I met Sonia Aimy at a really interesting time. It was last Spring at an event I was managing. An Italian-Canadian event, at that, with purpose to bring contemporary cultural elements to the forefront. As I stopped for a break - there she was - sipping a glass of red wine and talking to someone, omitting boisterous laughter and talking with her hands. Sonia Aimy Oduwa. When I told her my name, she couldn't understand why my parents chose.
"I know what you're thinking," I said. "Ola means precious in Eddo, right?"
"Si, si! Are you Nigerian, too?" Nope. I'm far from it. Southern Italian and Venezuelan blood. Canadian by birth. But Sonia was part Italian too. She practically grew up in Torino and honed her craft as an actress and singer in the northern city, touring around Europe before landing in Toronto's vast, vibrant mosaic.
I instantly connected with Sonia that evening and stayed in contact. My mother also had a chat with her at the event, so when she announced a concert at Lula Lounge in November, I didn't hesitate to treat my mom to a Caipirinha and a show. I contacted Sonia a few hours before, still at work, rushing to wrap up and clock out. She asked me to cover the show as photographer. I gladly accepted.
Her November 5th gig at Lula was a breathless endeavour with energy to match. I did my best to capture Sonia's dynamic dancing, emotions and the musicality of her talented bandmembers. I wanted to capture something so genuine. An unwavering element of her art. The spirit of movement.
That's why I've chosen the title for this episode of BanTOR X ___. I want to show Sonia's true essence and the drive for what she does. I hope you enjoy this new series we've been working on. Nuruddin initiated it with his insightful look at one of Toronto's most innovative producers, McCallaman. BanTOR Radio is all about diversity, and we strive to deliver the city's best through images, words and sounds.
Watch the full documentary here:
Listen to our conversation here:
Check out the photo gallery from Sonia's performance at Lula Lounge:
Stay real & tuff,