Yesterday was International Womxn's Day. Calendar says it's International Womxn's Month. I say it's International Womxn's Year.
This year, something is stirring in the air, and on the airwaves. The vibe is different. It's bigger, bolder, stronger, tenacious. Time is fucking up. We done. We out...if you aren't IN. The answer? Continue working towards progress by participating in the discussion, taking action, making and taking space, asking questions and...supporting your womxn and identifying allies.
BanTOR Radio was included in the second edition of Istolethesoul FM's broadcast, which was a special one celebrating International Women's Day with 12 hours of all-womxn programming. From DJs to panels, podcasters and amazing hosts, the day was filled with truly meaningful content and sounds that celebrated what it means to be us, especially in this current climate. I sat down with the incredible and brazen Rebeka Dawn, who is founder of COZY and FUCK IT - amazing, inclusive events for black and people of colour in the city to jam out to throwbacks in comfy attire, sans stush vibes. What a blessing, and honour, to be included in this event alongside game-changers in Toronto! We are so grateful to have shared the space. Stay tuned for the interview!
In celebration, and following up on last year's mix, I've launched a second Mosaic Mix celebrating IWD, which again features guest selections from some of my nearest and dearest womxn that inspire me through not only what they do and how they do it, but simply for being who they are.
Press play for a trip around the world, paying homage to the womxn who are radical, passionate and courageous.
Tracks curated by Ola Mazzuca, unless otherwise noted. Thanks to everyone for their amazing and thoughtful contributions!
1.Corashe – Nathy Peluso (ARGENTINA, SPAIN)
Nathy Peluso tells her lover to tuffen up, and have courage. Or perhaps she is telling herself?
2.Blessings On Blessings – OSHUN (USA)
I had the opportunity to catch Oshun on their Toronto stop last month at the Baby G, and DAMN. This duo is bold, highly spiritual, and radiates positivity and lyrics of activism. Burn that Palo Santo!
3.Stone Woman – Charlotte Day Wilson *
The raw, and gracefully vulnerably title track from CDW’s new album.
4.Under My Skin – Heart Streets [prod. Ganja White Night] *
selected by Ola Mazzuca
When I saw Heart Streets at the Drake Hotel last fall, after following their music for years, I never thought I’d bawl my eyes out during their set. It was so moving. I also didn’t know the context behind this specific track until producing this mix, which resonates with me deeply.
The duo writes, “The song was inspired by DANS MA PEAU / IN MY SKIN, one of Blue Met's educational and social programs. This project involved a group of young women who have eating disorders (such as anorexia), and explored the concept of beauty.”
5.Guaranteed High – Dynesti Williams *
selected by Sarah Jane Riegler of Haus Orpheus
Most people live in awe of the greatness they see in others. They are always looking for a guiding light outside of themselves instead of looking within. This song by Dynesti Williams challenges people to master the light within becoming a guaranteed high.
6. I Am Her – Shea Diamond (USA)
selected by Marijke Large of Syzygy Toronto
This woman is a trailblazer in the trans community for music!
7. Chest – FRIGS *
selected by Kailah Bharath of Syzygy Toronto
First of all, Bria Salmena (lead singer) has fiercely strong energy. I saw her perform last year... I felt so empowered just watching her. This song in particular is a commentary on the Brock Turner case. She's releasing the frustration that many of us felt during that case. I think it's okay to get angry about white male privilege, victim blaming, sexual violence. It feels like the only appropriate response. I feel a strong sense of solidarity with her while listening to that song and any woman who's been impacted by similar themes. I don't know a single woman who hasn't been.
8.Human Leech – Willow Smith (USA)
selected by Tanya Mok
It resonates with me, not because of the content of the song, but because of the release of energy. I'm honestly super inspired by Willow’s growth - transition from the dope young girl who did ‘Whip My Hair’ to this fully realized, soulful artist.
9. Rock N Roll High School – Shonen Knife (JAPAN)
selected by Shannon Sweeney aka Bad Carlotta
My selection is Shonen Knife's cover of Rock N Roll High School by The Ramones. They did a whole cover album of Ramones songs and recorded some of them at a studio in Buffalo, NY which is close to my hometown. Shonen Knife is one of my favourite bands because they're punk badasses, but also have super cute lyrics about collecting bugs or surfing on a wave of hot chocolate.
10. La Diaspora – Nitty Scott (PUERTO RICO, USA)
I call myself a Diaspora Defender, and this track from Nitty Scott’s 2017 album, CREATURE, reflects one of my strongest life values; don’t forget where you came from, or where you’re going. Acknowledge your ancestors, dig deep into your roots, and respect your culture, and those around you.
11. Aziza – Yasmine Hamdan (LEBANON, FRANCE)
Watched Bar Bahar (In Between) – an Israeli/Palestinian film about three unique Arabic women living in Tel Aviv, and how they live amongst each other in the same house, despite their differences. One of the most boundary-pushing, contemporary foreign films I have ever viewed about women – it not only educated on contrasts around the world, but highlighted how feminism is in other countries. This is a piece of the soundtrack.
12. Cebuana – Karencitta (PHILLIPINES)
selected by Marie Alcober
My pick is 'Cebuana' by Karencitta. Something fairly new on my list - it's by an upcoming artist from Cebu City in the Philippines.
'Cebuana' means a woman hailing from Cebu. And though I'm not from there, my hometown of Iligan is geographically and culturally close to Cebu, sharing the same language and annual traditional fiestas like Sinulog, which is referenced in this track. The song is not only a celebration of that part of the Philippines, but particularly Cebuanas, who are fiesty and sexy and brilliant. And every time I listen to it, not only do I get pumped for summer, I feel closer to the womxn dear to my heart who are living out their fiercest selves all around the motherland.
13.Taste Next Summer – Sydanie (CANADA, JAMAICA, TRINIDAD & TOBAGO)*
Friend of the show, Sydanie, is someone I truly admire. Not only for her incredible music, but for her story, courage, and brazen disposition, as she advocates for progress and empathy in sound. She is one of the realest in the game. I have so much respect for this artist and know big things are on the way!
14. Frontline – Kelela (ETHIOPIA, USA)
Thank you for writing this song, Kelela. That's all I have to say.
15.Raingurl – Yaeji (USA, KOREA)
Yaeji – the Korean American club queen. Make it rain. Tell them to put their money where their mouth is.
16.Ms. Nina – Pastillas [Prod. hugodouster] (SPAIN)
Badass reggaeton from Spain’s Ms. Nina.
17.Abatina (Dollkraut Remix) – Calypso Rose (TRINIDAD & TOBAGO)
What a blessing it was to experience the Queen herself, Calypso Rose, LIVE at Koerner Hall in January. I could have cried the entire set, it was such an honour to witness this legend in the flesh.
18. Faluma (Suriname Traditional sung in Sarran Tongo) – Alison Hinds (BARBADOS)
I fucking LOVE this song. So much. Although he spun a male version of it, I went a bit crazy on stage when Uproot Andy played this during his Toronto Boiler Room set this summer. Alison Hinds adds some Soca flair to this traditional song from Suriname (sung in the Sarran Tongo dialect) honouring women.
19. She's Not Just a Pretty Face by Shania Twain *
selected by Davida Ander
Man oh man does this song say it all! There are no limits to a women's talents. From coaching a football team, to creating her own fashion line to raising three kids- we can make shit happen! Billboard magazine called the song an "ultra-lightweight country-girl power anthem". Sing it, y'all!
21. Just Ask A Woman - Isis Salam*
selected by Masia One
This song embodies to me the joy of being an emcee, poet and womxn. Isis Salam is like a little sister to me, and we used to kicked it in my time living in Toronto, performed many shows together, collaborated on music and ended up working together in writing songs for other artists in L.A. She was hands down one of the most brilliant lyricists to come out of Toronto. This song is so deeply raw, painfully honest and true to her own experience, told in gorgeous poetics and poses a simple question and solution. If you want to know the female experience “Just Ask A Womxn”.
22. Overcome – Laura Mvula (UK, ST.KITTS, JAMAICA)
selected by Liz Lokre
How powerful we are even with broken wings and how sacred the time we give ourselves to mend. You womxn, you fighter. Today we celebrate the overcomer in each of us ❤
23. Quiero Que Te Vaya Bien – Lido Pimienta (COLOMBIA, CANADA)*
This song has been an anthem for me over the last year – what can I say? Lido has been the womxn of the year…she continues to blaze her path and this song is proof that we can all overcome, move forward, be successful and make progress, with compassion.