music

Beatrix on the Beat

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Beatrix is a member of the INRUN Crew.

You can follow her here.

Where are you from?

I was born in the Philippines and moved to Vancouver as a child. Now I live in Toronto.

What do you do?

I am a music producer / graphic designer. Before I become a music producer I was active in the b-boy community. I still break every once in a while but more for the sake of having fun instead of competing.

What is your dream creative project?

My dream creative project would be to work with other multidisciplinary artist on a large scale art series that includes filmography, photography, music, fashion, and animation.

What are your go-to tunes for… 

Rising? -  any of the Soulection mixes

Exercising? - A$AP Mob

Partying? -  Hyphy / G Funk / Trap music

Where are your favorite places in Vancouver to… 

Eat? -  Guu

Dance? - Robson Square

Drink? -  Fortune Sound Club

Shop? - Thrift Stores on commercial drive

Why is running important to you?

Running is important to me because it helps keep my mind sharp and refreshed as well as maintaining my health.

What change/difference is the INRUN Crew making for the LGBTQ+ community?

I believe the InRun crew is giving the LGBTQ community more exposure when it comes to LGBTQ in sport. There isn’t enough representation when it comes to the LGBTQ community in sport. I think it’s dope that there is a place like the InRun crew where I can feel comfortable being myself while pursuing an active lifestyle with likeminded individuals.

Is there something you really want to do in your city that you haven't yet?

I haven’t snowboarded in Toronto yet but I would love to go up to Blue Mountain and see what it’s like snowboarding there vs. snowboarding in Vancouver.

List three people that inspire you…

1.) Wondagurl 

2.) Sam G Notes (owner of New Generation Studios)

3.) Marvin Waves (singer / artist) 

Zachary Roher

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You can follow Zach here.

Where are you from?: Toronto

What do you do for work?: Cultural Curator, Artist Manager & Clothing Designer

What do you do for fulfillment?: Work

What is your dream creative project?: Write + produce a film

Do you consider yourself a freshman, sophomore or senior in your field?: Sophomore

What can’t you leave the house without?: Unfortunately, my phone :(

What's a typical day in the life for you?: Gym, breakfast, emails, lunch, meetings, emails, dinner, option (a) sleep, option (b) event, sleep.

What would your perfect 24 hours consist of?: Somewhere warm with my friends and a pool/beach, loud music, and no phone.

Where's your favourite place to eat?: Imanishi

Where's your favourite place to dance?: The Drake Underground

Where's your favourite place to drink?: @gan.bei's apartment usually with @forkii (prominently photobombed in polaroid)

Where's your favourite place to shop?: Formerly Nomad, In Vintage We Trust, Haven

Is there something you really want to do in your city that you haven't yet?: Throw a festival

What are your go-to tunes for getting ready to leave the house in the morning?: Menahan Street Band - Make the Road By Walking

What are your go-to tunes for exercising?: G-Unit - Beg For Mercy

What are your go-to tunes for going out for a night on the town?: Daft Punk - Random Access Memories

What was your new years resolution?: Learn French

What do you think are the qualities of a life well lived?: Balanced, mindful, and full of people you love/love you

Kindly recommend 3 people that inspire you that we can continue the conversation with...: 

Charlotte Day Wilson
Rami Helali 
Dahae Song

Dana Wright

This emerging genre-bending musician has already caught the attention of Into the Gloss, Wonderland, Dazed and fashion industry fave Petra Collins. Drawing inspiration from Marilyn Manson, Eminem and the Backstreet Boys, her diverse influences transcend to her broad online reach.

With over 11k Instagram followers, Dana receives 410 likes per post and 2.5 video views, on average. Last year, Dana’s music was streamed for 29k hours in 57 countries on Spotify, where she currently received 5286 listeners each month.

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Fabio Dessena

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You can follow Fabio here.

Where are you from?: I am originally from South Africa and am half Italian.

Where do you live now?: I've lived in the UK since I was 2.

What do you do for work?: I work as a model in London and have a part time job working in a warehouse to fund my dreams of being the next upcoming artist from the Hip-Hop/Rap scene, UK TO THE 6!

What do you do for fulfillment?: I write music

What is your dream creative project?: My dream creative project would be my first ever album - I'm 19 now, so hopefully just a few more years. 

Do you consider yourself a freshman, sophomore or senior in your field?: I will always consider myself a freshmen, until I am next level, but for now I am still a freshman / the underdog, And that's ok, because It wont be for long ;)

What can’t you leave the house without?: Vaseline, my wallet and headphones.

Where's your favourite place to shop?: Nike, head to toe.

Is there something you really want to do in your city that you haven't yet?: I would love to headline a show in London - you're all invited when I do!

What are your go-to tunes for getting ready to leave the house in the morning?: Jimmy Prime - Faded

What are your go-to tunes for exercising?: Smoke dawg - Snow

What are your go-to tunes for going out for a night on the town?: Future - POA

What do you think are the qualities of a life well lived?: Happiness, clarity, and a good mind state.

Lola Plaku

Lola Plaku, aka ILuvLola, is an industry insider who catapulted her career from fast food cashier to hip-hop journalist to artist development expert, supporting the careers of artists like Dej Loaf, Kehlani and Drake. After applying her OG industry wisdom to her role as manager for French Montana, Lola now takes care of marketing and brand development for Belly and Safe.

As Lola’s following soars past 70k, each post received over 2k likes, with an overall engagement rate of 3.3%.

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Matthew Progress

Matthew Progress masterfully blends house and hip-hop to craft a unique sound that goes beyond Toronto’s signature moody vibe. As his haunting deep voice flows over bass-heavy beats, he gets personal on most tracks, giving listeners a glimpse into his insightful thoughts. His years of experience in the music industry could easily classify him as an OG but his constant reinvention makes him just as fresh and exciting as a newcomer.

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Jimmy Prime

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You can follow Jimmy here.

Where I Came From: Toronto

A portrait of Toronto's rap underground...

...Jimmy Prime believes that the outside perception of Toronto culture is more accurate than ever before, thanks to platforms like Instagram account @6ixBuzzTV. “A lot of cities don’t have that, their own journalists talking about the culture in the city,” he says. “I feel like our identity is kind of getting solidified, people know what we’re about more than ever.”

Jimmy contributed heavily to spreading Toronto culture outside of the city when he rebranded the city “The Six” - after its six boroughs and the area codes 416 and 647. Drake took the term global, and it’s common to see everything from dentists to guided tours adopting the name when strolling around areas like Queen Street West. “I feel like the idea is bigger than me,” he explains, humbly. “If everyone didn’t embrace it, it wouldn’t be a big deal. It’s like the Big Apple: I’m sure someone invented that, but it doesn’t really matter. It’s more about the city embracing it.” He admits that it hit him how much the term had really caught on when he saw it being used by the Toronto Raptors basketball team, then later found it had also been adopted by the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team.

“We’re not a mystery city anymore,” says Jay Whiss. “I feel like we’ve accomplished a lot. It’s time to transcend, I want my music to transcend everywhere”...

for the full article head to Clash.

Words: Grant Brydon  

Photos: Olivia Seally & Karim Ash

Sean Leon

In a post-Drake Toronto, Sean Leon goes beyond the city’s signature moody sound. His diverse sound teeters between grungy and bubbly and his persona is authentic and irreverent. Sean’s projects include CCWMTT and I Think You’ve Gone Mad, a song ‘Matthew in the Middle’ with vocals from his dear friend and collaborator Daniel Caesar, was featured on the soundtrack for HBO’s Insecure. Beyond his own music, Sean is the founder of the IXXI collective, which is responsible for launching and developing Daniel Caesar’s meteoric career and fostering other Toronto talent.

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Jahmal Padmore

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You can follow Jahmal here.

You can listen to Jahmal here.

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Where are you from?

Scarborough/North York currently living in Chinatown

What do you do?

I’m currently working in community and brand for lululemon. And I produce music and podcasts for myself and Tokyo Smoke. I hate running but its what I do to keep sanity.

What is your dream creative project?

I'd love to rent Barry Gordy's mansion in Detroit and record an album there with my band miracles.

Where are your go-to tunes for… 

Rising? -  Oprah’s Super Soul Sundays podcast 

Exercising? - Frankie Knuckles and Mr.Fingers

Partying? - ...Drake 

Where are your favorite places to… 

Eat? -  Rhum Corner 

Dance? - Wherever I’m DJing

Drink? -  416 Snackbar 

Shop? - Bond Running

 

List three people that inspire you…

Yolonda Abrahams
Keita Juma
Jordan Sowumni

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Jayemkayem

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You can follow Josephine here.

You can listen to Josephine here.

Be sure to follow Istolethesoul FM on Facebook and Instagram

Where are you from / where do you live now? 
I've lived all over the world (England, Hong Kong and Calgary) but now I live in the beautiful city of Toronto. 

What do you do?
I currently make my living DJing, freelance writing and doing marketing consulting; for fulfillment I work on my community radio project Istolethesoul FM and love to help my friends with their projects as well.

What is your dream creative project?
My dream creative project would be to launch launch a full-time independent radio station for our city, or to design my own sneaker. 

What are your go-to tunes for:

Rising - I have a 90s and 2000s R&B playlist that I love for the mornings. I recently rediscovered Monica's "The First Night" so I've been jamming to that pretty heavily lately

Exercising -  "I Am A God" or "Black Skinhead" from Yeezus both do it for me every time

Partying? Right now it's "Bartier Cardi" or anything by Missy Elliot

In your city, where is your fav place to: 

Eat? Buk Chang Dong in Koreatown for my favourite tofu soup
Dance? Parts & Labour or Yes Yes Y'all
Drink? Cold Tea or 416 Snack Bar
Shop? Livestock

Is there something you really want to do in your city that you haven't yet? 
I've never been up the CN Tower! 
 

Kindly recommend 3 people that inspire you that FF can continue the conversation with!
Freeza Chin <3
Bianca Harris
Vonny Lorde

Stacey Sexton

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You can follow Stacey here.
You can listen to Stacey here.

 

Where are you from I'm originally from CBS, Newfoundland - a small town outside of St. John's. I moved to Toronto in 2009 and I currently live in Chinatown. 

What do you do?
I work at a vegan resto on the bar slinging juices etc. On the side I DJ, produce and also do freelance graphic design work. 

What is your dream creative project? 
I love branding and curating music events, so ideally I would love to merge these two worlds together..working for a brand or a creative team and curating large art & music events would be the best!

What’s stopping you from it? 
Right now my focus is on finishing school, it takes up a lot of my time but I fulfill that creative desire by making my own DJ events or events with my collective Something Special. 

What are your go-to tunes for:

Rising Currently , Peach - Silky
Exercising Lady Gaga - Fame Monster (Album)
Partying Currently: Jammin Gerald - Come On Y'all

In your city, where is your fav place to: 

Eat? Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu
Dance? Bambi's or around my apartment (free of charge ;)) 
Drink? The Embassy Bar
Shop? Sub Rosa Vintage Kensington Market

Is there something you really want to do in your city that you haven't yet? 
Yes! Toronto Design Exchange, Toronto Botanical Gardens and although not in Toronto..I havent been to Niagara Falls yet. 

Kindly recommend 3 people that inspire you that FF can continue the conversation with! 
Sarah O’Driscoll - my best friend based in Montreal. Head of photography / manager @ SSENSE
KTANA - up and coming Toronto DJ and producer, she has sick hybrid house/bass/rnb infused tracks .
Chippy Nonstop - I love Chippys relentless hard work and dynamic energy that she channels in her DJ mixes. 

 

Dre Ngozi

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You can follow Dre here.
You can listen to Dre here.

Where are you from?
I'm originally from Ottawa but now living in downtown Toronto. 

What do you do?
Over the past year and a bit, I've been working as a full-time Dj and occasional model/actress. But, I'm a Jill of all trades. I recently created the score for a theatre piece and short film (which has always been a dream of mine) and currently producing.  I'm also a low-key a holistic health practitioner and continue to study Traditional Chinese Medicine - for those who know ;)

What is your dream creative project?
My dream creative project is to produce my own EP and direct the visuals for a few of the tracks. I've always been very interested in audio and visual storytelling and would like to dust off my videography skills... It'd be nice to eventually use my Communications degree! *Kanye shrug

Where are your go-to tunes for… 

Rising? -  It really depends on the vibe of the day and/or my energy. I'm super moody.  In the morning, it's often jazz, meditation music or indie rnb.

Exercising? - Rap and House music. I need that hard shit.

Partying? -  Old school Hip-hop and RnB, sometimes disco boogie music (but to be honest I rarely go out anymore unless I'm DJing)

Where are your favorite places to… 

Eat? -  Mother's Dumplings. They've taken a lot of my money.

Dance? - I have a wall of mirrored closet doors, so you know it gets sexy.

Shop? -  I'm a thrifty bitch, so it's either Black Market on Queen St. West or whenever Forever 21 has a sale.

Is there something you really want to do in your city that you haven't yet?
I want to get back into curating multi-sensory community art events and facilitate wellness workshops with a focus on the QBIPOC community. 

List three people that inspire you…
Jayemkayem
Beat Sampras
A l l i e

 

Vaughan

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You can follow Vaughan here.
You can listen to Vaughan here.

Where are you from?
Born and raised in Toronto.

What do you do?
DJing full time for the last year has been super inspiring. Working events around the city, I'm mainly focused on carving out spaces for WOC that promotes visibility. 

What is your dream creative project?
Developing a workshop or festival, a platform whereby new artists are able to learn, progress and establish themselves in the growing Toronto party scene.

Where are your go-to tunes for… 

Rising? - Lakim - Get Out On Your Own

Exercising? -  Matthew Progress - Le Fog

Partying? - Yaeji – Raingurl

Where are your favorite places to… 

Eat? -  Pam’s Roti, so glad they found another spot in Bloordale.

Dance? - I love new spaces, any warehouse vibes and I'm there?

List three people that inspire you…

Myst Milano
Bliptor
Dina Khashan

 

Katie Lavoie

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You can follow Katie here.

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Where are you from?

Born and raised prairie girl from Calgary, AB. Living and working in Toronto

What do you do?

I've loved many facets of music for a long ass time. Punk to jazz to disco to club. I always want my sets to be passionate and dynamic. If I’m not giving you a body high to some degree, I’m not doing my job. I also think dancing is therapeutic - there is something so powerful about not giving a fuck and letting a set totally elevate you… it can be very personal! I think my litmus test for a good set is if it makes me cry - Honey Dijon made me kind of sob.

For myself, DJing is cathartic. It can release demons for me and I consider myself very lucky that I’m able to do this. Toronto can be a very supportive city and to be among such inspiring people is an honour. I’m constantly learning!

What are your top 5 songs of the moment? 

Burn the Witch - LSDXOXO

Call Me - Deee-Lite

Spend The Night - Pal Joey

I Wish U Heaven - Prince (this will be my wedding and funeral song)

If You Don’t Love Me - Prefab Sprout (Future Sound Of London Mix)

Where can we find you on a Friday night? 

On a Friday night, I’m usually playing. Or wishing I could be seeing one of my friends play. That’s a downside to being a DJ and having many peers who do it - passing ships in the night. Clone me already! Also, to be honest with you, if I’m not playing - I like to re-charge. I can’t stress enough about how important self care is in nightlife. You have a large duty to perform well and be fun and be social and probably “party" - it can be mentally / physically exhausting and I have to force myself to chill a lot, or else I’m half a person and suck

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Jamie Webster

Jamie Webster

Jamie Webster is a multidisciplinary creative at the helm of some of the coolest video content coming out of Toronto. As creative director for OVO superstars, Majid Jordan, Jamie Webster’s expertise in fashion, photography and graphic design are always on full display. In addition to this, Jamie is the founder of Common Good, a Toronto-based directing collective and full service animation, design and VFX studio.

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Chippy Nonstop

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You can follow Chippy here.

You can follow Intersessions here.

You can listen to Chippy's mixes here.

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Rapper and DJ Chippy Nonstop has been living in Canada ever since 2015, when she was deported from her lifelong home of the U.S. In her adopted home of Toronto, she's thrown herself into the local scene as a DJ, promoter, and as the co-founder of Intersessions: an initiative (founded with Rhi Blossom) that runs seminars and workshops to teach women, femme-identifying, and non-binary folks how to DJ. To showcase her own formidable style behind the decks, Chippy has crafted a relentless 30-minute mix for The FADER that bounces from one rubbery, smile-inducing club track to the next — with a little Daniel Bedingfield and classic Bollywood thrown in for good measure...

For the full article head to the Fader

 

Ace Dillinger

Ace Dillinger is a Toronto-based DJ with a penchant for afrobeats, trap, and dancehall. Her uptempo, eclectic mixes can be heard at popular clubs like Apartment 200 and Oak Island. In addition to playing shows and building her own brand, Ace shares her DJ expertise with emerging female DJs at mixing workshop and panel series, Intersessions, hosted by Chippy Nonstop.

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Jesse Boykins III

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You can follow Jesse here.

Photos by Mike Rousseau

Where are you from?: I was born in Chicago, Illinois and my childhood was spent in Jamaica, then Miami and New York. Now I’m here, in Los Angeles.

What do you do?: I sing and went to New School University for Jazz where I also taught myself how to produce. 

What is your dream creative project?: I believe firmly in collaboration. I feel like that’s what the art of music is; being able to have a band and have different energies combining to make this one entity. I don’t have a problem producing my own stuff; I just never want my voice to be the only thing that’s expressed. I have a lot to say for sure but not only do I learn in the experience of collaborating with someone, but we definitely bring things out of each other. So although I have been collaborating with some people since 2007, I still love to bring in new talent.

Is there something you wish you knew earlier?: I did all right early on; I was an independent artist, shooting all my own things but would have videos on TV and was getting awards for things I didn’t even know I was nominated for. The main thing I wish I knew earlier on in my career is the art of collaboration with brands, like I did last year. It started by just taking a lot of pictures and conceptualizing ideas and then they’d meet me and I’d have more to talk about besides the music. 

Tell us about the female project you’re doing and why did you decide to, instead of putting in the music, give women a direct voice with that project?: I always go back to my childhood and think about how certain situations were handled. I felt like most men didn’t necessarily take the time out to understand women. So I thought that was how you’re supposed to be as a man. And then growing older and having to deal with my ego within relationships, I realized that’s not how you should be as a man (laughs). Often when a man and woman have a conversation it feels like a show because of the concept of attraction. So with the women’s project I interviewed women ages 17-65 and asked questions that I felt they were probably never asked before. The questions were: ‘What do you love about being a woman?’ ‘Long term lust or short term love?’ ‘Tell me the first time you experienced love and the feelings that come with it?’ ‘Beauty or danger?’ ‘Climax or balance?’ ‘Chaos or structure?’ ‘All the things you hate about a man?’ ‘All the things you love about a man?’ ‘What’s on your list of a paper perfect man?’ ‘When I say Love Apparatus what’s the first thing that comes to your mind?’ And ‘do you like smiling?’.

continue reading here.

Bambii

Bambii

Bambii is one of Toronto’s most viable new DJ exports. Her online posts and Instagram stories are just as unpredictable as her choices behind the boards but on both platforms, she comes off as effortlessly authentic and well-rounded. Bambii has been tapped to create mixes for Thump, The Fader and NEEDS&WANTS and has toured internationally, both as a solo act and as Mykki Blanco’s DJ. Between tour stops, Bambii throws her own parties, which serve as safe spaces for POC and LGBT folks.

With a growing following nearing 10k followers, Bambii receives over 700 likes per post, on average, with an engagement rate of 7.5%. Whether she’s jamming in an Uber or capturing the scene at one of her shows, her videos garner over 2k views.

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