With the exception of one of the members, five-piece Toronto band Mermaids Exist are all in the Music Industry Arts program (MIA) at Fanshawe College. “We all grew up in the same neighbourhood,” said Jason Hopkins, the guitarist and vocalist of the band. He said he and the drummer, Jamie Wilson, met when they were in high school. The quintet all went to the same city for their studies, with bassist Robert Bernasch in the Media, Theory, and Production program at Western University and Fanshawe.
Hopkins said he didn’t know the various job opportunities until his studies the MIA program. “They teach you about who does what, and how to achieve your goals,” he explained, “You need to know how everything works, you can’t just go into it kind of hoping that what you’re doing is going to work. You need to see how it really works.”
“I get to hear a bunch of creative people who are just coming up with songs all the time,” he said, “I think it helps me know where I’m supposed to be at too, and it helps push me. Whenever I hear someone else write a good song I think ‘Wow, I need to write a good song!'”
He said everyone in the program is very supportive of each other. “It’s so cliche to say that it feels like a family, but it’s just like everyone is in the same boat, and everyone tries so hard, and everyone helps each other out so much.” Hopkins said it is very important to be friendly to each other in the music industry. “Your connections are everything, so it’s the perfect place to meet so many different people in the music industry.”
Hopkins is pleased with London’s music industry, especially the amount of talent. Although the Home County Music and Arts Festival will be his first time at a local festival, he said he went to Osheaga and Bonaroo.
“It almost seems like everyone is on the same side,” he said of Bonaroo, adding that people would offer him water during the humid and hot weather at the festival.
Mermaids Exist will perform at the Fanshawe MIA Workshop at Home County with Emma Elana Grace, Katherine Fischer, Nicholas Holt, and Glass Face. The performances begin at 1:30 p.m. on July 18th.