Mini Desk features live Indie music at The Mansion

Students hope to resonate with crowds at MUSE event

Image supplied by: Olivia Smith
The event is inspired by NPR’s concert music series ‘Tiny Desk.’

Queen’s alumni are flocking back to Kingston to perform at The Mansion.

On Sept. 26 at 8 p.m., MUSE Magazine is hosting Mini Desk, an event inspired by NPR’s concert music series titled Tiny Desk Concerts. Live from The Mansion, the event aims to showcase student musicians. There will be a total of six artists performing, each with a 15-minute slot to showcase their talent. 

One of the artists, Sadie McFadden, ArtSci ’22, BEd ’24, said the event is a chance for her to collaborate and perform with students in a post-pandemic world.

McFadden worked at MUSE and attended past Mini Desk events when she was an undergraduate student. She said it was an electrifying experience to watch her friends on stage and see them have the chance to perform for a live audience.

“I applied [to Mini Desk] because I was like, ‘wow I would really love to be part of that experience.’” Alumni were coming back from Toronto and Ottawa so they could be part of this experience. This clearly means a lot to people, and I want to be a part of it,” McFadden said in an interview with The Journal. 

Having played at The Mansion before, she believes it’s the best venue for students to perform off-campus. Praising the crowd in the past for their enthusiasm and engagement, McFadden doesn’t often see the same level of energy at bars like The Brass Pub. 

McFadden plans to sing two cover songs at Mini Desk. One will showcase her vocal abilities, and the other one is “for the girls.” The song for the girls is a Taylor Swift cover, which she hopes will encourage people to engage with her performance, given Swift’s current popularity. 

Writing a love song about falling for somebody and realizing one will never feel the same, McFadden will perform the unreleased original called “Fallen,” at the event. 

“I think university students really resonate with that because everyone’s had a crush they like or a situationship they’re in. There’s a will they, won’t they situation.”

When she wrote the song, she tried to express the feeling of unrequited love. Once she experienced it herself, she conveyed them in the words and lyrics of “Fallen.” 

“It’s a form of therapy for me to put it all down. It’s cool if I can have other people like it too.” 

McFadden looks forward to watching the band Colour Theory, with whom she has a personal connection. One of the lead vocalists, Daniel Todorovic, Comm ’25, is McFadden’s friend and they have played music together in the past. 

Before the show begins, fans can find McFadden sipping on a “brew” and dancing the night away. 

Alongside Colour Theory and McFadden, Whitby-based band Separator will also take the stage. Vocalist and guitarist Foster McAffee, ArtSci ’23, and bassist James Carr explained the importance of team chemistry when playing in a band. 

The origins of the band date back to their experience at an art camp the band members attended in their youth. McAffee and Carr met their three other bandmates—drummer Colton Mowbray, guitarist and vocalist Carter Menary, and guitarist Carson Young at this camp. 

They playfully dubbed the camp, “Camp Rock,” in the early days of being acquainted. They weren’t always close friends, but McAffee said he wanted to be in a band with people who had similar musical backgrounds. 

“We speak the same language, but it’s also important we all come from different yet comparable music backgrounds. We all have different unique perspectives and different ideas from each other,” McAffee told The Journal.

“I always thought I’d rather be in a band with people who are just kind of mediocre musicians but [who I] get along with, [rather] than, a bunch of really good musicians that I can’t stand. Turns out we’re—including myself—a pretty good group of musicians [who] I’m proud of,” he said. 

McAffee organized past MUSE events involving Mini Desk and performed with Carr in the fall of 2022. This was McAffee’s first time performing in Kingston with Carr. 

Separator will play three original songs, “Always,” “Brumaire,” and “Lobster.” The band’s sound is nostalgic to the ’90s Indie scene, complimented by an upbeat guitar playing in the background.

The other artists performing are Grace Delamere, Beksinski, Carnelian + Hala Amer. Tickets are available for sale on MUSE’s website, costing $10 each. 


indie, Live Music, MUSE Magazine, The Mansion

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