Six years ago, the then-four-piece Behind Sapphire squeezed into a dusty crawl space in Vancouver, British Columbia with nothing but wide-eyed ambition and embarked upon their first flirtations with writing music. Inspired by Billie Holiday’s ‘Strange Fruit,’ they wrote and recorded their first song within weeks of their voices dropping.
Matthew Mazankowski, Grant Cassell and Matthew Tomkinson came together as an after-school pop-punk experiment, unsure and full of awkwardness. Jump to now, with more than a half-decade’s worth of musical exploration under their belts, and Behind Sapphire is an unlikely artistic outpouring of folk-pop with a fantastically woven live show that spills over with quirky energy and intense celebration. Think: “Patrick Watson backed by Hey Ocean!” fused with the grandeur of Sufjan Stevens and Sigur Ros.
In early 2010, Behind Sapphire recorded and released a self-titled CD, with drummer Steven Ward coming aboard as the group's new rhythm section. Built upon hundreds of home recordings, they reached out to Tom Dobranzski (The Zolas, Said the Whale, Hey Ocean) with the best of them. One by one, friends and family jumped into the fold with their own musical talents and tastes, adding layers of sugary harmonies, brother and sisterly spirit and a sense of improvisation and collaboration that marks the record in a truly positive way.
The album is carried by rollicking backbeats, sweeping orchestration and outsized arrangements that borrow the nostalgia of Walt Disney, nod to The Beatles’ flights of fancy and carry the croon of Billie Holiday and Jason Mraz.
In celebration Behind Sapphire took to the stage, backed by a 35-piece orchestra composed of their old high school band, good friends and family. The CD release marked the start of a summer of touring as the band traveled across BC, Canada and as far north as Alaska - making a stop at the Southeast Alaskan State Fair.
Currently in 100.5 The Peak's: Peak Performance Project, Behind Sapphire was chosen along with 19 of BC's most talented artists (out of 470 applicants) for a chance to win $100,500 towards career development.
Focused primarily on their child-at-heart agenda, Behind Sapphire’s ambition to capture your imagination will surprise you with every new step into their world. With an upbeat, quirky and fun-loving nature, Behind Sapphire is certain to find a home within your heart.