Taken By Sanity
Taken By Sanity is a 3 piece, indie alt-pop band located in the Calgary area, composed of Jonah Morris (vocals, ukulele), Blaine Stillman (drums, ukulele) and Blair Stillman (keys, trumpet). Forming in late May of 2016, the group started off with little to no experience performing; with the exception of Blaine and Blair’s two duo performances, and Jonah’s handful of recitals. Feeding off each other’s energetic nervousness, and only a week to put together a 45 minute set, their first show was a relative success. Immediately discovering the positive response they were receiving from their upbeat, high-energy shows, Taken By Sanity continued to work on their musical and performance skills, leading to the Strathmore Canada Celebration, for hundreds of people. It was at this point that the group first started to write their own songs, and recorded their first tune “Roses” in Jonah’s basement. Continuing to grow and develop their own unique sound, Taken By Sanity entered their first talent competition in November of 2016 with their cover of “Trees” by twenty one pilots, and winning second place.
Riding off the high of their first tangible success, the trio continued to book shows and write music, formulating their distinct instrumentation and sound; crisp vocals, ukulele, hardcore drumming, backing track, trumpet, and cohesive keys to tie it all together. For the next two years afterwards, they played countless shows and festivals. Despite some difficult performances, they kept pushing forward, utilizing their outlet of songwriting to deal with their mental health and self-doubt issues. Eventually, this writing process formulated into the their first self-produced demo CD, released in March of 2018. Although the project was far from perfect, having a physical product of their hard work and passion was thoroughly satisfying, and helped develop their fanbase further. This release eventually led to their participation in the 2018 Calgary Stampede Talent search, where they got all the way to the finals with their song “Roses”. Their genuine enthusiasm, talent, and unique audience participation resonated with the crowd and judges, inspiring them to work harder than ever before. Formulating a strong online presence on Instagram, Youtube, and Facebook, Taken By Sanity continued to rise in popularity.
Despite Jonah having to move to another province to continue his student career in September of 2018, the band became stronger than ever, and constantly worked on new material. Over the course of 8 months, Taken By Sanity released 3 singles (Strike, Sleepwalker, and Keep Them Warm), produced and released their first music video, gained hundreds of followers and subscribers on their social media pages, and wrote, recorded, and self-produced their first cohesive LP project “City of Contrast” (released on June 1st, 2019); a project that delves into the constant shift between one’s sane and insane mindset, eventually resolving into acceptance and balance, reflected through the two songs “Gravity” and “Shade of Blue”. Additionally, the band entered their single “Sleepwalker” into the annual CBC Searchlight competition, and with the help of their dedicated fanbase and local communities, managed to make it into the Top 10 in all of Canada. All of this accomplished, while separated by hundreds of kilometres, and simultaneously studying in college. Based on this evidence, it is clear that Taken By Sanity is a group quickly on the rise, finding success through their hard work, genuine passion, and unique identifiable sound. Despite starting from nothing, and pouring their souls onstage countless times on deaf ears, the trio stayed strong and persevered, and managed to carve out their success through their honest songwriting and dedicated performances.