With over 70% (!!!) of the vote for our February edition of The Showcase: Best Submissions, it’s clear that Citysleep is on to something big. With only 3 tracks released so far, but garnering more than 3,000 play on Soundcloud, you better believe these guys aren’t something to sleep on.
Today we meet the group below, and get a low-down on their upcoming projects.
The Showcase: Meet Citysleep
“We like to think that Citysleep has no genre…we have a wide variety of influences and ideas that we have as individuals”
Q: Who are you?
A: Citysleep is an electronic project started in September of 2015 by synth-pop artist Dexter Mabanta and myself Jerrick Dela Rosa. I came from an acoustic singer/songwriter background and I’ve always wanted to make the transition into the electronic world making beats and taking a production side of things. I met Dexter through the open mic scene here in Calgary and was immediately interested in working with him after seeing his set. He has an amazing skill set on the electronic side of things and was in dire need of his help since I had no experience whatsoever.
Citysleep currently consists of 4 members. Jerrick Dela Rosa, Dexter
Mabanta, Jae Sterling and Mico Javier. Jae and Mico are the newest additions to the group, helping us with the writing process and live performance sets.
Q: What city are you repping?
A: Calgary, AB!
Q: Describe your style of music, and your biggest influences:
A: We like to think that Citysleep has no genre. Sure there will be songs that can fit into any of them but we have a wide variety of influences and ideas that we have as individuals. I guess we do have a specific sound according to a lot of our fellow music consumers. We have been considered as “ethereal” which is dope only because we love ambience, reverb and airy vocals. So to be able to add that element into any genre is a really satisfying experience. We just end up making whatever we feel!
Q: Tell Us A Little More About You Submission?
A: Skeletons was one of the very first beats I had come up with that had a proper structure and feel. It was with this song that we met Jae Sterling, who shares a verse with Dexter in the song. It was originally intended to have rap verses but we decided against it. We posted it on SoundCloud on Halloween and the song now has over 3,000 plays, which the guys and I had never expected. Especially for our first release. So we decided to take the next step and make a visual for the song which Dexter shot the majority of. He has an amazing eye for visuals so I completely trusted him to take it fully into his hands. We shot at various spots in the city that took us 3 nights to fully shoot.
The video is very clippy and we thought that it would have a trippy effect, given the feel and vibe of the song itself. I’m also having this recent obsession with color and neon haze so we decided to add a lot of that in the video.
Q: What is your favourite album of all time, and why?
A: Oh man… Collectively I’d like to say OK Computer by Radiohead. I bought the vinyl for a friend for a secret santa party we hosted and as the night went on, we put that bad boy on and everyone was huddled around the player bobbing their heads lifelessly to Paranoid Android.
Dexter’s personal fave is Is This It by The Strokes, but mine would have to be Continuum by John Mayer.
Q: Who are your favourite artists in the industry right now?
A: There are so many artists killing it nowadays. Especially locally. A lot of my favorite artists are local which feels really good to say! AM Static, Beach Season, Brett McCrady, Ann Taylor and Windigo just to name a few and they are about to lift off! Any Calgarians reading should definitely look them up and go see a show!
Q: Where can we hear your music?
Q: What is the next big thing project fans can expect from Citysleep?
A: Our debut EP – which we will be finishing very shortly, hopefully by the summertime. We might hold off on releasing singles until the EP is finished so keep your ears open. This being my first dive into electronic music/producing, there are a lot of things to learn and take in, so bear with us and grow with us! We are also working very hard on our live sets. It’s a tricky process that we are currently ironing out but it’s very satisfying being able to play this stuff live. You don’t get to see a lot of indie-electronic music played live in the city so it’s definitely something we want to have down pat so we are prepared for anything.
Q: What do you have to say to any Canadian fans out there?
A: Man, this project is so early in its existence that it’s crazy to think that we have listeners elsewhere. So if there are any of you listening around the country, THANK YOU AND HOPEFULLY WE WILL MEET YOU ALL ONE DAY!
Finish the sentence: The hardest lesson I’ve had to learn about the industry is… to not worry what everyone else thinks. Keep your head down, work and master your craft. Everything else comes naturally afterwards. AND SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL SCENE!
Still fresh into the Calgary music scene, Citysleep has nowhere else to go but up. If you take a listen to any of their released songs on Soundcloud, you are automatically transported into the ambient trance world that lives in the minds of Dexter, Jerrick, Jae and Mico. Citysleep isn’t the party; you aren’t bouncing around like you just popped five Adderall and can’t feel your face anymore. Rather, Citysleep is the comedown – the post-party. You know, that part of the night where you find yourself with just a few close friends, and the only thing left to do is sit back and let the celestial, ambiet sounds engulf you until there is nothing left. No thinking, no talking, just listening & feeling.
You better believe that when they drop their EP this summer, things are going to change. With a little work and support from fans like you, Citysleep will become the next anthem to your day, week, maybe even year. And there’s only one way to find out.
Congratulations to Citysleep, the winners of February’s Showcase vote! Next up is our March edition of The Showcase (dropping very soon), so make sure to get those submissions in so you too can be #instafamous…or whatever the musical equivalent of that is.
CALLING ALL LOCAL ARTISTS, BANDS, & MUSICIANS: If you want the chance to play a role in Citysleep’s new project, the gang is always looking for other indie-electronic bands from the local Calgary area.! Hit their pages for all the contact infomation!