Premiere: Listen Up for Gillian Mapp and Her Captivating R&B

Don’t sleep on your potential new fave musician and photographer to come out of Toronto this year.

Gillian Mapp

In it’s original form, Canadian R&B-singer Gillian Mapp‘s debut single “Orange Bitters” is a captivating and minimalistic kiss on the cheek led by dreamy piano chords and Mapp’s beautiful voice. Listen here!

Today it’s gaining new life with a remix making it just as captivating, but less minimalistic with a deep synth-bass line, drums and a range of electronic features.

On her first ever official release, Mapp says:

“Orange Bitters is not only my debut single, but the first song I’ve both written and performed. I created it in my home, while I played the simple melody over and over on the keys. It is one of the most satisfying and whole-hearted tracks I’ve ever worked on.”

With or without the remix, Gillian Mapp is a name worth taking note of. Besides from being a talented musician, Mapp is a skilled photographer and the initiator behind the Toronto-based music and art collective The Build.

For all we know, 2020 has more music in store from Gillian Mapp, and we’ll be waiting with excitement.

We caught up with Gillian Mapp to hear more about her art and being remixed!

Hi Gillian! Congratulations on your debut single “Orange Bitters”. It’s been out in the world for a bit more than a month now – Does the song mean something different to you now? Has it sort of developed during the times it’s been out for everyone to hear? 

– Hey!

Thank you. It’s surreal that it’s out, and that it’s reached more people than I could imagine since writing this song. That’s what it’s about: Making and sharing music connects us all, and I’m so thankful to connect with so many people far and wide.

What is the story behind the track and why was this the perfect song to release as your first? 

– It really is a love song. It’s about how we remember the things we cherish the most. I’m really thankful I could put this song out, just as I wanted it with me and the keys. It’s a sincere representation of who I am. 

There’s a remix coming out now! How do you feel about the changes the song has undergone in this remix?

– I’m so excited about this remix from Josh Grant. I admire him as an artist and friend, so when he sent me this remix, I couldn’t be happier to hear what he heard when he listened to it. I love what he’s done with it. If you know me, you know I love collaborating, especially making music with friends and this remix represents the friendships music has brought me.

Besides making music, you’re also a photographer. Which interest came first?

– Music and images have always been a part of my life, before I even really knew how much of an impact it would have on me. Some of my earliest memories are of music filling the house and dancing and singing with my sisters. I have tons of photos and videos that my mum would take of us, to look back and remember those moments of joy. I joined music programs, and started documenting artists’ and friends’ performances. Music and Photography just always had a place in my life, and it makes sense that they’re so intertwined for me. 

Do you feel like your two creative passions can work together – and if so, how? 

– Yeah, they are both so important to my world. Storytelling is a huge part of my identity and with music and photography, there is no ceiling when it comes to expressing myself.

Who’s your biggest role model in music, and your biggest role model within the photography industry? 

– There are so many inspirational singers, but if I have to start with one, I’d say Jill Scott. She is a phenomenal singer and storyteller. 

With photography, Jamel Shabazz inspired me off the bat. He documents history and culture, and hiw work really freezes moments in time.

What’s a song that you wish you’d written – and a photograph you wish you’d taken? 

– Jill Scott – “A Long Walk”,  her cadence and storytelling just pulls you in and takes you on a journey.

Jamel Shabazz, “Flying High”, 1981. He never misses a moment, and his photography is so honest.

What expectations do you feel are put upon you as a woman in the creative industries? (both music and photography) 

– As a woman in creative industries, there’s a lack of representation in a lot of creative spaces, and when you are in a room where you may be the only woman and feel other, you’re expected to fit into a box that’s very narrow and may not even represent you. I’m seeing more and more women create and carve their own opportunities and lift other women up in the process, despite this. So many doors are opening up because we are creating them, and defining them and leaving them wide open for more women to walk right in.

Anything else, you’d like our followers to know? 

– There’s so much more to come.

Thank you for listening, and for your support!


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