Photos by Nick Young for SoundCloud
Zimbabwe-born, Toronto-based hip-hop artist Charmaine has been dropping music on SoundCloud since she was seventeen. The artist found her calling during difficult times and decided that music will be the way she will lift her “family up to a better life”. Today Charmaine is signed to Warner Music Canada and seen by many as the rap Queen of the North.
Charmaine’s debut single “BOLD” was a wonderful example of her brash hip-hop swagger coupled with addictive R&B appeal. Since then, she has been dropping song after song charting playlists across various streaming services through North America. Stream her latest album HOOD AVANT-GARDE, featuring collaborations with Haviah Mighty, Valentino, and Kali now on SoundCloud.
Most recently Charmaine joined First on SoundCloud, the organization’s new, one-of-a-kind accelerator program focused on dedicated investment in collaborating with artists on their career milestones with the goal to drive their long-term success. The program works closely with musicians on creating opportunities, tailored to each individual performer, and so this particular event was one perfectly crafted for Charmaine: “Bad Bitch Mentality” Release Party and Exclusive Nail Pop-Up event hosted in a backyard of a trendy nail salon, Naked Beauty Bar, in Toronto’s West End.
Attendees were greeted with custom cocktails named after Charmain’s songs (“Bad Bitch” and “Double Dutch”) and had an opportunity to indulge in some self-care by getting custom nails, designed by Charmaine’s personal nail artist, Ronda, and inspired by her latest single “BBM (Bad Bitch Mentality)” which we all got to watch together at the end of the night (public release is October 15).
The event brought together Charmaine’s friends, fans, fashion icons, musicians, and dancers under one canopy on a warm October night. “As women, we’re always put into these boxes and taught to compress ourselves in order to fit society’s expectations,” Charmaine shared with Warner Music, “but that’s not me. I’m here to encourage women to do what they want, when they want, how they want, and to not give a damn what anybody else has to say about it.” This music video premiere was an excellent way to showcase Charmaine’s unique and unapologetic personality in its full spectrum of colours from tropical flowers to hot pink nails and her lovely speech, calling attention to the women who worked with her on this music video. Even with the limited capacity, the energy in the space was ecstatic, DJ chanlmarshl was setting the vibe, and Charmaine was joined on the dance floor by her fellow hometown artists like Lexxicon, GIMMEMAR, and Ty Senoj.
This might only be the second Soundcloud event we see in Toronto (read here about the first) but it is the first of many more milestone events coming up from First on SoundCloud and we are definitely hoping that some of them will land here. Up next are creative projects from Payday, Lourdiz, Ela Minus, Sofia Mills, Kid Quill, and Pa Salieu, additional info on these events will be announced in the coming weeks.