Concert Reviews Music

Dose Coast’s electrifying performance at Turbo Haüs

An up-and-coming rap artist from Concordia University performed at Turbo Haüs last Saturday, April 6.

In the pulsating heart of Montreal’s underground music scene, nestled within the dimly lit confines of an intimate venue, an electrifying performance unfolded, showcasing the unparalleled talent of up-and-coming rap artist and Concordia student, Dose Coast. 

The name Dose Coast reflects the artist’s nomadic upbringing, symbolizing his connection to the coastal regions of Canada and the friendships he formed across the country. It embodies a sense of bringing “chill coastal vibes” wherever he goes, regardless of his geographical location. 

When Dose Coast stepped onto the stage at Turbo Haüs, the room exploded with energy. His confident vibe drew everyone in, and his infectious energy electrified the atmosphere. The audience was on their feet, grooving along to each and every song that the artist delivered. From the front row to the back, the crowd was fully engaged, feeding off the artist’s enthusiasm and sending it right back to him. 

From the moment he started rapping, it was clear that the artist had something unique to offer. His flow was smooth, his rhymes were tight, and his delivery was on point. 

Describing his style as lyrically-driven alternative rap, Dose Coast acknowledged his influences from boom bap and pop music, citing artists such as Mac Miller and J. Cole as inspirations of songwriting versatility. Coast draws from a diverse range of artists such as Joey Bada$$, Chris Webby, Hopsin, and Kid Cudi to shape his unique sound. 

He further links his process of songwriting and producing music to solving a puzzle, where lyrics are constantly being written and fitted into songs like pieces into a puzzle. Recently delving into his music production, he finds deeper connections to his creative energy, which is often sparked by sounds or words that inspire him. 

The Canadian rapper performed many of his well-awaited songs such as “Fade Away” and “Go Pro,” as well as several unreleased tracks. One of the unreleased songs he performed, “Keep Your Feet Moving,” will be released next month—a track that everyone should keep an eye out for. 

Musically, Coast’s performance at Turbo Haüs was top-notch. Whether he was spitting rapid-fire rhymes or delivering a soulful hook, his flow was impeccable, demonstrating a mastery of his craft that defied his up-and-coming status. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the performance was the artist’s authenticity. 

In an industry often criticized for its lack of substance,  Coast stood out as a voice of truth, unafraid to tackle real-world issues in his lyrics. In songs such as “Fade Away,” the artist did not shy away from tough topics such as personal struggles. It was raw, it was real, and it resonated with everyone in the room. 

Coast performed alongside three other artists, namely The Court Jester, Sir Louie, and MiQ The Burb Boy. Each of these artists brought their own sound to the show, making it a vibrant mosaic of sonic innovation and raw authenticity. It was refreshing to see the camaraderie between these artists and witness how they seamlessly blended their unique styles together, creating an electrifying atmosphere that resonated with the audience long after the final note faded away. 

As the night drew to a close, the crowd erupted into cheers and applause—a testament to the impact of the performance. It was clear that we had witnessed something special, a glimpse into the future of rap music. 

Ultimately, in a genre dominated by larger-than-life personalities and extravagant productions, Coast stood out as a result of his authenticity and talent. With his unique blend of raw lyricism, infectious energy, and unwavering sincerity, he proved himself to be a true force to be reckoned with in the world of hip-hop. 

Looking ahead, Coast is excited about his project “Elevated,” aimed at providing opportunities for upcoming artists through live events and collaborations. He plans to release six singles in 2024, as well as host several shows mainly focusing on, but not limited to, hip hop and R&B. 

If Saturday night’s concert was any indication, the world better get ready, because Dose Coast is just getting started. 

Connect with Dose Coast on Instagram: @dosecoastmusic.

Interview Music

Concordia artist Vikki Gilmore discusses her album Mental Backroads and its launch in Montreal

A chat with Gilmore about her debut folk album and a preview of its celebration launch event planned for Dec. 10. 

Following the recent release of her debut album Mental Backroads on Oct. 20, child studies MA Concordia student and music artist Vikki Gilmore discusses the making of the project and gives insight on her upcoming album launch event on Dec. 10 at Le Ministère in Montreal. 

The local artist was born and raised in the city and has been involved with music since high school. Gilmore taught herself how to play acoustic guitar around the age of 16 so she could accompany her poetry with music. She’s gone from school talent shows to doing gigs around Montreal during her time at university. 

The musician has been writing songs for years and said that finally coming out with an album is “a lifelong dream and it means the world to me.” Gilmore’s intention was to tell life stories that others can connect with, namely discussing family, friends, love, nostalgia, grief and mental health. 

Mental Backroads is meant to take the listener on a metaphorical and literal road trip through their mind. Its songs weave a story with stories from her personal experience that she hopes are relatable to others. The main message is about being patient with yourself during any new journey one embarks on. 

Gilmore describes her music as Indie-folk soup for the soul that could be mistaken for the soundtrack of Gilmore Girls. Her sound ranges from twangy folk to alternative pop/rock and is great for fans of Phoebe Bridgers, Daughter, boygenius, Lizzy McAlpine and Joni Mitchell. The artist also takes care in connecting what she’s learned from her background in psychology to her lyrics. The classes and her involvement and interest in the subject have deeply influenced how she conveys her emotions and ideas. She’s able to relate them efficiently through words with ease and connection via her knowledge of psychology.

Gilmore said the creation of her debut indie-folk album has been the most exhilarating and difficult part of her music career. “Releasing it independently has taken a lot of dedication, spending most of my nights planning promo, filming music videos with friends, doing my own PR, planning finances, and more,” she said. 

Having to write, record, plan a release, plan the promo, and then plan live shows was the same process as previous EP releases, but she said that completing an eight-song album involved difficult mental aspects and financial commitment. The scale this time was completely different. Gilmore also never creates music with profit in mind and therefore always writes from the heart. Most of the songs on this album took between 20 minutes and an hour of writing, while the album’s production process took months, “but the writing just flows,” she said. 

Vikki Gilmore shared that her writing process is therapeutic. The Montreal singer doesn’t adopt any particular habit while writing but notes that it helps her process difficult emotions, which is a habit she’s developed over the years. Notably, the song “Pieces in the Black” came from a time when she was navigating a deep sadness and wanted to write something she could listen back to in the future.

For this project, Gilmore collaborated with a few Canadian-based producers. Her longtime collaborator Mathieu LeGuerrier mixed and produced the majority of the songs. Jacob Liutkus produced “If I Wrote You”, and “Stranded” was produced by Gert Taberner. “It was really cool to work with a variety of producers and you can probably hear hints of each of their production styles in the different songs,” she said. 

Gilmore brainstormed the idea of a road trip and postcard aesthetic to match the theme of the music. Tyler Piechota designed it to depict vintage scenic postcards in Colorado, “which has become one of my favourite places in the world,” Gilmore shared. The physical design of the vinyl version is a postcard with a guide map as the insert. “The visuals are cohesive and match perfectly with the sound to support painting a picture of travelling through life and the experiences and growth that come with exploring ourselves and the world,” she said. 

Gilmore hopes that this project is a warm hug to whoever needs it. Like a lullaby from the moon when you can’t sleep at night, plagued with fears of abandonment, wondering about the people you lost touch with, thinking of the people that have passed on, and reflecting on life with kindness for the previous versions of yourself. Gilmore especially learned about resilience and self-love during the creation of Mental Backroads. “In an era of streaming and social media, it can be hard comparing yourself to others,” she added.  

The album launch on Dec. 10 at Le Ministère promises to be beautiful, with twinkling lights, a guitarist and a drummer to support Gilmore on stage. It will be her first live show since the pandemic and she is beyond eager to connect with other music fans during the evening. There will be performances of songs from Mental Backroads with some older songs and possibly some surprise ones. The night will start with Callahan and the Woodpile performing a solo acoustic act to set the stage for an indie-folk cozy night out. If you’re looking for an excuse to discover some new music, get dressed up, and have a night out on the town, stop by!


Spotlight on Tyra Maria Trono

Tyra Maria Trono, 3rd year Photography

Tyra Maria Trono is a filipina artist based in Montreal. Her work deals with personal themes such as individual identity and her direct social communities. It’s connected in a system of meaning that deals with the idea of the revival of childhood and the continual discovery of personal identity which encompasses the notion of her culture heritage. Themes of nostalgia, autobiography, and identity are often explored in her photography.

Tyra Maria Trono is currently a third-year photography student at Concordia University. She has previously exhibited work at several galleries around Montreal, most notably Le Livart (3980 St Denis) in 2018. She has also co-curated the first edition of Festival du Nouveau Cinema: Spotlight on Concordia University Fine Arts.

In 2017, she founded a photo collective called “For the Sake of Analog” alongside Edson Niebla Rogil and John Mendoza. Their mandate is to exhibit the richness and diversity represented by emerging POC artists through the medium of analog photography. Last year, the collective was part of the programming for the Mural Festival. Currently, they are working on their first photo book coming out in April 2020.


Outside her artistic practice, Trono has photographed for projects and events for Boiler Room, Moonshine, Lez Spread The Word, Éklectik Média, The Woman Power and Never Was Your Average.

Trono is also involved with the Filipino Organization of Concordia Students. After a hiatus of over 10 years, the club returned in 2019. The club’s mandate is to connect students, celebrate Filipino identity, and challenge issues that touch Filipino youth. Currently, she is working on a variety show and art exhibition, titled Show Pao, which will feature local Filipino artists.

Trono will also be facilitating an exhibition for the 20th anniversary of Art Matters. The exhibition, As to be Told investigates the ways in which stories can be articulated through artworks and how we translate personal or collective notions through narrative forms.

As to be Told will be open at Galerie Luz (372 Ste. Catherine St. W, suite 41) from March 17 to 21, with a vernissage on March 18, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

For more information visit .


Spotlight on Liza Isakov

Liza Isakov, 4th year Studio Arts

Liza Isakov is an emerging artist based in Montreal, creating works on paper. Her expressive practice draws inspiration from everyday objects and observations – the process of gathering items, imagery, textiles, and loose sketches forms the delicate manner of her work.

Originally from Russia, Isakov was raised in Israel, later moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba and now lives in Montreal. Moving from one place to another helps her practice grow and evolve by creating new connections and finding new ways to challenge herself. Her work has been exhibited around Winnipeg and Montreal, both in solo and group shows with fellow students and artists. She is currently in her fourth year at Concordia University, majoring in Studio Arts.

Her work often notes everyday life moments, a sense of belonging, and the natural world. Coloured pencils and paper are her medium of choice. The coloured pencils help capture the delicate mark making and everyday life in the simplest way possible.

In addition to drawing and painting, Izakov works in collage and embroidery. Her most recent collection of embroidered t-shirts can be purchased on her website,, and at Ex-Voto, a sustainable fashion boutique in the Mile End.

You can spot Izakov curating for the Festival de Nouveau Cinema: Spotlight on Concordia Fine Arts, and various pop-up exhibitions in restaurants and bistros around the city. 

With files from Liza Isakov.


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