Tokyo Smoke & Design Exchange teamed up to present How Soon Is Now; an elevated take on 4/20.
Including an immersive experience by C2 Montreal, a light installation by Jamie Webster, DJ sets from Chippy, Nino Brown, Jahmal, Bambii, Xavier Pierre, Sophie Jones and a surprise performance by DVSN.
Freshmen Friday was on the scene to capture all the faces, fashions and higher moments of the evening and brings you a peek into the night's festivities below...
Freshmen Friday's own Olivia Seally plans a special off-site, summer edition of Room Service at Frankie’s Surf Club in Port Carling, Muskoka with an exclusive performance from Madame Gandhi and DJ Bambii.
Kiran Gandhi, known by her stage name Madame Gandhi, is an electronic music artist and activist based in Los Angeles. Having gained recognition as the former drummer for M.I.A. and her political work supported by her MBA at Harvard, Madame Gandhi now writes music that elevates and celebrates the female voice.
Gandhi was hired as the first digital analyst at Interscope Records in Los Angeles. While at Interscope, she managed to get her drumming audition video into the hands of forward-thinking, politically minded artist M.I.A., who then invited her to join her band on tour.
Inspired by the possible synergy between music and social activism, she has since begun working on music under the stage name Madame Gandhi, while Alexia Riner became a key contributor to the project, providing electronic soundscapes and co-production. In 2016, she released her debut EP, Voices, featuring guest appearances from Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs and Alt-J guitarist Joe Newman.
Dana’s music dives into dark, almost sinister vibes, speaking on topics of female empowerment, past personal experiences and sexuality. A master of many trades, Dana has dipped in the professional modeling industry, and was former punk musician in Dentata until she switched pace and turned to R&B and hip hop to "make music for girls to dance to (at the strip club)."
Calling all ends of the city, Dana has made her way through and from Toronto, in with her biker gang from Mississauga, (shot in her latest video “Head”), and a diverse range of voices with similar opinions expressed in her work. Dana’s topics of choice seem to be of recent relevance in issues spotlighted in the industry, such as the rising attention to female talent and oppression, as well as sexual openness and negative experiences to inspire others to speak out.
Freshmen Friday's own Olivia Seally asks Dana to take the stage in this month's edition of Room Service...
In the age of digital archives and fast paced lane changes, a true reinvention seems almost impossible. The internet warehouses everything. For Peruvian singer/songwriter Alejandro Chal, a.k.a A.CHAL, rebirth seems to have come fairly effortlessly. For the past five years, A.CHAL has been creating druggy, atmospheric music in Los Angeles and New York. His 2013 Ballroom Riots found some success on the blogosphere, but overall, the record was reaching for sound that it couldn’t fully grasp. The guise was too transparent. Still the potential was enough for A.CHAL to leverage Ballroom Riots into a publishing deal with Sony ATV.
With Pigeons & Planes naming A.CHAL as one of the Best New Artists of 2015, taking the stage at Interview Magazine’s Coachella 2015 party, support & coverage from the likes of the FADER, i-D Magazine, USA Today and more, A.CHAL is surely a new artist to watch for this year. With the release of his album, Welcome To GAZI, he has fully come into his own, working the dark persona he has always embodied into a sophisticated but still true-to-life, deep and sultry sound. It is the perfect accompaniment to a cool L.A. night brought to the comforts of Toronto's backyard!
Freshmen Friday's own Olivia Seally brings A.CHAL, his GAZI release and its perfect accompaniment to a cool L.A. night to the comforts of Toronto's backyard!
By day, Shan Poo managed his family’s Thai restaurant until its recent closure in Manhattan’s Flatiron District. By night, he has been making wistful R&B tracks under the moniker BOYSLASHFRIEND, a name derived from the fact that he always seems to find himself in weird relationship “purgatory.” His 2013 EP Leather Weather was composed mostly of what he calls “sad, emo, bedroom songs,” documenting this grey area between friends and lovers. But on his debut album, Low Key, Shan strove for a more versatile sound, fit equally for the bedroom and the club. While a myriad of trendy R&B acts currently saturate the airstreams, Shan aspires to make classic songs that will still be enjoyed 20 years from now. Shan is keeping tabs on his most played songs online and working to produce what his fans love, rather than be “selfish” with his music. With his upcoming project being released early November, our guests will be among the first to hear this new work: will he find love? Will he find himself? Stay tuned...
Catching the interest of Pharrell Williams early on in their career, with their first track “Treat Me Like Fire” – Lion Babe is a neo-soul R&B duo that formed in NYC, made up of vocalist Jillian Hervey and producer Lucas Goodman. Some of their notable tracks like “Jump Hi” and “Wonder Woman” included collaborations with Childish Gambino and Mark Ronson and Pharrell Williams respectively. They also made a feature appearance on Disclosure’s “Hourglass”. Asked by Childish Gambino to open for him – they subsequently acquired a US record deal with Interscope and a UK deal with Polypro that summer. Following the signing, the duo released their self-titled debut EP in 2014 with music critics raving it as “a warm-blooded blend of soul, R&B and electronica”. The duo also toured with Disclosure in 2015 – Lion Babe brought new tunes like “Wonder Woman,” the track they cut with Pharrell, to major venues like Madison Square Garden and the Sydney Opera House. This track went on to peak at number one on Billboard’s interactive chart Billboard Twitter Emerging Artists. The duo released their debut album “Begin” this February with production input from Pharrell Williams, Dave Sitek, among others. The album is lined with lyrical content of “positive” messages of empowerment. Hervey sings with a soulful style similar to that of Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu – with her strong stage presence and vocals and Goodman’s beats, the duo is limitless.
Freshmen Friday's own Olivia Seally books Lionbabe's last stop on tour in the newly opened East end venue while Freshmen Friday's own Karim Ash spinned the tunes for the evening...
Jesse burst into the music scene with his first release Dopamine: My Life On My Back EP, a soulful narrative on love, infatuation, lust, obsession, pain and loss. His critically acclaimed follow-up LP The Beauty Created boasts an unabashed admiration of romance. Jesse’s organic tone, innovative sound and live instrumentation on these two early projects solidified his defining place in the history of soul music. 2011’s Gold Panda-produced Way of a Wayfarer EP explores with greater depth his spiritual journey. 2014’s Love Apparatus was hailed by Pitchfork as “a warm, dreamy album that easily allows you to get lost in its glow”, while collaborations with innovative and eclectic artists including MachineDrum, Theophilus London, Tokimonsta, Nadastrom and Logic expanded his sound into new territory. Jesse’s highly-anticipated, full length Bartholomew mixtape and short film project, with features from Alex Isley, Tess Henley, Syd the Kyd and more, will be released Spring 2016.
Freshmen Friday's own Olivia Seally helps Jesse celebrate the launch of his upcoming project, Bartholomew, which will be released in June 2016 leaving us amongst the first to hear Jesse’s new work.
MeLo-X is a multi-sensory curator and artist based in New York City. With a career that spans roughly the last decade, MeLo’s work has included many unique projects, seamlessly blending the worlds of music, art, fashion, photography and design. This combination of studied technique, experimental expression, a DIY mindset and multidisciplinary approach allows MeLo’s work to stand out as that of a Renaissance man, consistently pushing boundaries. MeLo has toured the world since the release of his first mixtape Mustafa’s Renaissance in 2008 — recording and performing in global music hubs from Berlin to London. His additional releases have included Zulu Guru, a collaborative effort with fellow artist Jesse Boykins III, Yonce-X inspired by Beyonce, the Inside the Mind of Melo series, and a plethora of celebrated singles and remixes. In 2014 MeLo scored the music for Jay-Z and Beyonce’s co-headlining stadium On The Run Tour. Recent multidisciplinary projects have included Pop-Rally at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 2015, a performance at Milk Studios during NYFW in 2014, and a collaborative exhibit with Hugo McCloud at the Sean Kelly Gallery in New York.
Freshmen Friday's own Olivia Seally brings him out to Toronto for a special night of live performance!
Canadian indie-soul singer & songwriter Daniel Caesar captivates his audience with distinctly smooth vocals tracked over a stunning net-soul palette. Caesar’s innovation is the result of a collage of influences reflective of his musicality - the classic sound of Pink Floyd and the Beatles, combined with his deep gospel background, create a hip hop influenced sound with an invoking feel of rhythm and blues. His style of writing, which draws content and emotion from real life experience, brands Caesar with depth and honesty.
September 2014 sees his first offering “Praise Break” which was named one of the top 20 R&B albums of 2014 by Rolling Stone, as well as the number one Canadian album by Noisey of Vice Magazine, establishing Caesar as one of the most exciting newcomers to the indie music scene.
Freshmen Friday’s own Olivia Seally assists in the release party of Caesar’s anticipated upcoming E.P. debut ‘Pilgrim’s Paradise’…