When Canadian indie rock band People You Know (link) parted ways a few years back, lead vocalist Aimee Bessada was quickly scooped up by Kiyomi McCloskey and Laura Petracca, founding members of alternative rock band Hunter Valentine (formed in 2004), to fill the lead guitarist slot. Kiyomi and Laura knew of Aimee prior to her arrival in Hunter Valentine, as they had previously done some gigs with People You Know in Toronto.
Soon after, they embarked on a whirlwind tour that saw the band doing some select dates with Cyndi Lauper on her 30th anniversary "She's So Unusual" tour. Aimee had been with Hunter Valentine for about a year before they were handpicked by Linda Perry for Make or Break: The Linda Perry Project, which began filming in late 2013.
*There are some spoilers*
With all of the aforementioned going down at breakneck speed, and judging based on various comments on Linda's reality series, Aimee's exact role in the band was never really clearly defined and discussed before signing onto the show. In the premiere episode, Kiyomi explains that she was anticipating potential issues with the songwriting part due to some comments that Aimee had made while they were on tour. Of course, this lack of communication eventually bites them in the ass and comes to a head on Make Or Break, where we learn that Aimee misses being a lead singer. However, Kiyomi is reluctant to share the spotlight and tells Linda that she's not very open to sharing duties.
Hunter Valentine drama ensues in many of the episodes thus far, with much of the focus being on this power struggle, and it takes an especially nasty turn when Aimee finally decides to quit the band and Linda suggests that she stay on as a solo act. Kiymo was livid about both decisions.
But drama aside, it's important to note that Aimee emerged as a fan favorite. Hunter Valentine and Aimee get the lion's share of the attention from the public on Make Or Break's Facebook page whenever a new episode airs, however, Aimee has probably benefited the most from the show. People seem to connect with her moreso than Kiyomi because she has that certain charm and charisma that draws you in. To me, her overall vibe is very reminiscent of that special moment in the early 90s when grunge was beginning to take root in the mainstream and there was no shortage of female-fronted rock/alternative bands. It seems like Aimee could be a catalyst for igniting a movement.
Aimee's breakout moment was probably in Episode 3, "Busking, Romance, and Fresh Blood", when Linda tasked all of the artists to busk in the streets of Los Angeles for money. Linda wanted to see what Aimee could do apart from the band and discovered that there was 'another voice that deserves to be heard.' The performance of her original, "The Wine Song", is simply astounding, with Aimee showing so much raw depth and talent. Linda was clearly impressed.
Don't forget to tune in to Make Or Break: The Linda Perry project on September 3 to find out who Linda signs to Custard Records.
Linda Perry Project Facebook Page
VH1 Bio Page
Lucid Culture Article
VH1's Exclusive Chat With Aimee
Full Episodes Of Make Or Break on VH1's Site