Dos Santos to open Cabaret Series at Lougheed
Krystle Dos Santos will open the new Central Agencies Cabaret Series at the Lougheed Centre on Oct. 6. File Photo/ Camrose Canadian
Krystle Dos Santos was born about 60 years too late.
The Alberta native is of a generation where those in her vocal range and power have turned more toward the likes of Beyonce and the R&B pop scene. Dos Santos instead tapped into Aretha Franklin and Motown.
Dos Santos — born in Red Deer, raised in Edmonton and now lives in Vancouver — will open the brand-new Central Agencies Cabaret Series at the Jeanne and Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre in Camrose on Oct. 6.
“It’s cool to open up that style of performance,” she said. “I think we’re all used to either theatre or concert and I think it’s nice that music and entertainment is evolving to different kinds of spaces and places.”
Dos Santos has always been drawn to the soulful vocals and vibes of the Detroit music label that defined a genre with the talents of Franklin, the Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, the Temptations, Gladys Knight, Martha and the Vandellas and many others. For her, their recordings are transcendent and accessible enough to reach today’s generation.
“My whole life I’ve been exposed to it through my family — my dad’s always had a big music collection — and it’s always something that no matter when you hear it, it feels timeless,” she said. “It’s something that has always appealed to me, especially the quality of musicianship. Back then they had basically music factories of absolute experts, top of the game people pumping out and making the best of the best music they could think of.”
Dos Santos will be breaking out some of their biggest hits, but she will also be pulling from her own catalogue of songs.
Her goal is to bring Motown back to the forefront but with her own twist and evolution of the sound.
“In the underground scene and in how music works today (Motown) is alive and thriving … there are tons of people who are really embracing the sound,” she said. “For me it’s a great foundation to create beautiful music that I can really relate to and that makes sense for me to create.”
She has been recording for almost a decade, and actually took a different path to the industry than most. She received two $10,000 grants through a contest called 10K 20 from Edmonton radio station Magic 99.3 FM — now Up! 99.3 — which she poured into her first recording efforts. The catch was she did not even have a band or was performing live at the time.
“I did things a little bit backwards,” she said. “Before I ever performed live with a band, I had an album in my hands.”
The competition also helped build connections with producers and local jazz musicians.
She is currently in the middle of writing material for her next album and is pushing herself in new directions.
“I’m trying to take different perspectives and focuses to launch a song idea,” said Dos Santos.
“If we were writing for ‘X’ TV show, how would we make it sound? If we were writing a love song from this perspective or that perspective, how would we make it sound?”
Dos Santos, who will be joined by her Edmonton band the Black Mambas, is perfectly suited for the Cabaret series. Her voice had no problem filling the main stage at the Lougheed Centre on launch night back in May. The Cabaret Series will be in the recently completed Mayer Family Community Hall, a small multi-purpose room with a full light and sound system and stage. The room will be stocked with a cash bar and cocktail tables and stools as opposed to theatre seating and has a capacity between 108 and 124 patrons.
It will be a little more familiar to Dos Santos than the big stage, as a regular performer at venues like Blues on Whyte in Edmonton.
“Intimacy is huge … because when you can connect with a crowd like that … it puts you both in a different mind set,” she said. “We will get a different kind of energy when we have that kind of closeness. From the audience perspective, you get a more intimate look at the artistry and you get more of a one-on-one conversation. It looks like you’re more in each other’s company rather than a performance and an audience member separate.”
Tickets are still available for the this 8 p.m. show at $29.50 plus tax through camroselive.ca or at the Lougheed Centre box office.