Canadian Music Week began on Tuesday, May 6, 2014. The festival covered 5 days of live music at more than 60 venues across Toronto’s downtown core. One of the highlights throughout CMW was Karla Moy a.k.a. hustleGRL’s very own showcase, which took place on Thursday, May 8, 2014 at Tattoo Queen West. Sponsored by Noisey Canada, in conjunction with Jameson Whiskey, the event featured some of the city’s biggest artists including A-Game, Tre Mission, The Airplane Boys and Naturally Born Strangers.
Upon entering Tattoo, concertgoers were lucky enough to receive 2 free drink tickets, courtesy of Jameson Whiskey – a great way to start the night. As groups of individuals continued to arrive, hustleGRL could be seen spinning on the wheels of steel, while the host, and stand up comedian, Big Norm kept the crowd entertained.
The first performance of the night came from Toronto duo, A-Game, comprised of identical twins, Nova and Chase. It was evident from the beginning that both artists influenced one another during their set as they performed hits off of their most recent project (and one of our favourite mixtapes of 2013), Boarding Pass. Songs included “Boarding Pass” and “Uh Huh,” before jumping into others such as “Oh My,” and the fan favourite, “Money Made Me Do It.” As an opening act, A-Game set the bar high and justified why they’re labeled as one of the hottest talents coming out of Toronto.
Following a short intermission, Scarborough natives, The Airplane Boys (APB) were up next. Accompanied by a live band, Beck Motley and Bon Voyage hit the stage, delivering a powerful message, stating, that we as individuals should be proud of the music coming out of Toronto… “This is your talent, this is your city. With that being said, let’s align.” It was the perfect introduction as APB performed “Alignment” followed by “Beau Monde (Ridin With My Crew),” which saw an immense reaction from the crowd.
It was at this time that The Airplane Boys were joined by their entire squad as they kept the energy levels high. APB continued their onslaught of music with “Escape” along with a new song titled “Scarborough Kids” as well. As their time on stage came to end, they thanked those in attendance, following yet again, another admirable performance. Their new project, Egos & Expectations, drops on May 27.
While other artists may have felt the pressure of performing after APB, that wasn’t quite the case for Toronto’s own Tre Mission. Other than some minor technical difficulties, The Grime specialist (and U.K. sensation) hit the stage, alongside his keyboard player and DJ. It was truly an incredible experience to see an artist perform in a manner such as Tre. Meticulous lyricism, paired with an intricate delivery is what made Mission’s performance a memorable one. Although he raps fast (and trust us, he does), it came across in a way that was clear and easy for listeners to distinguish verse after verse. It was apparent that Tre Mission gave it his all, while even saying, “Shout out to the sweat,” during his performance.
Lastly, it was Naturally Born Strangers; the group made up of Rich Kidd, Tona, and Adam Bomb. Having released their mixtape in December of 2013, the rap trio undeniably ended the night with a bang. As DJ Nana held things down on the 1’s and 2’s, the collective brought their distinct styles and stage presence together for an intimate performance inside of the venue. Songs included “This Sight Belongs To You” and “Jameson Ave,” with each member also making their way into the crowd on various occasions. Fans also did their part as they sang along, word-for-word to other tracks during NBS’ set.
Overall, it was great to see a rather large crowd come out and support some of the hottest talent in which Toronto has to offer. While the event may not have started right on time, there were little to no complaints from those who came out that evening. If anything, this showcase further proved that as a city, we should feel honoured and privileged towards the music in which we are composing. Special thanks to hustleGRL, the artists, and to everyone who made this unforgettable night happen!
Review written by: Michael Lavictoire for The Come Up Show. Photography by: CZR-E & Michael Lavictoire for The Come Up Show.