What’s great about the Alley series is that you never know what it’s going to bring – with an open-ended array of genres, beats and styles, the one constant factor throughout the night is the good vibes all around.
Taking place at Studio Bar (824 Dundas St W), the night saw many different acts, hailing from as close as Scarborough & Etobicoke, to Ajax, and even coming from as far as Montreal.
Hosted by Mr. Stixx, with DJ Downunda on the spin table, the vibe ranges widely, featuring some Hip-Hop, Soul, Electronic, and even some Ambient Christian vibes. Regardless of style, it can definitely be said that the city – and the GTA as a whole – has a plethora of talent waiting to be discovered.
While chatting with Whilla prior to the event, she makes mention of how this is the time for us to be creative, since all eyes are on us and what we’re capable of.
The night starts with Open Mic – it’s first-come-first serve, but there’s already several eager names on the list. It’s no new news when I say that one of the most daunting things to do is perform in front of a room full of people, but as each person steps up to the mic and let their verses flow, all inhibitions vanish, and you can hear the raw emotion and truth in each performance.
At around 9:30, the performances for the night begin, starting off with Jazzy Monika, and featuring the likes of Gadda, Just John, and JIMMYFROMEASTYORK, before a short intermission.
Everyone is welcomed back into the room with a live beat-making performance from electronic producer, ANZOLA. Without a single word uttered before, during or after his set, he has the crowd moving to his live set, which features synths and beats unlike those one would usually hear. It moves a gentleman by the name of Koal so much, that he is left wide-eyed and awestruck, and can only find the words “What the fuck did I just observe!?”
BLUES, who has performed for previous OL events, appears on stage. Before the show, she tells me of how she likes the opportunity to connect with people, through her singing. And does she ever connect – her soft, sultry voice has the crowd snapping along to the beat during her acapella.
A girl from Montreal who goes by GOLDHEART takes stage, and has front-row support from friends and her parents. She has a vibrant smile on her face as she sings, and as she’s getting into her songs, she starts dancing – which gets the crowd dancing along as well.
There was a technical difficulty for rapper Elcee, which causes him to perform last – but despite this, he performs undeterred, and puts his soul into the mic and his step all the same.
With the sixth edition of the Alley VI bringing forth such talent in performance and a very supportive crowd to match, I can’t wait to see what recurring/new faces and talent the seventh will bring!