Every Friday night the National Arts Center’s revitalized Fourth Stage plays host to emerging artists from across Canada for ‘Friday’s at the Fourth’. The casual atmosphere of this new stage lends itself well to artists of all genres. This past Friday a sold out crowd was beyond entertained by the wildly talented Rebecca Noelle and opener Kayla Diamond.
If you don’t know Kayla Diamond you are sure to recognize her soon. The Toronto based singer-songwriter whose unique sound led her to win Slaight Music’s “It’s Your Shot’ contest in 2015, has been writing and recording music since then and is quickly gaining recognition with her single ‘Carnival Hearts’. She dazzled the audience with an eleven song set which included two new songs, one of which she had written last week, and two covers from Drake and The Weeknd.
Diamond’s talents extend past singing and songwriting as she also played the piano for the majority of her set, only stepping away to play guitar for two songs. We were even treated to a song she wrote for her father called ‘What you’re made of’, which will be her second single on the radio in January, and is no doubt going to be as popular as her first.
After a short break Rebecca Noelle stepped on stage to a huge amount of applause. You may know her from fronting the popular local band ‘The Peptides’ or from being the first runner up on ‘La Voix’ last year.
Either way her gorgeous three-octave vocal range is easily recognizable and easy to love. She has come a long way from the days she was known as Becky Abbott and singing backup vocals for various big names. When she is not fronting The Peptides, she is promoting her current solo album ‘Soulstice’.
Friday’s show was an energetic display of her talents from start to finish. If the fourth stage at the NAC had a dance floor I have no doubt it would have been full of audience members showing off their best swing dance moves to her upbeat energetic set of jazz tunes. The infectious bass lines and brilliance of the brass section grab your attention from the start and transport you back to a time when Motown was at its height.
Noelle also has a way of engaging the audience in an authentic and endearing way. She grabbed everyone’s attention from the first note she sang to the last, but did not miss any opportunity to show off the talents of her band either.
Covering ‘Brother Sister’, originally recorded by ‘The Brand New Heavies’, gave an opportunity for the brass section to show off their skills. Following that the band performed an old fashioned love song that started with just the piano and Noelle’s sultry voice and gave me goosebumps.
Taking a minute to acknowledge her time on ‘La Voix’ and all of her accomplishments, including getting a call from the Jackson’s to come and perform at their sold out show in Montreal last year, Noelle performed a song written for her coach from La Voix, Marc Dupre.
After singing and dancing her butt off for over an hour the show wrapped up with a couple of surprise covers and a standing ovation. Leaving the stage the audience was on their feet and was not ready for the night to be over so the band came back for one last song.
If you missed out on this entertaining evening you’ll have to wait until May to get your opportunity to catch her performing on the Fourth Stage as her next show, Thursday Dec. 14th is already sold out!
By Jen Derbach.