Forget compasses, GPS, or helpful Sherpas. From June 13–19 this year, Torontoist is here to be your guide to everything NXNE.
Allie Hughes, bewitching a Styrofoam head, at her Prom Queen Dream show last month. Photo by Corbin Smith/Torontoist.
Allie Hughes has lots of jobs. The vocal instructor at the Toronto Institute for the Enjoyment of Music is also a sometimes-caterer, actress, and swag-bag stuffer for Woofstock. “I just take whatever I can get,” Hughes says, laughing, while chatting with Torontoist at Capital Espresso in Parkdale.
Hughes is also hard at work making a name for herself as “Toronto’s freshest weirdo pop princess.” Since we last spoke to her during Canadian Music Week, Hughes has been busy recording her first album, and putting on her production of Prom Queen Dream, a theatrical homage to Carrie, last month.
And the “weirdo pop” doesn’t end there; from what she divulged to us about her NXNE set tonight at Wrongbar, you may want to pack your best lederhosen.
Torontoist: Tell us why we should see you at NXNE, in 10 words or less.
Allie Hughes: If you like German, es wird groß sein.
What’s your post-set routine?
Well, the most obvious answer is to get drunk. But actually, I don’t really drink that often; I kind of don’t drink at all. I just like to ride the wave. If it’s a good set I usually feel pretty high off performing. I mean, I love it. If it’s a bad set then I feel god awful, and I just leave as soon as possible.
Does Northeast beat Southwest, and why?
I’ve never played SXSW, but I drove down with some friends, Bruce Peninsula actually, two years ago. I sort of got the experience, although I didn’t have a pass so I was seeing all the free shows. I wasn’t that impressed, but I’m probably going to go down next year once I release the record. I hope to have a good time.
It’s different with NXNE because we live in the city. We know what the good shows are going to be, what the good venues are. I guess, in terms of experiences, I’ve had better NXNE experiences than SXSW.
Who’s going to be the breakout act of NXNE this year?
I feel like that’s already determined. It’s always the ones that have the buzz going on before the shows that end up with the good showcases that end up with the crowds and that end up with the good reviews. I don’t know—whoever’s being buzzed about right now. It’s not like all the youngsters think; it’s not like they get accepted to NXNE and they come and they do their show at Rancho Relaxo and the labels are all there and they get signed. You have to, going into it, have the right showcase and the right lead up to get anything from one of these festivals.
[Laughs] I’ll say the breakout act of NXNE is going to be Sheezer, because they’re my girls.
What’s up next for you?
The only thing that’s for sure is an East Coast tour, out to Sappyfest. Those are really the only performances that are figured out right now. It’s kind of just, like, finish the record. I got asked to do a rally today. Maybe we’ll do that. It’s the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. They’re doing a rally for the one-year anniversary of the G20 in Queen’s Park. It’s with Greenpeace and NOW Magazine, so I don’t know. I might do that. I might get political.