Mathew V stepped out on to the stage Friday night with energy and confidence and went straight into his first song. Based on his style, I was expecting more of a rock or perhaps blues style. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised with his chill, pop sound.
It’s actually a bit of a challenge to peg his genre – even he says so. He’s previously written that it’s hard to place his music; he just has his own style. However, if you can imagine melding all his influences together (Fleetwood Mac, Adele, Amy Winehouse, old school soul, gospel), that’s how he sounds – and it’s good.
A Vancouver boy, born and raised, Mathew told the crowd how happy he was to be performing in his hometown. He sang a mix of covers (Britney Spears’ “Hit Me Baby One More Time” was definitely my favourite) as well as his original music. He brought his own flare to the covers, and though his original songs were a bit different, they were creative and heartfelt.
As the lights in the Rio dimmed, mothers with their daughters and other packs of young teenage girls swarmed to the stage to get a better glimpse. Daya then walked out to joyous screams and chanting. She began the night with “Dare,” and continued through the rest of her new album, Sit Still, Look Pretty, which was released in October 2016.
Many of Daya’s songs are about her struggles with love, whether it’s falling too hard in love or not being in love at all. She has a couple of tracks, however, that speak to being oneself and being a strong, independent woman. In “Dare,” for example, she sings about challenging the doubts others have about you.
It’s through these songs that you really get a sense of who Daya is becoming as an artist, and as a person. She touched on this throughout the night, but specifically, before performing “Talk.” She said she wrote the song because she discovered people were talking about her and judging her. She realized, though, that she no longer cared; that it wasn’t her job to keep others happy. Instead, she said, it was “more my job to be comfortable with myself.” It was comments like these that made me appreciate Daya even more. Based on the crowd present Friday night, she clearly has a very young, female fan base. Hopefully, they’re listening to her positive messages.
With her unique, raspy voice and fun lyrics, Daya stole the show. She enthusiastically interacted with the crowd, often coming right up to those in the front row and shaking their hands or giving them high fives. At one point in the night, Daya even borrowed a fan’s cell phone to take a selfie with her and the audience. In spite of just getting over a cold, she killed it.
I hope Daya keeps up the good work and continues to write inspiring songs for women, both young and old.