From May 2nd to 8th, artists from varying ends of the world took over venues all across the GTA to showcase their talent to the people of Toronto. From your most underground Indie band from London, Ontario to the UK’s grimiest rappers, CMW was a platform which gave way to a variety of new and experience artists to get hype, create vibes and do what they love the most at some of our most intimate venues. With over a 100 artists at more than 40 locations it was nearly impossible to get to every act but there was something for everyone this week.

The first experience RegalChiz has had at CMW also happened to be our first ever press event. If you missed out on the turnt snapchats (SC: regalchiz) I’m here to recap two low key artists making their way up who killed their sets and made an impact leaving us wanting more when the curtains came down.

Adelaide Hall : Smino Brown 

It’s been a while since Missouri was on the map, but St. Louis artist Smino Brown has an energy which makes you take notice and just might put a twist on the rap game. With a sound that’s far from conventional, the BlkJuptr artist has been pushing the agenda on reviving a playful sound on life situations and experiences in an age where everyone wants to be dark and dreary. The creative stated Blk Juptr came from his experiences with the industry  trying to finesse young Black artists, for Brown, being a Black male in America makes him feel as if he’s on another planet sometimes (specifically Jupiter) which is where he drew inspiration from on the recent project, he told Pigeons and Planes.

Working closely beside friend and sound engineer Chris “Classick” Inumerable and Chicago’s Monte Booker, Brown is cooking up a sound which Toronto is very unaccustomed to. True to it’s midwest meets southern rap style, Brown showcases similar characteristics to the tempo and flow of legends such as Andre 3000 paired with the energy of performers such as Lil Jon and Ludacris. The Zero Fatigue creative showed Toronto something special when he touched the stage. As one of Toronto’s most intimate venues, Adelaide Hall requires the right vibe all around to get a performance going.

The majority, clearly unfamiliar with Brown, was initially hesitant, to turn up alongside the artist. Yet after less than three songs Smino had the majority of the room standing front and centre giving him all of their attention. Interacting with the audience by asking the right questions which tied into every song he put on, Toronto was introduced to tracks from not only BlkJuptr, but Smino’s  “S!ckS!ickS!ck”, which has been causing a buzz across music forums in North America. Brown first and foremost made himself relatable by tying his personal experiences into the music and to his audience’s vibe; and surprisingly we were taken by storm throughout the set. As his first time in Toronto, Brown killed it in the private venue and many stuck around to get to know the Missouri artist. After making his mark Smino has announced that he’s currently performing at different venues in the States as of right now, Brown is definitely on a mission to bring Zero Fatigue to the forefront and RegalChiz only anticipates a growing fan base as the push continues, this is one artist to keep on your radar in 2016.

WAYHOME x CMW Showcase – Mod Club Theatre: Amir Obè

RC has been on Amir Obè since the debut of Won’t Find Love in the Hills. The Detrooklyn rapper has a sound thats hard to match and yet to be competed with over the border. Hoodie up as per usual, Amir Obè hit his first stage in Toronto ever at the Mod Club Theatre located on College. The Wayhome team coordinated a series of of 5 acts switching by the hour appealing to varying tastes one may find at this years 2016 summer festival. Obè hit the stage just after 11, but prior to, DJ, Austin Millz, ripped the stage creating a tone that would be placed on the forefront for fans waiting for the show to begin.

Obè began with his classics from Happening in the Grey Area, the 10 track mixtape which held collaborations from PartyNextDoor, Daniel Worthy, and more has a clear sense of  Toronto influence flowing through it, but works strongly because of Amir’s signature dark vibe from Detroit. He’d go on to shout out both PND and Drake (who he worked with on IYRTITL’s, Star67) between various mixes repping the 6 hand symbol to salute the two musicians he’s worked closely with for years now.

“Happening”, “On A Ride”, “Truth For You”, “Tell Stories Interlude”, “The Only” , “Just Know” and “VIP” would play upon each other through the first half of the performance until the 26  year old creative gave fans more of  the recent, Won’t Find Love in the Hills. “I’m Good”, “Took You Seriously”, “Say No More” “One Night Thing” truly amped up Obe’s set and deterred from his initially calm stage presence. With a right hand hypeman getting the crowd absolutely amped throughout the performance, Obè went all the way up at closing.

He’d close of his set with the very popular single, Before the Vomit, at this point the entire crowd was singing along and the feel good vibes were at a high. As an artist who makes the darkest thoughts seem serene, the performance could have quickly gone left and bored his crowd but evidently went in a completely different direction. Carefully crafting the set up of each song by linking hype tracks between chill flows,Obè made every minute of the 45 minute set work for him. Nothing short of impressed and wanting more, we’ll be patiently waiting for his to return to Toronto and give the city more of what we’ve been waiting for.

(Note: A major thank you for the Wayhome team for having RegalChiz and hosting one of the most organized and entertaining shows of the week. Make sure to visit the Wayhome page for this years line up and tickets for one of Canada’s hottest festivals)