID-19, with 237 people in hospital, including 58 in intensive care. (Black Press file photo)
Red Deer down to 73 active cases of COVID-19, lowest since early November

The Central zone has 253 active cases of the virus

The Sylvan Lake Gulls show off the home jerseys (white) and their way jerseys at the Gulls Media Day on June 17, before the season opener. Following the media day, the team took to the field for their first practise. (Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News)
Sylvan Lake Gulls ready to throw first pitch as construction continues

The Gulls inaugural season kicks off June 18 with a game against the Edmonton Prospects

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

The federal government says it wants to ban most flavoured vaping products in a bid to reduce their appeal to youth. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Craig Mitchelldyer
Health Canada proposes ban on most vaping flavours it says appeal to youth

If implemented, the regulations would restrict all e-cigarette flavours except tobacco, mint and menthol

The Montreal Police logo is seen in Montreal on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Some Quebec politicians are calling for an investigation after a video was released that appears to show a Montreal police officer with his leg on a young Black man’s neck during an arrest. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Probe called for after video appearing to show Montreal officer’s knee on Black youth’s neck

Politicians call for investigation after clip evokes memories of George Floyd incident

Most Read