[NEWS]: tHE GAPS TO BRIDGES TOUR - 2ND LAP

Captured by Chantal Rose

Captured by Chantal Rose

February 1st, 2017

After a 2 month holiday hiatus, the "Gaps To Bridges Tour" officially begins its 2nd lap this month!

With an opening show in Toronto (February 19th, 2017) to get the ball rolling again, Xolisa's "Gaps To Bridges Tour" prepares to venture into new cities, new spaces and new environments locally and internationally with the same purpose, same intentions and same defiance delivered by the young emcee - but with new musical arrangements and guests taking the stage with her.

We sat down with Xolisa once again to speak with her on her vision for the 2nd lap of the tour. Here's what she had to say:

Q. So, you're back! How was your performance hiatus?

A. Yes! I'm so glad to be back! The hiatus was a time well spent-time that I needed to take in order to spend quality time with my family, not to mention to take time and visualize what the rest of the tour would look like going forward. It was time used to regroup, celebrate with my team, to bring new business ventures to life and simply just to recharge. I'm grateful for that break because I needed it mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically, BUT- I can't deny it though, I've truly missed the stage.

Q. Now that the "Gaps To Bridges Tour" is back on, what can listeners expect with this lap? Are there any major changes being made to the overall "Gaps To Bridges" experience?

A. That's what's most exciting about this whole experience for me - creating new ambiances for the shows, bringing new life to the songs of this album itself and basically just looking back at what things worked and what things didn't for the first lap of the tour, not just in terms of the music but even down to analyzing what things worked and didn't work when coming to how myself and the team execute behind the scenes (the planning, the outreach, the communication with promoters, the travelling, etc.) There's always room to learn, to build and to strengthen.

Creating an album is a job in itself however, my job doesn't end there. Continuing to create opportunities for my listeners to delve into the album's music and connect with the songs on a deeper level whether it be through performances or music videos, that is where my job continues. With the second lap of the 'Gaps To Bridges Tour', I want to provide listeners with an even more intimate experience to connect with the music. I really wanted to focus on creative and limitless ways to further draw out the emotion and the lyricism of each song. Right now, I'm totally falling in love with creating acoustic versions of these songs and experimenting with delivering the vocal aggression of these songs in a new form of aggression.

Working on the sets for this tour has truly opened up my imagination and has allowed me the freedom to exercise and explore my creativity in stepping away from the recorded versions of the music and just having fun with it all. Aside from creating the sets, I'm excited to bring more opportunities for listeners to win chances to experience the tour through fun contests and giveaways. 

Q. The stage can be such a fun place to experiment with fashion and different looks - especially considering that you're on tour. What has your fashion journey been like thus far on the Gaps To Bridges Tour?

A.  You've got that right! The stage is definitely a place to experiment with fashion. I don't work with a stylist, I've always created my own looks for shows, music videos, photo shoots, etc. with the exception of a few special occasions where I have reached out to individuals for styling help. Creating my own on-stage looks is really just another extension of my creativity and bringing the vision of each show to life. I usually know right away the mood that I'm looking to bring to the stage for each show and 90% of the time, already have a look in mind - whether it be a colour I want to focus on, a specific clothing piece that I want to base my outfit on, or even what part of my body I feel like highlighting. For example, for the opening show of the 2nd lap of the Gaps To Bridges Show, I knew I wanted to wear black and wanted everyone on stage with me to wear black. The songs that I was choosing to perform that night and the way that they were being delivered was bringing out a very serious, somber energy out of me- but also called for me to openly put a lot of my spirituality in this performance. I told the team from the jump - 'I'm wearing a Black poncho. I don't have one, but I know I want to wear one' and that is what I did. I went and found a beautiful black poncho in my local thrift store adorned with a pin I made, using black feathers and black beads.

Being able to experiment with different colours, different fits, different styles and even bring different local and independent fashion designers/brands to the stage is a task that I love taking on. Aside from that though, I'm also in a place of rebuilding healthier self-images of myself and my body so I'm finding that creating looks this time especially during the tour is more than just about looking good on stage and reflecting the music - it's about further celebrating, appreciating, loving and finding comfort in my inner and outer self.

Q. What is the most challenging aspect of touring?

A. Touring means spending a lot of time away from home, away from the comfort of your personal space, away from a stationed environment. For me, my home is my place of recharge, my place of rest and my place for solitude. Within that space, my diet, my exercise and my meditation routines are the most consistent and familiar however, what becomes the most challenging for me is ensuring that those routines remain attended to - regardless of being on the road. Maintaining those routines is what contributes to a healthier me, an alert me, a fuller me but it's so incredibly easy to have those things like eating right, meditating, exercising, taking time for solitude to be put on the back burner because so much time is spent in a car, in a hotel room, on a plane, in green rooms, in buses, eating fast food, surrounded by people, always going. Finding ways to continue to invest into those areas of self-care while on the road is what's most challenging but I'm slowly getting better at it- simply by making the extra effort to prepare the things I need to make my self-care routines happen no matter where I am. It's also remaining in touch with myself and listening to my body and spirit so that if I need to steal away from everyone to do a few squats, to say my prayers, to just sit in solitude, to write, to read- then I do it. Keeping up with those things help me to stay balanced and not become totally lost in the sauce and bustle of road life.

--

As the Gaps To Bridges Tour continues to unfold, Xolisa continues to delve into herself and the woman she is becoming both on and off stage and we're grateful to be able to document her journey as she moves forward.

Be sure to visit the official Gaps To Bridges Tour Page for all upcoming tour dates and locations and stay posted for ways to win access to upcoming tour stops! 

 

[NEWS] THE GAPS TO BRIDGES TOUR

Captured by Chantal Rose

Captured by Chantal Rose

July 6th, 2016

The "Gaps To Bridges Tour" is officially underway!

Kicking off it's very first show in Melbourne, Australia on July 9th, 2016, Xolisa prepares to move the masses through the political lyricism and vast soundscapes off of her debut full-length, self-produced album, "And Gaps Do Lead To Bridges". We sat down with Xolisa just before her 20+ hour flight to Melbourne, to gain more insight on the tour. Here's what the emcee had to say:

Q: The tour literally begins on the other side of the world...why Australia?

A: "Ha! That's the one question that everyone seems to be asking me. The reality is that when I began flushing out the intentions of this tour and truly began to map out where I wanted to go, the opportunity to perform in Australia just kind of manifested before my eyes. I was able to make a beautiful connection with a dope emcee and promoter by the name of Emerald (based in Melbourne, Australia), who just happened to see me perform here in Toronto and had went on to share my music with her circle in Melbourne. The two of us remained in touch and once I expressed to her that I was looking to tour this new album, she was immediately keen on working with me to create a dope introduction of my music to her neck of the woods. Emerald believed in what she saw and heard in me, I believed in what I saw and heard in her and we executed- it just worked out that she was the first to take an interest in the tour and follow through."

Q: Manifestation at it's best! Now, this tour stands as your very first experiences with performing this body of music live - how do you navigate that transition from being in a space of songwriting and producing the music of this album for almost a year, being in the studio for about 7 months to now having to perform these songs for the very first time, to brand new audiences?

A: "It truly is a task of navigating when coming out of that creation and recording space, to being in performance mode -especially performance mode for an on-going tour. Any artist can attest to the fact that recording an album is so different from performing an album (or song). Navigating through that transition has been part experimentation, part intuition, part planning and part on-the-spot risk taking. Creating live sets has always grown to become a task I look forward to because it always creates an opportunity for me to give new life and energy to my recorded songs. Add in the fact that my music is not generally constructed with traditional hooks or choruses, creating ways to engage with my audience and in a sense, teach them how to experience the music is always a new adventure. Navigation comes with taking the time to revisit each song, isolating phrases or moments that I think are important to emphasize on stage and creating windows for my audience to participate in the song, because it comes down to audience interaction with me. Then comes the technical building and ironing out with either DJ S-Quire and/or the live band during rehearsals. For this album in particular, where there is quite a bit of singing on the album done by myself, I've had to work through a lot of internal shyness and insecurities as I'm now using my voice in a new way, and still developing a sense of comfort in that. The transition has been and still is one that I'm in the process of but what I'm very excited for, is to be able to get up there on new stages and just try things out. Just as it's been with my previous bodies of work, a lot of that navigation comes from trying things out on stage, going with the natural energy and vibe of the crowd and allowing the spirit of each live performance to guide me. With all the planning, rehearsing and prepping - I've gotten my most trademark live performance traits from just catching a vibe while on stage, whether it be a call and response idea that comes to mind while performing or a dance move or whatever, trying it out and having the audience be completely captivated and committed to it. I've come to trust that process wholeheartedly, and I'm stoked to discover what new performance antics I'll stumble upon for this new body of music. It's a journey within itself!"

Q: "And Gaps Do Lead To Bridges" is full with rich content, specifically very political and unapologetic statements. What are you hoping to deliver to the men and women that you will be performing to while on this tour? And what are you hoping that they will receive?

A: "A great question indeed - one I know I will find more answers to as I move forward with this tour. At this point, I know my purpose with this album in particular is to speak up on and be transparent with my frustrations with humanity (myself included). My purpose with this album is to tell the stories that have been told for decades by my ancestors, but with my voice. The intention behind this album was to step back and look at the ways that we have been hurting inside and hurting those around us in return, as well as the ways in which we are all just trying to heal and overcome our individual and collective obstacles when coming to racism, oppression and unlearning. So in hand, my responsibility is to deliver those same intentions live and direct in full transparency, raw emotion, conviction and truth. What I hope, is that the men and women who will experience the performances of this tour, will receive and welcome the lyrics and energy of this album as another aid to their healing, sorting, navigating, unlearning and strengthening as we come together for a moment along both of our journeys."

And there you have it! 

Follow along with the "Gaps To Bridges Tour" on social media through SnapChat: "ImaBlackGod" and through the official Facebook photo reel, both platforms that showcase a behind the scenes look of the tour. 

Be sure to check out the "Gaps To Bridges Tour" page for dates, cities and venues! Spread the word using the hashtag #GapsToBridgesTour

 

 

[new album]: "and gaps do lead to bridges"

Captured by Chantal Rose

Captured by Chantal Rose

JUNE 1ST, 2016
 

Toronto emcee, producer and songwriter, Xolisa (pronounced koh-lee-sah) releases her debut full-length, self-produced album, “And Gaps Do Lead To Bridges”. (NOW BEING TOURED INTERNATIONALLY!)

Written and produced by the Trinidadian-Canadian, the album stands as the emcee’s declaration of faith and belief in humanity’s ability to overcome our collective obstacles of hurt, pain and destruction to both ourselves and to one another. However, within this album, listeners are also privy to the emcee's candid expression of frustration and disgust of our actions throughout history, bringing to the surface topics such as racism, oppression, genocide and police brutality. 

And Gaps Do Lead To Bridges” speaks openly and unapologetically, yet in a very calculated and precise demeanour, to Black men and women, and somehow still finds a way to speak to those who have long stood as on lookers, allies and/or oppressors during the plight of Black individuals across the world and across the span of time. Through a weaving of futuristic and boom bap threads, Xolisa takes it upon herself to tailor a musical garment rich with intricate lyricism, stimulating wordplay, raw vulnerability and lush harmonies; fastened with neo-soul and dancehall buttons; adorned with house and calypso embroidery - a suit fit only for the strong of heart.

“And Gaps Do Lead To Bridges” is brought to us as yet another raw gem of Xolisa's signature sound as she takes listeners from “here” to her hopes of “there” across this bridge that we are all in an exodus upon- including herself. In her words, “This album is dedicated to us. To the People. I know we'll make it to the otherside, of our obstacles, one day soon.

STREAM/PURCHASE "AND GAPS DO LEAD TO BRIDGES"

 

 

[NEW SINGLE]: HERE

MAY 29TH, 2016

“The past has gone and tomorrow has not come - so where we at?” 

Toronto emcee, producer and songwriter, Xolisa (pronounced koh-lee-sah) releases the 2nd single off of her full-length album debut, “And Gaps Do Lead To Bridges” entitled, “Here”. 

Written and produced by the Trinidadian-Canadian, the single stands as a declaration to both humanity and to self, offering the emcee’s observations on our society’s current state with the message that, “we cannot cross this bridge until we realize that it needs crossing, ‘matta fact. We cannot cross this bridge until we realize just, just where we at - we here.” 

Over a landscape of progressive drums, abstract synths and dusty, psychedelic piano chords, Xolisa delivers to her listeners a message that unapologetically commands us of what we need to do in order to move forward as a human race, all the while offering a sense of humility as she simultaneously admits to her own internal conflicts and battles to overcome, in order to move forward just the same. "How can we move forward as a people if I can't look at myself? How can I look at myself without admitting I need help sometimes?"

"Here" stands as yet another mark of Xolisa's signature production and lyrical delivery - melding the worlds of Hip Hop's boom bap past with an energy that has yet to come, and fits as another piece to the overall story of humanity's exodus from where we are, to where we need to be.

WATCH THE official "HERE" LYRIC VIDEO

 

 

[news]: xolisa speaks on upcoming tour!

Captured by Chantal Rose

Captured by Chantal Rose

The news is out! Xolisa will be embarking on her very first tour in support of her upcoming LP release, "And Gaps Do Lead To Bridges"!

With excitement buzzing around Xolisa's upcoming visit to cities within Australia, Canada and the U.S.A, Xolisa is preparing to deliver her captivating, total journey in itself of a performance experience to an international front, as she executes the music off of her new album, live and direct to the masses.

Xolisa explains, "YES! The "Gaps To Bridges" tour comes at a time in my life where I am bursting with excitement to be able to build new roots in new cities, amongst new communities, new faces, new environments...I've been fortunate to be able to begin to build strong roots here in Toronto and I've watched as my following of incredible supporters have grown after every single released, every music video released and every stage rocked. Recording a song is one thing, recording an album is another- but nothing beats that raw, live experience of performing those recorded songs. I've rocked some great stages here in the city, moved some amazing crowds and have been moved by some amazing crowds just the same- I'm ready to do the same and beyond in new spaces. Ready to build new roots and see them all flourish. I'm definitely ready to see Toronto, outside of Toronto through the means of delivering the messages and stories of this new album internationally."

In light of the tour, Xolisa has launched a crowdfunding campaign where the Toronto native has reached out to her supporters to help garner additional funds for the 3 months of the tour. 

"This crowdfunding campaign is the very fist fundraiser I've done for a project of mine." Xolisa admits, "I decided to make it completely independent of the popular crowdfunding platforms that are available and really make it my own initiative. I've been able to secure a lot of the startup costs required to get this tour started however, as you can imagine, funding a tour as an independent artist is no easy task yet it is more than possible with strong planning, organization, support and faith. The response thus far has been heart warming...I've actually been brought to tears on several occasions during this fundraiser - happy tears that is! Tears of pure appreciation and a reminder that there are people who strongly want to see my music expand and make its way around this globe."

Speaking of new music, the new album, "And Gaps Do Lead To Bridges" (releasing May 29th, 2016) comes as a delight to listeners as it stands as Xolisa's first full-length (and self-produced) project to follow up her previously released self-produced EP's, "Rhyme Until My Spirit Needs No Words To Fly" and "A Beautiful Mind".  With the release of the album's first single, "The Fallen" not to mention its accompanying music video - listeners have already begun to understand the direction of the new project. Or have they?

Xolisa shares, "And Gaps Do Lead To Bridges is a project that has been stretching my soul and pushing my songwriting and production comfort zones into spaces that I have only dreamt of touching- and I ain't mad at it! This project is a collection of stories and experiences that we as a human race have been living since the beginning of time- with an unapologetic emphasis placed on the history and current societal conflicts regarding Black people. When we are faced with "gaps" or challenges, we seek "bridges" or ways to get over and get through to the other side of that challenging circumstance. For some of us, we know exactly what that bridge is and even how to attain it. For others, we are still searching for that means of connection to our goals, desires and hopes. Either way, we are all experiencing this travel, this walk, this journey together and it looks so different and yet so similar to each of us- all at the same time."

Official dates and locations of the, "Gaps To Bridges Tour" have begun to roll out on Xolisa's official concert listings page, with additional dates to be included. You can check out the first batch of dates to be announced here!  

 

 

[NEWS]:"THE FALLEN" NOW AVAILABLE ON iTUNES and spotify!

It's official! 

"The Fallen", the very fist single off of the upcoming, "And Gaps Do Lead To Bridges" LP by Xolisa is now available for purchase/stream  on iTunes and Spotify! 

Purchase & stream "The Fallen" on iTunes!

Steam "The Fallen" on Spotify!

 

 

[news]: "The fallen" wins the g98.7fm great canadian soundclash

"THE FALLEN" takes the win!

On the night of Monday December 28th, 2015 - Xolisa's, "THE FALLEN" went head to head with Canadian Hip Hop heavyweight Solitair's, "Easy To Slip", during the "Great Canadian Soundclash" segment on G98.7FM's, "100%CDN" radio show!

Hosted by radio personalities,  R. Chung and Philly- both hosts entered the on-air soundclash with singles that followed the theme of powerful message delivery through lyricism, and while Philly went with Solitair's classic Hip Hop throwback, R. Chung decided to go with the first single released off of Xolisa's upcoming LP, "And Gaps Do Lead To Bridges", for what turned into a landslide of a win with "THE FALLEN" earning a whopping 83% in votes! 

Listeners that tuned into "100%CDN" had the opportunity to engage in the Twitter based polling system, which allowed users to vote for either song in real-time.

As Xolisa continues to gear up for the Spring release of her upcoming LP and international summer tour, "THE FALLEN" continues to steadily make its way to outlets near and far, spreading the emcee's message of comradery, mourning and celebration of those lost.

Purchase & stream "The Fallen" on iTunes!

Steam "The Fallen" on Spotify!

Watch the official music video for "The Fallen"!

 

 

[news]: xolisa lands music in independent film, "guard your peace"

Screenwriter/Director, Felicia Guy-Lynch of Si Obi Inc. releases the short film, "Guard Your Peace", which features the single, "Free Fall" - written and produced by Xolisa. The film which is described as, "an evocative and daring drama of a love story in the New Age" stands as the very first short film to feature original music from the emcee/producer.

Xolisa shares, "Creating music for 'Guard Your Peace' has been such a dope experience - in both the creative and business aspect of collaborating with Felicia. Using her vision for the park scene shared between Jerome and Kelechi, I wanted to create a song that was entirely dedicated to what was taking place in those few minutes of dialogue. Something that would totally transport the viewer to a space of complete intimacy, sensuality, uncertainty, temptation and lust... You have two individuals who mutually want to share their bodies with one another, but for different reasons and with different expectations, who are aware of the different consequences that could become realities for them each if they take that step- yet despite it all, choose to turn their backs on all of the uncertainties, the promises of faithfulness made, the issues of the past and the present and allow temptation to take the lead as they free fall into the unknown."

Watch "Guard Your Peace" below and listen out for the single, "Free Fall" written and produced by Xolisa! 

(Please be advised of explicit video content)

 

 

[RADIO INTERVIEW]: DJ MEL BOOGIE SPEAKS WITH XOLISA ON VIBE 105.5FM

Tuesday December 1st, 2015

Xolisa joins Toronto's legendary DJ Mel Boogie LIVE on VIBE 105.5FM! 

Tucked away within Toronto's York University campus walls, Xolisa and DJ Mel Boogie sat down for Boogie's, "Studio B" Hip Hop radio show to build over the airwaves, speaking more in-depth on Xolisa's plans for the new year with her debut tour, as well as hearing the emcee's insight on her image, her impact as a producer, her experience in this years Manifesto Hip Hop Festival and more! To top things off, listeners got to listen in as DJ Mel Boogie effortlessly orchestrated a dope live mix of classic Hip Hop cuts including in the mashup, singles from Xolisa herself! 

Be sure to browse through some of the behind the scenes photos below, captured by Urban Evolution Enterprise.



 

 

[Radio Interview]: ilive radio speaks with xolisa

On Sunday November 15th, 2015 Xolisa sat down with host, Sheresha Mcintyre of "The Spot" inside the iLive Radio studio located in Toronto's west end for an in-depth radio interview touching on topics such as Xolisa's production and writing style, her process of "seeing of colours", and her insights on some of Sheresha's personal favourite songs by the emcee. 

Below, you can stream the interview and listen in on the engaging discussion had!

Listen Here!

 
 
 

[new video]: "The Fallen" - Xolisa

Purchase "THE FALLEN" at www.xolisamusic.bandcamp.com

Starring Xolisa & Jemelle Williams
Filmed by Asantefilm
Directed by Xolisa & Asantefilm
Casting by: Urban Evolution Enterprise
XolisaMusic T-Shirts provided by: TSC Clothing 

 

November 15th, 2015

Toronto based MC/Producer, Xolisa (pronounced Koh-Lee-Sah) releases the music video for her newly released single, “The Fallen” which stands as the first single (and music video) off of her upcoming 2016 LP release entitled, “And Gaps Do Lead To Bridges”.

Directed by Xolisa, co-directed and filmed by Asantefilm, “The Fallen” stands as the emcee’s 6th music video to date and what viewers will quickly come to realize moments after pressing play, is that Xolisa has chosen to offer a different side to the vulnerability and intimacy that we’ve come to familiarize ourselves with her videos. In this visual, Xolisa can’t be found delivering a solo performance head-onto the lens - spitting her unorthodox yet familiar flow. What we see instead, is a Xolisa who steps back from the forefront to allow the nostalgic boom bap of her production and her fluid delivery narrate a story told visually by the video’s main character (Jemelle Williams, founder of Xolisa’s management team Urban Evolution Enterprise) who plays a young widower facing the burial day of his late wife, as he carries around with him the memory of her essence.  

Xolisa explains, “The Fallen is a song that focuses on the bond between two individuals who had the plans of living a full life together, conquering the world together - going full throttle in making something of themselves. With this music video, I wanted to continue to tell that story by giving a more defined and intimate look at that bond and who the individuals of that bond are, or could be. For decades spanning back, we've had loved ones stripped from our lives due to war, violence, disease, accidents, age...loved ones who each have lived their own specific legacy. Depicting decades of past loss can look like so many different things on screen however, I chose to zero in on the companionship between a man and a woman and their dynamics as a couple. I chose to focus on the reality that we are all experiencing our own personal “hell”. I chose to explore the question of “what I would be leaving behind in my music, in my love and in my relationships, once I’ve served my time here on this earth?”. I chose to show just one man’s mental, spiritual, physical and emotional sorting process as he goes through just one day of what will be many days of accepting, healing and moving forward from the loss of his fallen companion, best friend and love. The thing is, this is just one man’s experience…we still have a world of hurting hearts surrounding us.”

 

 

[EVENT]: "RHYME UNTIL..."

XOLISAMUSIC x URBAN EVOLUTION ENTERPRISE

For as long as we have the breath to do so,

We will rap.

We will share with the world the stories of our lives & of the people around us without apology.

Without time constraints.

We will

Rhyme Until…


-A HIP HOP SHOW-

XOLISAMUSIC and URBAN EVOLUTION ENTERPRISE (UEE) join forces on Thursday November 19th, 2015 to bring to the city of Toronto a night of LIVE Hip Hop in celebration of the 1 yr anniversary of the "Rhyme Until My Spirit Needs No Words To Fly" EP release by Toronto based MC/Producer Xolisa.

Studio Bar - 824 Dundas st. W, Toronto

Door Admission - $10
($5 early bird tickets via Eventbrite)

Doors - 9pm

Show - 9:30pm 

After Party -  12 am - 1 am


||

Hosted by R. Chung

- Headliner -

XOLISA w/ DJ S-Quire

•●•

- Featured International Acts -

 Dr3w Br33z x Drama B of Dat Gas Entertainment (New York)

and Desean Jackson (Australia). 

Music Provided by:
DJ S-Quire

Official Media Sponsors:

YYZ HILIGHTZ
&
URBANOLOGY MAGAZINE

||

purchase your advance xolisamusic t-shirt!
-pick it up at the concert!-

12236807_714862835317336_1577118732_o.jpg

Coming out to the "RHYME UNTIL..." concert? Want to ensure you leave with a XolisaMusic T-Shirt?!

Then purchase yours today!! 

Up until Thursday November 12th, 2015 - You can purchase your own $15 XolisaMusic t-shirt in advance! Simply email money transfer your payment of $15 to shop@xolisamusic.com along with a note of your preferred size (S,M,L,XL,XXL) and style (Close Fit, Loose Fit) and we'll have your t-shirt ready and waiting for you at the show once you arrive! 

$5 Tickets, a $15 guarantee'd t-shirt AND a night of dope Hip Hop?
There really is no losing here. 

 

XOLISA Live: "A Beautiful Moment" (2014)

 

 

[new music]: "The Fallen" 

Captured by Yafet ElYah

Captured by Yafet ElYah

October 29th, 2015

Toronto based MC/Producer, Xolisa (pronounced Koh-Lee-Sah) releases, “The Fallen” which stands as the first single off of her upcoming 2016 LP release entitled, “And Gaps Do Lead To Bridges”.

Built on a heavy boom bap foundation reminiscent of the golden days of Nas’ Illmatic yet surrounded by a lush arrangement of strings and stark piano chords, the Trinidadian - Canadian delivers a heartfelt story and borderline anthem based on friendship, love, death and legacy all through her nostalgic production and transparent lyricism.

Xolisa explains, “The Fallen allows listeners an opportunity to venture into the heart, soul and mind of an individual is who is working through the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual shock of loosing a loved one. The Fallen is a story about a person who is has one foot in the realm of acceptance and the other in a space of refusal at the fact that their best friend - a comrade whom they had envisioned living a full life with and conquering the world alongside, has abruptly been subtracted from their life. The topic of death is one of those things that anyone, regardless of their geographical location or economic status can relate to in some form. Being able to relay the stories and challenges that we face as a community, as a country, as people period is what this song and this upcoming new album is about.”

Listeners can expect a music video for, “The Fallen” - Directed by Xolisa and co-directed by Eric Asante of Asante Film, to be released in early November. Listeners can also expect details to surface within the next two weeks regarding the emcee’s 2nd solo show, “Rhyme Until…” going down in Toronto on November 19th, 2015 - curated by Xolisa Music and Urban Evolution Enterprise

 

Listen to "The Fallen" below
Purchase "The Fallen" via Bandcamp
& be sure to follow along as you stream with the lyrics below!

The Fallen
Written & Produced by Xolisa

 

Woke up to this mornin’ feelin' something wasn’t right
tried to put my finger on it
but my heart it say, don’t fight
my spirit tell me to be still
but I’m feelin' darkness creep
I woke up to this mornin'
as you went to sleep

& as you went to sleep
we opened up our eyes
we watched your body hit the dirt
we watched your spirit rise
& as we tried to piece together what the fuck was goin’ on
i felt my lungs collapse
as i was told that you were-
gone were the days we said we’d rule this world
& get it side by side
spread the message to the masses yeah
& take em high
two homies from the block just tryna take a stand
bring the riches of the world back to the hood nigga
that was the plan
we said we’d pile that shit up on our backs & ride the way
you crazy muthafucka, we was s’pose to pave the days
& now I’m s’pose to excavate a grave?
I will not dig a whole for you to lay
this can’t be all
no
God you got the wrong one
he wasn’t supposed to fall
so bring em back, bring em back
it’s hard to hear
when the sound of fear it fills your cap
& when your mama’s tears they drown your lap
no — she hasn’t stopped screamin’
I wonder how long you was bleedin’ for…

so when you arrive up at heaven’s door
you tell them angels you was one of the best, to rock this core
when the people they be calling out for more
I’ll hold this bottle to the sky & pour
yes I will
you know I will
hold it high
& watch it spill
all over the ground you walked on
let it wash over the footprints that were left upon this world

(one time for the fallen)
bring em back
bring em back x3
it’s hard to hear when the sound of fear it fills your cap
bring em back
bring em back
yeah

& as you went to sleep
we opened up our eyes
for once we saw the reasons why we live the stories of our lives
so others can read the pages we’ve written on
leave a trail of the wisdom that we've embarked upon
& fucked up on, n on
you’ll forever be honoured by the dream
I will proceed
but after dark the taunt of death still breathes
whoever said you can’t see in the dark, was clearly wrong
'cause I’ll forever see your face upon these lids
when I bring em down at night
what a sight
no rest for the wicked &
no sleep for the grieving hearts
within my life, you truly played a part
held it down
from the start
saw my truth — ugh, this can't be all
no, God you got the wrong one he wasn’t supposed to fall
so bring em back, bring em back
it’s hard to hear
when the sound of fear it fills your cap
& when your mama’s tears they drown your lap
I said she hasn’t stopped screamin’
I wonder how long you was bleedin’ for…

so when you arrive up at heaven’s door
you tell them angels you was one of the best to rock this core
& when the people they be calling out for more
I’ll hold this bottle to the sky & pour
yes I will
you know I will
hold it high
& watch it spill
all over the ground you walked on
let it wash over your footprints that were upon this world

(one time for the fallen)
bring em back
bring em back x3
it’s hard to hear when the sound of fear it fills your cap
bring em back
bring em back
yeah

one time for the fallen
one time for the fallen
(bring em back, bring em back) x3

& you will never be forgotten
no you will never be forgotten, no
yo one time for the fallen

woke up to this mornin’ feelin' something wasn’t right
tried to put my finger on it
but my heart it say, don’t fight
my spirit tell me to be still
but I’m feelin' darkness creep
I woke up to this mornin'
as you went to sleep

 
 
 

[Recap]: Xolisa LIVE At MANIFESTO: LIVE At The Square

Captured By YYZ Hilightz

Captured By YYZ Hilightz

September 23, 2015

Overcast skies, wet pavement and hands stretched out to the heavens all the while as Xolisa and DJ S-Quire rocked Toronto's Yonge-Dundas Square for the city's 9th annual MANIFESTO Festival

Though the festival has come to be known to headline some of the most notorious international artists in its past 8 years (Black Thought, Pharcyde, Raekwon, Souls of Mischief, Digable Planets, to name a few) - there was an obvious focus on highlighting some of the citys most talented emcees, singers, DJ's and dancers from its own stomping ground - the perfect timing for Toronto born emcee & producer, Xolisa to have her introduction to the festival as a part of this years line up. 

With a strong focus on celebrating her city, Xolisa made it her business to drill it into her audience the importance of recognizing ones individual potential and recognizing the potential of the people around ourselves. Xolisa delivered an unapologetic performance executing her singles, Four One Six (Recognize)Until Then and Don't Shoot The Messenger

Xolisa reflects, "I like creating mini themes for my sets - especially if the show I'm doing is already based on its own theme. It allows me to tell a story based on my interpretation of the theme of the show I'm performing for."

"As an individual who has been attending Manifesto for the last 5 years" she continues, "I have come to see Manifesto as a festival that celebrates Hip Hop in all of its elements; A festival that really drives home the meaning of an artist community. In all of the 5 years I've been attending however, this is the very first time that Toronto artists have dominated the stages...I basically took that and ran with it. I wanted to celebrate our city, celebrate the beauty and strength I can see in our artists and celebrate the beauty, strength and determination that I see in myself and my team...and that's exactly what DJ S-Quire and I did."

Xolisa offers a warm and heartfelt thank you to the sponsors of her performance:

YYZ Hilightz for their media coverage

&

TSC Clothing Co. for their generous donation of XolisaMusic t-shirts. 

For a look at the full photo recap courtesy of YYZ Hilightz, be sure to check out the official Facebook album!

 
 
 

August 29, 2015

TORONTO! ARE YOU READY?

It's Official!

Xolisa will be a part of this years MANIFESTO Festival! 

Toronto's largest Hip Hop & Community festival returns for its 9th year bridging together the artists and residents of this city for a span of 5 days celebrating dance, visual art, music, DJing and more in several venues around Toronto. 

The most anticipated day of the MANIFESTO Festival comes around on the tail end of the celebration, where city dwellers can enjoy a full free day of live music, dance and art at Toronto's Dundas Square featuring local, international and national acts all on one stage. 

For the very first time performing as a part of the MANIFESTO line up, Xolisa will be rocking the Yonge - Dundas stage alongside DJ S-Quire, with special give aways in store for audience members!

Saturday September 19th, 2015
2pm

For more information visit the official event Facebook page

 
 
 
Captured By YYZ Hilightz

Captured By YYZ Hilightz

August 11th, 2015

On July 24th, 2015 Xolisa alongside fellow UEE artist, DJ S-Quire, took the Harbourfront Centre West Jest stage by storm for Toronto's FLAUNT festival, where the two opened up for Congo born - New York based artist, Young Paris.

It was an incredible night packed with high energy and heavy rhythms as Xolisa and DJ S-Quire performed before Toronto's Lake Ontario in light of the 2015 Pan Am games and there to capture every moment of the night, was YYZ Hilightz.

Xolisa reflects, "That night proved to be a major night of growth for my team, my career and myself as a performer. Outdoor festival performances are always very unique, especially one where I'm given this massive body of water and a crowd of people to look out to as I inject messages of freedom, love and resilience. It was just a dope experience overall. The energy of Young Paris and the rest of the openers was nothing but electric.

Be sure to check out the gallery below for just some of the beautiful captures of the night, shot by YYZ Hilightz.

To view the entire album, visit the official Facebook Page of YYZ Hilightz.

 
 
 

June 24th, 2015

It has just been announced that Xolisa will be opening for Congo born/New York based artist, Young Paris at this Friday's "Flaunt" festival happening at Toronto's, Harbourfront Centre in light of the city's array of artists performing for the 2015 Pan Am Parapan Am games. 

From 9:30pm to 11pm, listeners will be able to enjoy a free show at the West Jet stage along the Harbourfront waters, featuring the boom bap energy of Xolisa along side DJ S-Quire, not to mention the Afro-Fusion rhythm of Young Paris as he closes the night. 

Xolisa will be joined by the help of affiliates, YYZ Hilightz as they do what they do best and provide exclusive media coverage of the night, capturing both a behind the scenes and on stage look at the entire night! Be sure to stay tuned for their recap!

For more details on the festival, check out the links below:

Harbourfront Centre

The Official Harbourfront Centre "Flaunt" Facebook Event Page

The Official YYZ Hilightz, "July Events" Hub

 
 
 
Captured By YYZ Hilightz

Captured By YYZ Hilightz

June 7th, 2015

On June 6th, 2015 Xolisa dazzled the red carpet for the 2015 Black Canadian Awards ceremony, held for its second year running inside of the Queen Elizabeth Theatre where artists, entrepreneurs, historic public figures, authors, role models, musicians, fashion designers, choreographers, community leaders and more- all from Canada's Black community, came out to celebrate yet another year of art, acclaimed ventures and notable accomplishments.

Xolisa, who received her first Black Canadian Awards recognition for her work in Toronto's Hip Hop scene, was set to perform for the 200+ crowd and was nominated for her first award under the category, "Artist On The Rise".

The Toronto native was seen rocking two stunningly memorable outfits: the first, a creamy off-white, slender fitting gown courtesy of local Toronto fashion boutique, Ciao Bella, comprised of a sheer flowing skirt attached to a sexy criss-crossing back strapped finish. Xolisa completed the dress with a silk sunrise coloured head wrap to match her cow neck styled ruffles, designed and seamed by Xolisa herself. Xolisa can also be seen adorned with the incredible "Earthseed" necklace and custom made earring-necklace provided by local accessory line, Wild Moon Jewelry. Xolisa's second outfit, in accordance with her militant themed performance given at the award show, was made up of a black knee length wool military jacket accompanied with a black mini skirt, black leather belt, black leather gloves and a pair of chestnut brown combat boots - all topped off with a black beret adorned with an "Africa Unite" pin. If you were in attendance of this years Black Canadian Awards, you would've noticed the strapping soldiers that took position at either side of the stage's front, standing in solidarity for the entire portion of Xolisa's set.

After an outstanding performance of her 2014 self-produced single, "A Beautiful Mind", not to mention a sea of votes from supporters near and far who were busy during the weeks leading up to the ceremony flooding the voting polls, casting their ballots for the emcee/producer's hopeful win and with the help of the Toronto based media outlet- YYZ Hilightz of Urban Evolution Enterprise who were the official eyes on Xolisa, capturing an intimate behind the scenes and red carpet close up as the young artist made her presence known at the Black Canadian Awards show - it would be an understatement to say Xolisa and her team left as winners in their own rights. 

Xolisa reflects, "Although I was not the winner of the BCA's 'Artist On The Rise' award, I look back on that night and I can still feel myself beaming. It was such a success. You can see it in the photos, in my smile and in the love radiating from my family and loved ones that came out to support me. My music was brought to a theatre (my largest venue performed in to date) filled with individuals who had no idea of who I was, yet left moved and inspired by my music; my team executed and conquered like a well oiled machine fuelled by genuine care for the person I am; my family, some of whom had never seen me perform before were left mesmerized and in total awe; my team and I left the theatre after the night was over and sat on a wooden bench in front of a nearby downtown mom and pop poutine joint (army attire still on and all) and stuffed our faces in elation, complete with joy and utter exhaustion as lingering audience members of the award show passed us by on the street, still extending words of praise and appreciation for what we did on stage...what more can I ask for? We were generals of our own success.We did it!!"

Be sure to check out the gallery below for just some of the beautiful captures of the night, shot by YYZ Hilightz.

To view the entire album, visit the official Facebook Page of YYZ Hilightz.

 
 
 
Captured By Victoria Charko

Captured By Victoria Charko

May 29th, 2015

On Saturday June 6th, 2015 - Xolisa will be taking the stage for the 2nd annual, Black Canadian Awards show and ceremony taking place inside of Toronto's grand, Queen Elizabeth Theatre. 

The emcee & producer is also up for her first-ever musical nomination for the ceremony, under the category for best, "Artist On The Rise". 

Voting has already begun for the various categories being highlighted. Some categories to mention include Best Hip Hop Act which features fellow Toronto rapper, Jelly Too Fly and Best R&B Act which features last years winner in this category, Shi Wisdom. 

Click To Vote for Xolisa at this years Black Canadian Awards show and ceremony!

If you'd like to attend the event, email: fullcircle@xolisamusic.com for tickets.

 
 
 
 Left to Right: Whitney French, DJ Jamaias "Jams" DaCasta, Xolisa, Kemba King

 Left to Right: Whitney French, DJ Jamaias "Jams" DaCasta, Xolisa, Kemba King

May 24th, 2015

On the evening of Saturday May 24th, 2015 Xolisa visited Toronto's CIUT 89.5fm studios for the weekly Vibe Collective radio show segment with hosts: Whitney French, DJ Jamaias "Jams" DaCosta and Kemba King. 

Live-To-Air for the masses- the four women spoke candidly on topics of creative process, Hip Hop, inspiration, motivation, work ethic and more.

Listen to the interview stream below!

Listeners can choose between hearing the interview portion alone or the full show segment, which includes an in-depth discussion between The Vibe Collective hosts as they bring to the surface issues surrounding Toronto's involvement in the PanAm games, politics, police brutality and more. 

 
 
 

May 25, 2015

Toronto-based emcee and producer, Xolisa (Pronounced: koh-lee-sah) releases a live off-the-floor performance video, via stream, for her single, “A Longer Walk”.

The single can be found on Xolisa’s sophomore self-produced EP, Rhyme Until My Spirit Needs No Words To Fly (2014). 

Filmed at Coalition Music and directed by The Trenches Media, Xolisa provides an intimate experience for fans to further understand the meaning behind “A Longer Walk”. 

I wrote this song as a play off of the title of the 2001 single, "A Long Walk" by Grammy Award winning, Soul and R&B singer, Jill Scott. The lyrics were meant to embody the image of a person taking a very long walk; a walk longer than Jill Scott's walk; a walk to clear their minds and allow the midnight air surrounding them to be their comfort and place of refuge as they seek quietness,” 

A Longer Walk was written as a testament to my own mind and to the external voices of others, exclaiming that in this here and now...I want silence. I don't want to analyze another ‘what if?’ I don't want to pick a part another ‘why?’. I don't want to hear any opinions, or any reasoning. I want peace and I need my mind to be at rest, even if just for a moment. I just need my mind to be, still.

A Longer Walk” can be downloaded/streamed here.

For further information or interview requests please contact:

management@xolisamusic.com