What did you do this past weekend? If you consider yourself a part of Toronto’s hip-hop community, I hope your answer is one of the following:
Whether you’re an artist, producer, blogger, engineer, event planner, whatever – supporting cultural events like these with your attendance is vital to ensuring the steady and successful growth of hip-hop culture in Toronto. Dare I say, Canada.
Both events featured guest speakers from different areas within the industry, offering valuable insights and advice:
- Clear your samples – or don’t f*cking sample at all, CREATE!
- Know your audience – who you’re pitching your music to, who you’re making music for. Know your stakeholders.
- Marketing advice
- PR advice
- The importance of people skills (hint: have some)
- How to get funding
- How to get on showcases
- How to monetize your music
- How to make and manage money as a creative
…and more. In addition to offering a wealth of knowledge and tips, both events showcased local talent. Manifesto held 11 days’ worth of performances around the city starting on August 9, including its headline event at Toronto City Hall featuring Chronixx. At Northern Power Summit, aspiring artists performed at the Rivoli on Queen Street West.
Toronto is overflowing with talent. What’s even more important to note, in my humble opinion, is that the city is growing its opportunities to showcase this talent at home.
The lack of infrastructure Canada has to support the development and growth of hip-hop is a complex conversation and one we will be having for some time to come. While we continue to spark and facilitate this conversation though, let’s not forget to respect and support the existing parts of the infrastructure that have already been built.
We cannot, as a community, continue to complain about the lack of support we are receiving from government bodies, agencies of the government, businesses, influencers/personalities, etc. if we ourselves are not willing to show up literally and figuratively.
The infrastructure that needs to be built encompasses many things and is the responsibility of many stakeholders, including you and me. We have a responsibility to take an active role in helping build the infrastructure that we all agree we need in order to grow our talent capital at home.
It’s as simple as buying a ticket to Manifesto or Northern Power Summit.
It’s as easy as showing up to FREE events.
It’s as fluid as bumping the music of local artists – showing up to their shows; proactively seeking shows and venues where they perform.
The cumulative effort of even those four things can create a ripple effect.
Gotta start somewhere.
Big thank you to the teams that planned and successfully executed Northern Power Summit and Manifesto, as well as the sponsors of these events.
Written by Maricel Joy Dicion for HipHopCanada
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of HipHopCanada or its affiliates.