Americans are going to need to transition from calling Canadians “Canucks” to the body snatchers. Yes it’s been one of the best weeks ever for Canada, particularly Toronto with the release of Drake‘s Nothing Was The Same and the city is determined to keep the memento going. Spearheading this Canadian takeover are three young women from Toronto with enough clout to garner the interest of A3C Hip Hop Festival organizers and enough love for the culture to proudly hold the title of being hip hop heads.
This year, Brand Ambassador for A3C and writer Erin Lowers (Boi-1da, Exclaim!), Music Editor Natasha Paolini (HipHopCanada) and Managing Music Editor Katie Sahlu (IX Daily) have teamed up to bring the North to the South. #ThatNewNorth, presented by A3c and HipHopCanada will feature an all-Canadian showcase with talents like Rich Kidd, Blake Carrington, 4th Pyramid, Caliph, John River, Raz Fresco, Smash Brovaz, Nostic and more set to perform.
The ladies spoke with Bad Perm and discussed what the process of assembling such a high profile showcase was like.
Erin initially got her start last year as a speaker for A3C’s Does Regional Sound Still Exist? panel. “Speaking on a panel with the likes of DJ Toomp (T.I.) and Curtis Harris (A&R at Atlantic) about this city… about what we have to offer, and having these same people nod their heads and understand that we have so much talent here made me realize it was time to step up. We have the support, we just needed a voice,” Erin says.
When asked about what the selection process was like in choosing artists for this prestigious event, Natasha said, “It involved a lot of discussion around who should represent Canada at A3C. This is one of the largest hip-hop festivals in North America so it took some time to narrow down the best fit for the showcase. We had certain criteria we used to make sure that it was fair and we weren’t just drawing from our own personal bias’. From there it was just reaching out to the artists and explaining what was going on to see if they were interested.”
She went on to add “Getting HipHopCanada to back the entire show gave us even more pull as HHC is known as Canada’s #1 source for hip-hop online, and they’ve been supporting Canadian talent for almost 15 years.”
When asked about what audiences can expect from #ThatNewNorth, Katie said, “The showcase will continue to highlight the Canadian talent that’s slowly taking over the game. Every artist has a different sound and style with their own stage presence, so the array and dynamic is going to be a well-rounded look into what’s hot up North. Strong production and patriotism will make the showcase stand out, as it’s no secret that the game checks Canada for talent. The attention that’s been garnered lately has been long-awaited in confidence, and continues to be proven worthwhile.”
“The festival wanted to run with the notion of Brand Ambassadors for numerous cities throughout the States – but nobody was up set up to represent Canada, so I spoke up. There’s probably people wondering “Why her?,” but the fact of the matter is that indie rap has been my bread and butter since I started in this industry in 2008. This festival is the epitome of what I love about hip-hop culture,” Erin said in closing.
#ThatNewNorth will take place this Saturday October 5th at 529 East Atlanta Village, Atlanta, Georgia. If you haven’t purchased an All-Access pass ($60 USD) in September, or a Single Day Pass for $35 USD it will be $75 USD at the door. Tickets are available online.