The Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) hosted the “Homegrown Music Festival,” showcasing an all-female lineup of Toronto-based musicians last Friday.
The Ryersonian caught up with two of those artists: musician and Ryerson alumna Phoenix Pagliacci, and founder of the queer-friendly hip-hop, R&B, and dancehall event series, Yes Yes Y’all DJ Nino Brown.
Pagliacci’s performance brought a blend of hip-hop and R&B. Her influences span from Motown to Roc-A-Fella Records. A graduate of Ryerson’s criminal justice program, Pagliacci said playing on campus made her feel like a kid again.
“I know that technically I’ve graduated and moved on, but I’ll always be a Ram,” Pagliacci added.
She released her newest album, Ars Amatoria, with funding provided by a grant from the Toronto Arts Council in February. Pagliacci released it for free on the digital service, Bandcamp.
“It was a great feeling,” said Pagliacci, on receiving the arts grant. “For a lot of independent artists, we fund everything out of pocket, and we cross our fingers that we’ll recoup in sales.”
As far as any advice for aspiring musicians in the Ryerson community, Pagliacci kept it simple: “Follow your heart, follow your passion, and it’ll never steer you wrong.”
DJ Nino Brown
DJ Nino Brown delivered an energetic set that was just a taste of her monthly gig hosting a queer-friendly event series at Toronto’s Nest Nightclub. Yes Yes Y’all started eight years ago. According to its slogan, it’s “Toronto’s biggest, bashiest, sweatiest queer hip- hop, R&B, Dancehall Jam.”
Their first mandate has always been inclusivity.
“We’re kind of OG’s in the scene,” admitted Brown. “It started at a good time, we got lucky.”
Brown has done sets for the Ryerson community in the past, and says she always feels that similar vibe of community and acceptance that plays an integral part in Yes Yes Y’all jams.
“It’s a nice energy here, compared to other universities in Toronto,” said Brown. “You see the hood guys hanging out with the computer nerds. That’s the vibe here…and that’s the biggest value we have in this city.
“Good luck in the year, for real,” added Brown. “This is a good university, take advantage of it.”