John Antoniuk, aka “Smokekiller”, is a singer/songwriter from Saskatoon, SK. John’s music draws a diverse range of comparisons from Teenage Fanclub and Weezer, to Ryan Adams and Neil Young. In 2003, John released the Side A ep which quickly garnered him attention as a songwriter and saw him sharing the stage with artists like Ron Sexsmith, and Hayden. “13” was the first full-length release with the Smokekiller moniker and was mixed by Steven Drake. “Out There” from the album “13” was selected as a National Finalist in the 2009 RadioStar Songwriting Competition.
In 2011, John was awarded a 10k20 project grant from Rawlco Radio, which allowed him to go into the studio with producer Leeroy Stagger. Together they created “Always With You”, a full album of new material dedicated to John’s mother, Marlene, who passed in October 2010. The album featured performances by Leeroy Stagger and his Band, Kevin Kane (Grapes of Wrath), and John Ellis (Ridley Bent/Doc Walker), and was released on September 4th, 2012. Also in 2012, John was named “Best Solo Artist” in the Planet S reader’s poll.
For the last 7 years John has been a self employed, self-managed, full-time, independent artist from Saskatoon. John has represented the province at showcases like South by Southwest (Austin, TX), North by Northeast and Canadian Music Week (Toronto, ON), Folk Alliance International (Kansas City, MI) and the Prairie Scene Festival (Ottawa, ON) where he opened for Colin James at the National Arts Centre.
John has also been a semi-finalist 3 years in a row for the International Songwriting Competition (2013-2015) and has held a bi-annual residency at the Cameron House in Toronto in May and November (2012-2017).
Recently, John has connected with Ryan Dahle (Age of Electric, Limblifter, Mounties) and together they have been working on new material for the highly anticipated follow up to Smokekiller “13”. With previous support from the FACTOR demo program and provincial support from Creative Saskatchewan, John was able to go into the studio in January 2016 and record demo material to help build a team for the full album.