KIRTY is a Toronto-based musician and writer who has been performing and recording modern roots music with her four piece band, for the past three years.
Her music is a corky collection of stories with groovy rhythms and hooks that draw you in. Her voice is raw, her band-mates are handsome and the live performances are emotive and sincere.
All I Really Know is her recent release; an album recorded at The Lincoln County Social Club with producers John Dinsmore and Joshua Van Tassel (also beloved drummer). The album received support from the Ontario Arts Council and MuchFACT (for a video component) and once released, was picked up by CBC Radio and shared with a wider audience.
She studied music, made some friends (which turned into a band) and is now writing, recording and performing as an independent artist in the Toronto music scene. Check out more at:
We just had a chance to chat with Mike Berube and were extremely pleased to hear that he's continuing to propel his photography onto the world stage. Having just shown his work in New York, you can see his work in London Ontario at the start of March and in Paris for Paris photo week shortly thereafter.
Berube tells us about his latest Port Hope collection:
"Port Hope is located in Ontario Canada. The area in recent years has undergone a massive nuclear remediation and removal process. Houses, farms, public parks and property have had to be excavated for the removal of low-medium level nuclear waste leaving many residents at serious risk of health complications. This photo essay aims to look at those effected both on a personal and a physical level."
Jason and I had the pleasure of meeting this SRD (super rad dude) while working on a brand video in Bali a few weeks back and knew immediately that we had to get him on the Friends section. Not only is he an SRD, but also an amazing surfer, professional party-animal, and as of recently (congrats Nathan!), a TV producer. This guy is crushing life, and doing it with way too much style. Rather than trying to tell you what makes this guy so wicked and inspirational though, I'm going to share something he shared with me:
"Like a punch it hit me right on the nose, making my eyes well up with tears - uncharacteristically I panicked. Where had my life gone? Is this adulthood? What the hell am I doing with my life and how long do I have left?
I was 14 and at football training back home in Western Australia where the waves are big and blue, and the roads are long and surrounded by desert red plains. A good friend of mine, also 14, had just made a joke about the 8 year olds that were learning to kick. 'They were the good old days!' he said... And I crapped my pants. Thankfully my coach pointed out that my hissy fit was about 90 years premature. I'm thankful that he let me swim in my own stupidity for a minute before saving me though. It taught me that these, THESE ARE THE GOOD OLD DAYS.
No matter where you are at in your life, there will come a time when this is just a moment to reflect on. It's a challenge as much as anything else and thats what brought me to Shane and Jason of Vitaly Design. We met over a Bintang, the local beer on the island of Bali in Indonesia. The island I have called home for the last four years is also the island where much of the Vitaly Design range is hand crafted. We were introduced by a very good mutual friend, Kari and we all hit it off... This is my life - present day. Meeting people... making friends... beautiful girls... and guys that you want to chase beautiful girls with.
See, I party for a living. Not like Paris Hilton gets paid to stand in front of a set of decks in South America while someone presses play on a pre recorded set for her. No, my life is way more fun. I talk way too much and people mistake it as a talent for telling stories so I get taken to parties to tell stories. I do dumb things such as getting chased by a tiger in the jungles of Sumatra and people confuse that with being brave and adventurous, so people ask me to take them on adventures. Whether it's a night out partying or a boat trip around Boracay in the Phillipines, it is always an adventure. People come to me for the exact reason that I seek them out. People come to me because everyone has something inside of them that screams 'make the most of now'. My passion, that some people mislabel as a talent, is to help people do just that.
As soon as I press send on this email, addressed to Shane so that he may post it for you all to see, I will get back on my way, looking. I will be looking for an adventure... I will be looking for wild nights... I will be looking for music that makes my feet move and shots that burn the back of my throat. I will be looking for fun. And I will be looking for anyone else that is looking for those things. I will be looking for you.
Cheers to mates..."
- - - Nathan Johnson
- - -Shane Vitaly
UKAE is a Toronto-based indie band featuring Taylor's raspy and oh-so-manly voice working in tandem with Nickie's sweet and soulful sound. This combo coupled with Taylor's organic knack for catchy guitar riffs makes for some pretty awesome tunes that will stick in your head for days. Years, maybe. Well-versed in uncommon, tasty covers (think Pursuit of Happiness and Where Is My Mind) as well as a growing roster of heartfelt originals, UKAE's sound adds something new and different to Toronto's music scene.
Having recently finished recording four acoustic demo tracks, UKAE plans to release a full-length album in 2013. Stay tuned.
We have been rocking our del rey shades here at Vitaly Design for almost a half year now. Recently we had the opportunity to catch up with Vitaly friend and del rey designer Jake to pick his brain about starting a sunglass company. Through doing this we found out about his sick new DIY sunglasses on the iheartcrafty website.
Hi Jake, thanks for taking the time to sit down with us today. Can you tell me a little bit about what you were doing before del rey and Co.?
A. Before del rey I had a small deck restoration business. My team and I would travel around Toronto sanding and staining old and new decks & fences. It was hard and dirty work but I learned a lot through running it.
How did you end up going from the deck restoration business to starting del rey?
A. del rey started a few years ago when I got upset over the quality of 3D movie glasses given at theatres. I was so upset, I stubbornly decided to have my own made. That led to sunglasses pretty naturally. I think it's because of that odd starting point that I try to make glasses that are unique both in design and functionality.
Haha, those theater 3D glasses were, and still are terrible. Through doing this, what’s the most surprising thing you have learned so far?
A. I think the most surprising thing is the depth of work involved in running this business. I would be happy if my job began and ended with the design process, but there's more to it than that. Its fun though, I like the challenge and new things always keep coming up.
Where do you draw your design influence from?
A. I draw my influences from a lot of different areas. I'm lucky to have a girlfriend that shows me new things that excite me on a day-to-day basis. I also take a lot from modern architecture. Simple, crisp, minimalist geometric shapes are interesting to my eye. I draw a good amount of inspiration just looking at pictures of buildings around the world as well as concept art. I'm a huge fan of the designer toy community as well. Right now it's a large source of inspiration for me. I'm amazed by the designs artists come up with, and collecting toys is thoroughly addictive.
Yea, I remember when we posted the picture of the Kid Robot being painted in LV to Instagram, you were the first to heart and comment :P
Can you tell us a bit about whats next for del rey?
A. Taking a page out of the designer toy community, I've made customizable sunglasses (CRAFTY DIY Sunglasses) that have just been launched. I've always wanted to customize my own glasses to make them my own, but it's really difficult to do that with finished glasses. I made these glasses primed and ready to be completely customized any way you want. It doesn't really matter what style is in, you can design them to suit your taste and no one else will have the same ones. You can find them at iheartcrafty.com with a bunch of resources for designing them as well.
That sounds great, I really think you will see some great success from the new project. Can you tell everyone where they can get del rey?
If you want to find out more about del rey and Co. then check out their links below!