OAR: The Beginning

Having experienced what it is like to be a struggling musician, Kyle O’Shea, with the help of Catarina Rolo, created On a Roll Records in 2017 as a way to give undiscovered artists a voice. As a multi-genre record label, OARR has a wide variety of artists such as Justine Garamani (R&B), Tuggras (reggae/dancehall), and rappers such as MIC the Rapper, Baby Rose, and Story.

Located at 1195 de l’Église, the new OARR office sits right on top of recording studio, Makeway Studios, and radio show homebase, Makeway Radio.

Following the labels launch in 2017, came the official brand-new office launch on December 15th, 2018. Sponsored by Nilufar, St-Luke’s Brewery, and Digi-Press, the launch party featured various live acoustic performances and music video sneak peaks.

The first performance of the night was a duo performance by R&B singer, Justine Garamani, and rapper, Story, who performed their song “Phone Calls”. Their incredible vocals were accompanied by guitarist Sean Donnelly, father of On a Roll Records artist MIC the Rapper. Story’s smooth rapping mixed with Justine’s powerhouse vocals made for a unique performance showcasing a more modern-day pop sound.

The second performer we saw that night was MIC the Rapper singing “Money Love”, with musical accompaniment and backing vocals from Sean Donnelly. We stan a good father and son duo. In addition to MIC’s performance, we got a sneak peek at his music video for his newly released single “Hold Up”. But, more on that to come later. So, stay tuned folks.

The third and final, performer of the night was Tuggras with his song “I Cry” featuring Sean Donnelly (damn we cannot seem to get enough of this guy) on guitar and Paul Doyle on the trumpet. Though an acoustic version of the originally upbeat dancehall tune, the use of the trumpet added a fun party vibe to the song, making it different from the others heard that night. Not gonna lie, I think I had this song stuck in my head for a good hour after first hearing it.

On a Roll Records has had a busy past couple of months, with 4 big music video launches. These videos were “Where I’m From” by Story which released on December 16th, MIC the Rapper’s video for “Hold Up” on January 21st, on February 26th, “Head Pon Pillah” by Tuggras, and finally, on June 17th, Justine Garamani’s music video for her debut single “Solo”.

Story’s video for his single “Where I’m From” features footage taken around the beautiful East End city of Montreal. The video also features special guests such as Baby Rose, Anu Budz, Story, and Lady the Dog (who was my favorite part of the video).

In preparation for his EP release, MIC the Rapper’s video for “Hold up” features MIC singing along to his track and some of his buddies bopping along dressed up in animal heads in a park in Montreal. As one of MIC’s personal favorite tracks, “Hold Up” pays homage to his struggle with social pressures while trying to follow his dreams in the music industry. Following the music video drop, came the release of his debut EP “I Might Just Change It All” on March 10th and a brand-new music video for his new song “Firebender (free verse)”. Speaking of “Firebender”, this music video was filmed by Marc a DC of Minus2 Digital Media, who also did the video for MIC’s upcoming single “Strange” releasing sometime in the near future.

Straight from the heart of Jamaica, as described in the “Head Pon Pillah” description box on YouTube, this upbeat dancehall song by Tuggras will surely make you want to get up and boogie. Shot at Makeway Studios and the OARR office, “Head Pon Pillah” features fun shots of Tuggras jamming out to his song, and candid shots of other members of the label and Makeway fam.

Featuring ‘I think I’m better off solo’ as the catchy hook for her debut single, Justine Garamani’s first music video, “Solo”, was filmed in a cute local cupcake shop, Emma’s Boutique Gourmande, and features an amazing group of dancers such as myself (Cassie Forzani), Julia Ranallo, Keniya Jean, and Lauren Anzarouth. The video was filmed in one of 2 of Emma’s cupcake shop locations (Notre-Dame and Westminster), which offer a wide variety of cupcakes, donuts, cookies, and custom cakes. And do not worry my lactose intolerant friends, Emma also offers various vegan friendly options.

Behind all these great videos comes a mastermind creator. A favorite at the label, Vlad Kosky, owner and founder of NU AGE Films, started working with On a Roll Records in August 2017, and has since filmed and edited majority of the labels videos.

Surprise, surprise. On February 14th, rapper Baby Rose released an unexpected 2 song EP called “Letter to My Ex”. While on the topic of Baby Rose, his single and music video “Believe Me” released on April 8th featured on his EP “Saturday Cartoons” released on April 15th.

Once upon a time, before the brand new On a Roll Records office launch, Kyle and the OARR fam were busy bees. A few of the events that went down were Tuggras performing at Parc Jean Drapeau on July 7th, 2018 for Jamaica Day, Justine Garamani opening for singer Nelly in Montreal on March 25th, 2018 at Olympia, Justine, this time accompanied by OARR rappers Story and MIC the Rapper, opening for Nelly in Ottawa on March 26th, 2018, and on November 16th, 2018, Story, Thea Cruz, Madelline Harvey, and Justine Garamani performing a show at Turbo Haus bar on St-Denis, In Da Haus. It was also during this show at Turbo Haus where I made my debut in the OARR family, as Justine’s choreographer and back-up dancer alongside my long-time friend and dance partner, Sandrine Murray.

Skipping forward a couple of months after the launch party, the OARR interview team, a.k.a. Jimmy Bats, interviewed some great acts such as The Brains, Slik Jack, and Toronto band, The Classy Wrecks. These interviews, along with a couple of more, can be found on the labels YouTube page. The OARR interview team would also like to welcome Ryan Mendel as their newest member.

On top of On a Roll Records being a multi-genre record label, they also help out local artists promote their art work by selling paintings at their office and at events. Some of these artists include: Regimental One Ton, Kristina Hansen Arts, and Ink Chemistry. Fun fact: Regimental One Ton also just so happens to be an OARR rapper.

With every great company, comes a list of great sponsors. In OARR’s case, they would like to take a moment to thank all their phenomenal sponsors: Sixhaut, Tatsville, Le Section Barbershop, Emma’s Boutique, Makeway Radio, Makeway Studios, Ink Chemistry, Wrap MTL, 514bmx, and Kuwalla Tee.

On a Roll Records would also like to welcome to the family, photographer Chris Carpenter from CB43Media, who is known for his work with big artists such as Green Day, Bhad Bhabie, Jazzcartier, and Joyner Lucas. And can we just talk about the fact that he’s only 20 years old? This kid is going to go far in life.

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8 thoughts on “OAR: The Beginning

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