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Leaving Toronto to Succeed

Jan. 14. 2021

DJ Akademiks says that bigger artists such as Drake, Tory Lanez, The Weeknd, or NAV should bring up Toronto artists, but music artist, KILLY, states otherwise.

In the last days of December 2020, in one of DJ Akademiks’ live Twitch sessions with rappers from Toronto, Akademiks shares his thoughts that bigger Toronto artists like Drake, Tory Lanez, The Weeknd, or NAV need to bring Toronto artists on tour to give them more exposure. Disagreeing, KILLY, who’s mostly known for his Platinum single Killamonjaro, shares that touring with them isn’t necessary. KILLY responds, “It’s just natural growth and people just need to keep working, and it’s going to happen. People need to uplift each other.” advocating for an organic method to getting your music out there rather than being ‘put on’ by artists who have reached international audiences.

Toronto is filled with talent, there’s no doubt about it, but only in the last 10 years have our Canadian music artists, especially in hip-hop and RnB, have gotten recognition in the industry. “At this point fam, it’s just time. Three years ago this wasn’t happening.” KILLY says, comparing how much the Toronto music scene has been growing in the last several years through showcasing platforms for local talents. Social media platforms, such as Instagram, Reddit, and even Discord have been growing within Toronto’s hip-hop. This growth coming from a shift in culture with meme pages being popularized and hip-hop being one of the leading genres in the mainstream media within the youth.

Video via Lowkey RapScene on YouTube

Many factors come into account when speaking on the lack of support, showcasing talent, sharing music, and the ongoing growth in resources. Especially being a city from Canada in an American market, there are many challenges Canadians face to grow their music. Many Toronto artists leave the city such as Drake, Tory Lanez, Pressa, and KILLY, himself, all who have left to go tour and work in the United States.

"I learned that you have to leave and go to the states before you’re up in the city.” - KILLY

Many local artists’ goals are to leave the city, which comes as no surprise. What can Toronto do in order to be a major player in the American music market?

Written by Sunshine・@sunshvne

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