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Four musicians with a variety of genres call Quinte home

Ben Orr-McCausland, 18 (shown here in his home studio in Belleville), will release a rap album in September called The Son Rises. Photo by Connor Robinson, QNet News

By Connor Robinson [1]

BELLEVILLE – Troy Bishop’s a folk musician. Tyler Brassington performs alternative music. Ben Orr-McCausland does rap. Justin Cooper plays country. What do the four have in common? They’re all right here in the Quinte region.

Some are just starting out in the music scene, while others have already performed in front of several hundred people.

Troy Bishop was inspired to become a singer by his father, who was in a band while Bishop was growing up. Photo courtesy of Troy Bishop

Bishop [2], 21, who lives in Trenton and works as a forest firefighter in the summer, plays and sings Canadian folk music in his spare time. He got into music because his dad was in a band, he told QNet News this week.

“I definitely looked up to him and looked up to the sounds that they were making in the garage, and decided that one day I would do that myself.”

Why folk music? “Growing up and sitting around campfires, we were always playing Stompin’ Tom [3] and good old folk songs.”

Bishop has performed in the Here on Earth Music Festival [4] in Dundalk, Ont. and at the Appalachian Public Drink House [5]  in Georgetown, Ont.

Brassington [6], 19, who also lives in Trenton but is originally from Alberta, plays alternative music on guitar, drums, bass and piano.

“I play a lot of alternative stuff, but there is a lot of Latin influences and jazz influences and that sort of thing,” he said.

It was his mother’s example that made him want to get into music, Brassington said.

Tyler Brassington plays a variety of instruments, including piano, drums, bass and guitar. He is currently working on a solo project that has a release in the works. Photo courtesy of Tyler Brassington

“My mom was a musician and her father is a musician as well – very good musicians. And I kind of grew up watching my mom rehearse, and watching my grandpa play as well. When my mom was recording her album [7] – called Boulevard Del Amor – in the studio in 2006 I was in the studio too, kind of seeing it all happen. And I think it’s just the way I live.”

Brassington currently plays guitar in the band Mntclr [8].

Rapper Orr-McCausland was born in Toronto but raised in Belleville, where he still lives.

“Rap is all about expression, you know? Growing up I listened to Michael Jackson [9], The Beatles [10], Elvis [11] and the Eagles [12], and then you slowly get into more edgy things as you get older. So I was introduced to Eminem [13] when I was (about) 13. And then I got into Tupac [14]; and then it kind of changed my life.”

Orr-McCausland is currently recording an album called The Son Rises, set to release in September.

Country musician Justin Cooper, [15] 31, works at the Signal Brewing Company [16] in Corbyville and has opened for Cold Creek County [17] and David Wilcox [18].

Justin Cooper has opened for several acts, including Cold Creek County and David Wilcox. Photo courtesy of Justin Cooper

“I’m more into the storytelling type of country instead of the boots and trucks and Daisy Duke shorts type of country,”

“I’m big on stories and telling real-life emotions and all stuff like that.”

Cooper, who grew up in Madoc but lived in Oshawa for 15 years. He moved to this area, he said, because “I have a wife and kids and I just wanted a different lifestyle. Oshawa is getting to be a little bit crazy. And I wanted to do the whole country living thing again and raise my kids here in the country … just enjoy life a little more.”

Cooper has performed at the Signal Brewing Company and the Courtyard [19] in Courtice.