With just a year of making music and performance under her belt, TeaFannie is an artist that reflects how passion combined with consistent hard work is the formula for a blossoming music career. Originally from Edmonton, TeaFannie, real name Tiffannie, is a play on her name and also the empowerment she has found through embracing the nosiness of people that “are always trying to figure out my tea, what I’m doing, what I’m not doing. So instead of running away, I’m embracing the nosiness.” While she grew up writing poetry, that was the extent she took her rhyming expression, as a result of stage fright that prevented her from ever performing or taking her poems to the next level as a rapper. However, that all changed in 2019 when a colleague in Edmonton asked her to come up with a fifteen-minute set as well as perform it, and she was forced to get over her stage fright and step into her true calling. Now, having conquered her fear, the words come to music when she is in the studio through a process of live free-writing, which often is inspired by responses to old arguments that did not come to her in the moment of the feud. TeaFannie considers writing and rapping to be extremely therapeutic; a form of therapy to process life’s ups and downs, and the variation of feelings, moods and vibes can be heard throughout her discography of music with a consistent theme of unapologetic Black, femme freedom and self-love. Though most people think of Toronto when thinking about hip hop in Canada, TeaFannie feels that the support and love especially from organizations like Afros In Tha City make it easy to be proud of her melanin and express herself as she works as an artist and sees the steps towards social change happening in Calgary. “Poppin” is an anthem about Black empowerment that is both reminiscent of 90s East Coast hip-hop with an infusion of TeaFannie’s unique style that can really only be described by listening to her music.
Special mention: a track released last year with our Afros In Tha City founder and editor in chief Dooshima, called Ladies Of The Jam was our 2020 anthem! TeaFannie is an artist that is definitely worth keeping both your eyes and ears on in 2021 and beyond.
Starting as a young adolescent writing poetry, and as a very avid and dedicated fan of Tupac, Pat Clifton began bridging the gap between the poems he was writing and the powerful hip-hop lyrics that he was so deeply inspired by at the age of 13. From there, he began learning the piano and has not looked back, as he has since been making and performing music for the past decade and a half. Having earned a Bachelor degree in music production, Clifton has developed a profound dedication to his craft over the last fifteen years, and though he does not have a particular process behind making music that he cites, he does have an unwavering mission in mind. “My mission when I make music is to save a life. Whether sharing my own experiences, telling someone else’s story, or occasionally just having some fun with it – my goal is to reach someone and validate their experience enough to help them the way music helped me. Anytime I create, I consider the person that might be affected by the words or music they hear.” Growing up in Calgary, Pat Clifton feels that the creative scene in the city is an inspiring and supportive place to be an artist, as there is no shortage of unique artists with unique expressions. With a sound that is equal parts emotional, spiritual and fresh, and with a palpable homage to Tupac in the honesty, potency, and unapologetic nature of his lyrics, Clifton moves effortlessly between heavy-hitting hip hop joints and beat-driven, sultry R&B. “Indigo Child” has a full, catchy beat that oscillates between a trap-R&B fusion and a nod the classic hip-hop that originally inspired Clifton. With smooth, alluring pads, expertly arranged drums and captivating melodies that are often both emotional and danceable, his discography is one that has a versatility informed by its honesty; music that is unmistakably straight from the heart.
Growing up in a very musically-inclined family, Dawn, full name Dawn Ezike-Dennis, has had a life-long passion for music that began at a very young age. As both of her parents were involved with music, she observed her parents growing up and took an interest to writing music as a young child. Though she always loved writing and expressing herself musically, when she was 9 years old, Ezike-Dennis wrote and composed her very first song. After hearing her child’s work, Dawn’s mother was so impressed with it that she took her to a recording studio to have it recorded and mixed. Since that first time a decade ago, Dawn has been writing ever since. The writing process for Dawn begins when she gets a melody or tune in her head, usually right before she goes to sleep or even while she is sleeping. However, she can get inspired at any moment and is always prepared for a wave of inspiration to wash over her. After feeling the flash that inspires a tune, Dawn records the idea in voice memos on her phone and then starts coming up with melodies and arrangements for the rest of the song. Often, inspiration for lyrics will come out of the blue, or from something that she has seen or heard, such as a movie or a song.
“Love and Jewelry” is an upbeat song with cohesiveness and maturity that might surprise one learning that Dawn is only 18 years old. With so much inspiration, talent and passion within her and surrounding her, and such a bright horizon ahead, there is no doubt that this is an artist to pay attention to in the near future and beyond. Dawn appreciates the supportive environment that Calgary fosters for its musicians, and feels that Calgary is a great place to be an artist and although she has just began releasing music, she is excited to release more after having received such a positive response. We have to say we are very excited as well!
Back in 2013 while she was still just in high school, using only an acoustic guitar and a computer with GarageBand on it, the Nigerian-born and Canadian-raised artist known as Uyemi recorded a cover of Lykke Li’s “Dance Dance Dance”, marking the beginning of her journey as a vocalist and musical artist. The rest is history, and she has been consistently making music and recording since, with performance being a skill she has had under her belt for the last five years. For Uyemi, the process behind making music started without a format or a story in mind and was more of a freestyle approach. "Kind of like having a conversation with whatever instrumental I would find. But being in the industry, and seeing how some really amazing music gets created, I opened myself up to creating with intention. What is the vibe of this beat? Or what do I want to talk about? And then the words just come as you go. So it is a very complex mix of freestyling as well as creating with intention.” Uyemi connects with her listeners through the sharing of narratives and feelings that come from experiences that she has in her personal life. Her storytelling is marked by her sultry, sweet, smooth and liquidy vocals that carry an expert vigor and credence as she sings to tell the stories weaved through her songs. Though she started making music often just using instrumentals put out by producers and other artists, Uyemi can now sometimes be found wearing the “producer” hat herself, creating experimental beats full of feeling that are designed to get your body moving. The song “Wow (First Of All)” takes a house-inspired groove layered with effected samples of Uyemi’s voice under the main vocal, and a rolling bassline that is impossible not to dance to when it starts to play. “I made this song for you to catwalk in, be confident, get an attitude, fist bump in your room or the club. This song is to be free and liberated.” The liberation is inspiring, and we are very excited to see and hear what Uyemi has in store to share with the world.