10 Black queer Toronto artists to follow

10 Black queer Toronto artists to follow

If Solange’s album drop on March 1st is any consolation, we don’t have to stop celebrating blackness just because February is over. There are tons of black queer artists who are killing it in the Toronto music scene right now. From cool moms who light spliffs before casting spells to disco queens who transform into Sailor Moon at Pride, here are 10 black queer artists we love.


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Meet Sydanie! 

Preferred pronouns
She/her. Also, say her whole name. Nicknames like Syd are a no-fly zone. 

What she’s done lately
Well, when she first appeared on our radar (see Gyal Dem Fiyah), she had just dropped her now lauded 10-song mixtape 999. The record, which is a shout-out to Jane and Weston, highlights the good, the bad, and the not-so-pretty. But somehow she treads lightly over classic house tracks, never disrupting the groove. Just check out her song “667,” where she starts off laughing before bathing in the light, taking a pill, and pouring libations to then end off wastemans. She does this in 30 seconds flat. You get a look into her mind before spiralling out into her hood over a saxophone riff. That’s talent! 

What’s next
Sydanie is set to release a new single called “ i want u 2 see this” in April. The track is produced by Casey MQ, another familiar name from our Yohomo Weekly playlists. 

Why Yohomo loves Sydanie
She has the range as a rapper and a person. She’s a cool mom who loves her community and works the stage harder than anyone else. You betta see it to believe it! 

Follow Sydanie on soundcloud

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Meet Witch Prophet, aka Ayo Leilani!

Preferred pronouns
she/her

What she’s done lately
Well, she first appeared on our radar when she dropped “Architect of Heartbreak, the Driftnote Remix.” Then last year, she dropped the now classic album The Golden Octave. Featuring 11 atmospheric songs that hint at neosoul, jazz, and UK soul, Leilani takes us on a cosmic journey where the personal meets the political. Her writing draws you in before asking challenging questions on songs like “Time Traveler” and “Love Me.” It’s no wonder The Golden Octave landed on Bandcamp’s best albums of 2018: Leilani’s pen game is on 10.

What’s next
She just dropped her new single, “Elsabet,” which is produced by her partner, SunSun, with Karen Ng on saxophone. Her next album, DNA Activation, is set to drop in September.

Why Yohomo loves Witch Prophet
She runs her own record label, promotes her own music, works with the baddest women in the game, and still manages to be a mom. We stan! You’ll stan too when you see her.

Watch Witch Prophet’s latest video on youtube

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Meet Above Top Secret, aka SunSun and Leilani!

Preferred pronouns
she/her, she/her

What they’ve done lately
Well, the last time SunSun and Leilani were on our radar, they closed out the night on the AlternaQueer stage at Pride. But their 2016 debut album, Above Top Secret, features 14 songs, including “Ghost” and “Bang,” a song that asks the Canadian government, “Where are our missing Indigenous women?”

What’s next
Above Top Secret is set to drop the first single from their new album on April 26. Altro Mondo, the album, is set to drop on May 17. It’s produced by SunSun and written by Leilani. And guess what? We’re already YOHOMObsessed.

Why Yohomo loves Above Top Secret
Their blend of electro, dub, soul, and hip hop is like nothing else in Toronto. It’s freewheeling, vibe-focused, and open to questioning everything funky about our native land. You gotta witness them live to really feel it.

Watch Above Top Secret latest video on youtube

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Meet Myst Milano

Preferred pronouns
they/them/she/her

What they’ve done lately
Well, the last time Myst Milano was on our radar, they dropped their 10-song mixtape Badlands while making their rounds as a DJ (see DJ Profile). In 2018, they dropped their EP Kali Ma and landed on NOW  magazine’s list of best local albums of 2018. Just as impressive, they appeared in NOW’s Sounds of Toronto edition as a part of the queer collective Raven’s Vision. So, you know they’ve got the sound and the vision! 

What’s next
Catch them at Glad Day Bookshop, at Passionfruit, on March 23.

Why Yohomo loves Myst
It’s hard not to love someone who amps up the crowd at every event they perform. Go and get your life the next time you see Myst is performing.

Listen to Myst on soundcloud

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Meet Bliptor

Preferred pronouns
he/him

What he’s done lately
Bliptor is regularly booked! There’s rarely a week of event postings on Yohomo where he isn’t DJing. But he’s been slowly making performance appearances, so you know he has something cooking. In the meantime, you can catch him working with artists like Zaki Ibrahim, Tika the Creator, a l l i e, and as part of the queer collective Raven’s Vision. 

What’s next
He’s working on his first EP, which will be released under Raven’s Vision’s upcoming label. For now, you can catch him on ISO radio performing with Raven’s Vision every third Thursday. 

Why Yohomo loves Bliptor
From his style and his DJ sets to his smooth and expressive voice, Bliptor definitely keeps us on our toes. 

Listen to Bliptor’s Yohomo mix

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Meet James Bailey

Preferred pronouns
he/him

What he’s done lately
Well, when he’s not on the Yohomo Weekly playlist, he’s ruling the runway in Toronto’s ballroom scene. His fierce looks have won him trophies and fans from all over. But  that’s not the only place he sees trophies. He’s nominated this year for his first Juno, for best dance recording for “Gotasoul.” In the past, he’s appeared on July Talk’s Juno-winning album and U.S. Girls’s Polaris Prize–nominated album In a Poem Unlimited. Not to mention he released a six-song EP called Roads, a collection of dream pop and alt R&B.

What’s next
He’s currently working on a new EP. You’re gonna have to wait a little longer to hear the name and date of release.

Why Yohomo loves James Bailey
No one serves us looks, class, sweetness, and sass quite like James. You’ll get it when you see him in action!

Listen to James on soundcloud

Kamilah-apong

Meet Tush’s lead singer, Kamilah Apong!

Preferred pronouns
she/her

What she’s done lately
Kamilah is one half of the disco group Tush, alongside bassist/DJ Jamie Kidd. They released their first EP, Do You Feel Excited, in the fall of last year. The record has two originals and one cover of a fan favourite, “Southern Freeez.” But it’s really the song “Oh My” that uses the psychedelic elements of disco and turns out a Bowie-esque prog-rock song you never knew you needed. Kamilah’s ear for vocal arrangement and her strong writing cut to the heart of any LGBT managing their mental health. It’s the kind of songwriting that makes you realize queer people were and are at the heart of disco.

What’s next
Kami and Jamie are set to release their new single, “Don’t Be Afraid,” in May and their next EP sometime this summer.

Why Yohomo loves Tush
We love disco, so we love Tush. But more than that, Tush opened for Brandy at Pride while serving Black Sailor Moon aesthetic. Yohomo could never, so we’re glad Kami did. Make sure to see her live!

Watch Tush latest video on youtube


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Meet Truss!

Preferred pronouns
he/him

What he’s done lately
Truss, who is known for his smooth, husky voice, has been playing the role of producer these days. In 2017, he released an R&B EP called TRP. P with pHoenix Pagliacci, a former member of The Sorority. Truss produced the record, and pHoenix did all the writing and vocals. The beats range from lo-fi interludes and late-2000s Euro R&B to more traditional R&B/gospel sounds with trap influences. A slightly different sound can be found on their own album from that year, Root Canal. Neosoul, jazz, gospel, and samba influences are evident throughout. Songs like “Swings/(Un) Amusement Park” and “Let(’s) Go” recount the trials of growing into one’s self and learning to prioritize one’s own happiness.  In these particular moments of singing about trans existence, something universal is found. 

What’s next
Truss will perform with pHoenix as TRP.P at Kazoo! Fest in Guelph on April 10. They’re also mixing a new TRP.P album. Stay tuned! 

Why Yohomo loves Truss
Truss’s down-to-earth nature bleeds through his music. Everything he touches feels organic, heartfelt, and honest. He’s like listening to a friend you always wanted. T hat’s not only talent – that’s heart! See him perform; it’s a Yohomo must! 

tafari-anthony

Meet Tafari Anthony!

Preferred pronouns
he/him

What he’s done lately
Last year, he dropped the video for “To the End.” The video parallels a Black woman’s personal race to the finish line with shots of single parents and their kids, couples interacting, musicians and their instruments, and individuals holding space. The video illustrates how Anthony’s personal journey is like so many others’. The song is on his four-song EP Remember When. His tenor soars on “He Changed It” and the title track. There’s a real sense of classic rock- and-roll writing in the tracks, which tell clear and concise stories. You’d almost believe they were written by someone older, which speaks to the maturity of Anthony’s pen. 

What’s next
He’s hush hush on what he has planned. But whatever it is, stay ready!

Why Yohomo loves Tafari Anthony
He’s consistent with his sound, his visuals, and his vision. We love an artist who gives us nothing but their best.

Watch Tafari’s latest video on youtube

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Meet Rosie Monday

Preferred pronouns
she/her

What she’s done lately
She is busy at work! She recently released a new single called “Fuck a Like” with Gdcmplx. The song, in which Rosie urges her love interest to go beyond a “like” and meet up in person, has a low-key, sexy vibe. She’s featured on TwistedWavex’s “Guidance” and releases a cover every Monday on SoundCloud and Instagram, part of a series she calls Monday Mood. It’ll cure your Monday every time.

What’s next
She performs April 28 at Spade Lounge in Scarborough alongside TOI, another artist on the headinthestars music team.

Why Yohomo loves Rosie Monday
Her consistent output is really showing us how quickly she can flex on a beat with impactful, high-energy performances. We love a rapper who gets us pumped! You have to see her live to truly get it. 

Learn more about Rosie Monday

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