Terpenes To Take Stage At Northside Birthday Party
Taking to the stage for the first time as a band next Thursday at Snoop Dogg’s Northside Birthday Party, The Terpenes are a group of professional session musicians who came together in studio to cover The Doggfather’s 1993 hit “Who Am I (What’s My Name)?” A week out from their performance at UNIUN Nightclub in Toronto, we caught up with each member of the outfit to find out their thoughts on covering a legendary hip-hop anthem and see how they feel about opening for an icon like Snoop Dogg.
Born to a family of classical musicians, Bessie first learned to play piano at five-years-old before picking up the guitar and bass. A professional player since 17, he graduated from Humber College’s contemporary music program and now teaches all the instruments he can rock to students eager to learn the art. Bessie says he’s covered a few Snoop songs, including Gin and Juice, but that he was particularly jazzed about this project.
“It was really a pleasure to record a Snoop track and I really loved just meeting the team at Tweed,” he says. “The video looks cool and I was really impressed with the production. It’s been a unique experience.”
A luthier and session musician, Alistair lent his guitar licks to Tweed’s “What My Name?” cover of Snoop Dogg’s 93 hit song. Alistair, lead strummer for an outfit called the Hatchetmen, picked up the six-string craft from his brother, who played in a funk band that opened for James Brown and Chumbawamba. He spends his days building electric guitars out of old wood from his family’s Midland, Ontario, barn.
“I was really happy to get the call to do the session work and everyone gelled well,” he says. “I think we have an interesting approach to the tune and I never thought there would be a chance to play at Snoop’s birthday. I’m thrilled to be a part of it.”
Joe came to know the art of beatboxing in strange fashion, while playing video games and talking smack over Ventrilo – a Skype-like voice tool for gamers. It was there he heard Canada’s first beatbox champion rip. He was instantly hooked and took to training his voice to sound like a drum machine packed with beats. Almost 10 years later, Joe now wears the crown as the Canadian Beatboxing Champion, a title he’ll defend next month in Toronto.
“Honestly, I was thrown back because everyone involved with this project was so nice. I felt really attached to the song – that it was my project,” he says. “It was fun to work with everybody and I really appreciate this unbelievable opportunity. It’s been a dream come true.”
Originally from Victoria, BC, Claire moved to Toronto in 2008 to study music at Humber College, where she met most of the other members of The Terpenes. Out of the network she gained at Humber, Claire says she’s been able to build a career doing what she loves most – singing. A member of soul-funk outfit YUKA, Claire also plays with varied bands at events and wedding receptions.
“The whole thing was very unexpected. We knew Snoop was involved but weren’t exactly sure what was going on until we recorded,” she says. “The idea of the show seems surreal, like it wasn’t going to happen, but it all came together and it’s really exciting. I definitely feel I got some street cred now.”
It was in Grade 11 at music camp that Julian first discovered his love for music. Until then, he wanted to be a doctor and was planning to study at SFU or UBC and go to med school. Instead, he moved to Toronto to study music at Humber College and he’s since gone on to play with The Arkells, Electric Blonde and Fred Penner. A professional player who can rip a flute, sax and clarinet, Julian’s a member of a number of psychedelic and jazz outfits.
“The rest of the band and I are really impressed with how quickly it all came together and what the actual product turned out to be,” he says. “I’m excited for us all to play the show together. We’re going to have a lot of fun and hopefully it’ll be fun to watch.”
Here's to Future Growth!
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