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July 31, 2017

NXNE 2017

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Written by: CT
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By: Kishan Mistry

The annual NXNE festival made its way back to the Portland’s for its 2k17 edition. Headlining the weekend included the likes of Post Malone, Montreal-based DJ Kaytranada, and electro-pop group Passion Pit. Situated steps away from Polson Pier, the venue provided a beautiful sightline of Toronto’s beautiful skyline. Although the forecast for the weekend seemed dodgy at first, the rain held up for the majority of the weekend leaving festivalgoers dry for the most part! On top of the two stages, NXNE Portlands featured a wide range of food trucks, midway games, and a Ferris Wheel.

On Day 1 I had the pleasure of shooting and watching EMP, Twin Peaks, Sleigh Bells, Amir Obé, capped off with one of my favourite artists at the moment, Post Malone. Toronto hip-hop trio EMP, brought life to the main stage playing hits like “Rebellion” and “Perfect Timing.” Their trap influenced tunes seem to draw inspiration to the booming Atlanta hip-hop scene. Signed to Universal Music Canada, there is no question that the trio has the potential to blow up within the next little bit. With acts like Jazz Cartier, Derek Wise, and K. Forest coming out of the streets of Toronto, the city is beginning to cement itself as a top destination for hip-hop.

 Day 2 featured Canadian acts such as Mississauga’s K.I.D. and John River, along with electronic producer/DJ Kaytranada. Starting out with K.I.D (Kids in Despair) the quirky GTA duo played a tight set filled with hits like “Errors” and “Taker”. Singer Kara Lane made jokes throughout the set, at one point introducing a song that was about “hand jobs in the summer”. The rest of 2017 is looking bright for the duo whose latest EP, Poster Child, was released this past spring. Next up was 22-year-old John River, a rapper based out of Sauga city. Having received hype from XXL Magazine, calling him the next big thing out of the North, I can surely agree with their claims. It is apparent that John takes pride in his lyricism and doesn’t seem to hide behind any flashy 808 drum beats. His music consists of raw, emotionally charged hooks which I would love to see expand to a wider fan base, from the local spotlight and onto the world stage.

 Closing out the night was Kaytranada, who had by far the biggest crowd of the entire weekend. The producer has worked with artists such as Anderson .Paak, Vic Mensa, Mary J Blige, Alicia Keys, and Chance the Rapper just to name a few. The 24-year-old brought chill vibes to the Portlands and had the whole crowd jamming out to a well-pieced setlist composed of hits like “All Night”, “Glowed Up” and “You’re the One”.

 Sunday marked the third and final day of NXNE at the Portlands. The day featured Canadian talents such as Saya, River Tiber, and Yukon Blonde. All three acts showcased their tremendous live performance skills and left Toronto with memorable tunes to go home with.

That sums up this year’s NXNE festival, here’s looking forward to next year’s edition!

 






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