Brock Dishart is a Web Producer at TFO, the French-language public broadcaster of Ontario, where he works on a music show that showcases emerging acts (Francophone and Anglophone) and new music. He also runs his own music blog in his spare time that focuses on Canadian music with an emphasis on creating a bilingual environment in order to facilitate a cultural exchange between Francophone Canadians and Anglophone Canadians.
When did you start your blog and why?
I started my blog in May 2010. I had always been into music and my friends and co-workers always complimented my musical tastes and liked discovering new music through me. One of my co-workers suggested that I start my own blog (I bet they probably wanted me to stop posting shit and spamming their Facebook timeline in hindsight…) so I did! That is how my blog originally started out: as a space to share new music for people to discover.
Over the year’s though, I like to use it as a space to still showcase new talent but I put the focus on Canadian artists (although not exclusively) and on Franco-Canadian artists. I really want to help expose French Canadian culture to Anglophone Canadians. Especially because it is a culture that is so rich with so many talented artists… And I hope in the long run that helping exposing people to French Canadian culture it could help bring the two closer together. Probably a little naïve but at least I’m trying, okay!?
How would you describe your musical tastes?
Eclectic… as much as I hate reading that. I like all sorts of different kinds of music. I will say that I tend to lean towards liking female artists more then male ones. Right now I am really into Salomé Leclerc and her new album “27 fois l’aurore” is amazing, TOPS and their new album “Picture You Staring”, and Bernhari and his self-titled debut album.
where or how do you discover new music or bands?
I like wandering around music festivals by myself, I find a lot that way. Also through work, social media, friends, and other blogs like my own.
In a city with so many music festivals, venues and shows, how do you decide what you want to see?
This is one of the things that makes me feel like a bad blogger… I don’t find a lot of festivals appealing enough for me to go to in Toronto. A lot of 102.1 The Edge stuff that I am just not really into. However, my favourites are Canadian Music Week because they always incorporate French artists and showcases into their festival, Indie Week because it is always fun to find brand new acts that are still learning and evolving, and of course NXNE for bringing in the popular acts and because it is a fun time in the summer – they need to work on their French content though! I will say one thing though – We need more winter festivals!
Favorite venue in the city and why?
I love[d] the El Mocambo (RIP), Sneaky Dee’s, and The Dakota. I do think that Toronto needs some new venues though. If I won the lottery one of the things I would love to do is make an amazing venue – something like Harpa, in Reykjavík, Iceland.
How did Social Media help land you your current job? and what do you do there?
I got my current job as Web Producer at TFO for a music TV and Web show that promotes new French music through connections I made on Twitter. I got noticed because I blogged about similar content and I ended up making friends with people that worked at TFO. Through them I landed my job as the Associate Web Producer where I worked mainly on Social Media. Now, as Web Producer, I manage a team of collaborators/bloggers and work on developing and maintaining our website. I also work on the film production as well – CinéTFO. Oh, I also get to listen to awesome music and promote cool artists that deserve support!
How do you feel about this year’s Polaris Prize winner?
I was lucky enough to attend the Polaris Prize gala this week in Toronto and I was so happy with the results. My top two choices for the prize were Tanya Tagaq and Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, but since the winner is usually somewhat of a disappointment I figured Drake or Arcade Fire was going to win. Nothing against them, I just root for the underdog and really want artists that need the money to get the money – and I think Tagaq really deserved it. It’s not just anybody who can throat sing!
Fave album of 2014 thus far?
Impossible to choose one so I’ll choose a few (in no particular order):
What is the most memorable concert you have been to this year?
Most memorable concert of 2014 was the Weaves concert for SummerWorks – You just had to be there.
who is your musical Guilty Pleasure?
My guilty pleasure would probably be Kylie Minogue, Britney Spears, Kelly Rowland, Kelis… You see where I’m going with this…
You can find Brock’s Music blog at BrockPapers.ca