Blaine Stillman is a drummer and self-taught producer that got his start performing professionally at the age of 17. In his senior year of high school, he was awarded "Outstanding Musicianship In Drumline" for his role as lead snare. Throughout the years, Stillman has received over 10 years of multi-genre percussion training, majority of it being self-instructed. Outside of the band, Blaine is interested in modern technology and self-educating in various topics such as audio engineering and social media marketing. As a performer and self-trained producer, Blaine has prepared himself for his future in the music industry.
Jonah Morris is a Grade 12 honours graduate, and a recent graduate of the Selkirk College Contemporary Music and Technology program: winning the Alexander Rutherford scholarship, the Kinsmen "Salute 2 Youth" scholarship, the 2016-2017 District Student Academic Excellence Award, and the 2016-2017 District Student Fine Arts Award. Born in Calgary, Alberta, Morris has received 10 years of vocal training, 11 years of piano lessons, 3 years of ukulele, and a year of guitar experience under his belt; this in addition to his years of musical theatre training. With a passion for the arts in all forms, Jonah is a driven young musician, ready to share his music with the world.
Blair Stillman is a Grade 12 honours graduate: awarded with “Outstanding Musicianship in Drumline” and top grades in General Music in his senior year of high school. Born in Calgary, Alberta, Stillman received 7 years of classical and jazz trombone training, 3 years of drumline percussion, 3 years of musical theatre pit band, and 10 years of autodidact piano experience. As a self-instructed pianist, Stillman exhibits the talent of Grade 9 Royal Conservatory and has won multiple competitions for his abilities. Outside of his musical aptitude, he has 10 years of photography and videography training, including editing, graphic design, and website coding in which he uses his proficiency for business marketing. With a fascination for artwork in all forms, Blair is a motivated multi-instrumentalist and visual artist prepared for whatever the future holds.
Taken By Sanity is a 3 piece, alt-pop band located in the Calgary area, composed of Jonah Morris (vocals, ukulele, guitar), Blaine Stillman (drums, ukulele) and Blair Stillman (keys, trumpet). Forming in late May of 2016, the trio has since accomplished much in the past four years they’ve worked together; from multiple EP and album releases, to talent competitions, to awards and accolades, it’s clear that Taken By Sanity is a group with much on their horizon.
However, everyone needs to start somewhere, and Taken By Sanity is no exception. With their humble beginnings recording YouTube covers and performing for student recitals, Blaine and Blair’s duo group “The Stillman Brothers” sought out vocalist Jonah Morris to expand their band’s sound. Discovering one of his recent uploads, the brothers immediately started to bond with Jonah over their shared music taste and goals. After a brief “audition” in their grandparent’s living room, the band was officially formed, and booked their first show for the following week. Feeding off each other’s energetic nervousness, the boys rushed to put together a 45 minute set, and much to their surprise, 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 Day Celebration; their first show in front of a few hundred people. After their performance, the trio felt newfound inspiration to pursue music more seriously, and the group decided to finally start writing their own songs, recording 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 won 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, Taken By Sanity played as many shows and festivals as possible. Despite some difficult performances and personal issues, the trio kept pushing forward, utilizing their outlet of songwriting to deal with their own mental health 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 reached the finals with their first 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.
Later that year, Taken By Sanity was nominated for two YYC Music Awards, and took home People’s Choice Award. Utilizing this newfound recognition, the group continued to work on their original music, and released their single “Streetlights” and their EP “Saturn Days” in May 2020; a collection of alt-pop anthems, with their best sound, production, and songwriting quality to date. Their follow-up music video helped fuel the fire, and presently, Taken By Sanity has no intention of slowing down. With three YYCMA nominations this year (2020), including Group of the Year, national television exposure (Still Standing, CBC, 2020), and fresh music in the works, 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 their humble beginnings and struggles, the group has stayed true to their dreams, and it’s finally paying off.