Mark Horton_20160713_R8A9024

With chart topping temperatures and intermittent thunderstorms hitting Ottawa, it was hard to tell if there would be a big turnout for the second week of Bluesfest, but despite the hot, humid weather, music fans came out in full force.

Quite a young crowd gathered by the main City stage to catch the insanely talented Bramptonian, Alessia Cara. Although she played a shortened set, Cara was still able to get the audience excited, and singing along to each of her songs, kicking off the set with “I’m Yours,” originally featured on last summer’s EP, Four Pink Walls. While Cara only just turned twenty, she holds quite a bit of wisdom in her lyrics, noting that we all go through hard times, but we are responsible for our own happiness as she moved into the slower ballad, “River of Tears.” It was very inspirational to see her using this opportunity to speak to the audience with positive messages of self-love and acceptance, while keeping the mood light as she moved into “Seventeen.” Cara finished off her set with her break out hit, “Here,” and you could tell that more than a few people in the audience could relate to this wallflower anthem.

XXYYXX is seen here performing at the RBC Bluesfest in Ottawa on Wednesday, July 13, 2016.The RBC Bluesfest is ranked by Billboard Magazine as one of North America’s top ten festivals.   ~ RBC BluesfestPress Images  PHOTO/Danyca MacDonald

Following Alessia Cara, I chose to check out another 20 year old prodigy, XXYYXX. Over on the Blacksheep stage, Marcel Everett was spinning tracks and blending them together seamlessly. As someone who has been remixing and producing tracks since his preteen years, the Orlando-based DJ has had more than enough years of experience to prove himself. Sampling snippits of tunes from the 90s, most notably being the TLC classic, “No Scrubs,” he was able to easily flow from mystical and ambient synth melodies to heavy drops that kept the crowd on its toes, shouting for more as the sun set on Bluesfest, Wednesday evening.

Photos by Mark Horton and Danyca MacDonald courtesy of Ottawa Bluesfest.