A name you should know now... Steph Macpherson

It's amazing how things have a way of falling into place isn't it? For Steph Macpherson (@stephmacpherson on twitter), the pieces are falling quite nicely.
Fresh off the heels of her top 20 inclusion in the Peak FM Performance Project (http://p3.fm @thepeak), Steph has been announced the winning "Ourstage Artist" at Vancouver's Lilith Fair, on Canada Day. Not a bad spring so far.
"It feels very good, and especially rewarding when you feel like there is a lot happening." she told me recently at a show at The Fort St. Cafe in Victoria.

That was before the Lilith Fair announcement, so that rewarding feeling can only grow. Of course if you've had the opportunity to see her live, this was only a matter of time. She's another very talented West Coast Singer/Songwriter and it's truly a treat to see her play. Her combination of keeping the audience involved, and pure musical talent leads to a memorable set time and again.

"Your live show is so, so important. Especially now. You can have great songs, you can have great songs on the radio, but if people come to see you play and don't feel like they connected with you in some way, and they don't feel like they wanna come back to your show, you're kinda dead in the water."
"A Strong "hometown following" is really important. People need to know what you are doing, and who you are at home. I love playing at home, because I get all of my friends and family out at my shows as well and I'm always seeing new faces too which is pretty exciting. Especially in Victoria which is fairly small, where I grew up and I never really expect so see new faces."

It's this attitude that makes you want her to succeed. Speak to anyone around her about her, and you realize she's just extremely likeable.

"I love Steph Macpherson. I have encountered her in person a bunch of times in Victoria, around the city, the odd house party or live venue dive. She is always friendly, humble and sweet. I think right away one of her strengths is her personability. If you meet Steph, you like her." Zone 91.3 host and owner of "The Morning After" blog (http://spintheblackdisc.com/) Jeremy Baker (@Jeremy_Baker) said.

"Stephs great, she's a really great musican and a great writer. Just a really nice person in general you know? I have a lot of fun touring with her, we always end up doing songs together, it always turns out being real fun." added Saskatoon Musician Zachary Lucky (@zacharylucky) at the Fort St. Cafe.

With her talent being recognized more and more by the day, we can look forward to hearing more of her in the future. The Peak FM Performance Project is an excellent opportunity for finalists to learn and expand each and every area of their musical careers. Cash prizes are awarded to the top 5, and a lot of loot is up for grabs (the winner receiving 6 figures). For starving musicians, cash is king, but this competition serves more purpose than just giving up money.

"I can tell you that the experience last year was wonderful for the artists and created a real sense of community that has survived the program. The goal is to help each of the Top 20 reach their potential. The artists who work the hardest in all areas of the program and show that they have not only the talent, but also the business sense and marketing drive will reach the program summit." that from the Executive Director of Music BC Industry Association, Bob D'Eith.

With this mega-talented group (including Said the Whale, Vince Vaccaro, Aidan Knight, Debra-Jean amongst others), Macpherson undoubtedly belongs, but will certainly be in tough. As for what she has to do?

"Steph is an artist and she works hard perfecting her craft and writing beautiful songs. To be a top 5 contender on The Peak, Steph Macpherson needs to write a great pop song that caputures the Peak audiences' imagination in the first listen and demands a repeat listen. I think she has done that with a couple of her cuts (already)." says Baker.

"I think she just needs to stay calm to be honest. She gets really worked up over things, and they are things she often doesn't have to worry about, I think she'll be just fine." Lucky said with confidence.

Macphersons' eyes light up at the mention of the competition. It's clear that she is extremely excited, and humbled about the opportunity.

"Everyone is saying (other artists in the competition) is as much as it is a competition, it's also so great to be devolpoing such a community with each other, and I think we will create some really great things as a group as well as individually for ourselves and each other."

"To You" her debut E.P. was released last year. She says she has been working on new material, and another E.P. is likely.

"EP's are great, cause it's not too much music. I know it's weird to say too much music, but it sort of leaves people with "that was great, I'm ready for more" feeling."

Well Steph, I think it's safe to say that everyone is ready for more. As for how she comes up with her songs?

"Most things inspire me in some way. The way it is, I don't even really know where a song comes from. Sometimes I like the sound of words together and it'll go from there, sometimes I have a melody in my head and I'll go on that, sometimes Im just strumming on a guitar or recording on a piano or something and magic will happen and I'll just have it flow out, and its just an indescrribingly beautiful experience."
It certainly is...

You can check out her myspace (http://www.myspace.com/stephmacphersonmusic) for music and up to date tour information. Almost unbelievably you can still catch Macpherson at a "coffee house" venue for as little as five bucks. Do yourself a favour and get out to a show soon, the chance to see this act at a cafe around the corner may soon be replaced by the theatre downtown.

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