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  • The Queer Dancehall Orchestra

    What new terrain exists at the intersection of the Queer Songbook Orchestra’s lush arrangements and Bonjay’s dancehall-evolved soul?

    These are the questions that drove the creation of the Queer Dancehall Orchestra’s “Medicine for Melancholy (Live from Yaad version)”.

    Recorded by faith and in isolation, it reimagines Bonjay’s electronic bedroom sounds back out onto human hands, touching wood & brass, generating waves that travel across open air…

    It’s an appropriate pairing for a song about the feeling of finding a way when living between two worlds. The song’s title itself comes from Barry Jenkins’ (Moonlight) film début, another modern story of in-betweenness.

    It was a dream opportunity for mutual member, Alanna Stuart, to illuminate her connection between two communities often seen as in opposition.

    Who knew there was comfort to be found somewhere between the soundsystem yard and the orchestra pit?

    Stream & buy: https://smarturl.it/a744uu

    100% of sales go to the National Youth Orchestra of Jamaica.

    We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.


    released November 13, 2020
    “Medicine for Melancholy” written by Bonjay (Alanna Stuart & Ian Pho Swain)

    Arranged for the QSO by La-Nai Gabriel
    Produced by Shaun Brodie & Alanna Stuart

    Alanna Stuart – Lead Vocals, Audio Editing & Drum Programming
    Alex Samaras – Vocals
    James Baley – Vocals
    Jennifer Burford – Violin
    Evan Lamberton – Cello
    Lief Mosbaugh – Oboe
    Naomi McCarroll-Butler – Alto Saxophone
    Micajah Sturgess – French Horn
    Nicole Rampersaud – Trumpet
    Thom Gill – Guitar
    Johnny Spence – Piano
    Dan Fortin – Double Bass
    Stefan Schneider – Drums
    Ian “Pho” Swain – Xtra Vibes
    Stephen Jackman-Torkoff – Dancing

    Mixed by Aleda DeRoche
    Self-recorded in isolation, with additional recording by Michael Feuerstack, Thom Gill & Alanna Stuart
    Mastered by Jeremy Greenspan at Burton Building Studios

  • Presenting the album, Lush Life

    Bonjay – Lush Life album cover

    Purchase & stream Lush Life @
    Bandcamp | Spotify | Apple Music/iTunes | Tidal

    “It’s been a long time coming. . .”

    Lush Life LP is out!

    We made up our own sound & wrote a record about “the way we live in cities today” 🔉

    Much more to come around this album 😏

    Watch out now,
    The comeback kids 💪🏾💪🏻

    P.S. inspirations

  • Medicine for Melancholy

    Medicine for Melancholy single cover

    Emotive dancehall boom & thump meets upfront & personal. Inspired by Moonlight director Barry Jenkins’ début film of the same name.

    Medicine for Melancholy @
    Bandcamp | Spotify | Apple Music/iTunes | YouTube | Tidal | Amazon Music

    We’ve also written our first essay about it, up now at Medium:

    Link to On Medicine for Melancholy essay at Medium

  • Streaming LP preview

    CBC First Play screenshot “Every song vibrant and evocative. . . Lush Life feels like a place, a city or space of its own”

    Stream the advance preview of our debut LP, Lush Life 🙌🏾🙌🏻  Up for a limited time at CBC Music 🔊

    Alongside talk of: Inuit foster brothers, what a “panopticon” is, and the tremendous challenge of making “very much your own thing.”

  • A new song with Bernice

    The Collaborative Legions of Artful Womxn (Red Bull Radio)

    Alanna and Robin Bernice have collaborated on a new dancehall-inspired janky pop tune (of course) in Jamaica!

    Tune in worldwide today at 6pm EST to hear its radio premiere on Collaborative Legions of Artful Womxn, alongside our in-depth conversation with one of the loveliest people in music, Merrill Garbus of Tune-Yards.


  • The Diversity Tour!

    The Diversity Tour posterWe’re embarking on The Diversity Tour this month with Too Attached!

    Poking fun at the current cultural obsession with “diversity” as a box to tick 😏

    Tickets on sale now >>

    Poster by Steph Cheng #thediversitytour

  • Chelsea

    Bonjay – Chelsea cover art

    Written after binge-watching Kate Bush videos following a long night at Berghain in Berlin. Folk-like voicings float over sparse-but-modern sounds. It locks you in.

    Chelsea @
    Bandcamp | Spotify | Apple Music/iTunes | YouTube | Tidal | Amazon Music

  • Ingenue

    Bonjay Ingenue cover art

    “Sounds like the explosiveness of fighting to make a life for yourself, and succeeding.” – The FADER

    Ingenue @
    Bandcamp | Spotify | Apple Music/iTunes | YouTube | Tidal | Amazon Music

  • Lush Life

    Lush Life tumblr header

    Cities are humankind’s greatest creation. Their only reason for existence is to bring us closer together. To create. To intersect. To love. Why else would we put up with the excess, the crowds, the trials and the tribulations? Because cities feed our need for human connection. Those who would never otherwise meet become inseparable. Cities are a dream world. Because in pursuit our dreams, the city emerges in our collective image.

    A city’s most profound power lies in its ability to make new ideas real. Cities hoover up ambition from all over. Yearning artists and scientists, immigrants and students, writers and entrepreneurs – impresarios of all motivations and hues. The details change but the stories remain forever the same: The struggle to convince others of a vision they can’t yet see. The crushing failures on the path to success. Summoning the strength to persevere. Seeking someone to love, and finding someone who loves you. The fight to keep ambition from eating away at your passion.

    There’s a lot that happens on the way to making new things. These are the stories Lush Life tells.

    “The difficulty lies not in the new ideas, but in escaping the old ones…”

    Lush Life ideas & inspirations

    Jane Jacobs