Indie music showcase in Toronto

by | Jan 18, 2013 | News

The Known [Un]Known artist showcase, being held at Wrongbar in Toronto, official poster.

The Known [Un]Known artist showcase, being held at Wrongbar in Toronto, official poster.

Jenifer Alvarez

Singer-songwriter Andreena Mill will perfrom for the first time this Sunday at the Known [Un]Known artist talent showcase.

The Known [Un]Known artist showcase is a monthly music event aimed at giving exposure to up-and-coming local artists and musicians and urban music heads the new music they seek.

The event was the result of a brainstorming session by media personality Tika Simone and DJ Lissa Monet.

“It’s kind of like our mission to get their names in other peoples mouths,” said Simone, who had to re-brand the event after its successful debut three and a half years ago.

Simone said she and Monet had first dubbed the event series Intimate & Interactive and described it as more of a relaxed open mic opportunity for artists in the city.

She said the event started to morph into a bigger and more buzz-worthy showcase.

“I re-branded it and called it The Known [Un]Known, and our main focal point and our mandate is to shine light on artists that are known and are kind of on an underground scale, but they probably still have the same amount of fans as a regular, mainstream artist.”

Simone also said she has learned Toronto has no shortage of unsigned and unknown talent and the positive reception from artists wanting to participate has a lot to say about the Toronto music scene.

“People came from far and wide. It was crazy. I always thought that I would run dry of auditions but that never, ever happened and I realized how much talent [there was] and how many people were doing music here,” Simone said.

Simone has also stepped back from emceeing the event in order to focus more on production and organization. This month’s artist showcase will feature YouTube celebrity and Toronto native Marlon Palmer as the emcee.

DJ Starven Marven, one of two DJs playing at The Known [Un]Known artist showcase, said this event aligns exactly with what he loves doing best; hearing and discovering new and good independent music.

A DJ for almost three years, DJ Starven Marvin said the mentality surrounding the local Toronto music scene has, and continues to change.

“I’ve been lucky enough to kind of watch the game change…I’ve kind of watched it go from that crab in the bucket mentality to kind of a ‘okay, you have a chance to get out the bucket, let me help you.’ Rather than people fighting for themselves all the time,” Marvin said.

Local Toronto singer-songwriter Andreena Mill said she is excited about performing and seeing some of her Remix Project, a creative arts and education program dedicated to marginalized and at-risk youth, students showcase their music.

“There’s a lot of other kids in the city who I know are really doing dope things, why not bring them all to the stage on the same day and people can pay one low price and see more than one performance?” said Mill.

“I feel that there are not that many shows that happen in the city that really showcase Toronto talent and I mean, a lot of times you can spend 30 to 40 bucks to see whoever, whether it’s Future or Joe Budden or somebody who’s coming to the city…but for $20 you can see 10 different acts and they’re all talented,” added Mill.

Mill has recently gone through major changes in her career. Most noteworthy was her decision to part ways with her management and go completely independent.

Mill said her new album, Naked, will reflect this change in a major way.

“Naked for me is a sense of liberation. I went through a time period last year where I fired my management, I decided I wanted to do everything the way that I wanted to do it. You know, I’ve been with them for a few years and kind of went through a growth process of knowing what I wanted to be as an artist. We had our differences, so, Naked for me is really just me putting myself out there on a level as a business woman. Me putting myself out there as a human who loves, hurts, and feels and that’s really what the album is about,” she said.

The Known [Un]Known artist showcase will take place at Wrongbar on 1279 Queen St. W. in Toronto. Visit for more details and social media updates.