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Photo: Courtesy of the artist
Dutty Artz is a crew of multi-disciplinary producers, who are changing their corners of the world through various forms of digital expression. Founded in 2008 by Matt Shadetek and DJ /rupture, over the years Dutty Artz has evolved from a record label to a blog to its current form as a crew of multi-disciplinary producers. Unified through music, they experiment in the creation of cultural value through collaboration in a hyper-connected world, aiming to fairly present cultural output from eclectic localized communities, to challenge creative industry standards and dominant social norms. As community organisers, DA is directly involved in community engagement through the arts, showcasing their musical discoveries from local scenes around the world to events that bring global block parties together.
Ushka is a Sri Lankan-born, Thailand-raised, Brooklyn-living migrant and an activist, cultural organizer and deejay re-defining the boundaries between global bass music, culture, and organizing. Having grown up in several parts of the world, her musical influences are as transnational as she is. She deejays from the perspective of a dancer, blending a wide range of music from soca to cumbia, hip hop to south-Asian rhythms, kuduro to samba and much more. She does so with the philosophy that global genre-blending connects cross-cultural struggles and tells important stories between communities, but most importantly, she translates this to the dancefloor. One half of iBomba, one of NYC’s premiere destinations for global bass every second Thursday of the month at Brooklyn’s Bembe, her debut mixtape, Foreign Brown, was well received, reaching over 6,300 listens in a few months. Ushka has also collaborated with Toronto’s Lido Pimienta.
Chief Boima is a Sierra Leonean-American music producer, DJ, writer, and general advocate for music-fueled digital youth cultures from around the world. Integrating a diverse array of global musical styles, Boima began as a resident DJ at San Francisco’s Little Baobab nightclub, and grew to be an internationally respected figure in the promotion of various dance music styles from around the world such as Coupe Decale, Cumbia, Kuduro and Champeta. A world tour with Michael Franti and Spearhead opened up opportunities in cities as diverse as Dakar, Melbourne, Tijuana, London, New York, Abu Dhabi, Stockholm and more. He has produced songs for international artists such as Los Rakas, Black Nature (Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars), and Sorie Kondi and released music as part of the production duo Banana Clipz, Africa Latina (with New York’s Geko Jones) and Beaten By Them. He has written for various publications including Ghetto Bassquake, Africa is a Country, WFMU Radio, and The Fader and spoken on global youth culture, and the intersection between politics and music at universities including The New School, Harvard, Yale, Brandeis, and Dartmouth, and participated in conferences including EMP and Social Media Week (New York), WOMEX (Thessaloniki, Greece), Open Arti (Milan, Italy) Together Festival (Boston), and more, and is currently based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Aneela Q (DJ Nino Brown)
Aneela Q, better known in the streets as Nino Brown, is a leading DJ in Canada. She is no stranger to making dancefloors across North America sweat, grind, slow whine, head nod, flash a lighter, bounce, or just plain old two-step. Nino is the founder of Canada's premier inclusive hip hop and dancehall party Yes Yes Y'all (Toronto) which has been voted one of the city's top jams since its birth in 2009. The YYY crew is known for their emphasis on diversity and inclusivity, and their event has become a Toronto institution, attracting both local and international talent. In 2012, Nino co-founded YYY's sister event in Montreal, the monthly Cousins Party. In addition, Nino provides resident DJ/promoter duties all over some of Toronto's hottest parties and spearheaded an underground urban music scene in the city that links music, style, politics and a proper lime.