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2023 NSMZ Pop/R&B Artist of the Year: Ella Forrest

by Carter Vosper

photo by Andrew Parry

This year Ella Forrest burst onto the Saskatchewan Music scene with a powerful batch of 5 soulful jazz tunes. Her debut single “Dreams” immediately turned the heads of jazz and pop fans alike, with its “Ella-gant” lyrics, tight full-band composition, and sleek production courtesy of Riley McLennan. This was shortly followed up by her full 5-song EP, “Butterflies”. 

Having been accepted into this years batch of artists for the RAD (Recording Artist Development) program put on by the Creative City Centre in Regina, she took full advantage of her allotted month to give the best of her SoundCloud demos the full studio treatment they deserved, while also creating some stunning visuals with photographer Michael Scraper, including an upcoming music video. For many in the Regina scene, the release of these songs to streaming platforms was a long time coming. For those outside of this circle though, this EP came seemingly out of nowhere, and instantly made it onto every R&B playlist in their libraries. 

She also proved her chops in a live performance setting, first with a single release party held at the Artesian in Regina, followed by an electric EP release mini-tour of Regina and Saskatoon at The Exchange and Blackrose Whiskey Club, along with her 7-piece backing band, consisting of lifelong friends from Jake and the Kid, along with some other Regina musicians. The response to these shows was nothing short of stunning, and undoubtedly expanded her audience in North Sask. 

We impatiently wait for what she cooks up for her next release, and congratulate her on an explosive first few months of the “official” start to her career. 

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