Elling Lien, seen on this file photograph, says Newfoundland and Labrador is as soon as once more punching above its weight on the worldwide music stage for the 2021 RPM Problem. (Heather Barrett/CBC)
The problem, now in its fifteenth yr, invitations musicians to document new music in February. In earlier years, the objective was to provide a full album, however this yr the size of the recording was as much as the entrant.
The 2021 version noticed almost 700 entries from 34 international locations throughout all seven continents — together with Antarctica. RPM Problem co-ordinator Elling Lien mentioned 113 entries got here from Newfoundland and Labrador.
“The music group right here has actually taken the RPM Problem on and made it their very own,” mentioned Lien from his dwelling in St. John’s. “It is a factor that folks … look ahead to yearly. They persuade one another to do it. The phrase of mouth is absolutely how all of this occurs.”
Newfoundland and Labrador‘s enthusiasm — and Lien’s personal — has quite a bit to do with why, when the New Hampshire-based founders of the problem determined to maneuver on, they put the endeavour in Lien’s palms, and the RPM Problem is now headquartered in St. John’s.
Lien mentioned the problem has proven off the vary of musical types within the province, with tracks and albums, together with pop and rock, digital and world music.
“The variety of music right here is one thing that will have shocked me early on with the RPM Problem, as a result of Newfoundland was identified for … folks music,” he mentioned.
“We had been anticipating numerous that early on, however the variety is simply in all places by way of sound. Identify any style and also you’d most likely discover one thing.”
Pandemic supplied ups and downs
This yr’s version was the primary one affected by COVID-19. Newfoundland and Labrador was additionally in a a lot totally different place when this yr’s problem ended than when it began, after the province moved again to Alert Degree 5 in mid-February.
“I believe it most likely derailed some folks in some methods,” Lien mentioned. “That they had been anticipating to have the ability to concentrate on making music and being artistic, and the variant coming to city and the lockdown.… It was scary.”
“It affected folks’s feelings, I am positive. It actually did mine. It put folks in a novel head area.”
The pandemic has additionally modified how the music of the RPM Problem will probably be shared with the world. Whereas in-person listening events have been a staple of the problem, the listening social gathering will as an alternative happen on-line on Saturday.
The RPM Problem has been a spotlight of Newfoundland and Labrador’s music calendar since 2006.
“We will host numerous listening streams, trigger we’re doing all of it in someday,” he mentioned. “I believe even simply enjoying a clip from every document provides as much as about 39 hours or 40 hours, so now we have to do a little bit of fancy footwork and create a bunch of listening streams.”
Regardless of the uniqueness of the 2021 problem, Lien mentioned in a method it stays the identical, permitting a artistic vessel for folks to make use of to flee the on a regular basis.
“This yr, we additionally occurred to be escaping from a pandemic and specializing in creativity due to that,” he mentioned.