Exploring and expanding the Ottawa music scene

Ottawa radio DJ, promoter, and musician Zoë Argiropulos-Hunter has a lot of on her plate.

Argiropulos-Hunter has always found new ways to expand her knowledge of the Ottawa music scene. The 22-year-old uOttawa student does this through First Crush Promotions, Also Cool Mag and a new band, Déjà Vu.

Carleton University’s radio station CKCU has hosted First Crush Promotions since 2017, when she decided to help artists make a name for themselves in the Ottawa music community.

“The idea for First Crush was built when I peeled back the wallpaper and saw things in the community that I didn’t like or I thought it should be changed,” said Argiropulos-Hunter. “I wanted to create a space for people like me and my friends who felt unsure of themselves and uncomfortable.”

Aside from First Crush Promotions, her and her best friend, Malaika Astorga, both wanted to create a magazine together.

Astorga met Argiropulos-Hunter through DIY shows and mutual friends during their high school years. With the passion for design and music, the pair teamed up to create an online publication that would represent Montreal- and Ottawa-based music.

And so, Also Cool Mag was born.

Malaika Astorga and Zoë Argiropulos-Hunter created Also Cool Mag.
Photo credits: Unknown

“Our team is very community-oriented and collaborative, we learn from each other and we all have different strengths and it’s really cool to have a diverse team,” said Astorga.

With the passion of music, event planning, art, and writing, they decided to collaborate together to make Also Cool Mag. They wanted to make sure it was community-centred, which is working with local bands, artists and venues.

Argiropulos-Hunter is taking a back seat on First Crush Promotions and prioritizing Also Cool Mag. She wants to make sure she gets back on the “swing of things” when she finishes her communications degree.

Afterwards, she’ll focus on First Crush Promotions again and look into the local festivals that are happening in April.

Besides writing and hosting talk shows, Argiropulos-Hunter spends time with her band, Déjà Vu.

Back in Grade 10, she and Jacob Wynia would hang out and play covers of Talking Heads and Iggy Pop. With Wynia on the guitar and Argiropulos-Hunter singing, they started as a duo.

Jacob Wynia and Zoë Argiropulos-Hunter met in high school and started to create a band together. Photo credit: Ming Wu

Yet, in May 2019 they opened up to friends who liked “jamming” with them. They turned into a quintet with a drummer, bassist, guitarist, pianist, and vocalist.

“It’s fun when we’re playing; I feel like it’s all balanced,” said Wynia.

As spring comes up, Déjà Vu is hoping to play at the festivals like Sitting on the Outside.

“I was involved in the [music] scene for a long time, met a lot of cool people who were promoting shows and I always looked up to them,” said Argiropulos-Hunter.


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