The Montreal and Toronto organizations teamed up to highlight burgeoning musical talent in both Canadian cities with a new format.
1HUNNDWME was founded by KufisWorld (Omari Jabari) in Toronto. Wanting to redefine the standard of mainly being able to perform music in a concert setting, he envisioned an intimate format akin to a social gathering. Mansa, a Montreal DJ and co-founder of local movement Occupy The Hood, teamed up with him to bring the event format to Montreal, curating a lineup of local singers, rappers, DJs and creatives from both cities. The event was held on Dec. 23, 2023 at Le Belmont, a bar and venue on St-Laurent Blvd. in the Plateau Mont-Royal neighbourhood.
The night essentially consisted of a back-and-forth between DJ sets and brief artist performances. R&B singer Sankya kicked things off with her song “Liquor.” Many of her friends were present and gave her a warm response, filling a small room with a roar of energy. Toronto rapper Lowk3y followed up with a charismatic, solid offering of Toronto trap. SLM doubled down on the rap energy, offering a combination of styles ranging from drill to house. Joined by two backup dancers, she even poured out shots for friends and crowd members, further adding to the lighthearted, carefree tone that the event set out for. Santanafive followed with some mellow, hazy, drumless hip-hop, setting the tone for Nicholas Craven’s subsequent set. Each set was only limited to one or two songs, which allowed the event to have a unique, quick flow. This granted both the attendees and performers plenty of time to grab drinks, socialize and dance.
In the interim of these performances were DJ sets from Gurafiku, KidCrayola, Jdrdoo, Noel, AkaRashad, and Mansa. Together, they created a melting pot of styles which gathered hip-hop, Afrobeats (especially Amapiano), and Brazilian funk (baile). This mix of sounds allowed for the performers’ different genres to come together seamlessly, a versatility that Mansa wanted to showcase with the event. “Sometimes it is difficult for artists to imagine their music blending in with the variety of sounds they listen to everyday,” she explained.
Headlining the event was Nicholas Craven, who premiered his Boldy James collaboration “Jack Frost.” The track was released on Jan. 12 alongside their latest joint album Penalty of Leadership. He gave The Concordian an early look at the artwork which depicts Boldy James being wheeled into an ambulance, referencing his near-fatal car accident last January. The pair notably recorded the album in the immediate weeks and months following James’ release from the hospital. “Fair Exchange No Robbery was art. This album is about pain and experience,” he said.
The event was ultimately a successful, intimate gathering of music-based creatives. From DJs to producers to photographers, there was someone to meet at every turn. Through their creative union, 1HUNNDWME and Occupy The Hood effectively showcased their city’s respective music scene with an event predicated on sociability and enjoyment.