Toronto-based hip-hop/dancehall artist Lexxicon is turning his music series AfroWaveTO into a festival – and the inaugural edition will stream online this month.
Pre-recorded on March 24 (before Ontario cancelled virtual livestreams), the show will be headlined by reggae artist Exco Levi and dancehall singer/songwriter/producer Kirk Diamond. The lineup also includes Toronto singer Desiire, R&B/soul singer/songwriter LeiLa Dey and Afro-fusion artist Shopé, who won CBC’s new talent competition Searchlight in 2019.
Lexxicon, who will host the festival, started AfroWaveTO in 2019 to boost the profile of African, Caribbean, Indigenous Black Canadian and Afro Latinx musicians in the city’s music scene.
“While there has been unprecedented growth globally in these culturally-driven sounds, that momentum hasn’t been reflected in the local Canadian market,” organizers said in a press release. “This year’s inaugural festival is here to intentionally champion a more diverse and inclusive urban music scene in Toronto, while bridging the gap between more obvious Black music forms (rap, R&B) and less recognized genres such as Afrobeats or dancehall on the local scene.”
AfroWaveTO also hosts virtual workshops on topics such as branding and artist management, and has an artist database on its website. Pre-pandemic, the platform also organized artists showcases.
The AfroWaveTO festival streams on April 24 at 7 pm. It’s free to watch (register here).
Check out the full lineup and a teaser video below:
King Majik & Bawse