Jidenna, The Internet, Masjid Jordan set Echo Beach on fire
Article by Mea
Ever since its start in 2007, sharing has always been pivotal to the Manifesto movement. Sharing of a vision to see racialized communities thrive through increased visibility, sharing of knowledge through conversations and connections, sharing of positivity through musical and artistic events. There’s value in sharing especially when it comes to public representation of diversity and multiculturalism as it not only empowers those coming from diverse communities but also it increases awareness for all citizens as a way of building more tolerance and art de vivre ensemble, the art of living together. At UrbanPlusLife, we definitely share, Vika and I, Mea: this common philosophy by covering events with a high accent on diversity and multiculturalism.
The Echo Beach’s concert last Saturday was among the launching events ( June 8-11) kicking off the summer fold of Manifesto this year. Indeed the Manifesto Festival in its 11th year has decided to take an interesting turning point by diversifying its cultural and creative performances and carrying them on through summer, fall and winter instead of just September. Among the artists on the 11th June: The Internet, Majid Jordan, Isaiah Rashad, Jidenna, Sean Leon, Tika, Matthew Progress, Derin Falana and The Sorority.
On entering the concert area, we were amazed by the many volunteers in red and their eagerness to help with any questions about the festival. The show starters were the girls’ band Sorority. Even though it was still early and at the beginning, there were about 3-4 rows of people in front of the stage, those ladies managed to embrace the party spirit with their energetic beats. What was really great is that they have communicated with the crowd and were getting everybody excited about the upcoming artists in the line-up. Derin Falana, followed and he didn’t forget to say how proud he was to be from Brampton. Matthew Progress, the Torontonian rapper wasn’t ready to leave the stage when he realized he was out of time and said: “they want me to leave but f*** that”. He gave the crowd his best in trap music. Just like him, Seon Leon, the rap-punk artist, embodies the new sounds in Toronto’s flourishing hip-hop and R&B scene.
Tika Simone has been on the Toronto music scene since 2002, but this year she is getting the full attention she deserves by working on different other stages but has collaborated with Manifesto since the start. Those who know Tika know that this stylish girl has got some good grooves. Not only does she know how to modulate her voice but her songs are deep and you sure get carried away.
The hyperactive Isaiah Rashad unleashed his raps like bullets, blatantly impertinent and incisive. The Tennessee hip hop artist’s lyrics are known for not “ beating about the bush” talking about his reality in a manner that is truthful a.f and he got the crowd roaring and cheering.
The life of the party was certainly Jidenna, who was awarded new artist at the 2015 Soul Train Music Awards. Renowned for his hit “classic man”, the American artist took us on a whirling journey with his debut album “ The Chief”. Not only did we have a wonderful show with amazing choreographies from the stylish singer and his entire team on stage ( musicians, DJ etc) but he also delighted us with his fine humor and insightful teachings learned from his wise Nigerian father.
The Internet enchanted us. We can never get enough of the lead vocalist, Syd’s soulful voice. The LA band rocked the stage and not only won our hearts with their past romantic hits like “ Girl” but also give us a sneak peek of some of the members’ newly released solo albums.
Toronto’s darling, Masjid Jordan, the headliner of the day gave us an amazing closing performance. Under the stars and transporting us into outer space, the duet showered us with cosmic love with new releases Phases, Every Step Every Way and Small Talk What we didn’t expect was the surprise appearances of their friends from the OVO label namely Roy Woods and dvsn who got the crowd fired up. They ended the concert with their past songs ( whose lyrics most of the crowd knew by heart) among which “Her” which charged the atmosphere with love electrons giving us goosebumps.
High Power After-Party
The official after-party which took place in a fluorescent-lit warehouse on Keele St didn’t deceive. It is much appreciated that Manifesto 11 like Manifesto 10 put women DJs at its forefront for the High Power after parties. Dre Ngozi and Nino Brown, the resident DJs fully blasted the place with their Old School Hip Hop, R&B, island hits and afro beats and electro-house music. This year, the Festival invited Vashtie, New York’s downtown sweetheart as the headliner. She not only rejoiced the crowd on that night but also revealed her most authentic self the next day event during a heart to heart conversation with Manifesto co- founder Che Kothari. There is no doubt that Manifesto 11 is set for success. The Free Block Party and The Summit will follow this summer and the Art Show and The Rumble are the Fall and Winter happenings this year and we hope that the Festival will attract an even greater crowd as it continues to portray diversity as shared value.