By Ellie King
Canadian Music Week (CMW) is back again this May (6th-12th) with a festival full of performances by artists from Canada and around the globe.
The CMW festival has an eclectic mix of genres and artists performing at various venues across Toronto.
This year, the festival has listed 72 Hip Hop/ R&B artists as accepted performers for the festival. VIBE105 highlights the top FIVE underrated Canadian Hip Hop/ R&B artists featured at the 2019 Canadian Music Week.
1. Shay Lia
© Red Bull Music & Culture | YouTube
Born in France and raised in Montreal, Shay Lia is an R&B singer-songwriter that has already gained a lot of attention for her collaboration with Kaytranada on “Leave Me Alone” and BadBadNotGood on the track “All Alone”. Her soft voice flows very well with the dreamy, smooth dance beat on each track she sings for.
Shay Lia recently released her newest single “Chances” on Soundcloud which is also produced by Kaytranada. She will be performing for CMW on May 10th at Longboat Hall in Toronto with fellow R&B artist Zaki Ibraham.
© drinkbleachh| YouTube
Drinkbleachh, a Winnipeg based emo-rapper, started off as a part of a punk band ‘Halcyon’ before transitioning to Rap/ Hip Hop. He released the track “i wish u never met me” in 2017 with captivating and honest lyrics on his struggles with mental health was very successful.
The emo-rapper drinkbleachh is set to release his upcoming album “AMYGDALA” this April which he will be performing at Canadian Music Week.
3. Tasha the Amazon
© Tasha the Amazon | YouTube
Tasha the Amazon is arguably the most prominent underground Toronto Hip Hop artist of 2019. She was nominated for a “Rap Recording of the Year” Juno in 2017 and even had her track “Steady Now” featured on the successful Broad City series soundtrack in 2016.
Catching the eye of American Hip Hop star Azealia Banks, Tasha the Amazon and Azealia are set to perform together at The Phoenix for CMW on May 8, 2019.
4. Leo Vance
© Leo Vance | YouTube
At only 22 years old, Toronto based rapper Leo Vance has already won an award for “Break Through Artist of The Year” at the 2017 Urban Hip Hop Awards in Toronto and debuted his first album.
Leo Vance ventured into the Trap/ Hip Hop genre this past August with the release of his album “2 Lit” filled with summer hits which he will be performing for fans at 2019 CMW.
5. Naya Ali
© Naya Ali- Ra Ra | Youtube
Naya Ali, Montreal based Hip Hop prodigy that was instantly recognized by each major music platform from Spotify to Apple Music for her hit “Ra Ra”. Her raspy voice combined with clever raps and creative music videos including 2018’s “Out the Dirt” have been praised for her similarity to rap icon Kendrick Lamar.
Naya, signed with Universal Music Canada, released her most recent album “Higher Self” in 2018 which she’ll be sure to perform at the CMW.
The 2019 Canadian Music Week is a perfect way to start off festival season and discover new Canadian Hip Hop/ R&B artists.
A 6-day event from May 6 to May 12, with wristband prices starting from $75, this is a festival you certainly don’t want to miss!