Having made a name for themselves on the provincial and national stage over the past few years with multiple album releases, music videos and annual performances at the Canadian Music Week (CMW) festival in Toronto, Windsor’s very own The Blue Stones have set their sights on the international stage and this week will be featured on NBC’s hit television show, Parks and Recreation.
The Blue Stones are comprised of Windsorites Justin Tessier and Tarek Jafar and in an interview with OurWindsor the duo explained that without promoting to their fans, their track “Make Your Move” will be featured on the show and word has spread around town.
“It’s pretty cool [and] the funny thing is we didn’t even post anything,” said Tessier. “A couple people posted a few things [on Facebook], and I keep getting private messages from people that are saying, ‘How come you didn’t tell us?’”
According to Tessier, this was the first time that the band has had a “Whoa” moment and both members were equally shocked and excited to learn that their song was to be featured on the show.
“Everything else in the industry kind of happened a little slower … you kind of have to look back to see what’s happened,” said Tessier. “This was the first thing where we were like ‘whoa, we’re going to be on a TV show … that’s big’.”
The Blue Stones employ a manager who handles the business functions of the band.
“Our manager hooked up with [someone who works in] commercial licensing in L.A. [and] they were able to get the song played on the show,” said Jafar.
Tessier explained that the duo “lucked out” by being featured on the show and that they had first learned about commercial licensing of music a few years back at CMW.
“You can essentially just email commercial licensing firms with music and show interest in joining and if they like your stuff, they’ll strike up a conversation with you and hopefully something comes out of that,” said Tessier. “It’s not as hard as people think.”
Jafar explained that through commercial licensing, somebody else is looking out for the band’s interests and as such will promote the band’s tracks throughout the industry.
“It’s nice to get a good relationship with these commercial licensing people because you want them to push your stuff and not [other bands’]” said Jafar.
The Blue Stones are embarking on an East-coast tour come the middle of May which will see them performing in Halifax, Moncton, Montreal, Toronto, and Hamilton after starting off the tour in Windsor.
Jafar noted that the band has recently recorded a batch of new songs that they’ve been working on for the past while that they’re eager to eventually bring to the studio.
The band is also primed to release a new music video for their track “Rolling with the Punches”.
“Pay attention to our Facebook page because we’re going to be making an official announcement about it there,” said Jafar. “We’ve got some pretty big plans and high hopes for that video so hopefully that’ll help put us on the map a little bit more.”
Both Tessier and Jafar praise the Windsor music scene for its cohesiveness and caliber of talent.
“It’s nice to see that [the Windsor music scene is] coming up a lot [and] to see some success coming from a lot of good, hardworking musicians,” said Tessier. “It’s a really cool city, there’s this Windsor underground that’s making its way onto the national scene.”
Jonathon Liedtke is the Features & Opinion Editor for the University of Windsor Lance Campus/Community Newspaper and a reporter for ourWindsor.ca. As a founding member and current Co-Chair of the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Committee, he is committed to representing, connecting, engaging with and advocating for local youth. He is also a member of Windsor’s “Punk with Horns” band The Nefidovs, and as such, is committed to enhancing and sustaining the arts community.