Queer Music Social – Indie Music Event for 2SLGBTQIA+ Artists – January 26, 2023 (Toronto)
Toronto’s music scene is gaining a new outlet for Queer musicians come January 26, 2023 with the inaugural QUEER MUSIC SOCIAL presented by pop musician Cory Stewart. Featuring a lineup of some of the city’s top Queer talent including Michelle Mondesir, IAMREBELWILL, Tafari Anthony and Stewart, QUEER MUSIC SOCIAL will provide a platform outside of Pride celebrations for Queer musicians to be seen, heard and celebrated.
With 92% of LGBT consumers considering themselves passionate music fans (GLAAD, 2016), QUEER MUSIC SOCIAL fills a huge void in the Toronto Queer music community. Taking place in the Queer owned and operated new west end hot spot Boombox Toronto (647 College Street), the evening promises to be a community-building extravaganza for both performers and attendees alike.
QUEER MUSIC SOCIAL initially began in 2020 as an online artist community, in which Cory Stewart hosted special guests such as music PR expert Eric Alper and 604 Records (Marianas Trench, Carly Rae Jepsen) President Jonathan Simkin for Q&A style sessions. The monthly event provided an opportunity for 2SLGBTQIA+ indie artists to get a peek behind the curtain of the music industry through an intimate and informal chat with numerous industry experts.
“Both being Queer and trying to navigate the music industry can make a person feel very isolated. The vision with QUEER MUSIC SOCIAL is to provide a safe space for 2SLGBTQIA+ artists and music fans to connect and feel a sense of community – all while enjoying some of the best artistry our city has to offer,” says Cory Stewart. “As wonderful as Pride celebrations are, there are few platforms servicing the needs of our community the other 11 months of the year and my hope is that this may provide a solution to that problem.”
Tickets for QUEER MUSIC SOCIAL ($15 advance, $20 door) are available here.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Cory Stewart (AWAL/Kobalt) has been described as a wickedly witty pop artist with “smooth voice” (Billboard, 2020) that creates “fearless, unapologetic and relentlessly catchy” music (Canadian Beats, 2018). Cory has been a supporting act for a number of legendary artists including Boy George and Crystal Waters. Stewart’s debut album ‘TOV’ was released in January 2021, hitting #9 on the iTunes Pop Charts and receiving overwhelming praise from critics.
Stewart recently completed the seven city QUEERANTINE Tour across the United States, for which he received a 2022 Wavy Award. He is about to release a new EP entitled “SH/EETS” which will hit all streaming platforms on January 27, 2023.
Tafari (pronounced Ta-far-eye) Anthony is a JUNO nominated artist whose music blends pop, soul and alternative. Known for his sleek vocal tones, sultry melodies and music which oozes with personality, Tafari leaves listeners in awe – somewhat apt considering his name means “He who inspires awe”.
Tafari has spent much of his career working behind the scenes with various artists. He has written and vocal produced for Juno nominated artists (Tanika Charles, Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar), and Drag Race royalty (Priyanka, Katya) among others. His authentically humble but powerful performance style has kept him as an in-demand vocalist throughout the country, allowing him to have toured through Europe, Canada, the United States, and even a stint in South Korea.
Tafari has seen success with his music garnering acclaim from the likes of PAPER Magazine, Billboard, Gay Times, Earmilk and MTV to name a few. His latest EP “The Way You See Me” was released to critical acclaim from PAPER Magazine & Billboard in November 2020 & nominated for a 2022 JUNO Award for Adult Contemporary Album of The Year.
Michelle Mondesir has always had a passion for music. She is a singer, songwriter, pianist and producer but also the CEO of the recording studio Poetic Groove Productions. Her accomplishments over the past 10 years is quite impressive as she’s been nominated and won a number of awards. Though currently fronting the indie alt-rock band Madame Psychosis which has produced two successful albums, she also released 17 solo R&B songs in 2019. Michelle released “Give Me All Your Lovin’” on Nov 1st, which BuzzMusic refers to as “a few minutes of musical bliss and delicacy” and EARMILK says that “(Michelle) has a natural talent for crafting soul- gripping musical arrangements”.
More recently, Michelle released “Sunday Sun” on Dec 9th, which BuzzMusic calls “a song of hope and love” and says “the vocal performance is absolutely flawless.” Furthermore Reignland says, “The song consists of soulful vocals over a hip hop undertone and beautiful harmonies that add fire to the already outstanding song.”
2020 proved to be a difficult and frustrating year but also inspired Michelle to write “Crazy World” released on June 25th, which She Makes Music describes as “honest and inspirational”. Later Michelle featured Toronto-based artist pHoenix Pagliacci of TRP.P on her single “Look What You Started.”
Most recently Michelle teamed up with Cory Stewart on his debut album “TOV” (released Jan 22 2021) for the uptempo pop track “End of Me” which Metro Weekly refers to as “a showstopper of a dance track” and UK-based Culture Fix calls “a dreamy and intoxicating number that ponders how a relationship can deteriorate…[that is] ethereal and emotive”.
Michelle looks forward to working with Madame Psychosis on their third studio album as well as continued R&B work.
Born and raised in bilingual Montreal, Toronto-based pop entertainer, IAMREBELWILL is influenced by the showmanship of Janet Jackson, the eclectic artistry of Andre 3000 and the vibes and feels of Kaytranada.
His EP RebelFuturism, the artist is using his voice to challenge the stereotypical perspective in mainstream pop music and help empower the underrepresented LGTBQ+ and POC community to be fearlessly themselves. RebelFuturism, is seductive, contemporary pop, soaked in the neon bleached nightclub vibes of house bass-lines, infused with irresistible pop hooks and melodies. “It’s a soundtrack for modernity, addressing sexuality, sexual fluidity, identity and equality,” says Rebel. “As a proud queer black man I wanted to create something that gave a voice to my experience and a voice to folks whose stories the majority of time are not told.”
About the Author
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.