EXCLUSIVE Interview with CODY SIMPSON

By: Alexandria McLean | @itbalexandria 

Cody Simpson | Alexandria McLean

Fans were first introduced to Cody Simpson when he released his breakout song iYiYi back in 2010. Now, four years later, fans have been able to watch Cody grow and mature as a person and an artist. Recently, Cody has taken to Twitter to talk about his journey into musical self-discovery.

Having recently left his label, Cody has assured fans he has a new sound on the way. Canadians got a sample of this new sound at Family Channel’s Big Ticket Summer Concert. Picking up a guitar and heading on stage with only his band, Cody showed concert attenders a preview of what is yet to come.

While in Toronto for Big Ticket Summer, The Magazine got the chance to talk with Cody. He told us all about his musical transition and a collaboration project with Justin Bieber.

The Magazine: You have been tweeting a lot lately about the new direction you want your music to go in. What can your fans expect from that?

Cody: You know it’s great because I am going through a little bit of a musical transition in my career. A little bit of an epiphany almost. I just ended my relationship with my record label. It was my decision, it kind of took me like six months to be able to kind of get out of my deal and finally convince them to let me go. I was kind of like stuck in this position where they weren’t, I just wanted to be out of it and be free. I wanted to be creatively free. I am moving over to a team that kind of has the same vision for myself that I do, and that mangers like Matt and Scooter have for me as well. I am just really excited because now I get to just take control of everything and really be the artist I want to be. I have come up to the age where I discovered that and figured that out. It’s tough because I got signed when I was thirteen. There is a massive difference from when you are thirteen years old, and eighteen years old. Those five years are like the biggest learning period in someone’s life. It is kind of where they figure out stuff, and try different things because they might think it’s cool and then they realize it’s not. Metaphorically, they try and play basketball but really they are the best at baseball. I was kind of musically trying to play basketball even though I am the best baseball player. So, it was kind of that that made me realize what I needed to be doing and how I needed to be doing it. I am just excited for the future now. I am becoming an adult and I am able to really kick start my career and do it they way I want to do it.

The Magazine: You also tweeted that you stayed up late watching concert DVDs of U2, Jack Johnson and John Mayor. Will we see any inspiration from these artists in your new music? 

Cody: Oh, of course! I mean they are like artists and bands that I have been listening to since I was a little boy. When you are fourteen or fifteen and all your friends are listen to like Kayne, and stuff and you are like “Oh, cool,” and join in and stuff. You kind of forget for a moment, almost lose touch with what you know you are going to come back around to when you are finally old enough. You know what I mean? So, I mean there are artists that you just named; there are artists like Jack and John, and those singer songwriter guitarists that are what inspires me. Tonight, is going to be, I think it started to be a little surprising to people what I am doing on stage. I now have taken away production; I am not really dancing, but kind of just really focusing on my guitar. I have a little bit different versions of some songs that I kind of still have to keep relevant for the fans while I am going through a little bit of that transition.

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The Magazine: You have also been posting pictures with Justin Bieber. Is there going to be a collaboration coming up with him?

Cody: Yup, yeah. There will be. He saw some clips I posted of me playing my guitar in rehearsal and on stage or something. I cannot remember. I posted a couple different ones of me soloing or finger picking or whatever. He was like “Man, you are getting really really good!” I was actually in rehearsal at this time, and he told me I was getting really really good. I have been a friend of his for a while. We are definitely very different people, but he was like I would love to write with you. I went in and we ended up actually being in the studio till six in the morning. Next night, next night, next night…we ended up writing like twelve songs. So, you will hear, it is nice that I kind of got to play all the guitar and really kind of be the guitar man behind the project. We got to write all the songs together. You will be hearing a little more than one song from us.

The Magazine: You performed in Halifax last night, how was that?

Cody: It was good. I have never been there before. It was nice to go there. The fans were great. It wasn’t as big as tonight is going to be but it is always nice to see new places. The fans are always more excited when I have never been there before because it’s their first experience. They are always like another level of struck.

The Magazine: You have been all over Canada now. Do you have a favourite Canadian city that you have been to?

Cody: Umm, Vancouver is one of my favourites. There are a lot of Aussies over there. It’s on the west and it’s kind of closer to L.A. I live in L.A. so I go there all the time, well not all the time. I have been there three times. I have been to Toronto the most out of any Canadian city and I really enjoy it every time I come. It is good fun.

Cody Simpson | Alexandria McLean

The Magazine: You also did the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge…but kind of with a rude awakening.

Cody: Yeah, I got, I had a bunch of nominations from people, and a couple people asked me to do it. I was just procrastinating with it a little bit. This guy, and my tour manager somehow got a key to my room at six in the morning and we had to get up for a flight. I wasn’t waking up so they threw ice on me! It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t pretty!

The Magazine: If that happened, there must be other pranks that get pulled on tour! 

Cody: Umm, sometimes. The whole crew is just hilarious and the band is as well. We all just get along so well and it’s just so easy for us to play. We always all go out together and party together after the shows and stuff. We get some pranks. You know, we had this mouse, it looked like a real mouse, and they had it in the fruit platter and I freaked out! Someone put that there today, still haven’t found out who that was yet. We keep it lighthearted and stuff. We take the shows very seriously but off stage it is just fun.

Thanks Cody! 

Be sure to follow Cody on Twitter for updates on his new music!

All photos were taken by the writer, all rights reserved.

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EXCLUSIVE Interview with BIG TICKET SUMMER CONCERT Host, CALUM WORTHY

By: Alexandria McLean | @itbalexandria 

Calum Worthy | Alexandria McLean

You may know Calum Worthy best for his role as Dez on Disney’s Austin & Ally, but this year Calum took the stage as Family Channel’s Big Ticket Summer Concert host. Full of energy, and connecting with the crowd, Calum was the perfect person to string the most anticipated concert of the summer amongst youth together.

The Magazine was lucky enough to sit down with Canadian native Calum Worthy. Goofy, super sincere and crazy talented, Calum told us all about life on set of Austin & Ally, and gave us a little glimpse on some upcoming Disney projects.

The Magazine: How did you go about preparing to host Big Ticket Summer?

Calum: Oh, I didn’t prepare anything. I am just going to wing it out there. Uh, no, I just watched last year’s Big Ticket Summer Concert. I knew a lot about it because Ross and R5 have done it before, and he raved about it. He said it was the best concert he has ever done. I was really excited when I heard about it! Yeah, I just watched a lot of YouTube videos of good hosts, and tried to replicate that.

The Magazine: You are Canadian, which is awesome! What do you miss the most about Canada when you are not here?

Calum: Honestly it’s my best friends! We have been best friends since kindergarten and I really miss them whenever I am away. They are my guys. We always hang out. I try to bring them down to L.A as much as possible, or if I go on a trip, or film a movie somewhere, they usually fly out to set and stuff like that.

Calum Worthy | Alexandria McLean

The Magazine: If we had to move from Canada, we would miss Tim Horton’s! What is your favourite thing to order at Tim Horton’s?

Calum: Oh, Tim Horton’s! Tim Bits obviously. A double double is awesome. Also the muffins! The chocolate chip muffins are so good. It has the sugar on the top. Aw man, I could eat those all day! You know what? I am getting one after this. Also, Canadians. I just love Canadians. Don’t tell the Americans this, but Canadians are honestly the best people in the entire world.

The Magazine: There will be a fourth season of Austin & Ally! What are you most excited for about going into Season 4?

Calum: Season 4 is going to be really cool! It’s going to be a really big change, because towards the end of Season 3 you are going to see a huge arch happen. There will be a lot of changes within the characters. Actually, it ends on a cliffhanger! I remember reading the script and we were like what’s going to happen! This is crazy! How are we going to start Season 4? I was in the writer’s room because I got to be a staff writer last year, so I popped into the writer’s room before I came up here and there are going to be some awesome storylines. I think people are really going to like it.

Calum Worthy | Alexandria McLean

The Magazine: We actually get our episodes here later than you do in the USA…

Calum: So Austin is dead. I don’t know if you knew that.

The Magazine: Aha! So we just say the Eggs & Extraterrestrials episode, which you wrote! How was that, how was writing? 

Calum: I wrote it yeah! Oh it was so much fun, and I have been trying for a long time to write on the show. We have the best writers on the planet, so I wanted to spend as much time with them, and hang out with them, and work with them because I really wanted to learn from them. I spent all of Season 2, each day, in the writer’s room just interning and being a fly on the wall and watching what happens. Just before Season 3, after I did the Copper Top Flop Show, which Disney responded well to and I got to write that. Then they said yeah let’s bring you on as a staff writer!

The Magazine: Was it weird to see Ross, Laura, Raini and yourself act out the things you wrote?

Calum: Yeah! It also wasn’t good when I wrote the joke and it bombs! So it was my joke, and I also wasn’t delivering it right. I would say a joke and then the director would be like “Uhh, I think you got the line wrong,” then I am like…oh yeah, I didn’t say that right. It’s like you are in two different mindsets, you are either the actor or the writer.

The Magazine: Maybe not everyone knows you write for the show, so that may be a hidden talent! But, do you have any other talents people might not know about?

Calum: Okay, I can levitate. Trust me. I cannot show you right now because I don’t have enough room but I can levitate.

The Magazine: There are also a lot of bloopers from different seasons of Austin & Ally, and they are hilarious! How is it on set?

Calum: It is exactly what you think it. Actually, it is more fun than you think it is. That is what happens when we are filming, but that goes back to the dressing rooms, and the hair and makeup rooms. Or like after work, we would go to a movie. So that fun, and that excitement, and that creativity, where everyone is laughing all the time, that happens non-stop! I mean, we are very serious about the work, because usually the first hour before we go into work each day, we spend in the dressing room running off lines just making sure we are prepared for when we go on set. We are very serious up to that point, but as soon as we are ready to go to set, it’s game over. We are just laughing and being silly.

The Magazine: You play Dez, who is the funny goofball of the show. Can you give us your best joke on the spot?

Calum: My best joke right on the spot? Okay, I sent this joke to Laura because she really loves bad jokes. She thinks the worse jokes are amazing. I am like you think any joke is funny, even this joke. I was like “How do nuts sneeze?” She was like “I donno?” I was like “Cashew.” She was laughing for two days straight. I was like that is the worst joke, how did you find that funny?

The Magazine: You also posted a picture of you with the caption “Last day in the writer’s room before we go to camera tomorrow on our new Disney XD Show!!!” Can you tell us about that?

Calum: I cannot tell you too much about it. It is going to be really really fun. I wish I could though, because I am so proud of this project. I was really proud of Copper Top and this, I am just as proud about this. It’s really going to be fun, I think it’s a 30 Rock type vibe and it is kind of a variety show, there are a bunch of different elements in it. I think people are really going to like it.

The Magazine: There used to be a kid’s variety show called All That, will it be like that in anyway?

Calum: A little bit. There is a little bit of that in it. There is another project I might be doing with Disney that is a lot like All That. I wish I could tell you guys all about these projects! We really have a huge amount of projects lined up, and I think people are going to love them.

The Magazine: You are hosting, so you won’t be performing. You will definitely be backstage jamming out to the songs. What is your go-to dance move?

Calum: My go-to dance move? Uh, I like the shimmy!

The Magazine: Do you have any last messages you want to say to your Canadian fans?

Calum: Actually, I just want to say that I love my Canadian fans! I see on Twitter, people think do you actually ready your mentions? I always read my mentions. I wish I could respond to every single person because they are so awesome but I see so many of them saying they are from Canada! That really means a lot because I am from here, and all my work before I went on Austin & Ally was based out of Vancouver and Toronto. So, I love it when I see my Canadian fans!

Thanks Calum!

Be sure to catch Calum Worthy on Austin & Ally! Check out family.ca for scheduling details.

All photos were taken by the writer, all rights reserved.

EXCLUSIVE Interview with Family Channel’s BIG TICKET SUMMER CONCERT Performer, MEGAN NICOLE

By: Alexandria McLean

Megan Nicole | Alexandria McLean

With over two million subscribers on YouTube, Megan Nicole is a YouTube artist that you should have in your subscription box. Posting covers of some of the most popular songs, Megan Nicole has grown as a YouTube artist since 2009. Megan has been able to travel and share her music on worldwide tours. This summer Megan Nicole made three stops in Canada, performing at Family Channel’s Big Ticket Summer Concert!

While in Toronto, The Magazine got the chance to sit down with Megan Nicole. We got the inside scoop on her new EP Escape which is set to release October 14th! Megan even gave our readers some great advice for anyone wanting to start their own YouTube Channel.

The Magazine: What first made you decide to start posting to YouTube?

Megan Nicole: My dad was actually the one who encouraged me to post my very first video. Before that, I was just out performing at restaurants, and malls, and open mics. He was like “Hey, have you seen people using this platform to share their covers?” So, I gave it a try and you know definitely put in some hard work of just continually posting and kind of getting those first few comments and taking their requests. It became a slow build because the fans who discovered me, they were the ones who would watch and share the videos and brought me to where I am today. Here, in Toronto!

The Magazine: Any advice for people wanting to start a YouTube channel to showcase their musical talents?

MN: It is so funny to me when kids come up to me and say they want to be a YouTube star! The fact that’s a thing, and I am considered a part of this community as well is pretty insane. I never had the intensions of posting a video to become a YouTube star, but it was more so an outlet to share my music with people. I am very blessed to have the opportunity to tour and travel the world because of it. My biggest advice is to first of all, and I always say this, but no matter how many times I say it, it still rings true, be yourself. Whatever it is that you are doing, whatever kind of videos you are posting, just stay true to who you are because I think people come to that and relate to that. I think if you are putting on a front as well, people will see through it and it would become tiring to be someone you are not all the time. My other advice would be, besides trying to do the YouTube thing, I would encourage them to find those opportunities to do open mics, and sign up for talent shows in your school, because there is nothing like getting up in front of people and performing.

Megan Nicole | Alexandria McLean

The Magazine: Do you have a favourite cover you have done to date?

MN: I think one of my favourite covers that I have done would have to be, I have done so many, I have done a lot of them…I really like the You Da One, Rihanna rendition I did. I kind of like putting my own twist on that one. Video wise, I did a little parody of The Lazy Song and that one was really fun to make because I had my friends and my sister in the video. We had to do it in one take so it was pretty crazy and fun to make.

The Magazine: How do you choose which song you are going to cover?

MN: I think first of all I look to see what is hot on the Billboard, and the iTunes chart. I did that even more so in the beginning because that is how people were even able to discover my channel because they were searching for these songs and happened to come across my cover. From there, I would just find a song I connect and relate to. Most of the time it is an artist I really like. I saw a comment the other day, “I feel like you do so many Bruno Mars, Katy Perry and Maroon 5 covers,” and well I really like those artists so I think it naturally just happens because I connect with those songs and enjoy them.

The Magazine: What was it like recording and creating your EP?

MN: Yes, I recorded an EP and it is coming out in the fall, October 14th! It’s called Escape and I am super excited about that. I am actually announcing to my fans next week that it is coming out. I have been kind of hinting at it. This will be really the first original body of music that I am putting out for them. I have put out singles here and there, but this one is really special to me. I had a lot of songs recorded, and I was with a major label for a while, and unfortunately, it just wasn’t the right fit and a lot of those songs I lost and I had to start from scratch recently. Honestly, it was kind of a blessing in a sense, because I have been able to discover music that I want to create and that in itself has been an incredible journey and I hope the fans can relate and connect to the new music.

The Magazine: You co-wrote your new song Electrified. What is your song writing process like?

MN: It was just me and this other guy named Tom. Tom is the one who produced all these songs on the new EP. I co-wrote Electrified with him, and pretty much, yeah, all the songs on the new EP. It was just a really fun process. I have been working with Tom since I was sixteen. He actually did a lot of songs on the old record, which people unfortunately never got to hear. What I really like about Tom is, he was the one who really understood the direction I wanted to take the music in and he is also very patient in the sense of giving me a chance when we are writing to give me a second, and pull things out of me. Where other times, the people just go really fast, especially when you are co-writing with two other people who have written together before and they are just bouncing back an forth. Of course at the end of the day, it always reflects me walking out of that room in a writing session. This album even more so I feel like it reflects me even more because a lot of those words are words I am saying and want to communicate. I think that is the reason that this piece is special to me.

Megan Nicole | Alexandria McLean

The Magazine: You have been posting a lot of pictures on social media from your Electrified music video. Any spoilers on what we can expect from the music video?

MN: The music video just think 80’s aerobic. That’s basically it. That’s the video. My videos are very quirky, that’s for sure. I always encourage people not to take themselves to seriously.

The Magazine: What are you most excited for with performing at Big Ticket Summer?

MN: This whole experience has just been incredible. These are some of the largest crowds that I have performed in front of before. The energy of the kids and teens out there is just insane. When I walked out for the first time in Halifax, for the first show of the series, I could hear all the screams and I got chills all of a sudden. This is real! I am here! These people are supporting me and my music, and it’s wonderful to be here in this moment!

Thanks Megan Nicole!

Be sure to subscribe to Megan Nicole’s YouTube Channel and check out all her amazing covers!

Megan Nicole | Alexandria McLean

All photos were taken by the writer, all rights reserved.

EXCLUSIVE Interview with MARISSA DATTOLI from CRYSTALYNE

By: Alexandria McLean | @itbalexandria 

Crystalyne's front-woman Marissa Dattoli | Alexandria McLean

Crystalyne, made up of Josh Given, Justin Niece, Scott Blake, and front-woman Marissa Dattoli, are Toronto’s next big thing! Having performed with the likes of Marianas Trench, and Carly Rae Jepsen, Crystalyne made a Toronto-only performance at this year’s Family Channel’s Big Ticket Summer Concert that fans won’t forget! Singing original songs, and a cover of 5 Seconds of Summer’s She Looks So Perfect, Crystalyne was the perfect start to the most anticipated concert of the summer!

The Magazine got the chance to sit down with lead singer Marissa Dattoli before the big show! She told us all about how Crystalyne became a band, and fangirling over Hayley Williams!

The Magazine: How did Crystalyne first become a band?

Marissa: The band sort of formed, we met through a mutual friend. The guys, the three of them are from St. Catherine’s/The Niagara Falls region, and I am from Toronto. We have a friend that actually moved to Toronto and I met, who knew the guys and he was like “You know, if you guys are looking to put a band together, there’s these really cool people and you should really meet up with them and jam.” We worked on a couple covers, just to kind of vibe each other out and obviously to meet each other. We literally just kind of fell in love with each other on our first session and went from there. We got offered a cross-Canada four-month tour about two weeks after. We were like let’s do this! Let’s be a band! It was really fast, but it just felt so natural. That is kind of how everything started and spiraled from there.

Crystalyne - Josh Given | Alexandria McLean

The Magazine: How would you describe your sound?

Marissa: I guess we just try and to be truthful to who we are. It is kind of like if we are feeling angry we will write a more aggressive song. If we are happy and carefree, we will go for that direction. But we really just try and embody emotion and tell stories through our music, so however that kind of translates instrumentally, it just is. We are not kind of like “Okay, we are pop-punk,” it is just kind of however we feel it becomes the songs.

The Magazine: Who are your musical inspirations?

Marissa: For us as a band, there are two bands that really inspire us as musicians and people, Blink 182 is huge for us, just because they were a really essential part of our music growing up and who we really listened to. As well, as Paramore who is really doing a similar thing to us, being female-fronted and not just being about Hayley Williams, it is about the band. I think that is kind of what Crystalyne is trying to do as well, just you know not so much we want to fit into that Paramore pocket, we want to be our own musicians. Do our own thing, but kind of follow a similar path. Those two bands inspire us as people and musicians and kind of on our journey to become whoever we want to be.

Crystalyne - Scott Blake | Alexandria McLean

The Magazine: In an earlier interview you mentioned you would cry if you got to meet Paramore, and then you met Hayley Williams! How was that? 

Marissa: It was amazing! I honestly didn’t know it was going to happen. I was literally sleeping and woke up, and have gotten a tweet from one of our fans who became a friend of ours. He was like “Do you want to meet Paramore?” and I was like is this guy joking, this isn’t real! He told me he had extra tickets to their meet and greet and you guys were the first people I thought of, and if you can come, I really want you to come! We were just like “Yeah! Of course we want to come!” So it was just so surreal, I touched them! I was in the same vicinity as them! Now that I met them, initially I was so afraid, I didn’t know what to say, it was so fast! Hopefully, it happens again in a different environment. Maybe at a show environment where I can actually talk to them and build a relationship, and ask them questions about things like their career, and what they are listening to and really find out who they are as people. I feel like musicians, even the musician to fan relationship, it is about connection and I think music is a really big part of that. It would be really cool to be able to have another in-depth relationship for sure.

Crystalyne's front-woman Marissa Dattoli | Alexandria McLean

The Magazine: What was going through your head when you found out you would be performing at the Molson Amphitheatre?

Marissa: Honestly, I thought it was a joke. We found out we were being considered for it at our Canadian Music Week showcase. We were approached by Live Nation and they said they loved our show! I thought that this can’t be real! This is a joke! They were really sincere, and they sent us the offer, and we were like yes! One-hundred percent, we were going to play this show! It’s the biggest show we have played in our hometown so we are really excited and Family Channel has been amazing through this whole experience. They are constantly communicating with us and really helping to promote us as a band. It is so great with the support we are receiving from them and Live Nation as well. It has been an amazing experience! It is so surreal. I never would have thought this would happen!

The Magazine: Another surreal thing is we have seen photos of your record in Japan! Can you tell us about that?

Marissa: We basically got an offer from a couple Japanese labels, but we decided to go with Kick Rock Invasion. We combined the Navigate and The Remedy EP into one sort of The Remedy record to release over there to sort of give fans over there a full idea of who we were. We didn’t just want to release one or the other, so we combined everything and worked together with the label. I think it is doing really well so far. The first couple months we had it out there the sales have been great! It is crazy to think that our record is in music stores in somewhere across the world! It is so cool. We always see tweets of the displays and I save them on my phone and refer back to them if I am having a bad day. I am like, it’s okay, there is a display in Japanese of our band! It’s so cool, so so cool!

Crystalyne - Justin Niece | Alexandria McLean

The Magazine: You also recently started a YouTube Channel for beauty, are the boys of Crystalyne maybe going to join in? Maybe see a band mates do my make-up video?

Marissa: Oh for sure! Justin has already openly communicated with me the second I posted the first video being like “Can I be in a video!” He loves fashion and stuff so he is on top of that already! I think that is a great idea! I think I actually might let them do my make-up one day and see what happens. I think that would be a great video.

Thanks Marissa!

Crystalyne will be heading out on tour to Japan later this month! Be sure to check out their super-fun new music video for Let It Go!

All photos were taken by the writer, all rights reserved.

EXCLUSIVE Interview with BIG TICKET SUMMER CONCERT Performer SABRINA CARPENTER

By: Alexandria McLean | @itbalexandria 

Sabrina Carpenter | Alexandria McLean

At only fifteen, Sabrina Carpenter has guest starred on Austin & Ally, released a debut EP and currently stars in the new hit Disney show Girl Meets World as Maya Hart.

Sabrina visited Canada back in August while she was a performer at Family Channel’s Big Ticket Summer Concert. Playing in an arena for the first time, Sabrina showed fans just how talented she is! Singing original songs and the theme song of Girl Meets World, Sabrina had the whole crowd clapping and swaying along to the beat.

The Magazine got the chance to sit down with Sabrina while she was in Canada to talk about Girl Meets World and the approaching release of her full-length album. She even told us about the pranks she pulled on set!

The Magazine: How would you describe your sound?

Sabrina: I would describe my sound as like, it sounds weird but probably as more of an organic pop, right now to begin with. I mean we are trying new things and I think that is the cool thing about music, there is no limits or boundaries to what you can do with it. Now that I am writing my own music, I like to put a lot of my influences into it. I love Christina Aguilera and I love Adele. It is kind of just my sound mixed with my influences.

The Magazine: Your album is coming out soon, what can people expect?

Sabrina: You can expect a lot of original material by me. I wrote half of the album, and I am very excited for the single especially because we found this amazing song that kind of just really speaks to what I want my genre to be right now.

The Magazine: The Middle Of Starting Over lyric video came out recently. What was it like shooting that?

Sabrina: It was fun! We had a great day. We kind of just went out in L.A with a camera like idiots but it was great! We recently did something else for Middle Of Starting Over too, which will be out soon.

The Magazine: Dream collaboration?

Sabrina: Oooh, probably my dream collaboration would be with Adele. Hmm, and if it were a boy I would say Bruno Mars or Michael Buble.

Sabrina Carpenter | Alexandria McLean

The Magazine: You performed in Halifax last night? How was that?

Sabrina: That was amazing! That was my first time performing in an arena, and the crowd response was something I’ve never seen before. It was really a great experience. It’s also a learning experience. I think the first time you do your first concert on tour, there is definitely little mess-ups that you learn from and can use for the next show. I guess it was kind of like our test show for today.

The Magazine: Is this your first time coming to Canada?

Sabrina: Actually, this is my third time in Toronto and I have been to Vancouver before. I love Canada!

The Magazine: Do you have any favourite things that you have done in Canada?

Sabrina: Oooh, that’s hard! Oooh, I got my first pair of heels here! As a girl, that’s a pretty big deal! I have done lots of fun things in Canada. I filmed in Vancouver and when I filmed there, it was beautiful. We did a lot of filming in the forest, which was cool. I love the weather here! It’s perfect. In L.A it’s too hot for me. I’d rather be cold, and wear a jacket with tights and stuff than have to be hot and wear shorts and stuff!

The Magazine: Congratulations on getting picked up for Season 2 of Girl Meets World! What’s it like working on the show?

Sabrina: Thanks! It’s been amazing! Honestly the first whole season has been one big learning experience. We learned so much as people and as actors. We worked with amazing writers, an amazing producer, and an amazing cast. We have so many of the original Boy Meets World cast, and throughout the season we had more of the original Boy Meets World cast come and guest star. We got to do some crazy things and test out the waters with our characters and learn more about them, and grow with our characters. It will be really fun to see what’s in store for season two.

Sabrina Carpenter | Alexandria McLean

The Magazine: You play Maya on the show; can you tell me about your character?

Sabrina: My character is Maya Hart. She is the troublemaker of life. The cool thing about her is she has got this guard around her. She has got this force field around her and I think that is why she has this tough sarcastic humor. She kind of uses that to hide over her family life. It’s cool and she is a really dimensional character, and she is really fun to play.

The Magazine: Are you similar or different to Maya in anyway?

Sabrina: Similar because we are both sarcastic and I think that is what helped me be comfortable in the role. It was just like playing myself aside from the part that she has not-the-best put together family. I have a great family, so that is kind of how we are different. But I think our humor…we have the same face too. We share that in common.

The Magazine: One of the best things about the show is that the chemistry is so clear to see. What is it like working with the cast?

Sabrina: It’s amazing! I can’t believe how fast we became a family in the past year. We spend way too much time together on and off set. I really have gotten to know them as people and I think that is really important in having really good chemistry. I think the shows that do have the best chemistry tend to go a little further and do a little better and I hope that helps us.

The Magazine: We got to speak with Rowan recently, and she told us that you and her pull pranks on set. What are some pranks you have pulled on set?

Sabrina: For Valentine’s Day we pulled this big prank on Ben, who plays Cory. We are always playing pranks on Ben. You know those funny Valentine’s Day cards? We printed out hundreds of those and stuck them all over his dressing room wall and there are still paper marks all over his wall when he was trying to get them off since we glued them. We did that and oh, I had this big prank war going on with Payton who plays Lucas. I kind of forget how it started, we are just kids so I think we just decided to start a prank war!

The Magazine: You were also on an episode of Austin and Ally where you played Lucy. How was that?

Sabrina: That was amazing! I had my hair temporarily red in that because I had just finished shooting a movie in Vancouver. When I came back I still had the red hair, and I got Austin & Ally. That was really cool! That was my first time ever on a Disney set, Disney show, so that was a great experience to work with the cast too! They are such a nice cast, and they are so professional on set which makes it really easy to work with them.

The Magazine: How was it reuniting with Calum?

Sabrina: Oh, it’s fun! He is always so funny. It is like no time passes when I am with him. It’s really cool.

The Magazine: Is there anything you would like to say to your Canadian fans?

Sabrina: Thank you so much for having me. I am so excited to meet everybody and I love you!

Thanks Sabrina!

Tune into Family Channel tonight at 5:00PM for a special Girl Meets World marathon hosted by the cast! Catch an all-new episode at 7:00PM!
Sabrina Carpenter | Alexandria McLean

All photos were taken by the writer, all rights reserved.

EXCLUSIVE Interview with TREVOR TORDJMAN, BRITTANY RAYMOND and JORDAN CLARK, Cast Members of THE NEXT STEP

By: Alexandria McLean | @itbalexandria 

The Next Step - James & Riley | Alexandria McLean

The Next Step fans get ready because today marks the premiere of the second half of Season 2! The first half of Season 2 left off on a serious cliffhanger! With A-Troupe dancers having quit the team, and Elite trying to take The Next Step down from the inside, the dancers need to come together with nationals fast approaching. The rest of Season 2 will be sure to have even more drama and great dancing!

The cast of The Next Step showed off some of those dancing skills at this year’s Big Ticket Summer Concert, and fans could not have been more excited! Screams filled Toronto’s Molson Canadian Amphitheatre as the cast showcased their skills on stage.

Before all the screaming and cheering, The Magazine got the chance to sit down with Trevor Tordjman, Brittany Raymond and Jordan Clark, who play James, Riley and Giselle respectfully. These A-Troupe dancers told us all about what to expect from the second half of Season 2, and even gave some advice on what it takes to reach your dreams.

The Magazine: What can we expect to see in the second half of season two?

Trevor: Oooh!

Jordan: The most drama! The most drama possible!

Trevor: Oh, yeah!

Jordan: That’s about it. Can’t give too much away. More fantastic dancing!

Brittany: Yes, a lot more dancing in the second half, and I think the drama is more intense and I think it does get a little lighter.

Trevor: Yeah, there is some relief though. There is some comedic relief for sure in the second season. No matter what though, I think the fans will love it. The second half of season two, for me at least, some of my favourite episodes are right in there.

The Next Step - Giselle | Alexandria McLean

The Magazine: What has been your favourite episode to shoot so far?

Brittany: I liked the beach episode, because we were outside for once. Since we are usually inside all summer long. I also liked the fashion episode from Season 2.

Jordan: Oh, that one was so much fun just because we got to be so fierce in it.

Trevor: It is really hard to choose now that I am thinking about all of them. There are so many good ones. Anytime she names one, I am like “Ooooh, that one!” I really liked the Battle of the Seeds, also all the regional episodes are amazing as well.

Jordan: One of my favourites is the episode with Lamar, West and I, and it is just a very competitive scenario, and the popcorn scene is probably my favourite.

Trevor: Oh, that scene was hilarious!

Jordan: The fashion show is right up there with it.

Trevor: The fashion show was pretty sweet!

The Magazine: Season three is currently in the works, is there anything you hope to see happen?

Trevor: I think it would be cool to collaborate with some other artists in some way.

Jordan: It would be cool to have two shows come together.

Trevor: Yeah, maybe have another show. I think that would be really cool.

The Magazine: Is there any particular show you have in mind?

Trevor: Oh, definitely Phineas and Ferb! Haha, kidding! Honestly anybody to work with. It is so nice to meet new people.

Brittany: Even when we come to do stuff like this at Big Ticket Summer, it’s nice to meet all these other Family stars. They are all so amazing and cool and down to earth. It’s really nice.

Jordan: It’s really nice to see the other people that are on the channel as well. It’s really fun finding out who they really are as people.

The Magazine: You will be shooting an episode with a live fan audience. What are you most excited for about that?

Trevor: That’s what we are excited for. I am really excited to see the fans. Normally it is just extras.

Jordan: The nerves are there already.

Brittany: Just thinking about it, I get butterflies.

Trevor: I am excited; I don’t know what you guys are talking about. They will give us the best reaction. Since they want to be there, I think it will really show. That helps us while we are dancing. When the audience is crazy, we are crazy.

The Magazine: How much time goes into rehearsals before filming an episode?

Brittany: We actually do a month of rehearsals before we film and we learn as many dances as we can. Throughout filming, whenever we are not filming a scene, we are in rehearsals.

Trevor: It gets hard because not everyone is together all the time. A lot of it for us is like crunch time. We are just getting it together before we go on stage. I think we have gotten good at that, we have gotten used to it. We work really well with each other.

Jordan: We know what each other’s strengths are so we can get it done (or down?) as fast as possible so we can learn more. On Wednesday we just finished a dance that is getting filmed next week. You know what I mean? It’s like let’s go, let’s go, let’s go! So this week coming up is crunch time and we are going to have to rehearse, rehearse, rehearse.

The Magazine: You have fans all over the world! Did you ever think the show would be this big?

Jordan: Not at all!

Brittany: I remember filming Season 1 and thinking that this was such a cool show and I hope it does well, it will just be in Canada but still that is so awesome. Now it’s worldwide!

Trevor: It’s crazy! It’s insane to interact with fans across the world.

Jordan: It is just strange that people write to us on Instagram in different languages. It is quite amazing. We are very fortunate to know that everybody is watching the show and we are just happy. Just really happy about it!

The Next Step - James & Riley | Alexandria McLean

The Magazine: A fan favourite is definitely Jiley! If you got to ship yourself with anyone, who would it be?

Trevor: We talked about this the other day!

Brittany: We did! I think my pick would be Ryan Gosling. Just because you know, it’s Ryan Gosling.

Jordan: Mine was Chris Hemsworth.

Trevor: I have so many! Let me just choose. This week’s…I think I said Blake Lively. Ooh, or what is that girl from Modern Family?

Jordan: Sophia Vergara?

Trevor: Yes! Her!

Jordan: Don’t kill me!

Brittany: She is so funny!

The Magazine: This is your third year doing Big Ticket Summer, and you went out east to Halifax for the first time. How was that?

Brittany: That was so much fun!

Trevor: Halifax was so crazy.

Jordan: I think I just exploded with excitement. I was on the speaker dancing! We just all went crazy!

Brittany: We just all didn’t have much sleep the night before, so I was pretty tired during the day. As soon as the show came, we got so pumped and I got so much energy from the fans. Literally right after we performed we were so pumped, and then got on the plane and just knocked out.

Trevor: Also, Brittany and I got to go to Calgary last year and it was crazy. Also, I don’t think I expected Halifax to be as big as it was! It was massive. It was sold out crazy, so many people there! We loved that.

Jordan: The fans were extraordinary. Amazing!

The Magazine: You are all from Toronto, or around Toronto. What are your favourite things to do in the city?

Brittany: Starbucks! I like Starbucks.

Jordan: She loves the Starbucks.

Brittany: Sushi! Sushi! As well as shopping!

Trevor: I went to a restaurant the other day in Yorkville that was amazing! It was called Sassafraz. Oh, and in Mississauga, I went to this trampoline place, I forgot what it was called, but it was crazy!

The Next Step - GiselleThe Magazine: What advice do you have for children to go into this field?

Brittany: I think the biggest thing would be confidence in what you bring to the table. Especially with dance, I know that if you train and have great technique, even if you are not as strong in one area, just focus on the areas you are strong in and show what you can do. Just be confident in that.

Jordan: If you have the drive and the passion to do it, I think it is totally achievable. I think if you know, some people say “Oh I want to do this” and kind of relax and not really take it seriously. If you truly want to do something, and really put the effort in I think that it is absolutely possible.

Trevor: It takes a lot of hard work for sure, but if you have enough passion, nothing is impossible.

The Magazine: Anything you would like to say to The Magazine readers?

Trevor: Oh we love them!

Brittany: We love you guys! Thank you so much. None of this would be possible without any of you, so thank you all.

Jordan: Thank you for the support!

Trevor: (blows a kiss) I blew a kiss!

Jordan: All of us just kisses!

Thanks Jordan, Trevor and Brittany!

Tune into Family Channel tonight at 7:30PM for the premiere of the second half of Season 2! We know we’ll be watching!

The Next Step - James & Riley | Alexandria McLean

All photos were taken by the writer, all rights reserved.

Family Channel’s Big Ticket Summer Concert!

By: Alexandria McLean | @itbalexandria 

The most anticipated concert of the summer amongst the youth of Canada may have ended, but the memories will live on forever. From August 22nd to August 25th, Family Channel’s Big Ticket Summer travelled across Canada bringing fans the must-see concert of the summer. Starting in Halifax and ending in Edmonton while making a stop in Toronto in-between, Big Ticket Summer featured some of the biggest acts from this year!

The Magazine got the chance to attend the Toronto show and we have the inside scoop on anything you may have missed. If you didn’t get to attend the concert, or attended the concert and wanted to re-live the experience again, you can! Family Channel will be airing a special one-hour presentation of the event Friday September 5th at 8:00PM!

Calum Worthy | Alexandria McLean

The night started off with Big Ticket Summer Concert host and Austin & Ally star Calum Worthy, who got the crowd excited about the upcoming acts! Sabrina Carpenter, Megan Nicole, The Next Step cast and Cody Simpson were all set to take the stage that night, but first not without an exclusive Toronto only appearance from Crystalyne.

Crystalyne | Alexandria McLean

Crystalyne, made up of Josh Given, Justin Niece, Scott Blake, and front-woman Marissa Dattoli, performed in front of their largest audience that night! It may have been their largest crowd, but the members of Crystalyne did not disappoint! Singing original songs, and a cover of 5 Seconds Of Summer’s She Looks So Perfect, people all around the Molson Amphitheatre were taping their feet and bobbing their heads along to the beat. Crystalyne did not leave the stage without wishing a fan a happy birthday, and taking a selfie with the audience for their Instagram.

Crystalyne's front-woman Marissa Dattoli | Alexandria McLean

Megan Nicole | Alexandria McLean

Next to take the stage was Megan Nicole! Decked out in an underwater themed dress, Megan took the stage full of energy.  Opening with her original song Summer Forever, Megan transformed the cool-summer night into a hot summer day. Megan who got her start by performing covers on YouTube stayed true to her roots and performed covers of Katy Perry and One Republic. The talented YouTube artist even sang original songs, some of which will be on her debut album set to come out this October.

Megan Nicole | Alexandria McLean

Sabrina Carpenter | Alexandria McLean

Girl Meets World star Sabrina Carpenter took the stage next. Big Ticket Summer may have been one of Sabrina’s first concerts ever, but she seemed liked a pro. Singing songs off of her EP and the theme song of Girl Meets World, Sabrina did not seem like a stranger to performing. Near the end of her set, she even threw some lucky fans t-shirts she designed herself.

Sabrina Carpenter | Alexandria McLean

The Next Step | Alexandria McLean

Fans could not be more excited as the cast of The Next Step performance neared. Victoria Baldesarra, who plays Michelle, took the stage to introduce her cast mates. Every audience member, whether young or old, was cheering and dancing along as the cast performed routines from the show.  Fans even got to see a trailer for the second half of Season 2 coming out Friday September 12th on Family Channel.

The Next Step | Alexandria McLean

The Next Step | Alexandria McLean

Cody Simpson | Alexandria McLean

It was finally time for Cody Simpson to perform. Surprising fans a little, Cody no longer had his usually backup dancers on stage, but instead came out with just his band and guitar. Showing the crowd just how talented he is, Cody played mashups of his own songs that showed off his crazy guitar skills. Cody made sure to thank his fans for all the support as he grows as a performer and finds out who he truly is. Cody still threw back to his old performing days by putting down the guitar for a couple songs and dancing. For his encore song, Cody showed Canada love by singing a cover of Toronto-native Drake.

Cody Simpson | Alexandria McLean

Cody Simpson | Alexandria McLean

In-between acts, Calum could be found on stage or in the crowd decked out in a Toronto t-shirt. Calum made sure to get fans young and old excited and pumped up for the show! Megan Nicole even joined him on stage at one point to throw free Big Ticket Summer t-shirts into the crowd.

Calum Worthy | Alexandria McLean

Make sure to catch an hour-special of the Big Ticket Summer Concert September 5th at 8:00PM on Family Channel.

All photos were taken by the writer, all rights reserved.

Family Channel’s Big Ticket Summer Performers Announced!

By: Alexandria McLean | @itbalexandria 

Cody-Simpson-Main-Pub-2-Photo-Credit-Glenn-Nutley-300x201Big Ticket Summer is back again with another awesome line-up sure to heat up your summer, and more show dates!

Last year’s Big Ticket Summer concert included two sold out shows in Toronto and Calgary with performances from Victoria Duffield, Eleven Past One, Zendaya and R5. This year, Big Ticket Summer not only has an amazing line-up, but also will be visiting the east coast! For the first time ever there will be three Big Ticket Summer concerts! The Halifax Metro Centre is the first stop on August 22nd, followed by the Toronto’s Molson Canadian Amphitheatre on August 23rd, and wrapping up the tour on August 25th is Edmonton’s Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium.

Heating up the stage will be Australian pop sensation Cody Simpson! 17-year-old singer songwriter is no stranger to performing.  Opening up for Big Time Rush in 2012 and Justin Bieber in 2013, and headlining his own tours Cody will perform his hits off of his latest album Surfer’s Paradise. Cody Simpson will be sure to add some dancing to his performance and maybe he will even show off some of the new moves he learned when he was a contestant on this season of DANCING WITH THE STARS. Joining Cody on tour is Sabrina Carpenter who plays Maya on the highly anticipated Disney show GIRL MEETS WORLD, which premieres on Family Channel August 1st. Megan Nicole who has over 2 million subscribers on YouTube and currently working on her debut studio album will also join them.  Pop rock band, and Toronto natives Crystalyne will be making a special appearance at the Toronto show.

Stringing the show together is Canadian Calum Worthy and the host of all three Big Ticket Summer concerts. Calum is known for his role on AUSTIN & ALLY as Dez, Austin’s goofy best friend, and as the host of his own short series THE COPPERTOP FLOP SHOW.  Family Channel’s THE NEXT STEP cast will also hit the Big Ticket Summer stage for the third time with a show stopping dance performance.

Tickets for the show go on sale to the general public Friday June 6th.  Family Channel Presale tickets go on sale June 3rd. To access these tickets watch the encore performance of the Big Ticket Summer Concert 2013 on Family Channel at 7:30pm on June 3rd to catch the secret code.

Can’t wait for the concert? Make sure to check out all the acts their music videos at family.ca/big-ticket-summer.