With previous years featuring artists like Jnehe Aiko, Afrika Bambaataa, Goldlink, SZA, Raekwon, Kardinal Offishall, Bilal, Shi Wisdom, BadBadNotGood, SATE, Onyx, and many more, Manifesto Festival's 2017 lineup has to be top to date.
Manifesto achieves balance with their fine blend of local and global, as they champion Toronto’s innovators and a few international guests, founded on the strength of a growing community. Focus on the growth - from various venues to Yonge Dundas Square, Manifesto is heading to the lake for an open-air experience at RBC Echo Beach. Headlining the night's festivities is Toronto/ OVO’s Majid Jordan, who will take the stage for an hour plus performance. We caught them at Rebel in November, and their live shows are not to be missed. Absolutely stunning. But the itinerary is killer, so you’ll want to stick around from start to finish.
Sean Leon hailing from the west end neighborhood of Parkdale will be turning Echo Beach the fuck up this Saturday. He started this year off with a vengeance dropping his short film 'Life When You're the Movie' and album 'I Think You've Gone Mad' in the first quarter of 2017. With production from super producers WondaGurl, Eestbound and Bijan Amir, ITYGM is heavy hitting and emotionally charged. Leon puts his all into his art and I don't expect his live set to be much different.
Listen to our reflection and review of Sean Leon's LWYTM here
The classic man himself will be at Echo Beach on Saturday. His 2017 debut album 'The Chief' is an experimental album that takes inspiration from many different parts of the world. Afrobeat, hip-hop, R&B and Dancehall elements can all be found within his debut project. Looking forward to seeing how the Nigerian raised rapper delivers on stage.
Chattanooga, TN and TDE affiliated rapper Isaiah Rashad is another American headliner included in the festival. Rashad released his album 'The Sun's Tirade' in September last year. The album documents Rashad's struggles with anxiety and depression after the release of his critically acclaimed debut Cilvia Demo. The rapper recently spoke about his love for the city with Noisey so he should be extra hype for his third show in the dot.
Formed in Los Angeles, The Internet consists of Syd, Matt Martians, Patrick Paige II, Christopher Smith, and Steve Lacy. The band's last album 'Ego Death' is critically acclaimed and described as the 'perfect summer record' with its perfect, smooth, lazy vibes meant for warm nights. Here's hoping Toronto weather cooperates and we can enjoy this band and music the way it's meant to be.
Setting the tone for the day is friend of the show, The Sorority. We’re no strangers to their hard work ethic and flawless delivery of poetic rhymes and brazen personalities. Comprised of Phoenix Pagliacci, Keysha Freshh, Lex Leosis and Haviah Mighty, the squad gained notoriety after completing the first all-female Canadian cypher. But let’s remove that aspect and focus on the truth – their success has nothing to do with gender. The video and track became a viral hit, led to shows across the province and several nods from international artists. Musical knowledge, sharp prose and unparalleled grit are only some of the ingredients key to their success. You can learn more about the group in our exclusive interview.
Next up is Derin Falana. We were first introduced to this enterprising artist when he was under the alias, The Flan, at a CMW showcase in 2015. Super impressed by his sound and style, we knew the Brampton native would achieve great things. His songs have earned nods from U.S. broadcasters Sway and Ebro, and one was licensed for the OWN TV series, Greenleaf.Looking forward to hearing some new sounds from this unique artist. Listen to Falana's EP introspective compilation, These Days: Audio Journal here.
Multidisciplinary artist and innovator Matthew Progress will follow. Currently working on his upcoming EP, due out later this year, Progress blends elements of grime, electronica, house and “baritone raps,” in his sound. His aesthetic, both audio and visual, is avant-garde and cleverly executed. Check out his video for Le Fog below.
TiKA’s live sets are a spiritual experience. We’ve had the privilege of experiencing her live performances numerous times, in various settings, and she never ceases to MOVE you. Bringing an authentic presence, complete with vulnerability, emotion, and dig-deep insightful storytelling, TiKA’s raw approach to sharing her art becomes a circle of trust. It’s a safe space where everyone can share in the journey, paired with a soundtrack of jazzy, soulful, bold R&B. Tip: if her cover of Prince’s I Would Die For You, Toronto will be blessed.
University of Toronto (and October’s) very own, Majid Jordan will take to the stage to conclude the day with their progressive sound. Whether about nostalgia, love, life, or transitions, the duo delivers relevant and relatable songs to the masses, set to the beat and pulse that can make you dance solo, or sway with a partner. Jordan Ullman and Majid Al Masktai has perfected their execution as a duo, as Al Masktai engages the crowd with vocals that never waver, while Ullman controls the keys and tracks. As mentioned, we’ve caught them live and know the drill. Looking forward to catching up outdoors at Echo Beach, for a new, fresh setting.
Read out First Impressions of their self-titled album here, and check out their latest single, Phases.