5TOrappers

5 Toronto Artists You Need To Hear Right Now 

From Duvy’s whip-quick punchlines to the Idris Elba approved Emanuel.

by Daniel McIntosh

Toronto artists are feeling the clouds part as pandemic restrictions loosen and we’re feeling it through the energy of the amazing song output that they’re delivering. Between BAMBII’s futuristic dancehall beckoning us toward the dance floor and Emanuel setting his sights on international locales, here are five rising artists from Toronto making new tunes that could be the soundtrack to your freshly vaxxed summer. 

BAMBII
“Truck Riddim”

Bambii has been a fixture in Toronto’s DJ scene for a long time. Fans were ecstatic when she dropped her own track, “Nitevision,” last year. Now, after spending six months quarantining in Jamaica, BAMBII returns with fresh recon from the motherland. She ever so graciously shares her own findings in her second single, “Truck Riddim.” BAMBII‘s futuristic dancehall is obviously best enjoyed in a club setting, but this one will have you whining for no one regardless.

No Tourist
“Back Up”

“Back Up,” sounds like a genre carousel. The song is introduced by a trilling melody and rolling cymbals that wouldn’t be out of place in a burlesque club. The loop gives way to a shuffle-ready breakbeat and Kafayé’s patois chorus. The Toronto collective have never been shy about wearing their influences on their sleeve, and this track from their Ultraviolet EP is a whip-tested, dance floor approved standout that’s sure to get a lot of spins this summer.

Emanuel
“Worldwide”

The London-based vocalist started releasing music in April 2020 and has already found fans in unlikely places. When Idris Elba heard his song “Need You,” he stretched his directorial muscle, making a video for the song featuring couples weathering the first wave of the worldwide quarantines. Now Elba has signed on as executive producer for Emanuel’s forthcoming album. “Worldwide” is a sonic roadmap of all the places he can’t go—yet. The pandemic lingers, but Emanuel manifests his future in NY, LA, and Ethiopia as his streams continue to rise following the release of his debut album, Alt Therapy.

Stopthis
“Sinner” 

“Sinner” is the debut single from Stopthis, so aside from a few cryptic instagram posts there’s not much to make of them. Regardless, Sinner represents everything we love about Toronto rap: hypnotic melodies, a grungy guitar loop, and audacious bars glorifying everything your mother told you to stay away from. When Stopthis chides “the first time he seen a body that boy almost lost his dinner,” it’s a genuine comedic moment. Sinner pairs well with tinted windows and maxed out bass.

Duvy
“May 17th”

When Duvy appeared in a 2017 Noisey documentary covering Toronto’s rap scene, it was clear that he would go on to a long and fruitful career. The bespectacled, Roots-laden teenager stole the scene with a casual freestyle in front of a Jane strip block. Since then, he’s built consistent buzz with a steady stream of mixtapes and singles, attracting the attention of Drake and Travis Scott producer Murda Beatz. While we await a full-length project, “May 17th” is a perfect showcase for new fans, displaying Duvy’s ability to trade whip-quick punchlines with his signature falsetto.

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