Blue Sky Miners kick off new radio segment

by | Dec 6, 2013 | A&E


Jena Gogo and Jay Mitchell of Blue Sky Miners perform live at Radio Humber. COURTESY MARIELLE TORREFRANCA

Jena Gogo and Jay Mitchell of Blue Sky Miners perform live at Radio Humber. COURTESY MARIELLE TORREFRANCA

Marielle Torrefranca
A&E Reporter

Humber College’s radio and television broadcast programs are teaming up to create a monthly video segment highlighting Canadian bands, starting with an in-house interview and performance by Toronto folk-rockers Blue Sky Miners.

The video series will be used to promote the two programs to viewers and prospective students, as well as provide experience for current students.

“The programs [are encouraged] to look for ways to work with each other and do some projects that highlight the skill set of the people in the media schools,” said Sheila Walsh, program coordinator of the radio broadcast program. “Just like you do in the regular industry, we’re trying to get [students] trained to work out there. There’s lots of places where there’s cross-promotion between different industries.”

Blue Sky Miners stopped by the Humber studios on Nov. 28 to play a three-song set and do an interview with Radio Humber’s David Chung.

A team of television production students led by Stephen Bagazzoli, 20, a first-year broadcast television student, produced the set and interview.

“[Instructors] have told me they’ve always been looking for something to collaborate all the programs with,” said Bagazzoli. “It’s opportunities like these where students get the chance to shine and work really hard.”

Kylee Winn, promotions director of Radio Humber, reached out to Bagazzoli for the project because he previously graduated from the radio program himself.

“It started off as a Radio Humber project,” said Winn, who chose Blue Sky Miners as the featured band. “It has evolved into something great and both programs are really excited about it. We’re hoping to do more of this in the future.”

While it’s constantly developing, Blue Sky Miners’ sound can be safely described as Canadian folk rock.

“We started out trying different kinds of genres,” said Jay Mitchell, 26, guitarist and backup vocalist. Lead vocalist Jena Gogo “comes from an R&B background, and I come from more of a singer-songwriter style, so blending those together and trying to make [the sound] grow has been coming together.”

Blue Sky Miners also recruited new members in order to create a bigger and fuller sound, said Gogo, 25. New members include a new viola player, drummer and bassist.

The band wrapped up November with a headlining show at Lee’s Palace in Toronto on Nov. 30, featuring openers Lowlands and Wool & Howl.

The show was an official Movember event, with funds going towards the cause. The global charity raises money and awareness toward men’s health, specifically prostate and testicular cancer, and this year’s new addition of mental health challenges.

“[The Movember organization] raises great money and awareness towards men’s health and we’re really happy to be a part of that,” said Mitchell, who sported a fully-grown moustache and beard.

Currently, Blue Sky Miners is shopping around for the right studio to record their upcoming EP.

“We have the songs ready to go,” said Gogo. “It’s just about finding the right fit.”