Manifesto is a festival in Canada for Hip Hop culture which supports local artists and helps them build careers, while getting connections within the city.
They describe the festival on their website as “a non-profit, youth-powered platform designed to put local artists on the map and unite, inspire and empower diverse communities of young people through arts and culture, year-round.”
Founded in 2007, Manifesto has been a really important event in the city for the Hip Hop community, not only for the fans, but the artists as well.
The event took place at RBC’s Echo Beach on a very hot Saturday afternoon until late at night. With performances by, Tika the Creator, Isaiah Rashad, Sean Leon, Jidenna, The Internet, Majid Jordan, to name a few.
If we’re going to talk about stand out moments at Manifesto, Sean Leon’s performance was definitely one for me.
Although his performance was early in the lineup, Leon managed to gather up a large crowd with his upbeat music and crowd interaction. Leon took full advantage of his time on the stage and made his presence known, by performing a mix of old, new and unreleased songs from his many projects.
It was interesting to see the crowd rapping along to his songs, shouting back the words, dancing and having fun with each other. The crowd was very much there in the moment and they were enjoying every second of the performance.
As an artist from Toronto , Leon expressed his gratitude to be up on the stage and was humbled that people were there to watch him.
In my opinion, Leon definitely had one of the most energetic crowds of the festival.
With all the great performances that took place in between the festival, the two that I was excited for were up next, The Internet and Majid Jordan.
Personally, as a fan of The Internet, I had no other option but to watch their set, considering that they’re from Los Angeles, California and more on the mainstream side.
Being a band with 5 members, it can be harder to get your voice heard or to fully have the chance to express yourself during a live set.
That wasn’t the issue for the Hip Hop Soul and R&B group, giving each member individual time to perform songs off of their solo albums, in between performing songs from the bands album ‘Feel Good’ and ‘Ego Death’.
Frontman Syd owned the stage with her soft voice, along with Steve Lacey helping vocally, while playing the guitar and fidget spinner at once.
The beach sand filled crowd was packed, being the second last performance in the festival. The crowd that knew their songs sang along to their hits ‘Special Affair’, ‘Girl’, ‘Get Away,’ and more.
During the performance, the crowd was cheering Syd on and having a good time while she got down and interacted with the fans, saying she was grateful to be at this event and in a beautiful city.
The crowd was definitely excited for Toronto’s very own and well known R&B duo, Majid Jordan. Gathering up to the hundreds, the people at Manifesto were definitely excited to watch the duo.
Majid Jordan made sure to have all eyes and ears on them, with big a screen of lights, planets, and other captivating things, they had fog machines. But despite all these things that can be seen as a distraction, the main focus was on the music and Majid’s vocal abilities.
Everyone at the show knew at least one song, if not, the crowd knew almost all of the words to every single song.
Being artists from Toronto, it was a good feeling for the duo to have all these eyes and ears on them, while hearing them sing the lyrics back to them.
As a personal fan of Majid Jordan, I really enjoyed their performance a lot. I thought that they sounded just as good as they do on the album, whereas many artists sound different, if not, worse than what they originally sound on their album.
The duo were very humbled and appreciative of the people that stayed back to listen to them. So humbled, that they even had a couple of surprises up their sleeves.
Those surprises being guest performances from other Toronto artists, Dvsn and Roy Woods, who at least got to perform 2-3 songs each.
Majid Jordan are very supportive of other local artists and want to help showcase that, which is what the aim of the Manifesto Festival is all about.
In conclusion, Manifesto had a lot to offer this year (in my opinion) as far as musical acts and diversity. There was something for every single person to enjoy, and although I haven’t heard of certain artists, it was a good opportunity for me to do that.
I thought the festival was very good and the performers did a really good job of having their music heard throughout such a big crowd.
It was enjoyable for me to watch people performing with such energy.
That to me is what makes a festival or concert enjoyable, being able to let loose and be present in the moment to feel and hear everything.