What started as a jazz seed with two young musicians has grown into the four-piece band Mildly Wild.
Performing a witches brew of pop, acoustic and R&B fusion with jazz spice, this group’s music goes down smooth.
Locals can get a taste at the MAC on August 11, when the the duo turned trio turned quartet will be performing.
The NEWS spoke with vocalist Eryn Sharpe, a UVIC music student who’s one year away from a classical voice degree.
She described how her musical journey from a classical upbringing brought her to folk and pop, and then to jazz upon meeting Leon Nagasaki, Mildly Wild’s guitarist.
“He was playing in one band and I was playing in a different band, and we both had a gig at the same place… we got to talking on the break and decided to start jamming,” said Sharpe. That marked the start of her venture into jazz seven years ago.
Asked what attracted her about the genre, she said, “Jazz never really ages, in a way. It does have a nostalgic feeling, but it still feels relevant, too, I would say.”
About four years ago, the band’s upright bass player, Nick Mintenko was added to the group.
Then, in 2015, the group recorded their first album, One Day, during which their producer, Marc Atkinson, convinced the group to add drums and introduce more pop elements. Atkinson performed on the record.
Enjoying the acoustic pop feel they accomplished, along with jazz and R&B flavours, Mildly Wild added drummer Alex Campbell to the mix last December.
“It feels really true,” said Sharpe of the unique sound the band has captured. “We allow ourselves to kind of explore out a little bit into different genres. But it still manages to stay cohesive. So that’s been super fun.”
Sharpe identified the band’s strengths as the years of experience most of them have together, the original songwriting that hits a cool balance between thought-provoking and lighthearted, and vocal harmonies that they’ve worked hard on.
Asked what the band hopes to impart to its audience, Sharpe said to create a feeling of connectedness between the band and everyone in the room.
“Just kind of a shared experience of appreciating beautiful sounds, beautiful music and of being together and feeling a part of something,” she said.
The band performs at the MAC on Friday, August 11 starting at 7 p.m. as part of the Summer Sounds trio of concerts.
Tickets are $15 or $12 for OCAC members.
This will be the second concert in the trio, with the Jon Miller Jazz Quartet finishing off the concert series on August 25.
For more information or to buy tickets online, go to mcmillanartscentre.com/mildly-wild-sharpe-sounds/.