Cloud 9 music festival brings electronic beats to Kingston

Music festival promoting sustainability brings DJs across Canada to Kingston

Davies and Manchia are performing on Sept. 10.
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Cloud 9 music festival debuts on Sept. 10 and features up-and-coming Canadian electronic musicians.

Among the eight musicians are Chiara Manchia, Sci ’21, and Rupert Davies, a student at Berklee School of Music in Boston. Both spoke to The Journal on how they started in electronic music production and how they’ve built their respective styles.

“It was grade seven that I first kind of discovered [electronic music] and it was through the artist Bloom who at the time only had a SoundCloud page, though is quite popular now,” Davies said.

“I was super inspired by the fact that it didn’t take a lot, be it money or time; you can kind of do it in your free time with technology that I had already owned.”

Davies enrolled at Off-Center DJ School in Toronto at the age of 13 to take a production class. According to Davies, his classmates studying the then-unpopular hobby were a 22-year-old exchange student from Korea and a 35-year-old male stripper.

“It was really exciting for me to be so passionate about something that was kind of a niche interest at the time, and it’s amazing to see how much its transformed. The accessibility [of electronic music production] is really cool that everyone can get into it if they want to.”

At Berklee, Davies studies electronic music production in depth. He’s found the kinds of music that inspire him the most—one of which was cinematic scoring.

“I love when music gets paired with visuals. I think it creates that much more of an immersive experience for someone that’s listening or watching,” he said. “I love the push and pull between the two and how they can affect each other directly or juxtapose one another.”

When finding his sound, Davies looked to film scores like Blade Runner and band Arcade Fire.

“I would describe my sound as a little bit cinematic. I want to see the evolution of electronic music to not be streamlined in one category. Electronic is much more nuanced than it once was—indie dance is a sub-genre that I am really excited about.”

Conversely, Manchia got a later start in the electronic music scene, inspired by the festivals and DJs she was exposed to when she came of legal age.

“I just got blown away at the fact that one or two people are on this stage band moving thousands with these electronic beats—I was so new to this world and was like ‘what is this?’ ‘What is happening?’ ‘How can you bring is many people together and share one common thing?’”

In her fourth year of Queen’s engineering, Manchia was struggling with eight difficult courses and preparing to transition into post-school life. DJing came as a creative outlet for her to enjoy—she bought herself the cheapest DJ board from Amazon and started experimenting.

“I did it for no one but myself—I didn’t have any idea that I wanted to do DJing. I really just wanted to practice in my room because I was curious."

She told The Journal she made her DJing debut at a house party at the encouragement of her friends. Despite some initial hesitation, she decided to go for it.

“It’s been three years—a relatively short journey—so it’s really cool to see how I started from this little fourth year engineering girl in her bedroom to DJing the top clubs in Toronto.”

“It kinda shows you that it doesn’t matter, starting from a young or older age. If you’re passionate about something and you put the work in, you can do it.”

Manchia describes her music as groovy, minimal house tracks to lose yourself in.

“Especially when I’m struggling, I need to just breathe and forget about my problems, so I think my music reflects that.”

Now, Manchia is passionate about finding underground artists who don’t get a lot of appreciation. Her mixes often features songs with fewer than 5000 plays on Spotify.

“I think those artists are amazing and don’t get as much appreciation as big house DJ’s.”

Don’t miss these two at Cloud 9 on Sept. 10.

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