Our team

Alana Mayer

Photographer, Los Angeles & New York

Alana Mayer is an LA transplant who has made Brooklyn home for the past 8 years. During that time she's dipped her toes in a variety of creative ventures from music and portrait photography to sustainable design and even starting a lingerie line called The Dawn Studio. Yoga and meditation keep her sane (most of the time), so when not at a music show, listening to quality tunes or creating some of her own, you can catch her teaching yoga around the city.

Andrea Smitko

Writer, Toronto

Andrea is a Toronto-based writer.

Anna Topol

Editor, Luxembourg

Anna is a techie with an affliction for art, music, and photography. She's pro Oxford comma and against overuse of semicolons. Toronto ex-pat currently based (mostly) in Vancouver.

Areli Freeman

Writer, Toronto

Areli Freeman is an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto studying economics and international relations. While she is mainly focused on finishing her degree, she enjoys writing about music, books and culture in her spare time. She is also an avid stress-baker. Paramore is her first love, but she is always willing to listen to new alternative soft rock and pop, and will eagerly share her recommendations with anyone who is willing to listen. 

Ben Lemieux

Writer, Toronto

Ben Lemieux grew up in Montreal, where he began writing for The Suburban during high school. After graduating from McGill University, his career spanned Canada and the UK, where his work appeared in magazines, newspapers, entertainment and financial websites, B2B publications, and a short fiction anthology.

Ben Shirai

Photographer, Brooklyn

Ben is a photographer and videographer in New York City by was of Dallas, Texas. Shooting a lot of bands, both live and promo, has lead to the occasional music video. Ben also shoots fashion and fine art with various film cameras, shooting on both 35mm film as well as 120 film. Ben also shoots photojournalism style and is hired for BTS, or "behind the scenes" shoots on films and recording sessions.

Brett Banducci

Photographer, New York

Brett Banducci is from the Bay Area and has been in NYC for the last 2 years. He specializes in Music and Fashion photography. He enjoys making tasteful images as well as finding ironic moments in life to capture. He has worked with Juxtapoz Magazine, SOB's NYC, and various upcoming brands.

Cait Schmitz

Writer & Photographer, New York

Cait is a NYC based writer, photographer, videographer and recent BFA graduate of Ithaca College. She dabbles in almost every creative pursuit she can and has yet to decide a favorite. With a mom who’s past was a singer in the NYC 80s punk music scene, her life has always been engulfed in music (even if it’s sometimes just singing with her mom in the supermarket). A Beatles fanatic, avid piano player and a Carrie/Samantha mix.

Jack Pontarello

Photographer, Chicago

I am a Chicago based photographer who started about 2 years ago when I bought my first Nikon camera. Began shooting mostly urban landscape/street work in Chicago but eventually moved into other photography categories such as live music. There’s nothing more that I love besides live music and photography. The two colliding in my life has been an awesome experience having the opportunity to shoot artists such as Shakey Graves, Gregory Alan Isakov, and Cherub. Born and Raised in the Chicagoland area, currently residing in the Chicago neighbourhood of Bucktown. 

Jade Newton

Writer, California

Jade has been a music journalist for Quip since 2014 and enjoys the entire spectrum of music thanks to her family of musicians and music lovers. A native of Chicago, now living in Southern California, Jade works as a linguist. When she isn’t writing for Quip or working on something linguistics-related, she enjoys reading, volunteering with non-profits organizations and traveling.

Kateryna Topol

Founder and Editor in Chief, Toronto

A near decade ago Kateryna realized that it was time to translate her passion for music into a tangible product which very quickly became the first iteration of QupMag.com. Today Kateryna is spearheading what has become a recognized North American music publication with a team of contributors across major Canadian and US cities, documenting stories and shining a spotlight on new music. Kateryna also currently holds a seat on the FACTOR jury board. Working as a Design Director in emerging tech by day Kateryna splits her time between these two different industries consistently searching for talent and opportunities to grow the publication in new ways. Still very much actively writing herself she can be often spotted in photo pits of various stages across the city and sharing live from international music festivals showcasing a range of genres from indie, to reggae, to obscure sub-genres of electronic.

Kristie Kahns

Photographer & Writer, Chicago

Kristie is a freelance photographer based in Chicago, specializing in capturing movement, creative portraits, and performances. She received a BA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago. Remaining close to her first passion of dance, she has spent over a decade as a part of the Chicago dance community through her camera, photographing everything from ballet to b-boy crews to capoeira to tap dance. Her deep love for the Chicago music scene began years ago, attending Sunday jam sessions at the old Velvet Lounge. Since then, she has worked with artists in Chicago’s vibrant hip hop and jazz scenes, photographing performances and festivals all over the city. The creative process of artists is something that fascinates her, so she enjoys collaborating with artists off stage, behind the scenes, in rehearsal or in their studios, to reveal different facets of their work and personalities.