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#RisingYouth Music: Art for Social Change

Explore the collection of music videos created by our artist partners below! They were created to help inspire community involvement.

November 4, 2021

Made Up by Zoey Roy

"Made Up was a song that I wrote in response to the noise canceling tools and techniques that my spirit demanded in order to grow. I realized that my engagement with social media and the influence that I received from it was disrupting my connection with my higher power. I realized that my passion and rage was festering and needed to be tended to in a real way. Working with my partner and my family was important as we are all very creative people. I love seeing people be their playful selves. This was important for reifying the transition to actualizing the true self in this process." - Zoey Roy

Zoey ‘Pricelys’ Roy is a Nehiyaw-Dené Métis poet, creative director, educator, researcher, and activist from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. She is now based in Kingston, Ontario. Zoey released her debut rap album Made Up in May 2021 and is set to release her first spoken word album in January 2022 under her stage name ‘Pricelys’. Zoey uses poetry as therapy and her work often synthesizes the kaleidoscope of mirrors she sees around her. The inundation of collective grief and trauma can be found in Zoey’s poetry in a way that is nostalgic and comforting. She is often inspired by the state of affairs amongst Indigenous people - more particularly the way Indigenous women interact locally and globally as a result of ongoing violent nation state drama.

Zoey is currently studying a PhD in Education at York University. She has earned a Master’s of Public Policy and a Bachelor’s of Education from the University of Saskatchewan. She has received numerous awards for her innovative approaches to education, activism and creativity, this includes: Queen Diamond Jubilee II Medal; the Indspire Award; and the Saskatchewan Arts Teaching and Learning Award.

March 31, 2021

« Mise tout » by HAWA

Produced and co-written by David Osei-Afrifa, Co-written, Recorded & Performed in Montreal by HAWA, Directed by Yazan Arnous, text art by BMBP, dance choreography created and performed by Lakesshia Pierre Colon and Sandra Samba.

''Last year during the beginning of Covid, the positive light I wanted to talk about was the fact that everyone was getting more conscious of the racial inequality as well as the gender inequality. People speaking their truth and trying to make a change. We are far from parity but it's important for youth to know that they can speak up if there is something in their life bothering them. For some people, it's hard to express themselves on these sensitive subjects, including myself, but you have to keep trying to make things better for the community as it will also make it better for yourself and even if you're uncomfortable with "public speech" - or social media speech, there are still actions you can do to bring us to a better world.” - HAWA

February 12, 2021

Break Me Down by Mattmac

Written, Recorded & Performed by Matthew Monias, Produced by DrellOnTheBeat, Filmed by Aaron Sambey for The Woods, Starring River Waterhen and Distributed by N'we Jinan Records

Mattmac is a blind music producer and recording artist who has taken his melodic pop trap beats and inspiring story to quickly establish himself as one to watch on the national music scene in Canada. Featuring poppy vocals combined with honest lyrics and heavy melodic trap beats, Mattmac’s debut 20/20 gives his listeners a glimpse into the mind of a blind creative hoping to paint vivid sonic pictures of struggle, healing, celebrating love, family and life on the rez.

Hailing from Garden Hill First Nation, Manitoba, Mattmac has been blind from birth. He grew up surrounded by music both on the radio and singing in his community’s gospel choir. Mattmac began to struggle with depression at a young age and credits music for helping him cope. A fully self-taught artist, he first began to make beats and write songs when he was 13 years old, and later taught himself how to play piano and guitar. He also has impressive skills with beat production software and equipment, and attributes his creative competencies to the support of the Blind & Famous group, a USA based collective of blind music artists who collaborate and connect with one another through the internet. Mattmac hopes to continue to use his platform to inspire others to know that they can accomplish anything they set their mind to.

December 11, 2020

Efficient by John Dagostin

Directed and Edited by: "Death Shepard", Amy Ball, Ange Bonnici, Aubyn O'Grady, Co-editor Isaac Pumphrey, Produced by Reverb

Growing up with no electricity or plumbing across the river from Dawson City, Yukon. John was raised to follow his creativity because he had little to no contact with large social groups other than at school. Which in his town was kindergarten to grade 12 and occupied no more than 250 kids a year. In grade twelve John moved to the capital of the Yukon, Whitehorse. It didn’t take long for the small town kid to acquire the nickname “John from Dawson” due to his stunts and personality at parties. After Moving back to Dawson, nineteen year old John from Dawson experienced multiple life changing events that led him to releasing his emotion through writing and talking to his notebook. Before long he started turning those emotional words into full length songs and creating his own beats to back them up. Recently he decided to stop swearing in his music in an attempt to make his art safe for everybody’s consumption, especially youth and members of the LGBTQ2S+ community.

What started as an emotional reaction, became John’s entire life and since 2019 he has released three full length albums, multiple singles, and several professional quality music videos. John closed out the 2019 Keno Music Festival at 3 in the morning, performed as an emerging artist at the 2019 Dawson City Music Festival, and has filled several Yukon bars with his upbeat, positive hip hop.

August 12, 2020

Vis ton rêve (Sky is the limit) by N.ONE & Dasha-maily

From Soul music to Pop, Afrobeat to Gospel, Dasha Maily is a singer with versatile abilities and a powerful voice. Of Haitian origin, she has had the opportunity to share the stage with various artists and collaborate with Hubert Le Noir on one of his albums. N.ONE is an artist of Senegalese origin, with multiple talents. Rapper, singer, songwriter, lyricist, … it’s his lyrics that make him unique.

August 6, 2020

Waniska (Wake Up) by Kevin Wesaquate

Kevin Wesaquate is an artist in Treaty 6 Territory. With a show hanging at Hues Art Gallery in Saskatoon, he is still finding ways to combine his love of poetry and visual art. Kevin also likes to make short films in his free time.

The poem was written in a draft on a previous flight from Vancouver to Saskatoon. The final poem was edited and crafted for this special event in Toronto during a flight from Saskatoon. A poem that reflected the power of the sky and sunrise, it also reflects an important teaching within the word ‘Waniska’: meaning ‘Wake Up’. A consistent message between parents or grandparents to the youth.  A message that turned into a strong spoken word piece, in Toronto.

July 30, 2020

Rising by Evan Redsky

Evan James Redsky is an Ojibwe singer/songwriter and activist from Blind River, ON by way of Toronto. Having spent seven years on the road with Juno-nominated rock group Single Mothers - he has since left to pursue an eponymous solo career. Evan has offered workshops and educational sessions for students with TakingITGlobal as part of the Connected North and Create to Learn programs.

"Rising" is a song about solidarity and the resilience of our people. A kernel of the idea for this song happened years ago and lived in a notebook until I was asked to help TakingITGlobal with this initiative.

"I descended from an ancient trapline,

came up under the neon signs..."

I wanted to write something that would resonate with our youth and continue to push a contemporary narrative while honouring the past. I am really happy with how it turned out and I hope my community enjoys it! 

July 23, 2020
Free Up by KWENTO

With a unique sound crossing Neo Soul and Experimental R&B, Kwento embodies empowerment through presenting an honest ode to her femininity and Afrocentricity. Formerly known as Kirsten Olivia, Kwento hails from the Preston Township in Nova Scotia, a community of First African peoples in Canada. Through embracing her roots she has discovered a deeper sense of her truth as an individual and hopes her presence tells a story that validates and offers comfort and healing to the silenced. Kwento receives the energy of her audiences and returns it tenfold - through her soulful vocals, effortless performance and vibrant aura.

Kwento's musical exploits, range from touring Europe with Erin Costelo, being a session vocalist and writing with multi-platinum record producer Roy Hamilton III and opening for acts such as Classified, Divine Brown, Bettye Lavette, Mavis Staples, Nile Rogers and Chic, Lee Fields and the Expressions, Dr. John and TheHypnotic Bras Ensemble, to name a few. She has performed at Harlem New York's Carribbean Music Festival, Halifax's Jazz and Tall Ships Festivals, Nova Scotia Music Week, East Coast Music Week, and The African Nova Scotian Music Awards stage, where she won the award for Best Emerging artist. Her experiences have seen her become an ECMA Nominee for Best R&B Recording and The Coast's Best R&B Silver winner. As her talents take her across the globe, Kwento is collaborating with producers in South Africa, writers in Germany and musicians and producers in Toronto and will release her second EP entitled abbr. (Abbreviation) in 2020.

July 16, 2020
Rudegang Entertainment and TakingITGlobal present Tides; a song written about what we see as the growing resurgence of youth empowerment and the community based action that youth all across the globe are taking to improve their communities. Featuring BC Artists Rudegang Entertainment (Hope, Doobie, Mamarudegyal MTHC & Producer Onata), Rudegang Affiliate Mz Shellz of Enter-Tribal and Native by Nature, and Starring rapper Jacob Telek AKA Telekinesis in the video's lead role.

Hope (born Patrick Kelly, 1984) is a professional Hip-Hop artist and performer from Leq'a:mel First Nation British Columbia, and based in Vancouver BC. Inspired by Tradition, Hope uses the art of storytelling and rhyme to depict life on the reservation and illustrate to others what it is to be indigenous. Releasing his first album with Indigenous Hip Hop Duo "Status Krew" in 2011, Hope has been steadily contributing to the BC Underground Hip Hop scene ever since. In 2014 Hope joined local artist Mamarudegyal MTHC in co-founding Indigenous Hip Hop and Multimedia group "Rudegang Entertainment". Winning a Fraser Valley Music award in 2017 sparked new motivation for Hope, who then created the most important album of his career thus far, "Red Man", released July 2019.

Doobie is an indigenous Hip Hop artist from Mission BC, and one half of Coast Salish rap duo Status Krew. Doobie Raps about being Indigenous in Canada, experiencing life on the reserve through his eyes, something many Canadians are still very unfamiliar with— oh and also, weed. Being a part of Status Krew and a founding member of Rudegang Entertainment has given Doobie the Confidence, the Tools and the Experience to continue Growing, Creating and Releasing his Music including his next upcoming album "Apollo420", coming Fall 2020.

Mz Shellz
Michelle Lee Runns AKA MzShellz is an emerging Cree Hip Hop artist and owner of "Native by Nature" Apparel hailing from Regina, Saskatchewan. Since relocating to British Columbia, the mother of 4 has been rocking stages from Vancouver all the way to Albuquerque, NM. MzShellz has taken her new platform through her music to send messages of strength to the Youth and seeks to empower Women & girls around the world to know that anything is possible if you truly believe in yourself. She hopes to further these goals with her next album, "Boss Lady", currently in progress.

Mamarudegyal MTHC
Mamarudegyal MTHC (Born Diana Hellson; January 11, 1992) is a Professional Hip Hop & R&B Artist and Founder of Indigenous Hip Hop & Multimedia Group "Rudegang Entertainment"; Based in Burnaby, BC. Releasing her debut EP "MRG EP" in 2016, and taking home two Fraser Valley Music Awards (Best Hip Hop - Female, Queer Excellence in Music) in 2017, Mamarudegyal MTHC has made quite a name for herself and has the BC Hip Hop scene waiting impatiently for her follow up album, currently in progress.

July 9, 2020
RUN by Matt Somber
Written by Jamal Amorello & Truss, Mixed & Mastered by Rajen Mistry

Matt Somber is an artist of Trinidadian descent, based in Toronto, Canada. His fashion forward aesthetic follows the synesthesia of his alternative hip-hop music stylings. Following in the footsteps of artists like Travis Scott and Andre 3000, Somber is for the people through his music and each interaction on and off the stage as both a solo recording artist and with the Toronto hip-hop brass collective, Bangerz Brass.

RUN Produced by TRuss
Recently highlighted in the Globe and Mail, TRuss is a self-taught musician, singer, songwriter and jazz pianist. These days, he is finding his voice producing for local artists such as the Sorority and DijahSB. As a junior sound engineer at 876 Studios, he says, "I am able to crack out a beat and arrange a song in under two hours and helping artists develop harmonies comes very natural to me."