South Okanagan duo blends genres

Penticton pair announced as top five artists in Music B.C. and K96-6 Emerging Artist Program

Aidan Mayes and Mandy cole (left and right) have sung their way into the top five of the Music B.C. and K96-3 Emerging Artists Program.

Aidan Mayes and Mandy cole (left and right) have sung their way into the top five of the Music B.C. and K96-3 Emerging Artists Program.



When they aren’t completing sentences in sync, Aidan Mayes and Mandy Cole are creating beautiful harmonies together.

While neither of them find themselves at a lack of words, they get a bit stumped trying to put themselves into a genre.

“That is a good question. I think we really touch on a lot of different genres. I think we have a folk, rock, pop, bit of country edge. It really is more about vocals and harmonies and that is what makes us unique,” said Mayes.

Their two uniquely gorgeous voices cascade over tender guitar, blending their powerful and passionate harmonies. They sing at the same time for almost all of their songs.

“We do have a good connection. We were in a recording studio last week and the producer was asking us questions and we were answering them at the very same time,” said Mayes.

The pair met while performing in the musical Hair! with Soundstage Productions in 2010.

“I admired Mandy’s voice and really thought I would love to sing with her one day but for whatever reason it didn’t come up. She ended up calling me for guitar lessons and that is when we started singing songs together and it was so natural. We decided to get a couple songs together to try it out in front of other people and we got such an incredible response that we started doing it every week,” said Mayes.

Teaming up together has allowed them to focus more on their original music. Mayes is also part of the Offramp Jazz Sextet and both are music teachers. They released an EP earlier this summer called Hello Hercules which they funded through Indiegogo. One of their songs, Expecting Fireworks was also picked up by the CBC.

“It is all about how I am not a very patient person and trying to be in the moment. You have to fill the lull of inspiration in order to have to put good stuff out there and expecting fireworks all the time when you are run down,” said Mayes.

The Penticton/Summerland duo was announced as one of the top five artists participating in the inaugural year of the Music B.C. and K96-6 radio Emerging Artist Program. Along with the other artists they will be teamed up with a producer and studio from the Interior to record two master quality sound recordings, receive $500 in cash support, play a showcase at Festival Kelowna’s Parks Alive! series, attend a day long educational intensive on the music industry and have the chance to win first place. That would include $4,000 cash, a showcase slot at Rifflandia Festival in Kelowna and a Gibson Les Paul guitar. But before they get there industry professionals will be judging them including their performance in Kelowna on July 31 at 6 p.m. on the Island Stage.

“We want to get our fans on board because part of it is audience responding to the band. So if anyone wants to come and make signs and cheer us on we would appreciate it,” said Cole.

Besides the contest, they have been busy with festivals and the winery circuit in the South Okanagan. Mayes and Cole also will be performing at the Penticton Peach Festival on Aug. 9 at 12:50 p.m. Expect to hear a new single from the duo called, Altered State of Dreams, coming out soon on their website at www.aidanmayesandmandycole.com.