Oh my, what a fine band! From busking the streets of Vancouver to singing for Ellen DeGeneres (who says they’re fantastic) to being selected in 2010 and 2011 as one of the Top 20 artists in British Columbia in the Peak Performance Project, Behind Sapphire has come an incredibly long way in only a handful of years. For Grant Cassell and Matthew Mazankowski, what first began as an outlet for their creativity and deep love of music has now grown into world renowned group known for their experimental pop music, energetic live performances, humorous YouTube videos and charitable Yellow Rubber Boots Campaign.
Behind Sapphire began with two boys in their teenage years, with a hope of sharing their music with the world. Over the past few years, they’ve expanded into an eternally-touring 6-piece energetic juggernaut. Pushing their creativity to new heights, the band has participated in the highly selective Peak Performance Project twice, has fulfilled a lifelong dream of performing for Ellen DeGeneres, fulfilled another lifelong dream by being arrested in China, and throughout it all has continued to hone and perfect their musical craft while remaining true to themselves and their faith. With so many goals, dreams, and ambitions to be attained, Behind Sapphire has an incredibly bright future ahead of them and is a name to be remembered.
The band spent two years recording their self-titled debut album, which was released in 2010 to critical acclaim. The album, full of Grant’s delicate vocals and beautiful instrumentation provided by a 35-piece orchestra, was deemed “perfect summer music” and the band’s been touring relentlessly in support of the album ever since its release. Their video for the single, “Oh My, What A Fine Day,” (starring actress Jodelle Ferland, better known as Bree in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse) was picked up by Much Music. The single was added to the rotation of radio stations across Canada, and was also featured on the popular Canadian television series Degrassi.
In July 2012, the band will release their follow-up EP, Diamonds, a heartfelt collection of songs written about love, faith, family and marriage. The EP features the gorgeous melodies and upbeat rhythms that fans have grown to love. Diamonds is another stellar effort from Behind Sapphire complete with sweeping strings (“Diamonds”), soul-filled vocals (“Tahera”), and sing-a-long anthems (“Vancouver, Baby!”). The EP provides a nice segue from the band’s debut album to their forthcoming sophomore effort which will be released in the fall, followed by a tour of North America. The new record is
more personal, honest and spiritual than all of the bands previous works, and shows a continued musical maturation as the band continues to draw on their wealth of experiences when composing new music.
A Behind Sapphire live performance is a transcendent and energetic experience, like a unicorn stampede or a dragon migration, and definitely something you won’t want to miss. They’ve brought their unique, energetic and intricate live shows to countless fans across Canada, to Alaska, and China (including a CCTV broadcast to over 100 million viewers) with almost non-stop touring, and show no signs of slowing down.
The members of Behind Sapphire can also add “humanitarians” to their list of accomplishments thanks to the creation of the Yellow Rubber Boots campaign. Started in October of 2011, the Yellow Rubber Boots Campaign supports the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada through the sale of yellow rubber boots (not just a clever name!). The campaign was an idea that came to lead singer Grant Cassell, as he always sported his own pair of Yellow Rubber Boots to shows. Being from Vancouver, the band thought it would be perfect – to equip not only Vancouverites, but everyone across the globe with the perfect feet warmers. As well, Grant’s sister, Amanda, has chronic kidney failure. Years ago, the Children’s Wish Foundation granted Amanda a wish; she got to travel to Hawaii with Grant and their family to swim with the dolphins. It was an amazing opportunity and a huge blessing to her.
Through their incredible musical talent, enigmatic live shows, non-stop touring, and charity and community work, Behind Sapphire has brought their music to the hearts of millions, and it wonÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t stop there. Keep your eyes and ears peeled because there are great things on the horizon for this prodigious group.