Demetrius Nath is a musician, a business person and deeply committed citizen of Mississauga. He is a fixture of the music scene as the lead vocalist and guitarist for the band Maybe May, the owner of music marketing and promotions firm Antiskeptic Entertainment, and the co-founder of MississaugaMusic.com. The web site brings together the Mississaugans who make music, operate venues, create events and otherwise showcase the city’s talent in front of audiences from home and away.
Playing so many different roles comes naturally to musician-entrepreneur-citizen Nath.
“In my opinion, the idea that you have to be either an artist or a business person is an old school position,” Demetrius says. “There are certainly a lot of broke musicians who are good at their craft, but need business acumen to bring in an income stream and actually make a living with their music.”
For Demetrius, that doesn’t just mean playing different roles, but paying attention to what is happening and addressing gaps that require growth and change.
“Over the last 5 years, I’ve really taken an interest in what is happening locally,” Demetrius says. “It’s all established and extremely diverse and vibrant.”
“After 15 years in business, he saw gaps that needed to be addressed and decided to expand the services offered by Antiskeptic Entertainment. That led to his participation in the Starter Company PLUS Program for Music offered through the Mississauga Business Enterprise Centre (MBEC) in partnership with the City’s Culture Division.”
The program offers business consulting support, learning opportunities and grants to new and established small businesses. Participation in programs like Starter Company PLUS is an experience Demetrius recommends to other musicians without reservation.
“It might be intimidating, if someone wants to sit in their bedroom and write songs for pleasure, then they don’t have to challenge themselves,” he says. “But if you want to play for larger audiences and be part of the larger scene, then you have to be part of the ecosystem. It’s crucial and there is no way around it in 2020. The people at play, whether it’s the Mississauga Art Council, or MBEC, or Mississauga Music, we are all looking to promote local talent. Once you reach out, and you have quality content, it will make your life a lot easier.”
The experience in the program, coupled with the business grant that comes with participation, enabled Demetrius to collaborate with other musical Mississaugans to write and record Through Your Eyes. The single, released in September 2020, is available for download with sales benefiting the Mississauga Food Bank. The song came about as a result of Demetrius’ attention to local matters. Since the onset of COVID-19, the food bank has been serving 56% more clients compared to this time last year.
“To get into the program and to get the grant was to get the seal of approval from the city and the judges from the city,” Demetrius says. “That was meaningful for me because it meant I had someone’s backing and there was a process in place to make sure I was doing the right thing for my business and for the community.”
Written in collaboration with Matt Zaddy and Kendra Charest-French, Through Your Eyes was created according to the unique pandemic rules at play.
“We wrote the song over Zoom because we couldn’t get together.” Demetrius remembers. “It was a different beast to work on each other’s parts online without even being in the same room. Luckily, by the time we got into the studio, we were in phase 3 of re-opening and we were able to shoot the video – not necessarily next to each other — but at least in the same facility!”
The Starter Company PLUS Program is delivered by the Mississauga Business Enterprise Centre (MBEC) for the Mississauga area. MBEC is a business unit of the City of Mississauga’s Economic Development Office. The Starter Company PLUS program is funded by the Province of Ontario and is delivered by Small Business Enterprise Centres (SBECs) across Ontario who are part of the Province’s Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE). For information about the program outside of the Mississauga area, please refer to the list of Small Business Entrepreneur Centres and Community-Based Provider Locations in Ontario.