Origin: Trinidad - Toronto, Ontario
As we continue to celebrate #BlackHistoryMonth, I must shine a light on the musical contributions of my family over the past 65+ years.
Our musical story begins with my grandparents, Ed & Angela Johnson, who met at a radio station in Trinidad where Grandpa was the band leader and Grandma was a weekly featured mystery singer. This sparked a creative journey that grew to a romantic union. Upon marrying and having their first child, the pair (dubbed Trinidad & Tobago’s singing sweethearts) embarked on a 6-year European tour living in over 7 countries, including England and Germany where their sons were born; performing on stages with Nat King Cole Jr, Duke Ellington and Nina Simone to name a few.
After returning to T&T, my mom, the baby was born. The family moved to Canada in the 70s and The Johnson Family was formed. They had a popular song called “Peace In The Family”, and even a 2-part TV special.
When the kids were in their 20s, they joined friends to form the band, Sweet Ecstasy. The group was honoured with Canadian Black Music awards & grew popular with their hit song Pull Our Love Together, opening for acts like Grandmaster Flash and Kool & the Gang.
My mom, Debbie Johnson, began her solo career in the late 80s. Revered as one of the pioneers in Canadian R&B, she released 3 studio albums, toured the world, and received 6 Juno nominations.
Naturally, I grew up in the studio with my mom and have fond memories of singing on her demos in our basement studio, where she would challenge me to “find the harmony” - foundational I why I love creating vocal arrangements in my own songs. My career began at age 10, recording for the Canadian Sesame Street and Canadian environmentalist David Suzuki’s album the Amazing Journey. In 2004, I banded with friends to form the group EleMental and the brand Ms Paige was born. Over the past 17 years, I have written and released 35+ singles and had the pleasure of performing across the world. Although it’s been nearly 4 years since I released new material, music will forever be embedded in my DNA and I’m forever proud of what my family has accomplished and contributed to the soundtracks of lives around the world. See less