By Kat Harlton
Photos Tiffany Shum

http://www.riamae.com

I’ll be honest, I’d hadn’t heard of Ria Mae (a pop singer-songwriter out of Halifax, Nova Scotia) until Lithium photographer Tyf Shum mentioned her to me. I checked out her work briefly and was interested in seeing what she would bring to the CMW Spotify Spotlight showcase at The Garrison.

From the start, she was she real, fun, and vulnerable, which created a welcoming space and allowed for the audience to enjoy her without inhibitions. One of the most confident and collected performers I’ve seen, she was a natural and commanded the stage as if she’d been on it throughout her entire life.

Giving an emotional and strong performance with a bluesy/rock edginess that I wasn’t expecting, she took a different approach to many of her songs and didn’t try to replicate the recorded version, which I think takes guts and many of her fans appreciated.

She closed her set with my favorite performance of the night, a super sexy version of Clothes Off, a catchy, dance-worthy, and upbeat track produced by fellow east coast native and JUNO Award winning artist, Classified.

I’m so glad I got to see her live, and would check her out again in a heartbeat. I highly encourage music fans who haven’t come across her music to give her work a well-deserved listen.