CityinThree

Shifter Magazine highlights the urban shift in Ottawa's sound.

For years now, Ottawa has been overlooked and undermined. Constantly in competition with Canada's biggest metropolises, Montreal, Vancouver, and Toronto, it's always felt as though Ottawa could never keep up. Whether it was in fashion, city development, nightlife, or music, Ottawa has habitually been deemed as culturally, technologically, and industrially delayed in comparison to the aforementioned cities.

The music and artistry in Ottawa has always been a touchy subject. Rap and hip-hop have been around for quite some time with some of the older cats in the city paving the way for the younger kids to make noise. Regardless of the talent, Drake claiming Toronto has kept Canada's capital in the shadows for far too long - that is, until recently. Ottawa's urban community has begun to make waves that extend past the borders of this small, underrated town.

Earlier this month, the staff over at Shifter Magazine put together a playlist featuring music from hip-hop and R&B artists in Ottawa.  With the intent of promoting urban music in the country's capital city, Shifter Magazine sought to change the public's perception of Ottawa, commonly known as a sleepy, government town.

With artists such as Night Lovell, who has racked up millions of streams and garnered media attention all over North America and Europe, leading the city's shift to a more urban sound, the staff at Shifter took it upon themselves to launch Capital Essentials. Starting with a Spotify playlist, their intent was to promote Ottawa's growing urban music scene and so far, it's definitely caught people's attention as it includes artists that fit the genre from all over the city.

Notable artists include Night Lovell who was previously mentioned, as well as Maurice Moore, another up and coming Ottawa artist whose music falls under the genre of RnB. Maurice caught international attention years ago and it was recently announced that he had hit 10 million streams on Spotify. Other local celebrities such as A Tribe Called Red, best known for their Indigenous twist on electronic music, are featured; while rapper, Belly, who is signed to Roc Nation with ties to XO, is also included in Capital Essentials. More local artists such as JUWN, Vi, Freddy Printz, City Fidelia, Black Iri$h, and Morris Ogbowu are also included on the playlist ultimately compiling 70 songs ranging from trap, boombap, and R&B, to subgenres such as Indigenous, Christian, and French hip-hop.

Shifter Magazine editor-in-chief, Kevin Bourne states,

When I first moved from Toronto to Ottawa, there wasn’t much happening when it came to hip-hop and R&B. Now there are so many different waves of urban music in Ottawa, from boombap, trap and R&B to subgenres like Indigenous, French and Christian, it probably has the most diverse urban music scene in Canada. We wanted to bring all these genres and subgenres together to provide listeners with the most complete picture of what Ottawa hip-hop and R&B is about. I think people will be surprised about what’s coming out of the capital.

With that being said, on Wednesday, August 29th, Shifter Magazine will be partnering with PPL Nightclub for a launch event to promote the playlist at Express Yourself. JUWN will be leading the performance that night with the possibility of some surprise guests while the music of artists featured on the playlist will be played in between sets. This will be the last Express Yourself for an undisclosed period of time and the event begins at 10PM.

Check out Capital Essentials today.