Page 1

THEMANIFESTO.ca

1


Slaight Music is a proud sponsor of

Unite, Inspire and Empower.

T

he number seven is the sage’s number of regeneration and has divine cultural significance throughout the world’s his/herstory. Seven relates to the composition of the universe, renewal, and evolution: the Iroquois believe that each generation should prepare for the future seven generations, not just ecologically, but in every capacity, indicating that every action we make now will have continued impact seven generations f o r w a r d . Manifesto’s seventh year is also a time of renewal – a time to focus and deepen. We are excited to be launching our crystallized vision and the strategic plan that will get us to the next iteration of the organization in such a profound year of meaning. Much like the human body, that regenerates all of its cells in a seven-year cycle, this seventh year at Manifesto, we have regenerated. I have transitioned from my position as Executive Director, and now reside as Chair of the Board of Directors. This is a positive evolution; one that is natural and that will allow me to support Manifesto’s work by reaching further out, while giving space for new energy and ideas to flourish in our fertile soil. Let’s continue planting seeds with the foundation of pure love and positivity, to further manifest the flourishing forests of our freedom and expression. In these seven years we have established ourselves as an organization dedicated to youth and the arts, executed six beautiful festivals in the city of Toronto, co-founded Manifesto Jamaica &

Manifesto Barbados, organized numerous arts education events/workshops, taken a lead role in developing international projects such as Ignite the Americas, successfully advocated for the arts through campaigns such as BeautifulCity, built a strong independent media channel reflective of the communities we are a part of, created youth arts hubs that provide space for work and collaboration, connected young people to career-developing and income generating opportunities – and we are still just getting started. Let us all remember that each one of us is a part of the whole – and we must all play our role to sustain and develop together. Let’s welcome our new Executive Director, Dwayne Dixon, an artist, community leader and a professional, who will bring nothing less than the best to Manifesto. I am confident in his ability to build on the foundation, morals and core values, while taking them to new heights. The results of the cross pollination of art forms that are shining in Toronto, are being accelerated by the second, with the power and convergence of technology, social media and the increased opportunity of learning. Let’s collectively bring the Manifesto vision to its fullest potential, a leader in global youth culture. It’s not so heavy if we all push together. Be a part of it. Che Kothari Founding Director Chair, Board of Directors

www.slaightmusic.com

2

#mnfsto7

THEMANIFESTO.ca

3


C

hange is the word that most often comes to mind when speaking about evolution. To leave it there however, would not only be limiting but would also do a great disservice to the most important steps involved in the entire evolution process. Over the previous six years of our celebration of Community and Culture, Manifesto Festival has grown into a unique and necessary platform for emerging and established artists alike. My evolution is quite similar...

Navigating Toronto with an artistic eye, I’ve had several missteps along the way. Those missteps, h o w eve r, were all necessary evils, and very important parts of my personal evolution. As an artist, this process is almost unavoidable—I say almost, because early in my evolution, Manifesto did not exist. For the last seven years, Manifesto has existed, in large part, to help today’s artistic types avoid those missteps that I could not. “How do I make a career out of my art?” “Where can I showcase my talent?” “Who can I turn to for guidance?!” Fortunately, Manifesto has done a great job in helping artists to find answers to these questions. Whether we’re talking about Dance, Visual Arts, Culinary Arts, Music, Fashion, Spiritual Arts, or Education, we‘ve grown leaps and bounds in only seven years! Our seventh year is no different.

(Last Style Standing), showcasing & expanding our brand (Arts Exhibition, MNFSTO) all while documenting our own history (ManifestoTV). So if to EVOLVE means to change inherited characteristics over successive generations... it’s only fitting that our theme this year is evolution! In 2013, who would have thought 40 years earlier, a house party at a Bronx apartment hosted by Jamaican immigrants, would have lasted this long? Who would have thought 25 years ago, an aspiring emcee from Toronto, would still be releasing rap albums and be awarded a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame?! Who would have thought, a 26-year-old emcee from Toronto, would be the biggest thing to hit rap music with only 3 albums to-date?! Who would have thought that a regular Toronto kid; who fell in love with hip hop culture, would be guiding our city’s most well-respected youth organization for arts and culture?! Evolution... that’s who! Welcome to #MNFSTO7

“To revolve to evolve to self-respect / Cause we got to keep ourselves in check” – Chuck D, Public Enemy Dwayne Dixon Executive Director

During this year’s festival we’re introducing a new venue to the city’s arts landscape (Evolution Conference), celebrating 20-year anniversaries (DJ Mel Boogie & Souls of Mischief), battling

4

#mnfsto7

THEMANIFESTO.ca

5


Manifesto would like to thank all of our sponsors, supporters, community members, artists, volunteers, friends ­— and you — for continuing to make the Manifesto Festival of Community & Culture possible. LEAD PARTNERS

SILVER PARTNERS

BRONZE PARTNERS

GOVERNMENT, COUNCIL AND FOUNDATION PARTNERS

6

#mnfsto7

THEMANIFESTO.ca

7


MEDIA PARTNERS

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Chair Che Kothari Secretary Noora Sagarwala Members Seema Jethalal, Ian Kamau, Miro Oballa, Ryan Paterson

PROGRAMMING PARTNERS

STAFF STUDENTASSOCIATION G E O R G E B R O W N C O L L E G E

PROMOTIONAL PARTNERS

8

#mnfsto7

Executive Director Dwayne Dixon Managing Director Stephanie Perrin Programming Director Jesse Ohtake Creative Director Ryan Paterson Outreach & Internship Director Jade Lee Hoy Music Programmer Wan Lucas Assistant Music Programmer Nate Martin Visual Arts Programmer Ashley McKenzie-Barnes Dance Programmer Jon “Drops” Reid Freshest Goods Programmer Taurean Scotland MNFSTO Merchandise Coordinators Christian Bortey & Taurean Scotland Education & Film Programmer Shaka Licorish Culinary Arts Programmer Norman Alconcel Literary Arts Programmer Del Cowie Spiritual Arts Programmer Chiedza Pasipanodya Film Assistant Jason DeMurrel Merchandise & Sales Assistant Jessica Stomas Communications Coordinator Monica Aza Resource & Development Researcher Lisa George Venue Coordinator Erin Lowers Lead Designer Christine Mangosing Design Intern Izzy Rashid Web Developer Monica Nguyen Marketing Intern Nic Shimura Bookkeeper Heather Campbell Manifesto TV Coordinator Katiuska Martinez Online Content Coordinator Danica Samuel

MANIFESTO FESTIVAL OF COMMUNITY & CULTURE Festival Director Jesse Ohtake Programming Assistant Anna Starasts Music Assistants Jasmin Linton & Raymond RobevvDance Assistants Jonny Wallace & Natasha Powell Visual Arts Assistant Raquel Da Silva Freshest Goods Assistant Reema Mehra Production Director Cameron Wright Volunteer Coordinator Celesté Palanca Promotions Coordinator Alborz Mohtashami Street Team Zera Koutchieva, Mae Ordonez, Troy Peddie and Dominique Robinson Public Relations AudioBlood Video Documentation Directors Jawn Taboika & Jason Rodricks Manifesto TV Team Lawrence Adjei, Nasr Ahmed, Bailey Corneal, Phillip Dixon, Michael Falco, Meron Gaudet, Trevor Janega, Jackie Mak, Lester Millado, Jonny Page, Steffi Tupe, Jason Rodricks, Jahmal Romain, Alicia Sampson, Jawn Taboika, Tobin Thompson and Rony Toro Manifesto TV Interns Drey Anozie and Kadon Douglas Photo Documentation Director Nabil Shash Photographers Adeyemi “SOTEEOH” Adegbesan, Justin Charles, Chris Hernandez & Narisa Ladak

Manifesto Guidebook Team Managing Editor Christopher Trotman Artistic Director Ashley McKenzie-Barnes Content Director Del Cowie Writers Monica Aza, Del Cowie, Luke Fox, Erin Lowers, Anupa Mistry, Ryan B. Patrick & Chaka V. Reid Design & Layout Yan Li & Ryan Paterson

THEMANIFESTO.ca

9


Beats, Rhymes and Royalties Get paid when your music is played!

Photographer Wade Hudson Manifesto Blog Team Monica Aza, Michael Baxter, Atina Chang, Veronica Fredericks, Laura Mckay, Angelina Pelletier, Lisa Smart & Ariel Vogn-Bento

SPECIAL THANKS

to all the past staff, long time supporters, sponsors, artists, promoters, program partners and amazing volunteers who commit their time to Manifesto and help make all we do possible. Other special thanks to Manifesto Jamaica Family, Manifesto Barbados Family, all our parents and families, Dave Guenette, Eon Sinclair, Tika Simone, Louis March, Adrien Gough, Jay Pitter, Anju Virmani, Foundry, Schools Without Borders, 106&York Family, Younited Family, Violetta Illkiw, Marie Moliner, Gary Slaight, Director X, Nirvana ‘NvS’ SimmSmith, Amber Ravenel, Robert Foster, Maestro Fresh Wes, Michie Mee, Ernie Paniccioli, Jamel Shabazz, Sol Guy, Kenny McIntyre, Andre De Pape & The Red Bull Team, Alan Convery, Pam Litt & Lance Rowbotham, Cameron Bailey (TIFF), Jimmy Chiale, Curtis Santiago aka TALWST, Kate Fraser, Teresa Aversa, Javid JAH, So Teeoh and so many more… We would need this entire magazine to acknowledge everyone who has contributed and inspired but know that you are in our hearts and in our minds.

Music Council Members

SOCAN members get paid royalties when their music is performed on the radio, on TV, at concerts, in film, bars, and much more. Visit socan.ca/getpaid or call 1.866.307.6226 to learn more about becoming a SOCAN member so you can start getting paid!

10

@SOCANmusic /SOCANmusic

#mnfsto7

socan.ca

David “Click” Cox, Del Cowie, Ty Harper, Ian Kamau, Erin Lowers, Tara Muldoon, Tika Simone, Ian Steaman, Addi “Mindbender” Stewart, Rez, Tim Stuart, Abby Tobias, Quentin Vercetty and DJ Wristpect

Dance Council Marcel “Frost” Dacosta, Andel James, Emily Law, Judi Lopez, Esie Mensah, Natasha Powell, Diana “Fly Ladi Di” Reyes and Sabra Ripley

THEMANIFESTO.ca

11


about us

Founded in 2007, Manifesto works to unite, inspire, and empower diverse communities of young people through arts and culture. The Manifesto Festival of Community & Culture is Canada’s largest celebration of hip hop and youth culture and serves as the culmination of our yearround work. Our desire is to innovate new ways of working together towards common goals, in Toronto, and beyond. 12

#mnfsto7

THEMANIFESTO.ca

13


MAP & INFO DUPONT ST

SEPT

19 22

3& 4

to

BARTON AVE

1 BRUNSWICK AVE

THURSDAY launch party commOn thread 9PM • $10 ADVANCE • PAGE 16

ADALAIDE ST

3rd Annual Floor Awards

KING ST

Celebrating the best of urban dance IN TORONTO

live concert

yonge-dundas square 12 NOON • FREE ALL-AGES FAMILY • PAGE 56-59

14

#mnfsto7

SHERBOURNE ST

JARVIS ST

YONGE ST

LAKESHORE BLVD

ART exhibition SUNDAY

2

FRONT ST

6 PM • $5 MIN DONATION PWYC • PAGE 41

6 PM • $5 MIN DONATION PWYC • PAGE 35

BAY ST

QUEEN ST

12 NOON • $5 ADVANCE, $10 DOOR • PAGE 24

25+ artists

6

LOWER JARVIS ST

EvOlution Summit: KeynOte, Panels, and Mentor Classes

UNIVERSITY AVE

SATURDAY SO Much Things To Say

DUNDAS ST

JOHN ST

9 PM • $20 ADVANCE • PAGE 22

COLLEGE ST BATHURST ST

the beat

OSSINGTON AVE

FRIDAY

BLOOR ST

SPADINA AVE

FESTIVAL4 DAYS.PROGRAM 6 EVENTS. ONE CITY

QUEENS QUAY

1 2 3& 4

LAUNCH PARTY

MEASURE, 296 BRUNSWICK AVE. (BEHIND FUTURE BAKERY)

5

ART EXHIBITION & FLOOR AWARDS 918 BATHURST ST.

5

GEORGE BROWN COLLEGE, (WATERFRONT CAMPUS) 51 DOCKSIDE DR.

THE BEAT

ADELAIDE HALL, 250 ADELAIDE ST. W.

KEYNOTE, PANELS & MENTOR CLASSES

6

LIVE AT THE SQUARE YONGE-DUNDAS SQUARE

THEMANIFESTO.ca

15


FESTIVAL GUIDE DAY 1 THURSDAY

generation next KAREN CIVIL

TARA MULDOON

Karen Civil is her name and social media is her grind. Civil’s rise began in 2008 when she created KarenCivil.com, a website she founded to share the music and culture that she loved with the world. Featuring artists such as Drake, J. Cole and Nicki Minaj long before their stardom, KarenCivil. com quickly became a must-visit website for hip-hop fans. Civil is also the founder of Always Civil Enterprise - a fully fledged branding, marketing, and social media start-up, committed to transforming artists and brands. With clients that read like a VIP list (Lil Wayne, Pusha T, Mary J. Blige, Young Jeezy) and established brands under her belt, it’s safe to say that Civil is a force to be reckoned with.

Tara Muldoon is the very definition of young and successful. Nominated for the Women In Music award by Billboard Magazine – Tara has worked with some of hip-hop’s hottest names as an entertainment publicist. But that’s not the only reason why you need to pay attention to her. Tara is also the founder of the F-You Project, a movement centered on forgiveness. Since it’s inception the F-You Project has inspired over 2000 people to participate in honest and open conversations on forgiveness and self-reflection. The F-You project continues to grow in reach and with a newly published book, it shows no signs of slowing down. Neither does Tara.

By Monica Aza

16

#mnfsto7

By Monica Aza

THEMANIFESTO.ca

17


LAKESAN STYX By Monica Aza

Raw, fresh and clean are three words to describe this young b-boy who is ready to leave an imprint on Toronto’s dance scene. Winner of the UP NEXT Under 19 Artists awards two years running and placing second at Unity’s 1on1 dance battle this year, Lakesan is only just getting started. Citing Toronto and his own crew, MEC, as his biggest inspirations, his goal is to continue his evolution as a b-boy dancer. What makes dance his passion? “It’s the ultimate form of art,” Styx says. “You create something on the floor and you’re doing it in the music without having to think about it.”

Ross from tagging Toronto walls with big and beautiful murals. The Bulgarian-born, Toronto based artist has gone from being a student of art, to a teacher of art, all the while maintaining his self-proclaimed ‘chaotic’ urban art style. As a student of an infamous style of art, Ross understands that his work can be here one day and gone tomorrow due to public authority. With that being said he believes that artists should be compensated for their creations. “If you pay artists to do nice work rather than them coming at night doing something quickly hoping not to get caught, I think it works a lot better,” says Ross

The Known Unknown/ THUGLI Sean Leon/ Unbuttoned

by Michael Baxter

RAQUEL DA SILVa by Michael Baxter

ROSS iAYDJiEV By Michael Baxter

The world of street art gets a bad rap, but this hasn’t stopped graffiti artist Rossen Iaydjiev aka

18

#mnfsto7

Toronto based photographer and painter Raquel Da Silva, is no stranger to the Canadian street art scene. She has been featured in many Toronto based exhibitions over the course of her relatively young career and has also been a mentee of revered hip-hop photographer and activist Ernie Paniccioli. Da Silva’s painting style is noisy but nuanced. Her work can be a myriad of colors splashed across a canvas complimented by bold graffiti or an appropriation of a Queen Elizabeth portrait. She credits her free-flowing style to her sense of liberation when she paints. Da Silva’s photography eschews the eclectic and colourful nature of her paintings, masterfully manipulating light to deliver a vintage effect.

by Ariel Vogn-Bento

If you want to support local talent, there is no better place than Toronto’s Known Unknown showcase. Founded by Tika Simone, Known Unknown is an urban audition-only showcase. Undiscovered local talents perform their craft and gain exposure in front of an open-minded crowd of music lovers and media. Simone, an artist herself, enjoys promoting young talent to make them export-ready. Two Known Unknown acts, alternative crossover band Unbuttoned and Toronto rapper Sean Leon, released their debut albums this year and will appear on stage this year at Manifesto. Sean Leon’s debut mixtape Ninelevenne, The Tragedy, is a polished effort maintaining the dark, morose sound that has been emerging from our city. Meanwhile, Unbuttoned serve up a recipe of R&B & pop, with a hint of electronica on their album Electric Kingdom.

Electronic music is here to stay but that doesn’t mean that you can’t mix a little bit of hip-hop in with it. Trap duo Thugli, made up of DJs Tom Wrecks and Drastik, may not necessarily be rookies in the game, but their new project has been turning heads, getting the attention of the forward-thinking Diplo of Major Lazer and Mad Decent Records fame. The long-time collaborators blend hip-hop with down south bass and crisp electronic synth lines to create a big and undeniably heavy sound. Remixes of songs by fellow Toronto group Key N Krates (“Treat Me Right”) and Birdman (“What Happened to that Boy?)” feature a grandiose sound full of booming low end, propelling Thugli to the forefront of the Toronto trap scene.

When you combine a former national Redbull Thre3style and DMC champion with a Juno nominee, magic is bound to happen. Just ask A-Trak.

THEMANIFESTO.ca

19


Major League Baseball trademarks and copyrights are used with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. ©2013 New Era Cap Co., Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Brandon Lee Baldassarre

Common Thread

Brandon Lee Baldassarre is not your average 17-year old kid. The designer and budding entrepreneur from Scarborough is focused on creating his empire, a lofty goal for a teenager. But while most people would take his youth for weakness, Brandon finds inspiration through it. “With my brand I hope to send a message of global understanding and appreciation for youth individuality through clothing. I’m inspired by the ambition in youth and the drive I see in them to push for they want. It inspires me to push for what I hope to achieve with my brand.” His newly founded brand, Baldassarre clothing has already caught the eye of street wear aficionados in Toronto despite Brandon’s minimalistic approach to design. With a Fall/Winter collection in the works, Baldassarre clothing is a must-watch Toronto brand. Don’t sleep.

Common Thread is a clothing line inspired by the ideal of “no limitations.” The brands two leading ladies (Stephanie & Alicia) say of their brand “... it is more than a clothing company. We actually design and create everything ourselves which is what makes this brand special.” Common Thread is proud of their Canadian roots, incorporating distinctly Toronto characteristics and wording in to their pieces. Current, with creative designs, Common Thread joins Manifesto as part of The Freshest Goods Market for a second year, looking to take their clothing and accessories to a next level with a couple big projects on the horizon and a drive to enter the global streetwear market in the next 5 years.

By Monica Aza

OFFICIAL CAP OF MLB®

20

#mnfsto7

THEMANIFESTO.ca

21


FESTIVAL GUIDE DAY 2 FRIDAY

22

#mnfsto7

THEMANIFESTO.ca

23


FESTIVAL GUIDE DAY 3 SATURDAY

9

WOMEN ON THE MOVE Q+A with VANESSA SATTEN Editor-in-chief, xxl Mag

C

onceived by entrepreneur Amber Ravenel and media personality Dee Vazquez, Women on the Move is a nonprofit organization focused on facilitating the progression of young women in their educational, personal and professional goals. This year, the Women on the Move panel will be in Toronto as part of the Manifesto festival and will feature an impressive lineup of professionals who are significant figures in their respective fields. The panelists include Karen Civil, Vivian Barclay and Nirvana ‘NvS’ Simm-Smith, and will be moderated by co-founder Vazquez. The panel will also feature XXL Editor-in-Chief Vanessa Satten who has been with the magazine since 1998.

By Del F. Cowie

on the cover. Given the steep challenges that currently face print media, XXL’s continuing presence is a significant achievement. Satten gave some insights on what to expect from her at the Women on the Move panel by taking a few moments to discuss what the role of editor at a prominent hip hop magazine entails and the challenges that come with the territory.

XXL recently celebrated its 150th issue (also the 16th anniversary issue) with Toronto’s own Drake

24

#mnfsto7

THEMANIFESTO.ca

25


A

bout 10 minutes after Louis March and the Zero Gun Violence Movement (ZGVM) committee officially commenced its 90-day summer campaign in Toronto, there was a shooting. The incident only served to highlight the urgent need for ZGVM and like-minded community organizations in Toronto and Canada as a whole to work together in finding solutions.

What are you looking to learn or contribute from the Women on the Move panel? I don’t have anything specific. It’s really more about you guys and what you’re looking for. I don’t really go anywhere with an agenda on anything so it’s whatever I can offer information-wise that will help anybody. If there’s anything they want to know about this industry, that’s all I can really offer.

Given that’s your approach, what do you get asked the most? Depends on if it’s an industry person or not. Usually it’s “Can I be a [XXL] Freshman? Can I be a Freshman? Can I be a Freshman? Can I be a Freshman?” That’s usually the standard thing I get or the next thing is “Can I be on the cover? Can I be on the cover?” It’s either one of those two.

For XXL how do you manage the print and the online entities? The print entity is not about the daily grind; the web is, so it’s two different mind states. It’s just the

26

#mnfsto7

way you go about covering stuff. I mean you don’t want your magazine to look old, you know on your website you don’t want to have pieces that are too long [so] that people don’t wanna read ‘em.

You are in a position now where people might look at you and see you as an inspiration to them. Generally what do you feel are the values that you need to be taking forward as a journalist? Here’s the deal, you’re not the celebrity. Everybody else is the celebrity, so stop trying to be one. I mean that’s the problem we have, you want to call yourself so and so on Twitter, you wanna call yourself your little pen name you want to do all that stuff, you want to be famous on your blog, that’s great. But the reality is that it takes a lot of hard work in order to work up a ladder and to report news the right way. It takes a lot of money, it takes relationships, and all that. It’s not that simple. So stop being famous and start chasing the news and then you can call yourself more of a reporter.

To say that the summer of 2013 has seen March and the ZGVM hard at work would be an understatement. The ZGVM subscribes to a multi-faceted approach to tackling community issues, March explains. The first part is reengagement: getting people discussing gun violence. Second, it’s about sharing information, and deeper collaboration between community organizations. Thirdly, it is about celebrating the community and the people who do great work within it. Lastly, a key component is around education and awareness.

This September sees the ZGVM working hand in hand with MANIFESTO to inspire, empower and communicate with the younger generation to demonstrate positivity and collaboration for social change.

“Gun violence doesn’t just fall out of the sky. There’s a socialization process that takes place, one where some youth are led to believe that violence is their only option in life,” says March. “When some say it’s easier to get a gun than a job, there’s something wrong with society and its institutions. That means the community as a whole hasn’t accomplished its function as a caring and compassionate society.”

THEMANIFESTO.ca

27


How prevalent has gun violence been in the city compared to previous years? The incidence of homicides and fatalities has been down double digits in the city this year. But we’re not going to take credit for that because a lot of people are doing incredible work.

How successful has the ZGVM anti-violence campaign been this summer? We’re doing two to three meetings a day, trying to engage community organizations and people. (It’s about) how do we get people to collaborate across the city, because a lot of us are working in silos. They’re competing for limited funding from government….they’re not

really being as effective as they can be. In fact, some of the organizations feel that collaborating means less funding and jobs for them. We’re trying to get the organizations to sit down and discuss how they can better provide services to young people who desperately need them.

How is ZGVM is working together with MANIFESTO? It gives us an opportunity to speak about gun violence, the (ZGVM) movement, and what are the benefits of working together. MANIFESTO is using art as a tool to get youth engaged in positive activities. This is a great opportunity to work together while addressing the issue of gun violence. It’s a partnership where we can talk about the solutions instead of the problems.

Evolution Summit panels and classes

PANELS Women on the Move Canada

The Business of Art Pt. II

Panelists: Vanessa Satten (E.I.C., XXL), Karen Civil, Vivian Barclay, Nirvana ‘NvS’ Simm-Smith

Panelists: Clay Rochemont, Adrien Gough, Derek ‘Drex’ Jancar

Moderated by: Dee Vazquez

Building upon the interest and success of Manifesto’s first ever Business of Art panel which took place at last year’s SMTS Summit this year’s version endeavours to further explore the ways in which the idea of translating art into a viable business venture is a creative process that requires commitment, diligence, and patience. Continuing to recognize the fine line between artistic expression and commodification when doing business with art, this year’s panel of artists turned entrepreneurs will discuss their own learnings and experiences in translating their creative and artistic processes into successful business opportunities.

The roles of women in our history are steadily shifting and a growing number now play leading positions in our economies, business, social enterprises, and philanthropy. Highlighting the lives and work of educated women who have solidified successful careers in music, media, business, politics, and other entertainment related fields, this panel will offer participants a unique experience designed to support, encourage, empower, and educate attendees about the different career opportunities in these vast fields.

28

#mnfsto7

THEMANIFESTO.ca

29


Painting a Different Picture Presented by The Zero Gun Violence Movement & NIA Centre for the Arts Panelists: Randell Adjei (R.I.S.E. Poetry), Breaking the Cycle, Redemption Reintegration Services, Andrew “JAYDAMANN” Cox

Memoirs of Violence, Forgiveness, and Compassion Panelists: Tara Muldoon (via Skype), Namugenyi “Nam” Kiwanuka, Jessica Kaya and more

The Social Media Evolution Panelists: Anish Acharya (Google USA) Daniella Etienne, Erin Lowers (AC3)

MENTOR CLASSES BEST PRACTICES

In an era where social media is one of the most important mediums to achieving success in the music and other creative industries - not to mention the most critical tool to communicate an artist’s persona and building an image – understanding social media is vital to developing and maintaining successful careers. From FaceBook and Twitter to SoundCloud and YouTube, social media has become the vehicle to branding oneself, creating networks, and ultimately, being heard and seen. Join us for this mentor panel to learn tricks of the trade from key voices in hip hop culture and social media, who have each achieved success in both the background and forefront of the digital realm.

will discuss the inner workings of PR, the role of a publicist in the arts and entertainment industry, as well as popular PR strategies and controversial topics like ‘pay to play’ and buying your online media presence. In addition, The Power of P.R. will speak to how artists can leverage themselves in today’s competitive media market, get on the radio, strengthen their interview presence, and address the most common and perhaps unknown media and public relations pitfalls.

The Power of P.R.

Behind the Boards

Presented by ArtReach Toronto

Panelists: Dee Vazquez, Morgan Steiker (Prizefighter PR)

Panelists: Boi-1da, Tasha the Amazon, Oddisee, Sango

In response to the glass ceiling felt by many Toronto artists, ArtReach’s Breaking Markets panel will feature a diverse mixture of Canadians with international success, who will discuss Canada’s art and entertainment industry as it relates to our demographics, economy, and culture. The implications of the industry will be heavily scrutinized and panelists will share personal experiences that further explore these issues and various ways to break into U.S. (and other foreign markets), in addition to making a greater impact here at home.

An artist’s brand is often heightened by generating a presence in journalism and social media, in addition to great music. Whether it’s an interview, album review, or featured article, artists regularly turn to public relations companies and services to create their media presence and get heard. While the age old saying claims that “no press is bad press,” publicists are also responsible for mediating an artist’s voice to the public, acting as an intermediate between an artist (or company) and the media, as well as a connected representative for the artist or brand. This panel

While you may know the lyrics to a song, what happens behind the boards? This mentor panel will focus on the evolving principles surrounding production, offering a chance to learn first hand from both established and emerging producers. Placing emphasis on the particular skill sets of each panelist, Behind the Boards will share various keys to success for today’s up and coming producers. Not only will you be able to learn from the panelists and their own experiences, participants will also have an opportunity to hear from this eclectic mix of producers.

The stories of gun violence in Toronto are often dominated by media images and representations that feature police, yellow tape, chalk markings and bullet casings, followed by a weeping parent who cannot explain what has happened to her child. This panel will paint a different picture, highlighting some the significant work being done across the city in the fight against gun violence and its residual effects. On this final day of The Zero Gun Violence Movement’s 90-day summer campaign, we honour and celebrate the incredible commitment and effort of individuals and organizations engaging youth across the city who are affected by violence, in an effort to create a positive impact in our communities.

Breaking Markets

30

F-You Project

#mnfsto7

Moderated by: Nova Browning Rutherford F-You: The Forgiveness Project is a social initiative that focuses on the question. “What would it look like if you forgave either yourself or another today?” Featuring speakers and stories from those who have crossed the line from victim to survivor, finding forgiveness in the process. F-You: Memoirs on Violence and Compassion is the first in a series of books featuring stories and essays from youth on forgiveness. Created solely by a group of youth, the book is an empowering, gritty, and honest look into the human experience of forgiveness. All pieces in this collection are written in the hopes of making a difference. The foreword is written by Kardinal Offishall and features endorsements from The Michaelle Jean Foundation and The Source magazine.

THEMANIFESTO.ca

31


I

n 2011, L.A. singer Jhene Aiko released the velvety Sailing Soul(s) mixtape. It featured high profile verses from Drake and Kendrick Lamar, and from that point Aiko went on to become the go-to hook singer for Black Hippy. As it turns out, she’s been doing this for a long time: as a kid, Aiko provided vocals for B2K records and was signed to the boy band’s label, Epic. Fast-forward to 2013 and she’s working on releasing her studio debut, Souled Out, with No I.D.’s new Artium imprint. Leading up to Aiko’s Manifesto performance, I had the opportunity to talk with her about her past musical life, writing personal songs, and working with Drake.

So how did the success of Sailing Soul(s) change things for you?

How do you balance the pressures from the label with making personal art?

It’s pretty much the same. This has been my career since I was 12, 13 years old. I never really stopped. I’m just a go-with-the-flow kind of person and so I get excited about things but don’t let it really alter my way of thinking. I’m very realistic about how life works.

I really try to fight for keeping that authenticity. I write all of my music. I say no. That can be a pro and a con; if you do everything the label asks of you, you’ll be on their good side, but at the end of the day I’m not going to do anything that I think compromises my vision. Sometimes it’s going to take a bit longer because no one is ever going to see your vision how you do, but that’s why you have to stay adamant about it.

JHENÉ AIKO By Anupa Mistry

You started out in the industry at a really young age. It’s almost like you’ve had a ‘past life’. Aside from the label drama, what did you learn about being a performer? You can’t take everything personal. Even now I’m running into some of the same things I dealt with when I was signed as a kid; but that’s because it’s business. I’m an artist and I’m looking at everything from a creative standpoint, and it’s very personal to me, but a label – no matter how cool or nice they are – they’re still looking at you like a product. They might tell you things that offend you. When I was younger I did take it personal. I was young and sensitive and didn’t understand all of that. And I also learned to really be tenacious.

32

#mnfsto7

What kind of artist do you see yourself as? When I write a lot of the times it starts off with me being like, ‘I have to express myself or I’ll go crazy.’ I go with how I feel. I think that my fan base and the people that listen to me, we’re connected in some type of way. They’re going through the same things as me. When I need to release music or visual it’s a timing thing for me, it’s intuitive. That’s what’s hard to do with a label; they’re being strategic, and they might not get the message of the song. It’s not about selling the records for me, it’s about connecting and giving fans something they feel.

What keeps you motivated through all that? The strangest things motivate me. I’m motivated by people telling me, or reading things like, ‘Oh, it’s never going to happen for her.’ That really puts some fire under me. I just want to show people that it doesn’t have to be a thing that takes

THEMANIFESTO.ca

33


off over night. I’m very satisfied with how it’s been going. It’s a steady thing that I like. It progresses and there’s never a point where it falls behind.

What makes a good song? I think that there are a lot of things that factor into a good song. A nice melody, and I like songs that are just deep enough but without using a lot of extravagant words. I like when it’s simple enough to understand, but also clever. I like listening to songs where I feel like I learned something a bit; either about the person, or myself. I like when you can tell it’s personal, because otherwise it’s like karaoke to me.

I think that’s something Drake does really well. You’re going to be on his new album. How did your songwriting styles work together? We picked a beat together. I took it to my studio and I got really personal at first. I started writing about a real situation, but I didn’t want it to be too specific because I knew he had to say something too. And so I sent it to him and he was like, ‘perfect, I know what my verses are going to be.’ I think we’re both inspired by our real lives. For me and him, every day, every situation is a song.

34

#mnfsto7

You’ve got No I.D. overseeing your new album. I’m curious what it’s going to sound like, production wise? I’m putting out an EP before the album. The Fisticuffs produced it and they produced the majority of Sailing Soul(s); so it’s lighter topics but it’s still me, my style. But Souled Out, the album, is even more of me. It’s me digging in deeper to my beliefs and thoughts and stories. Musically, No I.D. is amazing. He’s like me: he always takes his time and is always fine-tuning. It’s epic to me. Every song sounds like a short film should be attached to it; it’s very cinematic. It’s still along the lines of “my sound” but everything is like a live instrument instead of just the beat machine. I want it to be, like, you play it all the way through and don’t realize you’ve listened to 13 songs.

FESTIVAL GUIDE DAY 3 SATURDAY

Like a Good Kid, m.A.A.d city? What are some albums that make you think of that? That’s a perfect example. And 808 & Heartbreaks is one of those. So is Take Care. I want to do something that doesn’t sound all over the place. I like when it sounds like the songs are all by the one artist.

THEMANIFESTO.ca

35


TALWST By Ryan B. Patrick

T

he Edmonton-raised, Toronto-based man known as TALWST (“tall waist”) is a post-modernist creator who straddles the disciplines of music and visual arts — and does so with unbridled passion and dedication. As a multidisciplinary artist, you can find TALWST’s (real name Curtis Santiago) visual works in galleries across Toronto, Vancouver and New York. Whether it’s via his mixed-media visuals, or his electro-soul musical oeuvre at Manifesto, he brings forth a distinctive perspective and keen social outlook on all things art. Based on my experiences, and the information and media that I can get my hands on. I like doing portraits of myself because not often do we get to see images of those of African-Canadian or Caribbean descent in the North American fine art I’m taking part in the art show. And I’m also world. It’s obviously growing a lot more. performing a few songs at the festival. The theme that I’m working with for the visual art is “Monkey, Man, Machine.” The idea is about transformation and how we’re entering this new age of understanding and information. It’s a Recognition from peers and artists that I really triptych dealing with the evolution of art and dig. And to see the progression and having where I feel it is going. It’s mixed-media: real collectors and people value my work. It’s great objects found in nature, to plastic, oil paint, a mix because I want to make a living off of my art. It’s of everything. On the music front, I think I’ll be my passion. performing some stuff off my latest album Alien Tentacle Sex.

How do issues of race, class and gender inform your work?

What can the people expect from you at Manifesto?

How do you define success?

What advice do you give to up and Coming artists, be it music or visual art?

What does the MANIFESTO festival mean for you? For me, it’s a great stage and platform for me to bring awareness to a demographic that I’m not necessarily affiliated with. I’m been living and focused in the States (NYC) but I’m happy to be here and be a part of it.

36

#mnfsto7

Photo by: Justin Tyler Close

Put in the hours. Research. Learn what came before you. Be well versed in what came before you. Experience and create your own style, but know and understand what your technique is. What makes you different is by putting in the hours. I’m always hard on myself to put in those hours and find those breakthroughs.

THEMANIFESTO.ca

37


Paul Shilling

triple dippers

By Chaka V. Reid

Francesca Nocera aka SUN SUN

Gilda Monreal aka Fiya Bruxa

Hans PoPpe

Visual Artist Tattoo Artist Musician

Visual Artist Actress Educator

Visual Artist Graphic designer Educator

francescanocerasun.ca abstractrandom3.com

fiyafiya.blogspot.ca essenciartcollective.com

hanspoppe.com

up and comers

“I

saw a lot of violence. A lot of anger. A lot of death, and I found it very difficult to move in this world,” says artist Paul Shilling, recalling his turbulent youth. “But just below the Chakra there’s a beautiful place. It’s called your fire. It’s called life. It’s called your center. I like to believe it’s your essence, your sacredness. I started to move into that. I started to believe, not believe but know inside, from that place, that I had something to offer - a believing in anything never served me. Now I’m in a place where I really truly know, inside myself, where I’m coming from and who I am.” The youngest of thirteen children and brother of famed artist the late Arthur Shilling, the largely self-taught painter’s life was plagued by trauma when he began to paint following the death of his mother in 1980.

38

#mnfsto7

Jesse Yules (aka Ewles)

Aleks Bartosik

Taka Sudo (TiFdyL)

Filmmaker

Visual Artist

Visual Artist

jesseyules.com

aleksbartosik.com

tifdyl.com

“I started to paint but I was still very alone, very quiet, very withdrawn,” says Shilling. “It’s only been twenty years since I started to heal the broken child, the broken spirit.” For Shilling, self-expression and self-liberation gradually replaced self-denial and destruction. “I started to realize that I was none of those things that people had said to me.”

Schilling’s distinctively dark bold paintings grabbed people with pulsating colors and haunted faces. It became apparent that even as he wrestled personal shadows his art would not live in the shadow of his brother’s. “I painted before but I always thought, how could two artists come from the same family?” says Shilling. “People would say, ‘It must be difficult for you to be in Arthur’s shadow.’ I thought about it for a while and I realized, no, I’m not in Arthur’s shadow. I’m not in any other master’s shadow. The only shadow I am in is the one that I created for myself. It’s this shadow that I have to crawl up from under and be who I am.” Traditional First Nations tools - circles, sweat lodges and teachings - healed wounds and guided Schilling to a joyful place. “Living 35-years in the dark to all of a sudden moving into the light was very uncomfortable,” admits Shilling. “It was strange, I didn’t think I deserved it right away.” Today, the warm, growly voiced artist sounds tranquil and at times magical. His most recent art furthers his dedication to helping others heal and live bimaadiziwin - the good life. “Everything is done on the seven. The Seven Grandfathers, the seven years, Seven Grandmothers…” says Shilling.

THEMANIFESTO.ca

39


FESTIVAL GUIDE DAY 3 SATURDAY

Start Child by Paul Shilling, 2005, 20” x 30”, any size reproduction available.

“It’s all about healing for me. It’s showing people that this is where we all need to go in order to live a good life—the bimaadiziwin life. When you heal, hatred, prejudice, drops away. It’s essential.”

When asked if Shilling finally feels that he is living bimaadiziwin, his response is swift and serene, “I am. I am.”

Both Sides are Teachers, by Paul Shilling

40

#mnfsto7

THEMANIFESTO.ca

41


Jon Drops Manifesto Floor Awards, By Erin Lowers Once again, Manifesto is celebrating the urban dance community with the 3rd Annual Floor Awards, which dance director Jon “Drops” Reid ultimately describes as a space to celebrate the b-boy/b-girl village, and propel it into a greater space of creativity.

What is the significance of the Floor Awards to Manifesto? We are creating a platform to celebrate and honor the creative work of the urban dance community in Toronto. This community has tremendous talent but has few opportunities in the traditionally ‘professionalized dance’ community to become recognized as a professional artist - and not just as professional - but as a world class artists and to recognize the depth of work being created in our city by this dynamic dance community.

Why is it important to recognize and connect Toronto’s dancers To A community as opposed to the corporate world? Urban dance has been blessed with mainstream commercial opportunities, as well as many competitive style creative opportunities, but rarely in those practices do we have the opportunity to make creative statements or give back and share with our community. There are only so many commercials or battles with very few artists that are hired for each project. The city has such a large quantity of practicing artists who are without space, voice or recognition. The Floor Awards

42

#mnfsto7

Q&A

aims to serve by providing a platform for our community to create, communicate, cultivate and celebrate.

How has the b-boy culture evolved Since hip hop’s inception? B-boy culture is the original dance of hip-hop. There are a lot of styles that have branched out, been inspired by and taken movements and reinvented them in their own form throughout urban dance styles. These dances continue to reinvent themselves and stay relevant because they are always driven to elevate through a creatively competitive essence that is connected to community experience. We dance together, battle against each other, but always seek to elevate our style & practice in the community context in which we create - or we seek to find new space to again reinvent how and why we create dance. This search and struggle to find ones own identity through movement, challenge oneself against another dancer, and elevate ones movement knowledge will always drive dance to new levels.

How do you see this reflectED in the b-boy/b-girl community after the festival is done? We are now in our 3rd year and the awards are now becoming more and more recognized within our community and outside of our community. We’re seeing new connections being made between disciplines and generations that we’ve never seen before. I hope these will continue to grow and take our community to new, exciting and creative places.

THEMANIFESTO.ca

43


Interview with Judi “JuLo” Lopez, By Erin Lowers While hip hop culture has always paid attention to the b-boys, stressing a focus on the b-girl movement is often overlooked, but b-girl and founder of the Toronto B-Girl Movement (TB-GM) Judi “JuLo” Lopez is on a mission to change that. After studying abroad, JuLo returned to Toronto only to realize there weren’t as many active women in the dance community. This realization lead her to create KeepRockinYou (KRY), a “community-based artists’ collective that inspires females through hip hop.” JuLo explained, “Being a b-girl is a challenge in itself. As women we are taught early on (in this culture) that we should be small and pretty in our movements, not big and bold; we are taught that we should wear heels and skirts to be attractive in a social environment, not running shoes and t-shirts; we’re made shy about demanding attention and taught that rolling around on the floor is crass.” She carries on to state that in fact, there are many women “who want to express themselves in large, creative and physically demanding ways, women who want to explore the movements and varied vocabulary of ‘breakdance.”

44

#mnfsto7

The Rise of the B-Girl The TB-GM is a three month program in which young women can find support for their passion and learn the tricks of the trade. “Through the Toronto B-Girl Movement we emphasize the importance of being yourself and reflecting that in everything you do; repelling the negative ideals of what are misrepresented in the Hip Hop culture. We support women who want to learn to break, and in doing so we bring more b-girls to the cypher, showing other young women an alternative type of beautiful woman,” JuLo explains. She hopes to inspire more than the participants and dance community, but to also encourage the positivity of hip hop culture in the city. “The impact will change the dynamics of the breaking scene in Toronto, hopefully getting more girls to want to learn and be a part of the breaking community. The movement is important because not only are we building a new community of b-girls but we are building friendships and creating a space to be supportive and encouraging of one another.”

FRESHEST GOoDS MARKET

PhotograpHy by Wade Hudson Models: Manifesto Volunteers Mikaila and Maya and Recording artists L the 12th Letter Brands Showcased: Heartbeats T.O., Klassick Empire, LIWI68, Legin Knits, Afrodelik and 5ives on Top For the past seven years the Freshest Goods Market has been an integral part to the Manifesto Festival. The market offers a platform for emerging and established designers from across Toronto and Ontario to showcase and sell their fashion, art, jewelry and more at Yonge and Dundas Square as part of the Live at the Square event. This year will be the biggest market yet with 32 vendors, some that are just starting out to one vendor that will be celebrating 15 years in business.

1loveto.com 40ozheroes.com 5ivesontop.com afrodelik.com artstarts.net doorsteps.ca/youthenterprisenetwork baldassarre.bigcartel.com blessedlifestyleapp.storenvy.com bossettecollection.com champstiles.com commonthreadshop.com communityto.com itsdpms.com Each1Teach1 empirecustoms.ca

filthyintellect.com gldstk.com myheartbeatsto.ca imadreamer.ca killaheartsyou.com klassickempire.com leginknits.com liwi68.com neutronstarr.com passthesoap.ca repclothing.ca stolenfromafrica.com theoneclothing.com unitycharity.com vicexvirtue.com THEMANIFESTO.ca

45


46

Top: tee by Pass the Soap. Bottom: Her tee by Stolen from Africa Her toque by Legin Knits, tank by Heartbeats T.O. Him tee by Filthy Intellect.

#mnfsto7

Top: Her hat by Filthy Intellect, tee by Legin Knits Her tank by LIW168, toque by Legin Knits Her tee by Pass the Soap. Left: Him baseball tee and belt by 5ives on Top. Right: tee by Klassic Empire.

THEMANIFESTO.ca

47


Left: toque by Legin Knits, tank by Heartbeats T.O. Right: hat by Klassick Empire.

48

#mnfsto7

THEMANIFESTO.ca

49


DJ MelBoogie Canada’s ambassador celebrates 20 years of not gardening By Luke Fox

Melissa Langley’s children aren’t impressed that their mother’s lofty nickname, “Canada’s ambassador,” was bestowed by the legendary DJ Premier. Nor are they blown away by the fact their Mom opened for Q-Tip, hung out in the studio with Greg Nice, and has been a force on Toronto’s radio waves for two decades. “The only one who seems even slightly impressed is my 12-year-old daughter, and that’s because I met Drake,” laughs Langley, better known to anyone who has listened to CHRY 105.5FM in the last 20 years as DJ MelBoogie “I don’t know him know him, but just the fact that I met him--I earned some cool points.”

available at all Manifesto 2013 Festival events www.MNFSTO.com 50

#mnfsto7

Cool points are overdue for MelBoogie, who’s been conducting Canada’s only all-female hip hop show, Droppin’ Dimez Radio (now alongside JJ Rock), since a time when the only Canadian woman making any noise was Michee Mee. In addition to holding down a nine-to-five and volunteering in the city, MelBoogie has served as the resident DJ for Honey Jam since the all-female showcase’s inception in ’95, has been regularly featured on FLOW, and serves on the Junos’ rap advisory board.

“DJing has become my sanity. I’m a mom of three, I’ve been married for almost 20 years, and that’s the only thing I do for myself. Most regular moms garden or bake. I DJ,” she says. “It’s something I do for myself, but I feel like I’m giving back to the community.” MelBoogie is grateful for the opportunity to have an artistic outlet through hip hop, but her spot in a male-dominated scene has been hard to earn. She still spends time researching local acts on the come-up. Her program portrays hip hop as balanced in an era when most stations are one-note. “Back before Serato, Traxx and Play De Record were the two biggest record stores in Toronto, and all the DJs would go down every Thursday and get their vinyl, I got brushed (off) so hard--completely ignored—I think everybody thought I was somebody’s girlfriend. But over time, the persistence paid off, and people began to recognize: ‘Oh, MelBoogie, you’re that female DJ,’ ” she recalls. “You never say female CEO or female doctor. For some reason that word female brings it down a notch, instead of just saying she’s a good DJ.” No qualifiers required: She’s a good DJ.

THEMANIFESTO.ca

51


Souls of Mischief 52

#mnfsto7

’93 ’Til ’13: ‘We were smarter as kids’ By Luke Fox Dial the seven digits, call up Bridgette. Souls of Mischief’s sparkling debut LP 93 ’Til Infinity, will turn 20 years old this September. And with this milestone comes the anniversary show in which A-Plus, Opio, Phesto and Tajai—four Oakland cats with great taste in samples and a talent for twisting words in ways both playful and potent—perform the entire classic underground album that spawned “That’s When Ya Lost,” “Never No More” and, of course, the LP’s indelible title track, still a prerequisite for DJs warming up a crowd of hip hop heads. In sharp contrast to the refrain of “93,” however, Souls of Mischief—long dropped from major-label Jive, only to find a rebirth (and more money) as an independent mini empire—can credit their longevity in hip hop’s fickle landscape to not chilling after ’93. And, as Tajai explains, don’t expect a group that tours 120 days of the year, every year, to start taking the foot off the pedal anytime soon. Close your smartphone and open your ears…

THEMANIFESTO.ca

53


Manifesto: What separated Souls of Mischief from the pack back in 1993?

If you could hear one classic album live front to back, what would you choose?

Tajai: You had your industry copycats, but for the most part everyone was original. So I think we were original because that’s what we were trying to be. Ice Cube, Too $hort, Pharcyde, us, Alkaholiks: we’re all very different even though we’re all from the same coast. We had a different style because that’s what you were supposed to have in hip hop.

(A Tribe Called Quest’s) Midnight Marauders or Low End Theory. No. De La Soul Is Dead would be my choice.

When did you realize the single “93 ’Til Infinity” would propel beyond just a hit song and into the hip hop canon? Just the last couple of years. You gotta put perspective on it. When we came out, critics panned our record. Hip hop has a short memory. The fans are what made that record a classic, not the critics.

Listening to your debut 20 years after the fact, what emotions or memories does it evoke? Well, we were a lot smarter as kids than we are as adults. We cared a lot more about society and all that shit as kids. You thought you could change shit then. Now, it’s more like, “Hey, let’s get some money, do these shows.”

Wow, that’s depressing. I mean, I’m in a position to do more, so I do more for society now. But as far as thinking my music is going to change some shit? I don’t believe that shit.

54

#mnfsto7

Hiero had a strong web presence before most artists. Were you ahead of your time? I’m tired of it. It’s all instant now. I just quit all social media. I don’t even f*** with the web no more. It’s great as a tool, but as far as interacting with me, come see me at my show. I don’t want you watching my YouTube videos. I’m not putting up YouTube videos. F*** that shit. Come see my show. We go rock shows now, and the whole front row is people with cameras. You’re not even watching the show; you’re just recording it. That’s wack to me. The Internet is cool as a tool, but as far as being a place… I got caught up in that, and I don’t even like Twitter. The shit don’t got nothing to do with music at all.

Well, the Internet has made it easier for fans of independent groups like yours to obtain the music. As a distribution tool, yeah, but the thing is, they’re not buying the shit; they’re getting a hold of it. That doesn’t help me unless you come to my show or buy a T-shirt. All I should need is my website, and I should have everything populated on my website that I’ve ever done. It doesn’t need to be on 20 different f***in’ blogs. If you’re a fan of my music, come to hieroglyphics. com. It’s been up for 19 years. These other places are great because it’s like a virtual record store, but I make records, I don’t make blogs. That shit ain’t important. Listen to my music. This is Tajai, me, speaking; other artists in my camp

might feel different. I don’t make videos—they’re commercials. Buy my record, man. Nowadays kids will sit and play your shit a dozen times on YouTube and say ”I’m a big fan” but won’t purchase anything from you. How the f*** are you a fan if you don’t support what I’m doing?

You guys perform nearly one third of the entire year. After your 100th show of the year, do you love it, or is it a means to pay the bills? I don’t know. I love it, but we don’t have video, we’re not on the radio. People don’t hear our music, so we gotta get out there and do it. This is performance art; it’s not a product.

What is the greatest key to Souls’ longevity? Not stopping. Continuing to make records. We’re not a Souls of Mischief tribute band. A lot of bands end up becoming a tribute band to themselves and go around performing the same old songs for the same old crowd. We’re active rappers. We’re filming a video today for a song off our brand-new record that we recorded last year before this 20th anniversary rolled around. So on and so forth. You have to remain active. You can’t just become a jam band or tribute band to yourself. I look at Phish or somebody like that, or punk-rock bands that keep making records. There’s no breakup, there’s no reunion, none of that bull****.

THEMANIFESTO.ca

55


FESTIVAL GUIDE DAY 4 SUNDAY FREE

56

#mnfsto7

THEMANIFESTO.ca

57


FREE

58

#mnfsto7

FREE

THEMANIFESTO.ca

59


MANIFESTO MERCH GETS RETAIL READY By Erin Lowers

To mark our 7th anniversary, Manifesto’s merch is coming into its own with its own brand, MNFSTO. “We have a much clearer focus now, and we know where we fit in the landscape of the Toronto streetwear market,” says Merchandise Director Taurean Scotland. “There aren’t that many other brands that will tell you “Art is Power” or “Knowledge Reigns Supreme,” says Christian Bortey, lead designer for MNFSTO, “That’s something very special and its part of our brand message – always having something positive to say.” So, what’s new? The duo are focusing on rebranding Manifesto merchandise to create longevity. “We’re mostly looking for longevity when creating our designs. We’re focusing on designs that will last, designs that we can bring back, and designs that we can play around with. That’s the main goal. A lot of our merch is centered around Manifesto’s core messaging, and that core messaging has to stand the test of time,” Christian says. “We felt like there was such an opportunity to do something with Manifesto merchandise that it needed to operate as its own entity.” This year’s collection includes three new designs, including ‘MNFSTO No. 7’, a ‘Love’ hat and the hometown hero design ‘T.’ Alongside the new designs re-

60

#mnfsto7

main the best-selling pieces that promote knowledge, self-power, art and love. As the MNFSTO brand manifests positivity, Christian tells the story of his childhood and the importance of these pieces; “I remember when I was growing up and I would watch rap videos, I would see the stuff that people would wear like the chains and stuff, I couldn’t relate to that,” he said, “but I think messages like “Art is Power” and “Knowledge Reigns Supreme” are things that any artistic young person can relate to.” Leading up to the festival, the duo hasn’t just tackled new designs, but an entire business plan to enforce post-festival season. The major news is that MNFSTO will be available online this fall, allowing everybody access to the collection. Carrying forward, Taurean explains; “We’re also looking to launch stuff in the spring of next year. The strategy is to launch at the festival, launch the website, and for spring of next year, actually put it in mom-and-pop retailers and keep it going.” So what makes MNFSTO stand out in Toronto? Christian concludes by saying, “These messages are things that people can believe in. It’s not just “swag” on a shirt. These are things that Manifesto believes in and other people believe in as well.”

every thread counts 2013 Freshest Goods Market By Erin Lowers

Manifesto has always supported Toronto brands through the Freshest Goods market, whether they’ve been established for a few months or a few years. Not to be confused with the MNFSTO brand, the Freshest Goods Market is an opportunity for other vendors to showcase their clothing lines. With more than 30 brands being showcased this year, Taurean explains that it is “Manifesto’s outdoor market for young emerging designers to come out and sell their merch.” From jewelry to clothing and accessories, the best of the city comes through to represent at Sunday’s ‘Live at The Square’ held at Yonge-Dundas Square. However, unlike the festival itself, the Freshest Goods Market operates year-round through various popup shops and events. This year, the focus has shifted towards new upcoming brands, while maintaining its support for staple collections in the city like 1LoveTO. “There are some brands I think people should be excited about. I’m excited for the newer vendors like 5ives on Top, I’m excited for this one kid Brandon Bal-

dassarre... he’s got some cool fun stuff,” Taurean points out. He continues by mentioning women-run clothing line Common Thread, “who make some really dope lady’s streetwear” and Empire Customs, a custom suit line. “We’re gonna have suits at Manifesto, that’s crazy! I think that’s a change and drastically different. Suits at Manifesto next to all these hoodies and t-shirts!?,” he explains excitedly. As the Freshest Goods Market continues to make an impact on Toronto’s streetwear lines, Taurean states that while MNFSTO is currently not in the process of collaborating with other vendors, it’s definitely a future possibility; “A lot of these brands are trying to come up themselves and we’re in this re-branding stage, so we still want to make sure that MNFSTO stands on its own two feet. We want to do them, we just want to make sure the time is right.” Whether you have $5 or $500 in your pocket, this year’s Freshest Goods market not only has something for everyone, but is also carrying the heart of the city in every thread.

THEMANIFESTO.ca

61


Proud to support the 7th Annual Manifesto Festival of Community & Culture. We are working together with Manifesto Community Projects to make a difference in our communities.

available at all Manifesto 2013 Festival events www.MNFSTO.com 62

#mnfsto7

M04198 (0610)

THEMANIFESTO.ca

63


available at all Manifesto 2013 Festival events www.MNFSTO.com 64

#mnfsto7

Manifesto Festival Magazine Vol. 7  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you