Carsey Gray and Joseph (Joey Stylez) LaPlante perform together in fall 2019. (Joseph LaPlante/Submitted photo)

Joey Stylez, Carsen Gray will perform first live duets of 2020 tomorrow

Tune in to Stylez’s Showcase BC livestream at 3:30 p.m. to see his band performance plus three duets

Joey Stylez and his partner Carsen Gray are set to perform live together tomorrow afternoon (June 20) for the first time in 2020.

The performance, which will be livestreamed on Facebook starting at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, is part of Stylez’s larger Showcase BC set, funded through a microgrant program administered by Creative BC.

ALSO READ: Haida songstress Carsen Gray premieres new single ‘Sah ‘Laana’

The rapper, whose real name is Joseph LaPlante, told the Observer he may record his performance from inside the Haida Heritage Centre, though the location of the livestream was subject to change and off limits to the public due to COVID-19 safety. He said he was planning a set of about 13 songs, including three duets with Gray.

The last time the pair performed live together was in September 2019 at the Reeperbahn music festival in Germany.

In addition to the duets, Stylez said he was looking forward to showcasing his band performance, including bass (K’aajuu G’aaya Gregory Williams), drums (Shawn Gairdner) and possibly guitar (Jaanawaat John Gladstone).

“People know what my DJ performance looks like,” he said, adding that he wants to do more touring with his band in the future.

Gray performed her own Showcase BC livestream on Instagram last month (May 16), her first experience doing so on the social media platform.

She performed eight songs in her living room with vocals, drums and backing track, including her most recent single “Sah Laana” as well as some songs from her 2017 self-titled album.

“All the kids toys had to be moved into different rooms,” she said of making way for the drums in the home she shares with Stylez and their two children. “I think [the drums] added a really awesome element to the show.”

ALSO READ: Carsen Gray’s début album up for a trio of awards

Gray and Stylez both said they were grateful for the Showcase BC microgrants.

“It’s offering a lot of artists an outlet to feel like they’re being creative and channeling that energy to do what they love doing,” Gray said.

Stylez said the program was providing much-needed income for artists impacted by the pandemic and cancelled shows.

“A lot of artists are famous for their live show. People just love their live show,” he said. “So this will keep people sharp … and it will keep the fans engaged.

“They’re letting artists keep their fans and keep their audience happy.”

ALSO READ: Bella Coola Music Festival goes online for 2020

With a budget of $750,000 overall, the Showcase BC program provides immediate support to B.C. musicians who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Microgrants paid for by the provincial government are awarded to eligible B.C. artists to support livestreaming, songwriting and professional development.

A spokesperson for Creative BC told the Observer that Jason Camp and the Posers was another local act to have received a microgrant through the program.

The two-piece punkabilly band is also set perform online as part of the Bella Coola Music Festival, which has partnered with Nuxalk Radio to broadcast its 2020 lineup next month.

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