The Toronto music scene is constantly growing and changing. Recently Toronto is being recognized for its musicianship. This could be thanks to big names like Drake and The Weeknd. They’re not the only artists to come out of Toronto, and they certainly are not representative of the Toronto music scene.
What’s happening here in Toronto is a music World heavily focused on artistry, collaboration and mixing of genres. The collaboration is heavily within a small group of Toronto artists, mixing their own sounds together to create something new and exciting. There are artists who come from Jazz roots, such as BADBADNOTGOOD (IV, July 8/16) and Charlotte Day Wilson (CDW, August 25/16). They’re mixing Jazz with R&B and indie sounds to create new hybrids with strong technical undertones. When these artists come together with people like River Tiber (Indigo, June 23/16), known for their production abilities and chill pop - which is a very common sound in the city right now - the music takes on a whole new world of its own.
Then there are artists like Daniel Caesar, whose incredible debut album came out in November of 2015. He released two new singles in December 2016. Caesar is joining forces with the IXXI initiative founder Sean Leon to create a new form of hip-hop (meets R&B) in Toronto. This hip hop relies on sounds like River Tiber’s and has allowed for great collaborations between all of the artists.
Altogether these are a very small fraction of artists coming together to form a new wave of Toronto music. Each of them releasing music of such unbelievable quality, all in 2016.
There are also bands like The Darcy’s (Centrefold, November 4/16), July Talk (Touch, September 9/16) and PUP (The Dream is Over, May 27/16) that are getting Toronto more global recognition for their music. These bands are gaining attention and are being recognized for their Toronto roots and their unique rock/pop sounds.
What made 2016 such a strong year for music was the ability for the artists to create their own sounds. Yes, there is a very particular sound that is coming out of the Toronto music scene, but there is more to it if you’re willing to take a look. The strength coming from their collaboration is what helps them to grow as artists and continue to form their own voice, together.