Watch the Showcase December 30th, 6 PM on Facebook @ArtStartsTO
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Art Starts presents Virtuosity of Blackness 2.0, a showcase of some of the best, up-and-coming performing artists in the city.

This virtual event will be presented on Facebook on December 30th, 2020, 6 PM EST. Register for the Facebook Event to receive important updates and link to our watch party when it goes live!

The first iteration of Virtuosity of Blackness was hosted on August 6th, 2020 and had hundreds of viewers tune in for the live broadcast. There were over 10 performances in song, dance, and spoken word.

This showcase is in partnership with RISE.

RISE creates safe and inclusive spaces for youth and emerging artists to express themselves in a positive way. Through their Edutainment methodology, RISE empowers performance artists to create meaningful art rooted in self knowledge and self expression.





Akil Elijah is a multi media artist that shares the stories of his experiences through poetry, music, dance and film. Having performed on commission for multiple organizations across the country, Akil finds peace in inspiring and teaching youth who don’t have the resources to be otherwise technically trained.

In his music, dance, fashion, and visual media, Akil continues to break trends and boundaries of hip hop and rap in the Toronto music scene while blending the forms of media together.


Blue Will


BLUE WILL writes about true life experiences, remaining loyal to her craft and relatable to her audience. She now resides in Toronto and since then BLUE has been a top 4 finalist on CBC Searchlight 2017 and is also a HoneyJam 2017 Alumni. In 2018, she released her debut EP titled “See No Evil”, a 3-songs journey which was featured in ComplexCA and on Spotify's ‘New Music Friday Canada’. This release was also followed by the visuals for the lead single “Shots Fired”. BLUE opened for artist Wale during the 2018 Miami Art Basel.


Dwayne Morgan


Dwayne Morgan has been a professional Spoken Word artist since 1993. He has published 13 collections and 9 albums of his work, while offering performances in 18 countries internationally. Morgan is a 2013 inductee in the Scarborough Walk of Fame, and a 2016 finalist for the Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts.

As an event producer, Morgan’s company, Up From The Roots has produced hundreds of events. Morgan is also a co-founder and co-producer of the Toronto Spoken Soul Festival. 

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@officialekelle @lannah_me

Ekelle is an artist and songwriter from Toronto. Ekelle rhymes about what she knows best: her real-life experience! Money, sex, drama, and identity stir together to create a style that she calls Hood Pop - Popular music with a street edge. This year, Ekelle had a collaboration with Northern Touch All-star, Thrust, performed for GTA Pride, and Nuit Blanche.

Ekelle will be joined by Lana-Si. She is an entrepreneur, holistic nutritionist, and founder of wholehearted food, a soulful singer and great friend of Ekelle’s; together they have performed at large-scale events like Afrofest, the Durham Caribbean Festival, and recently Radio Humber’s Band Together concert series.


Icons Dance


Icons is an Afro-Caribbean dance group promoting female empowerment through dance. 




Juelz is a spoken word artist and vocalist from Ajax, Ontario.  He is also an advocate for social justice and black empowerment and uses his art and platform to uplift those in his community. With his music and poetry, Juelz aims to reflect the times and open minds. 




Kenny is a creative artist who has the ability to captivate the minds of his audience with his unique modern day poetic style of storytelling. Rich in content, and delivered with a realness that truly embodies the essence of hip hop, Kenny pulls his inspiration from his family, friends, Ghana roots, and the hardships felt growing up in metro housing in the city of Rexdale. 

Kenny is using his talents and platform to provide inspiration to the many troubled kids that he encounters daily as a youth worker. He strives to be a symbol of what it means to overcome adversity without self compromise, to evolve and to create your own path when it seems all doors have closed.



Zakisha Brown, was born in Toronto, Canada and is of Jamaican descent. She was voted by the community and audience the title "best lyricist of the year" due to her delivery, flow, puns, and bars. She’s a hip hop artist that performs around the GTA and world wide. She believes in the importance of substance in music, delivery, self-development and the urgency of the stories we are telling via our art. She has opened for artists such as Talib Kweli, Dru Hill, Nas and the influential Saul Williams. Zakisha believes in the true essence of hip hop. She's performed in areas such as London England, Miami Florida, Jamaica, New York, and Accra, Ghana.
She has released a powerful music video and song this year titled “Purpose” and is working on her first album to be released in 2021. Look out for her songs available on all streaming platforms. 


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DJ Lewy


Dj Lewy V is an open format Dj from Toronto. He keeps crowds moving with his smooth blends, and has become a "go-to” artist for various events throughout the city.

From community centered events to club events, Lewy seeks to bring the vibe through his music selection and mixing in a way that you won't forget.


DJ North


North English is a multi-disciplinary creative from Toronto’s East End. Growing up, his passion for music was evident, spending most of his time either DJ’ing, engineering, or creating his own projects and experiences.

North graduated from The Remix Project in 2017 and earned his first gold certification in 2020.

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