Published May 26, 2009Over the years, Honey Jam, the all-female Canadian talent showcase, has been responsible for providing a launching pad for some of the country's most successful musical artists. Now in existence for 14 years, the event is returning for 2009 and will be holding auditions on June 14 at the Mod Club (722 College St.) in Toronto beginning at 2 p.m.
While the perception of Honey Jam is sometimes linked to it being a local event, the scope of the event has actually broadened since its inception to be national in scope and admits performers from all genres, spanning rock to hip hop and underlining its relevance. In 2007, Universal Music Canada released a Honey Jams compilation in conjunction with the event and last year 2008 Honey Jam performers hailed from Regina, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.
"There will always be artists looking for a place to be heard, and now that Canadian Idol has been cancelled, we're the only national talent search, so we're definitely still very relevant and necessary," says PhemPhat CEO Ebonnie Rowe, who has been the creative and organizational force behind Honey Jam since its inception.
Indeed, a look at past performers who have performed at the showcase confirms Rowe's point of view. Most strikingly, a then-unknown Nelly Furtado jumped on stage at the 1997 Honey Jam and later that night met her future producer and manager who were in the audience. Additionally, artists such as Jully Black were staple participants in the early years and were able to hone their artistry within an understanding environment. Both these artists were able to cultivate their own distinctive stage presence, a definite attribute anyone wishing to attend the Honey Jam audition should possess.
"Karaoke," says Rowe, when asked what is the biggest mistake potential Honey Jam performers make. "We're not looking for impersonations of established artists, we're looking for originality, so even if you're doing a cover, make it your own."
If they make it through the auditions, the artists will attend a Honey Jam Boot Camp, which provides intensive professional development sessions before performing along with the other selected artists at the Honey Jam concert on August 16.
For more information on Honey Jam, interested artists should visit the website here, and if they are unable to attend the nationwide call to audition on June 14 in Toronto, artists are encouraged to send a YouTube video link of their performance.