Q&A: Bold As Love

Music series invites people of colour onto the stage

Rosina Kazi, Jamaias DaCosta, Elwood Jimmy, Cherish Blood, Cris Derksen and Melody Mc-Kiver are Bold As Love, the arts collective of poets, musicians, actors and activists committed to community-building and -bridging by bringing people of colour (PoC) and indigenous artists onstage in multiple disciplines. Saturday (November 15) marks the second in their series of six presentations – this one celebrating the 16th birthday of Kazi’s social-justice-motivated underground electronic band, Lal (with Nicholas “Murr” Murray and Ian De Souza), joined by Montreal spoken word musician Moe Clark.

Bold As Love’s MO is bringing together PoC and indigenous artists. Why is that important to you?

Jamaias Da Costa, poet/journalist: We share a similar experience of being under-represent-ed in the mainstream. Whether at festivals, concert series or other events, PoC and indigenous artists are often tokenized. We want to forge conversations between indigenous artists and other artists of colour – as well as our audiences. Everyone is welcome, of course, but there are specific experiences that indigenous and PoC artists can speak to.

How are the six events different from each other?

Rosina Kazi, Lal musician: Each is unique and showcases the diversity within our own scenes. We present both emerging and estab-lished acts. Each [show] pairs artists who complement each other yet bring something new to the stage. For example, we have musician Lido Pimienta, DJ Shub (formerly of A Tribe Called Red), spoken word artist Taqralik Partridge and indi-genous audio-visual collective Skookum Sound System in the upcoming weeks.

Elwood Jimmy, arts administrator/curator: The work we present is diverse in content and form, incorporating elements of spoken word, hip-hop, classical, electronic and throat-singing, as well as work in -different indigenous languages.  

You seem to be filling a niche not many have tapped into yet. 

Da Costa: It probably has been done before, just not in this way. There’s more awareness of issues that surround First Nations, communities of colour, queer and “marginalized” people. What’s amazing about Bold As Love is that it’s attempting to connect and bridge these communities and build trust through music and art, and we can do this because we represent the different communities we are trying to bring together.

Has the recent success of acts like A Tribe Called Red and Tanya Tagaq changed the way we’re viewing indigenous artists?

Cris Derksen, cellist/composer: Both artists have been around for years, so indigenous communities and some other folks who love music have been down for a long time. Maybe it’s changed the way non-indigenous artists see indigenous artists, but this is a movement that’s been building, and everyone else is finally catching up! 

Saturday’s event features Moe Clark and Lal. How do these two artists jive -together?

Melody McKiver, composer/arts curator: Both convey a special intimacy and consciousness. Audiences may know Moe Clark as a solo, loop-based spoken word performer, but her new release, Within, features a Montreal jazz trio who draw on soul and funk. It counterpoints Lal’s electronic music, but the underlying pulse of both is completely complementary.

Bold As Love presents: Lal Sweet 16th Anniversary with guest Moe Clark, Saturday (November 15) at the Gladstone (1214 Queen West), 9:30 pm. $8-$12.

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