Montréal-based band feels they're living the dream

The Day Dreamers come to Kingston for the second time

The Day Dreamers will be performing at The Mansion on Feb. 15.
Photo by Calli Makaveli

The Day Dreamers will bring new music to Kingston when they play at The Mansion on Feb. 15.

This is their second time playing in Kingston. Their first show here was at Musiikki in May 2019.

Formed in 2013, The Day Dreamers are made up of Ali Kouri (lead guitar and vocals), Tiana Desiree Grandilli (violin, vocals), Cedric de Saint-Rome (drummer), Stephanie Maier (keyboard, vocals), and Lou Raskin (bass).

Remembering their last Kingston concert, Kouri said the band was impressed by how many people came out to listen to them play. While performing upstairs in Musiikki, guests downstairs kept coming up to crowd into the small room to hear the music. It wasn’t what the band expected at all. 

Now that they’re returning to play a larger venue, The Day Dreamers are excited.

“We didn’t think we’d have that many people there,” she said. “We played a couple cities in Ontario and Kingston was by far the best crowd.”

Kouri and Grandilli started the band while they were students at Beaconsfield High School in Beaconsfield, Québec at just 15 years old. The two girls had classes together, were best friends, and eventually started writing music as a team: it all progressed naturally.

The next step for the two was to recruit their drummer, de Saint-Rome—who they met as kids in music camp. Throughout the years following, they added Maier in 2015, then Raskin in 2017. They’ve had other members come and go, but that hasn’t affected their spirits.

The band’s first show ever was a high school talent show when they were in grade 11. They loved the experience so much, Kouri says they “jumped the gun,” and organized a fundraising concert at their school for Dans la Rue—an organization in Montréal that supports homeless youths. 

It was ambitious, considering they had just formed their band, but they ended up raising a lot of money for the organization. 

This fueled the band’s love of performing, and showed them the power music has to affect change and move an audience. They were hooked, and it inspired them to keep working away on their music.

Kouri, Grandilli, and Maier all rotate as lead vocalist for different songs and contribute to the background harmonies. They take this approach to song-writing, too: each write from their own personal experiences, bringing what they have to the group to workshop together.

For their new song, “Celeste,” Kouri said Maier took the lead.

“[Maier] brought in the lyrics and then a chord progression and then we added chords to it, then we figured out the new arrangement. But lyrics are usually pretty individual. One of the three singers will write the lyrics and then maybe we’ll add on a little bit,” she said. “In terms of music, sometimes the bass player or the drummer will bring in a chord progression and then we add lyrics on top, so it’s very collaborative.”

On Feb. 15 they’ll be playing “Celeste” as well as two other new songs. The rest of their setlist will be composed of tracks from their 2019 album Forever Again—which was produced by Dave Traina of the band The Damn Truth.

When it comes to creating their sound, Kouri said they can’t be tied down to one genre alone.

“Our music is just like pop or folk or rock because we blend so many different influences and so many different styles in all of our songs,” she said.

“A lot of our music would be best in the car when you’re sitting in traffic or on a road trip. Some people have told us that some of our songs are great for working out too. I guess it depends on the song, but I definitely think kind of relaxing summer vibes.”  

Ultimately, Kouri says their main goal is to make music that touches people. If they can do that, then they’re living their dream.

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