Thanks to no other than the 6god himself, Toronto has caught a tremendous wave for the last couple of years.
With Drake influencing most of what we are hearing from Canada these days, I for one was intrigued to see what other talent Toronto has other than the ones that have been blessed by the 6 god.
Tory Lanez is pure talent. The fact that he continuously falls under the radar is crazy to me.
Since his debut in 2012, I haven’t really heard a bad project from him. His most recent EP, Cruel Intentions is a must listen for anyone who enjoys that rap/singing fusion. Tory created the name SWAVEY to describe his sound, which means his music has a mixture of multiple genres (we all know who is famous for that specific sound).
In his recent interview with the breakfast club, Lanez was asked about his relationships with Drake and Meek Mill. Tory and Meek have a history of songs together, which in my opinion are all bangers.
While writing songs and hooks for Meek, Lanez was featured on “Ain’t Fuckin With Me” (DC3) and “Lord Knows” (DWMTM). As far as his relationship with Drake, Lanez says that he doesn’t really have one.
Watch Tory's full interview with The Breakfast Club here, where he elaborates on those specific topics.
Jazz Cartier is another Toronto artist that has recently grabbed my attention. He has a sound that Travis Scott, PARTYNEXTDOOR, or The Weeknd fans would appreciate.
The under-water, yelling down the hall-way type sound is definitely something that he has fun and prospers with. This is another sleeper that might find his way in the states in 2016. His mixtape, “Marauding in Paradise” was a different experience; a dark sound with a lyrical light at the end of the tunnel.
His most recent track “Stick & Move” is also a lyrical thunderstorm, showing aggressive flow with sharp lyrical content.
Rochelle “ROJO” Jordan brings the sunshine and life to Toronto music, influenced by 90s – early 2000s R&B. Pigeonsandplanes.com described her voice as a mix of Aaliyah and 2006-era Keyshia Cole.
Diving into the Canadian diva’s archive, she is definitely the Aaliyah of her time; given her soft and soulful voice. Her track “Follow Me” perfectly showcases her talent to the fullest. The fact that her style isn’t really as popular in this day would make old skool music listeners appreciate this authentic and organic flow.
Daniel Caesar is the male version of Rochelle. While influencing a Maxwell-familiar sound, he provides the smooth and soulful sound of old skool R&B. His project, End of The Road is straight urban, elevator music. Pigeonsandplanes.com also describes Caesar’s album saying:
“With Jordan Evans and Matthew Burnett as producers, Praise Break stands as a solid introduction to the life of Daniel Caesar, but it’s the candidness and purity in his voice and lyrics that make the project timeless.”
Jimmy Johnson is one of the only few Toronto artist to get support from OVO; maybe due to the fact that OVO has gained support from him as well. He earned himself production credits alongside Eric Dingus for the “Now & Forever” track from IYRTITL. Along with his writing and production talents, Jimmy’s supporting cast will play a part in his success outside of Toronto. He has only a handful of singles as of right now, but he seems to be an up and comer who has the support of Drizzy and OVO as he continues his maturation process.
Toronto artists are staying ahead of the curve and their competition on both sides of the border. With so much originality and character from each individual, it's really easy to pick a favorite from the bunch. Honestly, Toronto artists may be the most relatable in terms of music. They aren't really hip-hip, they aren't really R&B, they are their own unique sound. What makes them different is instead of following a typical music trend or group, they take pride in reinventing their own sound and style.
Is Drake an innovator or a cultural recycler?
Who knows, but we must thank him for opening up the floodgates to a city filled with musical talent.