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Surrey-made songs/videos pop up in ‘Music City’ project focused on local artists

‘There’s so much talent in Surrey,’ raves project lead Sami Ghawi
Ashley Pater sings “Someone Like Me” in a video created for the Music City Surrey Showcase. (Photo:

A pandemic-era project spotlights Surrey-area musicians in a series of videos.

Posted to YouTube, the first part of the Music City Surrey Showcase involves a 10-episode look at Surrey-based artists and educators, in 10- to 16-minute videos co-produced by FUSIONpresents and Face the Music Entertainment.

The episodes were filmed at either the FUSIONpresents studio, on location with the artist or over the Zoom conference platform, and each clip features an interview and original song.

Featured musicians include Ranj Singh, Ashley Pater, Ben Dunnill, Quinn Pickering, Thisisisobel (Isobel Ralph), Alexis Lynn, Kylie V, Sally (Allyson Lowry), Chris Young and Inspire Arts Academy.

(Story continues below video featuring Quinn Pickering)

“It was all a real success, and we’re getting testimonials from the artists we showcased about how much they enjoyed it,” said Sami Ghawi, director of FUSIONpresents.

“There’s so much talent in Surrey, and it won’t be hard for us to find artists to be featured in the next round we’re planning.”

In addition to the interview/song videos, a YouTube “playlist” has been created, resulting in an all-Surrey sampler of original pop songs.

“These videos expose these artists to a brand new community, and many of them don’t know, or aren’t aware of, each other, maybe until now,” Ghawi noted. “Fundamental to us as a company is building artists and linking them together, and that way there’s bound to be some amazing projects that come together.”

The project was put together with $3,500 from a city cultural grant, plus funding from Creative BC and the Province of British Columbia’s Amplify BC program.

Ghawi doubles as manager of the Surrey Music City initiative launched by Surrey Board of Trade with the goal of creating “a vibrant and diverse music industry” in the city to facilitate “successful opportunities for artists, businesses and the community.”

• RELATED STORY, from 2018: Surrey as ‘Music City’: Musician and business group sound off about the possibilities.

In recent months Ghawi has helped create a series of artist collaboration videos, including a “Blue Christmas” track, a version of Peter Frampton’s “Baby I Love Your Way” and, most recently, a pop rendition of the Lewis Capaldi hit “Someone You Loved” that features Ashley Pater (vocals), Colin Sankey (bass), Connor Neidig (guitars), Jack Wells (keys) and Myles Philpott (drums).

Meantime, Pater, a Fraser Heights Secondary grad, has a new single out, a soft, piano-driven number titled “Stuck on You,” released on multiple platforms via

WATCH: Genre-shifting ‘Blue Christmas’ song/video unites a dozen musicians.

With the Music City Surrey Showcase project, Ghawi said the goal is to produce a new video every other week, featuring more Surrey-area talent. Those interested in getting involved can email or fill out a form at

“We’re looking to expand our Music City Taskforce to include volunteers from within or interested in the Surrey music industry to help us in our various upcoming initiatives,” Ghawi added.

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Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news stories for the Surrey Now-Leader, where I've worked for more than half of my 30-plus years in the newspaper business.
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