Long Winter & MusicOntario present Tune Up Toronto: Hip Hop & DIY: Building Community & Career in Toronto’s Indie Music Spaces

Sat 27th November 2021
Lula Lounge (Toronto) / Virtual

Long Winter, in partnership wth MusicOntario, presents Tune Up Toronto:
Hip Hop & DIY: Building Community & Career in Toronto’s Indie Music Spaces
November 27, 2021, 1:45-2:30PM. Live @ Lula Lounge (1585 Dundas St. W) or online via http://toronto.paris/

Toronto is overflowing with talented rappers, musicians, producers, beatmakers, and topliners who innovate in Hip Hop, Rap, R&B, and more – we’re on the map, and people around the world are looking to discover the next big artist out of the GTHA.

Yet there’s a disconnect in opportunities and venues for communities to grow their networks, collaborate, perform, and create. This panel explores how to continue to build DIY spaces and leverage word of mouth, digital platforms, and partnerships to elevate the next gen of TO artists, because you shouldn’t have to leave the city to succeed here.


Josephine Cruz (Jayemkayem, ISO Radio) - Moderator

Josephine Cruz aka Jayemkayem is a multidisciplinary creative currently based in Toronto. Since relocating from Calgary in 2015 she has made a name for herself around the city for her skills as a DJ, event producer and curator, as well as for her natural aptitude for community leadership and organizing. Her professional resume includes work with HYPEBEAST, Complex, Red Bull, and more; and the list of brands she has provided music for as a DJ includes Nike, adidas, Puma, Sephora, Lululemon, Google, Spotify, Vice and others. She also has a passion for knowledge sharing, and has taught workshops and seminars in branding, marketing and music business with organizations including Intersessions and Remix Project. In addition to her personal creative and professional pursuits, Josephine runs an independent record label, Bare Selection, alongside her partner Freeza Chin, and is the co-founder and director of community radio station, ISO. ISO is home to 50+ recurring shows hosted by local DJs, producers, journalists and cultural provocateurs and exists to platform underground music and forward-thinking discussions that are underrepresented in the mainstream media sphere

Brenden Hewko (SmashMouth Entertainment Inc.)
Brenden Hewko is the founder and director of SmashMouth Entertainment, a Canadian multifaceted entertainment company with divisions focused on live event production, promotions, artist bookings, artist management and artist development. Since it’s founding in March 2010, SmashMouth Ent. has been at the forefront of Canada’s live music scene, having worked with and developed over 60 international artists including hip-hop heavyweights Kendrick Lamar, Mac Miller, Post Malone, 6LACK, Joey BadA$$ and more. Through it’s decisive booking strategies and initiatives, SmashMouth Entertainment has aligned itself with the current and future generations of Hip-Hop stars and cemented itself as one of Canada’s most innovative entertainment companies. Brenden and the SmashMouth Ent. team have also served as the long time management for Toronto artists DillanPonders, JiMMY BRiCKZ and most recently lemin. amongst many other former clients.

Realije The Beatbox Emcee (Artist/Event Producer)
Realije The Beatbox Emcee is a multi-disciplinary artist from Toronto of Caribbean and Eastern European heritage who utilizes and combines beatboxing with rhythmic poetry. His live performances often contain improvised loops and samples that he creates with his voice and an RC505 Loop Station. He freestyles and recites verses on beats that he creates on the spot!

He started rhythmically interpreting sounds in high school on his lunch breaks and after school programs. He has been a student of Hip Hop for over 13 years and is inspired by the Golden Era Beat Box greats such as Doug E Fresh, Buffy Love, Biz Markie, Rahzel and Scratch.

Rosie Monday (Artist)
Rapper and community leader Rosemary Adjoa Marfo was born and raised in East Toronto. Her Ghanian parents gave her the name Adjoa (“Monday-born”): an apt moniker for Rosie, who embodies the bold, free-spirited energy these namesakes are said to inherit. As a first-generation Canadian, the intersections of her cultural identity are apparent in her musical range; she adeptly blends classic hip-hop, grime, and drill with rock, dancehall, and afro-beat.

Rosie has been composing, recording, and performing professionally since 2012, her crisp, thoughtful rhymes and infectious energy winning over audiences nationwide. She’s been hand-selected to participate in competitive, high-profile professional activities, notably the Launchpad x RBC Music Entrepreneurship program which provided her with six months of industry mentorship and experience. She’s an alumna of Dalton Higgins’ Music Biz Bootcamp and Women In Music’s song camp, and was an invited panelist at Ottawa JazzFest’s music summit. Her most recent live appearance was at beloved Toronto institution Honey Jam’s 25th anniversary show, broadcast from the El Mocambo to over 10k virtual attendees. Meanwhile, her tracks “F*** a Like” and “Party By Myself” have racked up more than 16k streams on Spotify alone, and have been featured on esteemed playlists like Northern Bars.

This panel will be broadcast virtually through our conference platform and will be presented live at Lula Lounge in Toronto.

Lula Lounge is an accessible venue. If you have any questions about accessibility needs, please reach out to us at torontolongwinter@gmail.com.

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