Maylee Todd and Pegwee Power
Meet quirky songstress, Maylee Todd, the multi-talented singer/songwriter with an appetite for obscure instruments. If you ask Maylee how she manages to play the Paraguayan harp as well as she does the guitar, she’ll tell you “anyone can do it.” But we’ve tried and that’s not true.
Born to an English/French father and a Filipino/ Spanish mother, this skilful young lady has many strings to her bow (or harp, rather). You may know her from the humorous interactive aerobics events called “Sweatshop Hop” which have aired on Canada’s Much More Music. And when she’s not dressing in spandex and entertaining the crowd with comical parodies, you can find her at Toronto’s Second City where she is a regular.
Her natural wit is undoubtedly passed down from her father who, believe it or not, is an Elvis impersonator and often took Maylee with him on shows. And though she was a sucker for Hip-Hop and Brit-Rock as a youngster, when she hit her teens it was all about the Bossa-Jazz, an introduction she also owes to her father and his continuously played record collection.
Back then she was crazy for Jose Feliciano and Gilberto Gil whose concerts she recalls perfectly, so it’s no surprise that today her own creations are an amalgamation of these influences, or ‘Bossa-meets-Funk-and-Indie’ as she calls it. Her band ‘Pegwee Power’ which started as a harp + looping station + vocals solo act, now consists of musicians Andrew Scott (horns /synth), Eric Woolston(double bass), and Chris Kettlewell (drums/vibraphone)
If you’ve been anywhere near a TV or film screen in recent months, you’ll be familiar with Maylee’s velvety vocals from the track ‘For What it’s Worth’ on the Telus Mobility commercial. And she’s also leant her voice to Toronto’s ‘indietronica’ band, Woodhands (Paper Bag records) – a much celebrated collaboration that has left both fans and music journalists hungry for more. Todd and Woodhands’ electro duo are old time friends, all forming part of the musical collective, Henri Faberge and the Adorables. Other collaborations include Vitamins 4U, Peter Project, The Bicycles, and Circle Research.
Her enthusiasm for out of the ordinary locales has recently led her to an impromptu acoustic set at Toronto Zoo as part of Mitch Fillion’s Southern Souls and to Brazil where she stayed in huts and played shows in Recife. As for right now, Maylee is gearing up for her album release, Canadian tour and working on a short film. So there you have it, Canada’s best-kept secret is actually pretty well known.
Maylee’s debut Album ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ will be released on June 22 on the Do Right! Music label.