FSU graphic designer nominated for Forest City London Music Awards

Three members of the band Swagger on a stage with their logo above. CREDIT: PROVIDED BY DARLA STRATTON
FSU's Darla Stratton and her band Swagger performing at the Aeolian Hall in London.

FSU graphic designer, Darla Stratton, and her band Swagger have been nominated for a Forest City London Music Award.

The Forest City London Music Awards is a non-profit organization whose goal is to foster growth in the musical industry of London, recognizing current music talents and facilitating the development of a new generation of musicians.

“We’ve been really fortunate,” said Stratton.

The Fanshawe College Student Services and Here For You logos are shown. A young woman is shown sitting at a desk. Text states: Supoort comes in many forms. Experience flexible services that support you where you are. myfanshawe.ca/hereforyou

“We’ve been nominated in either cover band or fan favourite every year since 2017, so we were pretty lucky that way. It’s always appreciated because at that point it’s nominated by people, friends, and fans.”

The awards have been run since back in 2002, where it was solely known as the London Music Awards. The categories up for contention each year range across many different musical genres and areas including classical, jazz, pop, blues, metal, tribute bands, electronic, and more.

Stratton and her group Swagger are a cover band that’s been on the scene since 2013, who already have past wins at these awards including for cover band in 2019, fan favourite in 2017, and more.

Along with the award nomination, the group just hit a major milestone of their own that they’re looking forward to celebrating.

“For us this year, because it’s our tenth anniversary, we are revisiting some of the venues and events we did in that first year. We're going back to the bar that we played our first London show and we’re also doing Halloween and New Year’s Eve events, so we’re just busy celebrating.”

With the past success and accolades as well as this year’s nomination for ‘fan-favourite,’ Stratton attributes much of the group’s success and longer tenure to how they’ve structured their performances and lifestyles.

“All of us in the band have a full-time jobs,” said Stratton.

“We could literally play every Friday through Sunday if we wanted to, but we purposely try and only book one to three shows a month to make sure that we keep a healthy balance between the band and our personal lives. I think having that time to step back and recharge is why we’ve been together as long as we have.”

Plenty will be in attendance for the upcoming award show from fans, officials, families, and more. One portion that often gets overlooked is how uniting events like these can be for the musicians themselves.

“In the end, being in the music scene is hard enough as it is. So, we look at it like, we’re happy for anybody that’s been nominated. Definitely gets you excited. Then when you show up that night, it’s kind of like a reunion for people that you haven't seen in a while.”

For more information or to vote for Stratton and her band Swagger or any of the other groups and individuals nominated, head to https://academy.fclma.ca. Voting closes on May 5 at midnight.