Eh440 started harmonizing together in 2012. Using just their voices, this Toronto-based acappella group has wow’d audiences across the USA, Canada, and Europe. On the heels of their award-winning 2014 debut release Turn Me Up, they’re starting to record their next full-length project to be dropped in 2016. And they’re very excited about it!
But their journey really started over a decade and half ago. As kids, Janet Turner and Stacey Kay used to compete against each other in singing contests. The first time they met, Stacey was just 8 years old and Janet a little older. Over the years they each took their turn winning various contests and even though some competitors took it a little too seriously, they actually cheered on the other and became lifelong friends.
While on a North American Broadway Tour for Godspell a few years ago Stacey thought she heard a voice from the heavens – was it Jesus? Well, Jake Stern was playing the role of Jesus in the production! Years later, Stacey approached Jake about joining Eh440 and the fit was perfect. Jake has been performing professionally in theatres and film/TV since he was in high school, and the opportunity to travel the world while sharing his talents is a dream come true for him.
Luke Stapleton (aka the Human Record) started beatboxing as a small child. Coming from a “show biz family”, Luke would listen to his dad play the drums in their house and recreate the sounds using only his mouth. He also maintains that his childhood stutter was gone upon the introduction of music to his life. “My brain was faster than my mouth”, he claims. If you see him beatbox now, you can see quite clearly, that his mouth has caught up!
Joe Oliva started his musical journey later than most kids who dream of being on stage. In his last year of high school, Joe joined his school choir after the director heard his bass voice barrelling down the school halls and begged him to join. And he hasn’t stopped singing since.
After coming together through the Toronto Independent Music Awards, Eh440 was born – their first gig was performing the national anthems for the Valentine’s Day 2012 Toronto Raptors vs. New York Knicks NBA game. Singing in an arena before 20,000 people? Pretty good first gig! So, Eh440 is a mix of 5 people from 5 very different backgrounds and musical genres. Joe’s been a low bass singer his entire life, Luke’s an urban beatboxer, Janet identifies as a country/pop singer, Stacey’s soul/pop, and Jake likes contemporary vocal / pop music. Together they form “an unforgettable combination of crazy beatboxing, sassy rapping, killer harmonies, and fresh, urban, RnB-influenced compositions”. And their debut album, Turn Me Up, exemplifies their abundant influences.
Hill Kourkoutis produced the album. Hill was the right producer to pull this band and these songs together – all but one of them were written by Eh440 – because she has the unique ability to find the soul and vibe within a song, regardless of the genre. That’s just one of the many reasons why they wanted to work with her!
Individual Member Bios
|More Eh440 Facts!
>>Breathed a little fire on CBC’s Dragons’ Den
>>6X JUNO winner Serena Ryder features on their 2014 debut album
>>Stingray Music Rising Star Award Winner and Independent Music Awards Acappella Song Winner
>>Next album to be released in 2016!
|Jake Stern / Lead & Backing Vocals
>>Since 18 he has been performing professionally in Theatre, Film/Television, and Vocal performance all across the US & Canada
>>Played Jesus in National Tour of Godspell (Eh440 makes him turn water into wine after rehearsals)
>>Can sing higher than most girls
>>Signature Dance Move: The Jakey Jake
>>Hometown: All over Canada
|Luke Stapleton / Beatbox
>>AKA The Human Record
>>Performed in commercials for MUCH VIBE
>>Promotional commercial for MUCH MUSIC with Amanda Marshall
>>Toured all over, as far as China
>>Won Toronto Independent Music Award (2008, Best Live Urban category)
>>Hometown: Toronto, ON
|Janet Turner / Lead & Backing Vocals
>>Released a CD previous to Eh440, Tied for #1 on Toronto charts, Top 100 in Canada
>>Fave celeb she’s opened for: Jay Leno
>>Has a fear of public speaking – insists that public singing and public speaking are not the same thing!
>>Has an ice cream sundae named after her at Merla Mae Ice Cream Parlour in London, ON
>>Hometown: London, ON
|Stacey Kay / Lead & Backing Vocals
>>Through her solo career, released her self-titled EP in 2014
>>Top 30 finalist on Canadian Idol
>>Performs in various musical theatre productions, including the National Broadway Tour of Godspell (Canada/US)
>>Appeared on America’s Got Talent
>>Hometown: Cambridge, ON
|Joe Oliva / Bass Vocals
>>Released 5 CDs previous to Eh440, has 2 gold records
>>Sings in CBS movie A Holiday Romance / A Song for the Season, airing annually, starring Andy Griffith & Naomi Judd
>>With Janet, performs background singing for the PBS cartoon Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood
>>Hometown: London, ON