Canadian Music Week Review Part 1 with Angela Saini & Denver Haylee

Sing! Dance! Act! Thrive! Podcast Episode 014

Canadian Music Week review part 1 with guest artists Angela Saini and Denver Haylee.  I share all of my CMW experiences from live shows, awards, panels, and interviews and then pass it onto some artists to report on their CMW experiences and what they learned from the various workshops.

Sing! Dance! Act! Thrive! Podcast Episode 014


Welcome to Sing Dance Act Thrive, featuring conversations with performing artists and industry influencers on what it takes to succeed in the arts. I am your host Diane Foy and I believe that you really can make a living from your creative talents. As a publicist, podcaster and coach. My mission is to educate, motivate and empower you to thrive with authenticity, creativity, and purpose.

Diane Foy 0:40

Hello and welcome to episode number 14 of Sing Dance Act Thrive. Last week was Canadian Music Week, so there’s lots to report back. I will let you know what I did for CMW including some shows and some panels and then I invited some artists to come on. So this is part one of a two parter on Canadian Music Week. This week we have Angela Saini and Denver Haley, and they’re going to tell us about what they loved about the CMW artists that they checked out and panels and what they learned from them. So I hope you enjoy it.

Diane Foy 1:24

My CMW started off on Tuesday night, I had my artist Kelly Fraser playing the longboat. Upstairs at the Great Hall, I went up to see Moon Versus Sun collaboration between two of Canada’s most prolific artist Chantal Kreviazuk and Our Lady Peace frontman Raine Maida. They came together they’ve been married for 20 years, and have written a lot of songs for other artists as well as their own career. Artists such as Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Drake and they’ve come together to do their debut album. The only thing about their show that I wasn’t a big fan of was they were kind of bickering back and forth. I think they’ve made a kind of the stick. And the audience seemed to love it and it’s not my thing. And then I went and saw the documentary that album is based on, “I’m going to break your heart”. It’s a documentary about the making of the album. It’s interesting because it shows their songwriting process. But again I was like, I don’t want to listen to them arguing for 90 minutes. Maybe I’m just not a fan of conflict. I don’t know that part wasn’t my thing. But the music, the performances were lovely and the album is beautiful. Like there’s so many songs that I’ve only heard a few times and they’re ingrained into my head. Some of the standout tracks of the album have the same name. “I’m going to break your heart” is the title song. I’m going to break your Heart is a great song. “I love it when you make me beg” it’s another standout song. Honestly one of my favorite songs on the album, I don’t know if anyone else picked this one up but “Bring that Boy” I love that song. The very cool like the names that came to my mind when I try and think of how to describe this song is Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris, Rosanne Cash, Rodney Crowell, that whole thing that whole vibe of like Americana music really struck me that “Bring that Boy” to me song love it. And definitely check it out on Spotify, the album is out now, and I am told that the documentary will be on Crave TV on May 24. The music is just haunting the album is just beautiful. Definitely, I hope that they continue releasing music under this project Moon vs Sun.

Diane Foy 4:00

So on Thursday, the first thing I went to at CMW was Linda Perry. I’ve been a fan of hers from well, day one. And like many of us have, her as an artist and then she’s produced the biggest names in pop music. I love her rants, she went on some rants, took the time to listen to artists on recording or she invited artists to come up and just play their song. And she gave feedback and she gave great feedback. Sometimes it was, it was great! I don’t know what to say. Other times she gave you know, really detailed feedback on how they can improve the song. One of her rants was on country music which I loved. I agreed with everything because she’s like you know what I am missing with country music? Country music there’s no country. Then I could tell after so many artists went up to play their songs. She was kind of getting bored. And then she’s just like can anyone come up here and just mess things up. And someone was jumping up and down saying, yes, me, me, me, me and she kind of looked at her went, I don’t really believe you. But she brought up this fantastic harp that apparently she created and co-made. So just because it was something different Linda gave her 100 bucks, which is fantastic. But even then I think Linda was, is there any rock stars here? Someone give me something different. Something I haven’t heard before. She blames Nirvana for the fact that there are no rock stars anymore. She also blamed SUM 41 too, but you know, as a Canadian, I feel like I need to protect them. She said that they made everyone feel like anyone can do it. No one thought that about Mick Jagger, David Bowie, because they were rock stars. And Linda also proclaimed that she’s a rock star. She lives her life. The way she is 24/7, and she walks into a room you know, she’s a rock star.

Diane Foy 6:18

She just said the bar is so low, that there are ants crawling over it. She wants the artists to stop playing it safe. And she even looked at everyone went you all look lovely. Well I don’t see a star. That was a good wake up call for everyone. All the artists in the audience to you know, even the songs that she said, yeah, they’re great. She still kind of wishes that you would try something new, mess something up to try some edgier or do something different. And I agree. I would like country music and rock and roll to come back.

Diane Foy 6:56

So next up was the Global Forum. The soundtrack to democracy, music’s political and social power. I missed the first bit of it, because I was in Linda Perry, but I went over to cut the last half and saw a bit of the panel discussion. It actually showed a really cool documentary. I think it’s a CBC documentary on Buffy Sainte Marie called Buffy Sainte Marie raises her voice was cool. And it went into her history and how they tried to censor her. They tried to, FBI had a file on her and she’s like, what did I do?

It just showed the differences that she made and the part of the film that I loved was they showed Buffy introducing A Tribe Called Redd at the Junos in 2016. They interviewed one of the guys and he was kind of tearing up and he said that after backstage Buffy said to him that “It used to just be me up there.” That was a powerful moment that come a long way for indigenous artists. To have more of them on the Juno’s and not just Buffy Sainte Marie for last 30 years. And then there was a rap group, The Sorority, they were wicked and then when they finished performing. One of the girls said, I encourage you to attend shows that maybe make you uncomfortable. A lot of people, they, they stick with their genre of music that they like, and they go to all the rock shows, or their country person, they go to all the country show, or even hip hop. They go to all the hip hop shows. And it was a really good message to just say, go to something you’re uncomfortable with. If your hip hop artists. Well, in case she didn’t say this, but I’m going to switch it up on her. She’s saying check out a hip hop show and I would love a hip hop artist to go check out a country show, jazz show and just get new inspiration.

Diane Foy 9:09

After that I went off and I interviewed Tom Jackson live performance coach. So that’ll be another episode later on and we’ll get the interview with Tom but then also some artists that I sent to his workshops to report back on what they learned and how they’re going to incorporate it into their own live performances. Next I interviewed UK musician Dave Randall who is a guitar player and producer. He’s worked with Sinead O’Connor, Faithless and Dido and some others. And he has always been very politically active with his life and his music and he has a book out called “Sound System the Political Power of Music”. It was really interesting he speaks of the power of music and politics and the influence that music can have in the world. So I had a chat with him and that will be on another episode coming up soon. Then I headed on over to the Music and Broadcast Industry Awards at Rebel. For the first little while it was kind of boring.

I’m sure the radio people love the beginning part because it’s all their awards. But I waited for near the end when they had some musical performances 54 40 performed which you know, they’re always wicked. And they also had a bunch of musicians get together to tribute Michael McCarty, who’s getting an award for his career in publishing. They had Esthero and Three Days Grace, AlexisonFire, Billy Talent, Jellystone, all performing together.

Diane Foy 11:00

Lifetime Achievement Awards recipient was Robbie Robertson, and he was there to accept. And then the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame celebrated producer, songwriter and musician Eddie Schwartz. He’s written a lot of songs. Probably the best known is “Hit Me with Your Best Shot”. He’s worked with The Doobie Brothers and Gowan and America many others. Gowan performed. I haven’t seen Gowan in I would say years but it might be decades and I was always a big fan of Gowan. So he sang “When there’s Time for Love” and then Gowan singing “Hit me with your Best Shot” made my night. That was fantastic. It was fun and Gowan was such a great performer.

So on Friday, I interviewed Joe Solo he’s a producer and music success coach. So that’ll be for an upcoming episode. He hadn’t ask me anything and I have some great feedback from some artists that I sent. Friday night was the Kensington Sound, Am to FM promotions CMW showcase it was such an amazing lineup of artists and different type of music. You know, it was great to see MT Walker and that was personal favorite of mine because back when I started doing publicity 2005 maybe I worked with Turn off the Stars. And they were kind of one of my bigger bands that I’ve worked with it as a publicist. When I was starting out doing PR and they were just kind of starting out and taken off and they open for Switchfoot and did many tours. So then I haven’t seen or talked to Mike Walker in 10 years and ran into him at the same party last year. And we reconnected and it was so exciting to see that his twin brother was up there with him.

Diane Foy 13:00

So it was really great to see him and love the new music. There was another artist Jordan John. I don’t know who he is. I assume he works with Ben at Kensington Sound. It was very cool R&B, soul, you know, wicked voice, like wow, really stood out and got everyone’s attention. Kelly Fraser performed. She is my artist. She’s an annual artist and she had the crowd singing along chanting along. It was a really fun time. So if you had everyone sing along to leave us alone, and dance and to Rebound Girl, little later, Tamara Maddalen. She’s one of the artists that I sent to some panels to give us feedback. And then there was another artist, Rime Salmi. She was great. I really loved her. She had a really unique sound, really good performance. So I’d love to see her again. Saturday. Didn’t do a lot. Well, no, I did a lot. I did less work. I was supposed to interview King Combs, Sean Diddy Combs son. King Combs was also supposed to be on a hip hop panel at CMW. But he was a no show. So yeah, I don’t really have a lot to say about that. Then I saw a bit of Joe Solo, Tom Jackson. And then I went to the music Ontario CD Baby party at the Joint. And that one was a just a good casual party to catch up with all the new friends. So that’s kind of where the main industry people there that we see all the time, but maybe don’t always get a chance to chat with. So it was great to catch up with some people there. And then I went to go see Danko Jones at the horseshoe. So another one that I haven’t seen in a year or two years, which means decades. Danko Jones And such a good show. Such a good show to a pack a crowd. And then I just mingled around, you know, Bovine, there we go, that was my CMW (Canadian Music Week). From all of that and the fun just keeps on going. So now I am going to turn it over to some artists to tell you about their CMW.

Angela Saini 15:24

I’m Angela Saini. I am a singer songwriter, folk pop Americana artist based in Toronto, Ontario. Played showcase on the Tuesday night at the Drake Hotel. It was great. I love that venue it has awesome sound. That showcase was it was quite an eclectic mix. One other thing I really noticed, which I didn’t, I hadn’t realized until that night was it was all female and all female lineup which I love. I love that I’m seeing more and more of that. So it wasn’t advertised as such, which I also love.

Diane Foy

Which kind of makes it better.

Angela Saini

Well, I think so. I’m a firm believer and I think that you know, the whole women in music thing I fully support obviously, we need more women on stage and you know the equality, but at the same time, I just I don’t think, you know, women in music as a genre. So it’s for me, it’s sometimes it gets taken as like, we’re all one in the same and I kind of like that we’re just like, we’re for half the population. I mean, we’re just like all women that are in music. We all do totally different genres and different styles. And I like that. It’s no big deal. It doesn’t really matter what the gender is of whoever’s on stage. I kind of like that. There’s lots there’s a lot more women but I also don’t think we need to build them as such because then it kind of creates a bit of a, you know, I don’t want to be like a stick. That’s not my thing. So yeah, it was a great showcase so, the greatest shows I saw I saw a few amazing shows this Canadian Music Week

Angela Saini 17:00

But one of my favorites was local darlings the Monowhales and turns out they also won an award at the Jim Beam Indies this week as well, but I saw them at the Horseshoe on the Wednesday night playing with some other great acts that I like and they just killed it on stage. I’m such a fan so Monowhales are on fire. And another show I saw that I thought of I saw a really kick ass country show on the Friday night I think it was at the, I think it’s called the Kicking Horse Saloon or

Diane Foy

Rocking horse.

Angela Saini

Rocking Horse. That’s it the Rocking Horse right on Adelaide. I hadn’t been to that venue before and it was a pretty cool stomping venue. Yeah. And the band I went to see was Nice Horse. And if you haven’t heard of them, they are fantastic. They’re an all-female country act based out of Calgary which is my hometown as well. So I know some of the girls in that band. And they’re rising stars, they have great music and they just lit it up. So it was such a great show. And I was had a nice opening act, which was Elyse Saunders and she’s also a friend of mine. I’ve known her for quite some time and I hadn’t seen her play with her band ever. And she just kicked it she’s just got this beautiful country voice and she was like the perfect opening act for that and there’s a whole bunch of A-listers playing that show too. But like it was just a killer night. So just bang on country music if you ever check out that venue, I highly recommend it.

Diane Foy 18:42

So you saw the Linda Perry masterclass. Tell me about some of the things that you might have learned from her and also you got chosen to play your songs, so tell me about that, too.

Angela Saini 18:59

When I got called up, I was the third one. And I felt like I won the lottery. I kind of like Jumped up and I was like yeah, so excited. And she commented on my enthusiasm. And, of course, the minute I got because she had everyone kind of go up to the podium and like stand or sit on the, you know, the riser the stage so it occurred to me while I was up there, you know, they start playing my song and I got so excited. And then I thought to myself, like I better take a selfie. So I took a little bit of video of a selfie share a link, who is the host from pure music. I do know her she thought it was hilarious. And Linda Perry at the end was like, I don’t know if you’re allowed to do that. And then it occurred to me. I don’t know if I was allowed to do that. You know, I didn’t want to get in trouble with Linda Perry’s people. But I did get the go ahead that I could go ahead and share it in my Instagram stories. In fact, they were going to share it after I shared it. So I was like so excited. It was awesome.

Diane Foy 19:58

What did you take away from that whole master class experience?

Angela Saini 19: 59

Yeah, my favorite part of going to listening panels like that is for me You know, I’ve been writing songs for a long time and I’m always interested to see how I feel about the song and if I can compare it to what, you know, the expert says so everything that Linda said about most of the songs that we heard I really agreed with. And so I, you know, gives me that confidence of you know, Oh, I thought that too and I thought that too. So that’s something I really good I got out of it. And obviously, when we played my song “Black Sheep”, I was so excited and really happy that she didn’t say anything bad about my song. She you know, she said it sounded like current you know, pop country music she commented on the production of it she said to me like good things like it was really positive. So I was really happy you know, that she didn’t like tear my part my song apart. So that was awesome. Yeah. And I think she I have so much respect for her and her enthusiasm while she was up there and she’s just a really, you know, badass producer songwriter. Just have so much Respect for her. So it was just amazing. They played my song. Yeah.

Diane Foy 21:06

And to get that feedback one on one. I mean, that’s the dream.

Angela Saini 21:07

Totally. Yeah. It was great. And all those, it was funny because when I got off the stage and you know, like after the masterclass a lot of people I saw on the hallways or in the foyer were like, Oh, yeah, you know, you got your song heard or we saw you take the selfie. You know, I was I was kind of the only person who did that. But it was just something that I just was so excited. Like, I just really wanted to remember that moment because it was just the excitement just took hold. Yeah, it took hold on me.

Diane Foy 21:33

That’s fantastic.

Denver Haylee 21:36

Hi, my name is Denver Haylee. I’m a singer, songwriter, producer, and artist here in Toronto. And I make R&B and soul music.

Diane Foy: 21:58

Great. And so how is your CMW Did you see any great artists that you want to check out again?

Denver Haylee 21:59

My CMW was absolutely amazing. It was my first CMW and I started the week off by headlining my first festival show at Adelaide Hall, which was lovely and kind of started or created a nice kind of segue into how I can make myself a better artist by attending all these amazing panels, and workshops as well, interactive workshops, and I did get to check out a couple of new artists as well, which was very inspiring and refreshing.

Diane Foy 22:27

Great. Any artists that stand out to you?

Denver Haylee 22:29

Definitely Wes Mason, for sure. Just as an acoustic artist myself, he is a very authentic songwriter. So I’m just very, very, very, very passionate in his selection of words and he’s only 20. When I found that out, I was a bit shocked because he has a very mature approach to expression. So definitely a shout out to Wes Mason.

Diane Foy 23:00

That’s great and that was at the Kensington sound Am to FM showcase.

Denver Haylee 23:02

Yes. I got a lot of great artists that night for sure.

Diane Foy 23:09

What are some of the panels that you went to and what did you learn?

Denver Haylee 23:11

Yeah, the first panel that I went to, was a discussion with Tuma Basa. He’s the YouTube director of Urban Music and Kardinal Official, he ended up bringing up and they were discussing kind of more the long term history of music.

Denver Haylee 23:33

Like specifically here in Toronto, but from U.S. perspective, and you just pretty much bringing up the fact that you know, Toronto even though there’s a spotlight now that you know, things have been in the works for a long time. You know, our pioneers like Maestro, Saukrates, Michie Mee or Julie Black.

Denver Haylee 23:57

They’ve pretty much paved the way and even though they’re still in the industry right now that they have pretty much shown the new generation you know what to do, how to approach things and also how to get across the border. That was a topic that came up. Tuma actually asked Kardinal how do Canadian artists end up breaking through here in Canada.

Diane Foy 24:22

Question we all want to know.

Denver Haylee 24:23

Exactly. And Kardinal actually said they don’t. He said straight up, they don’t. So it was very interesting to hear, you know, somebody who is a symbol of Canadian music, expressing that openly. You know, I think a lot of times we hear that, you know, maybe we have to do it differently or try different things because it’s a different area but to hear somebody boldly say, No you actually have to leave to make it happen.

Denver Haylee 24:51

Was interesting to me. And also the question portion of the session was good as well.

Denver Haley 25:00

One of my fellow Honey Jam Sisters Esma ended up asking how Kardinal thinks that he can support female artists specifically in urban music in Toronto and Kardinal brought up the point that he thinks that it’s really up to other women to work with more women, rather than leaving it to the men to bring us up. So I definitely made note of that.

Diane Foy 25:30

That’s interesting. Yeah.

Denver Haylee 25:32

I’m also after that session, I also went to the how to become a social media ninja in under an hour. And that was presented by Rick Barker. He’s the former manager for Taylor Swift and he does social media mentoring right now for American Idol.

Denver Haylee 25:52

I kind of got in a little bit late because the sessions were overlapping but when I did jump in, it seemed like the perfect time he was discussing the fact that your number of followers on your accounts does not necessarily equal your value. If there’s no engagement, The number count. You know, that’s it looks good. But you know, are you by numbers? Yeah, you can.

Diane Foy 26:17

Engagement because most industry, the first thing they do is check out your social media. And like, as a publicist, if I’m pitching artists to media, again, first thing they do is check out your social media and oh, yeah, it’s just numbers, whatever. But if they see that you have, like, active conversations going on with your followers that makes them take notice. Yeah.

Denver Haylee 26:41

Yeah. And then he was also talking about the types of influencers that are out there. You know, if you’re just starting out with social media, that’s fine. Don’t compare yourself to you know, the larger names, kind of work within your own community, your own circles and work your way out from. There and then he also discussed, you know, other ways to create community, and, you know, having partners, or some type of brand partnerships, how that can be beneficial even in the earlier stages of your music careers. So that was really, really good.

Moving on, I also did the cooking beats session with Aidan D’Aoust from Socan and he introduced us to Michael Lantz who’s a producer for Jazz Cartier and he’s also working with a new k pop band. So he pretty much broke down his whole session and as a producer for me, I work with Logic, and he had Logic up as well. There are a lot of things that you know, you just aren’t going to learn through YouTube. And I prefer not to learn through trial and error. Right. So that was lovely. And it was about an hour and a half so they took their time.

And then the last, or the second last workshop for that day was with Poo Bear, who is Justin Bieber‘s songwriter. He’s written pretty much a majority of all of his hits. And Poo Bear actually was very inspirational for me because he got to start really, really, really young. He was, he had a, I think he wrote Peaches and Cream for 112. And he was in high school at the time, like in class while it was playing on the radio, which is just mind boggling to me. And he was also joined with Nile Rodgers, who presented him with a lifetime creative award that Rogers has created himself, and to hear those two men so highly talk of each other and be so humble about their own achievements. It was lovely to experience and have a nice first row view. And now was kind enough to take a couple pictures with me at the end of it which was very lovely. And then I also have to give a shout out to the women in the studio panel discussion that was put on by the Canadian Music Publishers Association moderated by Vivian Barclay she’s absolutely amazing. shout out Warner. And we had five women on the panel who are all producers, songwriters, as well.

Denver Haylee 29:38

Shout out to Denise De’ion who’s been doing amazing work all the way from Guelph to LA she’s been winning a whole bunch of producer competitions all across the continent. And I found this discussion to be probably the most intimate one. Probably because it was mostly women. But you know, we were just talking pretty openly, you know about the things that we come across, specifically as producers in the studio. You know, understanding how things work and, you know, not being hesitant and you know, asking what we need out of a professional relationship, and also how to as a producer, let’s male artists know that they can depend on us as well as producers for them. That’s something that I’ve just never really talked about before.

Diane Foy 30:41

Yeah, that’s interesting, because, yeah, you might think that, oh, because it’s a female producer, you work best with female artists and, you know, it’s like you don’t think that about men.

Denver Haylee 30:26

Right. You know, as I predict when you’re, as an artist, when I’m looking for a producer, I’m looking for somebody that I feel is going to have my back all times and who can support me and who I can go to for advice and definitely going to know or they’re definitely going to know rather the answer? So we discussed how you know, in society, it may be challenging for males to find or seek for that kind of support in other women. That was my CMW experience. I met a whole bunch of agents and a & r’s and music supervisors, definitely, there’s a lot of people who were very interested in getting to know me and my craft, and well everybody was pretty much willing to do whatever they could, in that moment, are willing to follow up in the future to assist me.

Diane Foy 31:49

That’s great. Yeah, it’s all about especially during the day, like I say, when you’re not in a panel, you better be mingling and never know who you’re going to meet.

Denver Haylee 32:02

So, definitely you have to be outgoing enough to be open to talking. And so when you see that when I was leaving on the last day Maestro was walking in, and you know, I just stopped him really quickly and thanked him for what he’s, you know, done as an originator for, you know, the music culture here in Toronto, Canada, and you know, he’d just right away, just like of course, you know, blah, blah, blah and just very interactive and eventually we got to talking about my music and the fact that I make male empowerment music, my EP the elements of love that will be coming shortly, you know, support for men in our communities, specifically the POC community to men who tackle what they tackle in society and then have to come home and then be, you know, a hundred percent of that stable force and source of strength, you know, and livelihood for their respective families and their partners. So we had a really nice discussion about that. And he followed up a couple days later through Instagram, which was lovely. So and that’s just so amazing, you know, to have a pioneer 20 years plus.

Diane Foy 33:18

And you think he gets bugged all the time. Right?

Denver Haylee 33:20

Exactly. And I’ve been doing this for a year and a half. And, you know, just the fact that that conversation went down so organically. It’s, you know, a beautiful environment that back in the music he has, you know, created so, it was lovely.

Diane Foy 33:42

That’s all we have for this week for part one of Canadian Music Week review. On next week, we will have Canadian Music Week part two, with more artists we’ll hear from Esma, Tamara Maddalen, a band called Encore and potentially a few other little surprises. On that episode continuing the discussion about Canadian Music Week, the artists and the panels.

Diane Foy 34:11

After that we have Ebonnie Rowe from Honey Jam. And I’ll also talk to quite a bunch of artists that are Honey Jam Alumni, the auditions are coming up in Toronto on June 2nd at the Rivoli. So Canadian female artists between the ages of 14 and 25 are invited to come out and audition. And it’s any genre of music, pop, hip hop, jazz, soca, r&b, gospel rock, blues, alternative, opera, country we’re open to all the live auditions June 2nd in Toronto, and you can also submit online.

They want to invite artists from across Canada to submit online at honey All the details are there. It’s more than just to showcase the artists that are accepted into honey jam. It’s a mentorship program. Artists will receive free music industry workshops at Harris Institute. They will get free vocal and performance coaching. They will get publicity leading up to the showcase their songs played on radio, promotion on Honey Jam socials. There’s a mentor cafe, celebrity Q and A’s, past celebrity guests have include Jesse Reyez, Marcia Ambrosius, Letoya Luckett and Melanie Fiona. One lucky artist will receive $5,000 in Yamaha equipment. Another artits will be chosen to take part in the artist’s entrepreneur program at Canada’s music Incubator at Coalition Music, the opportunities are endless. It all leads up to the concert on August 22nd, at the Mod club in Toronto.

So we will have that coming up, for more detailed show notes. Okay, I’m never going to get the transcriptions up, but I will have links to everything that we’re talking about photos from Canadian Music Week photos of the artists that we’re talking about, and talking to at 014. I am at Diane Foy PR on all social media, and join our Facebook group, sing dance act thrive for performing artists. And we’re building a community there. And if you enjoyed these episodes, please share them with your fellow performing artists and industry influencers and we’ll build our community together.

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