My original band, LeftCoast, had a pretty awesome 2014. All of us musicians play for other cover bands in town, so when we get together to play our own original music, it's such a breath of fresh air.
Without letting our audience know beforehand, we played some of our own original tunes live for the first time last year, just to see the organic reaction of the audience. We got bouncing heads and tapping feet and as we finished our last notes, we got claps, and sometimes, lots of it. Oh, what a wondrous feeling that was.
I cannot wait to feel that feeling again.
Here's to another successful year full of creativity, attempts (and probably lots of failures) and open hearts overjoyed with the love of music.
Come join us for our first public event of the year, this Saturday, January 10th at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel's Lobby Lounge from 9pm-1am.
I am so incredibly grateful for everybody that has touched my existence this year. Family, friends, coworkers, facebook, twitter and instagram friends, and everyone in between. Thank you. And thank you to our dog that passed away this year. You brought us so much love and companionship the last 8 years. We miss you every day.
Here's to a brilliant 2015!
...but before the year is over, come celebrate Christmas with me and my band LeftCoast with some Christmas carols at Robson Square on Tuesday December 23rd from 6pm-9pm. Ice skating, hot chocolate, and carols to complete your holiday season - what could be better? More info here.
Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!
I still can't believe people want to write about me in the news - and in the sports section to boot! It's very humbling, and I'm incredibly appreciative.
I know I've said this a million times, but social media has really helped create connections with amazing individuals that I would never have met or conversed with otherwise. Case in point - Steve Ewen. He made the connection through Twitter, and after a few twitter messages and emails, the result is a full page article in The Province Newspaper, and an online article and video interview here.
In the video, Steve asks me a question that I struggled so hard to answer - who are your top 5 artists on your iPod? If you know me, you'll know that its the hardest question for me to answer. In the end, and because I had to, my answers were:
1. Beyonce - because she is THE QUEEN and the undisputed epitome of talent and entertainment. If I were list my favourite songs by her, the list would last 10 pages!
2. Common - because I still really love hiphop and his voice is one of the most smooth voices in hiphop today. Listen to this one - The Light
3. Erykah Badu - she is the personification of funk & soul - check this song out and tell me you don't feel the same
4. Miguel - he's on heavy rotating right now. If you don't know him, listen to this
5. My band LeftCoast's original songs - we have poured our hearts and souls into the songs we've created. Nothing released yet, but if you come to see us live, we will play them for you!
I know I was only told to choose 5, but because it was so hard, I wanted to list an additional 5 artists that I love, that are in heavy rotation on my iPod.
1. Incognito - this is one band you MUST listen to if you love funk and soul. This is my all time favorite song by them - 1975. The foundation of LeftCoast was built by their music
2. Alicia Keys - I know she's an obvious choice, but man...she started out as a game changer, and she still is. One of my favourite songs by her - Un-thinkable (I'm Ready)
3. Brandy - ask any R&B singer about Brandy, and they'll tell you that she is the queen of harmonies. If you don't believe me, please please please click on this link. Just her voice and an electric guitar - A Capella (Something's Missing)
4. Sara Bareilles - This woman is simply amazing. Her lyrics are incredibly intricate and thought-provoking. I also love her because she swears like a trucker - just like me haha! Listen to this one and tell me you didn't tear up - Gravity
5. Luther Vandross - his art is timeless. God rest his beautiful soul. He gave us so much in his time on earth. Here are two of my favourites - Never Too Much & If Only For One Night
These are just a few of the artists that have influenced me along my musical journey. I hope I opened you up to some new music today. I'm always on the lookout for new music and new talented artists. If you have some to share with me, I'd love to listen! Send me a message or leave a comment!
Have a great Sunday, full of sunshine and football!
As I'm writing this, our husky KO's things still lay around our home - his bed, his water bucket and food dish, his squeaky rubber balls, his leash, the box of organic treats we just bought, recently opened. The remnants of him still remain, and I still can't believe he's gone.
A few days ago, he started to display some worrisome behaviour - he was sluggish, wouldn't eat, and breathing extremely hard. After getting blood tests at the vet, we carried him home and he cried all night. This morning he wasn't even able to lift his head up. Our vet took x-rays and delivered the bad news - they found cancer spots in his colon. He was suffering and in so much pain. There was only one decision - and it was the hardest one to make.
He received so much attention everywhere we brought him. His eyes always delighted everyone in his path - his left was white, his right was brown. He'd always push his body up against your legs so you couldn't do anything but pet him, and then he'd look up at you with those gorgeous puppy eyes. He was such a suck for attention. He loved giving us high-fives for treats. That was his only trick, besides sit, lay down and jump, but we didn't care. We loved that one trick. KO didn't lay down like most dogs did. With his front legs out, paws splayed out to either side. I've never seen any other dog lay down like that. When he was young, we'd walk him off leash, and sometimes he wouldn't come back for long periods of time. His primal wolf instincts would kick in, and he would come back with a bloody snout because he was trying to hunt for beavers, but failed.
He loved going for hikes with us, and when he found water, he'd swim in and bite the water like it was a piece of meat. He didn't lap up water like other dogs - he'd bite-drink water. He was the most excitable when the snow started to fall. We'd toss snowballs in the air at him and he'd catch it and eat it. He'd leave bite marks on the pavement from eating all the snow. These are just some of the precious memories I'll always hold dear to my heart.
We took KO in when he was already fully grown, from a family who couldn't take care of him , so we never got to see him as a puppy. That didn't matter to us. He was our puppy and he will always be our puppy. He was 13 years old when we decided that his pain and suffering was too much for him to bear. He passed while in pain, in our arms on the cold floor at the vet. I hope that he is now resting in peace, free of the hurt and suffering he endured the past few days.
We lost a family member today. My heart aches for him. Even though this is the circle of life, you're never prepared to experience the loss of a loved one. Rest in peace, KO. We love you.
This coming Friday, October 10th, 2014 will mark my second performance at CenturyLink Field, this time to sing our Canadian anthem at the Vancouver Whitecaps vs Seattle Sounders match.
When I first received the email inviting me to sing, my initial reaction was, "Are you kidding?! Do they know that I'm the official anthem singer for the Whitecaps and not to mention, a HUGE fan? If they want me to wear Sounders gear, I will decline the invitation on the spot!" Thankfully, their plan was to have me sing, representing Canadians, and most importantly, representing the Whitecaps.
After receiving the blessing of the Whitecaps organization, it dawned on me...I WILL BE SINGING AT CENTURYLINK FIELD AGAIN!!!!
Man, am I lucky.
I've never been to an away match before so I'm incredibly excited to have this be my first #CapsOnTour experience. Hope to see all my Southsiders friends in the stands!
The Seahawks recently sent me their official footage of my anthem performance for the "Superbowl Rematch" game vs the Denver Broncos on September 21, 2014 at CenturyLink Field.
I honestly still can't believe this happened. A dream gig came true for me, and I am forever grateful.
I honestly still can't believe this happened. A dream gig came true for me, and I am forever grateful.
Fun Fact - My band LeftCoast was built to be a jazz band. Chef Alex Chen asked me to play jazz during a Bocuse d'Or Canada event and I asked a few musician friends to join me. Now we write and play originals!
Here's a clip of one of the songs in our jazz cover repertoire. It's one of my favorite songs, recorded during a rehearsal. Enjoy!
I can't even begin to explain how incredible this experience was.
From the moment I met my handler in person after multiple emails throughout the weeks (who was one of the nicest people I've ever met, might I add), to the moment I stepped off the red velvet stage after the American anthem (amid the ear-piercing screaming from all the 12s), I savoured every second of it. Felt it in my bones, to the depths of my soul and back.
Sadly, my guests weren't allowed to film the performance from the field, so I didn't get any footage, but hopefully the Seahawks will pull through and send some soon. In the meantime, I've compiled some of my own photos, some fan photos and some screenshots of the @Seahawks and @SeahawksCanada tweets. See below!
The love and support from all my friends, family, twitter, facebook, media and all the people that came up to me after the anthems to tell me I did a great job, was overwhelming. I feel nothing but gratitude - thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
One of the best tweets I received:
"@thebro88: @mariehui I'm a long time @Seahawks season ticket holder and honestly that was one of the best Anthems I've heard. Had goosebumps."
Special thanks to Keli and Omar from the Seahawks organization for making this all happen for me, Joan from Crest & Crown for sponsoring my eyelash extensions, and C, Tiff and Janine for joining me during this momentous occasion.
I hope I made all Canadians proud on Seahawk's Canada Day! I hope I get to perform on CenturyLink Field again one day!
Here's the Global TV / BC1 interview the day before the game - Burnaby resident to sing national anthems at Seattle Seahawks game
Here's a video that someone took and graciously sent to me. It's the only video footage I have of the performance! Hope you like it!
Here's an audio clip of the American anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner. Listen to the crowd roar!