HomeEntertainmentIndigenous artist opens Vancouver recording studio

Indigenous artist opens Vancouver recording studio

Inside a large grey booth lit up with blue lights, Talon Nadeau spits out rhymes over a steady back beat.

The 18-year old, rapping an original verse he penned himself, is recording in a professional studio located in Vancouver.

“I am new to this and learning as I go,” he said. “This place is great, as it is welcoming, everyone is friendly and it really is a place like no other.”

18-year old Talon Nadeau records an original song at the BYRC Recording Studio in Vancouver.

The BYRC Recording Studio is a place dedicated to musical creativity and youth empowerment. Anyone ages 13 to 24 can access the studio and all its equipment, for free.

“As a young person, it is really hard to access professional studios because they are expensive, but this one is great and you get to meet youth from all different walks of life.”

The studio, which is located in the Broadway Youth Resource Centre is run by 23-year old recording artist and audio engineer Sekawnee.

“This is an inclusive space for youth to record music, hone in on their craft and learn more about the music industry, ” he said.

23-year old Sekawnee helped found the BYRC Recording Studio which is dedicated to celebrating young artists. (Melanie Nagy)

Sekawnee is from the Squamish and Tla’amin Nations. He says his passion for music is rooted in his culture’s deep connection to song and dance.

“I feel like music has always been in my blood and my spirit. For as long as I can remember, it has felt like it was just a part of me.”

With his strong background in traditional song, Sekawnee started creating his own modern music at age 14. He says when he wasn’t in school. he would be on his computer, making beats, mixing tracks and mastering songs.

“All I wanted to do was make music and record professionally,” he said. “It is expensive for any artist, particularly youth, to go out there and record an album or single.”

In helping found BYRC, Sekawnee wanted to make music production more accessible for other young people. Not only is the non-profit studio filled with professional equipment that can be used to create polished recordings, he will mentor anyone interested in music production, recording and business.

“I share the knowledge I obtained from attending Nimbus School of Recording and Media. So whatever I have learned over the years, I will share with people who come in and want to record.”

Nicolas Leonidas has been coming to the studio since it opened last September. The 20-year old, who is originally from Brazil, is a singer and musician.

20-year old Nicholas Leonidas has recorded 30 songs at the BYRC Recording Studio. (Melanie Nagy)

“When I moved to Canada last year, I found it really hard to find a studio that I could afford,” he said. “When I met Sekawnee, he invited me to come to BYRC to record music and it has been such a great experience.”

The studio is also meant to be an inclusive, safe space for young artists looking to expand their musical abilities. Leonidas says he has always felt supported when testing a new song or musical style.

“Here you are free to go in and sing whatever you want while getting production help from Sekawnee,” he said. “So here you grow up as artists and you gain more knowledge and insight how to make more music.”

While Leonidas has already recorded dozens of songs, Nadeau says he is just starting his musical journey.

“I am Plains Cree, and like Sekawnee, I have a connection to music through my culture, but since coming here, I have really expanded my musical knowledge.”

Sekawnee says at least 20 young artists, with styles ranging from heavy rock to electronic dance music, are currently using the studio.

“I want to ignite a passion for music, while giving back to my community. I want to pass along whatever knowledge I have about music production as a way to support and give back to the next generation of artists.” 

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