"My parents told me once that, as a small child, I would yell and squeal for no other reason than just the sheer joy of using my voice. I loved creating sounds. Nothing has changed (well, not nothing), but I have learned a more pleasant way of expressing myself using the same tools.” –Steph Macpherson
After over a decade of voice instruction, several years of piano, and a handful of guitar lessons, Steph set out to make a real crack at the bat, armed with an E.P. and absolutely no idea what she was doing from a professional standpoint.
In the fall of 2009, she embarked on her first tour of Canada with folk musician Zachary Lucky. The tour was an ambitious endeavor of 30 shows in 33 days. Shortly thereafter, fuelled by the successful trip, she relocated from her home in Victoria, BC, to Vancouver, and applied for as many music competitions she could find.
In what felt like the same breath, Steph was selected to play Lilith Fair, opening for Sarah McLachlan, Sheryl Crow, and more, through an online “talent search”, and also to participate in Vancouver’s Peak Performance Project, a competition for up to $100,500 in grant funding.
While she did not receive a cash prize, the Peak Performance Project included a music industry boot camp, which proved an invaluable experience.
“I had no idea, going into it, how much I had to learn, the people I needed to meet, and the growth and vision I needed to work toward.” - Steph
Steph took 2011 in stride, touring, playing a few key festivals, and writing and recording a full-length album. She released “Bells & Whistles” on April 17, 2012 with Cordova Bay Records and plans to release it in the US in 2013.
Adding to her excitement, in August of 2012, Steph was named "Best of BC" by SHORE 104.3 FM. She received radio and social media support from the station, and was awarded a cash prize of $10, 000. Just two weeks later, Steph placed 3rd in Music BC, and the Cellar Nightclub's "Voice of the Cellar" Songwriting program.
“I still can’t believe how lucky I am and how much support I receive from so many different sources, in so many different ways. People are continually placing their time, energy, and funding behind me in my efforts, and I would absolutely not be able to do this without them.”
Bells & Whistles can be heard all across CBC on Radio 1, 2, 3, Galaxie channel Canadian Indie and CBC Digital Channels - Adult Alternative & Canadian Songwriter. In April, Steph was Victoria’s Zone’s Band of the Month and her music can be heard on many other stations around Canada: commercial, community and college stations.
“Macpherson’s voice is clear, well-trained and hauntingly beautiful, and her vocal melodies are deadly infectious” - BC Musician Magazine