A MESSAGE FROM THE FOUNDER
Message from R Planet’s founder K. Beige: “In support of the Black Lives Matter movement, R Planet Magazine had decided to take a break from posting our articles at the beginning of June like we would normally do to make room for the voices that need to be heard at this time. As we aspire to be future leaders in the music industry and art scene, we understand the influence black culture has had on why artists like us have been and are to create and continue to push the boundaries. Us as a collective and a growing community plan to use our voice and platform to help those who have been marginalized, and those who have been ignored for many years. All of us together need to come together to make this world better again."
THE R PLANET STORY
by Mark Janz
So happy to have you joining us here at RPlanetMagazine.com. Before I introduce the magazine itself, allow me to introduce the three burnouts behind the mayhem: my name is Mark Janz, I am the “editor in chief” of R Planet Magazine. You probably wonder why I put my title in quotes; that’s because I have literally no background whatsoever in journalism. I graduate from Mount Royal University in spring of 2020 with a Bachelor’s of Business Administration, with a double major in human resources and management, and a minor in marketing. Yeah, a pretty far cry from a music magazine. The reason I piloted this branch of R Planet is because I spent those 5 years in university (and many before I even turned 18) scurrying all over Calgary’s music scene. I play guitar in my glam slam rock n’ roll group Dextress, and have made friends with multiple bands, fans, promoters, and other artists.
This brings us to my partner in crime; one of the founders of R Planet, Shak Kongnetiman. I met Shak back at the start of the 11th grade at Dr. E.P. Scarlett High School, where he was new to the school, and we had both joined the school choir. Our bond was immediate based on the shared passion for literally ANYTHING other than the choir. In fact, any mischief, B.S., truancy, and intentional disobedience was 99.9% mine and Shak’s doing. Shak has been making his mark on the Calgary scene as well, playing with alt rockers Playing Kards in 2016, all the way up to his hip hop journey as K. Beige.
Left to right: Mark Janz, Shak Kongnetiman
Shak met his other partner in crime while working the part time grind at the mall, who was a bright smile kid named Zak Spada. Shak and Zak quickly hit it off based on everything from the love of skateboarding to the love of hip hop, and now they work as an incredible hip hop duo called Pastel. Zak has earned himself quite a rep for his rap technique, and can be spotted on stages around the city as Kid Sky. Shak and Zak had the idea to create an artist collective called R Planet. They weren’t overly sure what they wanted to do with it though; was it a record label? A promotions company? The possibilities were endless, but there still needed to be that one big idea to give this solid idea a launching pad.
Shak and Zak Spada, wearing R Planet apparel. Shop for yours on our apparel page
As I approach graduation, I found myself wondering if I picked the right major. When I originally went to university, it was just to get a backup plan to keep me safe if my rock star dreams ultimately fail. But in recent years I had been having a blast writing articles for Vocal, and fell in love with writing about music. Recent years also saw the closures of multiple venues in Calgary, and also highlighted the fracturing of the local scene. I always knew this scene was rich with multiple talented artists, but with venues closing, there were no ways for other people to learn about them. I had also noticed that many music publications (local and provincial) and festivals tend to neglect so many artists because they do not fall into the right clique, genre, or career level. That’s when the light bulb went off in my head about a way to serve the scene, serve the city, and find a hub for Shak’s and Zak’s company’s activities: an all local music magazine.
Calgary has an emerging hip hop scene, but for being arguably the biggest genre in the world right now, it is about as underground here as it was in New York during the ‘70s when GrandMaster Flash helmed the booth. Calgary has a ton of wild metal acts, but they often get shoved into the shadows by these types of publications and local festivals. We live in a really interesting generation of music listeners. Music is now so accessible thanks to Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube, that genre is more and more becoming a fleeting concept. 20 years ago, it would not be very common to see a Madonna fan in line for Iron Maiden tickets. Nowadays, it’s far less surprising to see listeners being fans of more than one school of genre. The listeners are ready to discover new artists of many genres, but they often do not get the chance due to the exclusionary nature of many discovery mediums in the city and province.
Shop for your R Planet apparel here
Shak, Zak, and I also noticed the John Hughesian nature of the Calgary music scene. The Calgary music scene could have The Breakfast Club serve as a fitting allegory: it’s full of cliques, even within the genres themselves. These cliques can be based on everything from personal feelings, to career level and accomplishment. It’s unfortunate to see, because as local artists trying to make our name, we should be one another’s biggest supporters. What we strive to do is to give all artists, of all genres, of all career levels, an opportunity to have their music and their art to be shared with eyes and ears that may otherwise have never heard of them. R Planet does not care if you’re Bakersfield country, or if you’re folk punk; you are welcome at R Planet. R Planet does not care if you sold out The Palace, or if you played to 10 people at the neighbourhood pub; we are excited for you and interested in you at R Planet.
R Planet features five broad columns: Pop It Off (pop), Let It Rock (rock), Vibes (hip hop), Razor’s Edge (metal), Alternative Energy (alternative/indie). The sixth column is called “Have You Heard…”, which features artists that may not sit well in one of the broad columns, or alternatively sit well in more than one of them. R Planet Magazine is only available online for now, but we want to print issues when we do feature stories on artists. For these artists we would do a full interview, a multi-page story, and put them on the cover. As we said before, we don’t require that you’re a specific genre or that you’re the biggest band in town; we only require you to have an upcoming release, an upcoming show, and that you allow us to come pass out your cover issue to your fans at that show. We want to bond this city over its art; we want to help Calgary become a solid music scene for this generation; there is far too much talent here that people need to hear.
R Planet Magazine strives to bring Calgarians the real Calgary beat. So many local magazines only cover few genres, neglect upcoming local talent, and exclude based on popularity. R Planet aims to aggrandize the many genres, the diverse artists, the venues, and the events that the city boasts. R Planet Magazine is a magazine about artists, by artists, for Calgarians of all ages and backgrounds. Non-exclusionary to artists based on their genre, or based on the level they are at in their careers.
This is our city, this is our scene, this is R Planet.