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Friday, September 22, 2023

Killy is one song away from taking over

This year’s high-energy welcome for first-years will get a taste of Toronto’s underground music scene. 

The Friday night concert during OWeek 2019, which runs Sept. 1 to Sept. 8, will see performers KILLY, Lil Berete and anders, who are all versatile artists based in Toronto. 

“People are excited we’ve got all these artists they know,” says Connor Cozens, associate, orientation on OStaff as representative of the USC. “They’re mostly known within the GTA, but I think the wide range of their talent is going to appeal to everyone that comes to orientation week.”

The concert will take place on University College Hill after closing ceremonies. The first opener, anders, will go on after 9 p.m., followed by the second opener, Lil Berete, and finally the headliner, KILLY.

Based on feedback from past OWeek attendees, and both current and past sophs, Cozens says the OStaff were lucky to have these big up and coming artists who would vibe well with the audience. 

“I think even for people who haven’t heard them before, they are going to put on a really good show, especially KILLY who’s really poetic in what he does, he would put on a really cool show,” says Cozens. 

Khalil Tatem, more popularly known as KILLY, attributes his success to his hard work building connections and struggles in his early life. Inspired by Travis Scott, his songs have a dark and brooding vibe with an addictive flow, over which he often raps about Toronto’s nightlife and about “the timing” of his success as rare.

Catching the wave of “emo rap,” KILLY has an unmistakable sense of style which is another way the half-Filipino, half-Bajan artist expresses himself.

He is best known for his songs, “Killamonjaro,” which is certified Platinum by Music Canada, and “No Sad No Bad,” which eventually put him on the nation’s radar. 

Coming from Toronto’s first public housing neighbourhood, Regent Park, Lil Berete will be performing alongside KILLY. His music reflects his tough life experiences being surrounded by gang-related gun violence and generational neighborhood rivalries. His late friend Smoke Dawg was also a rapper, who was a victim of what Toronto’s mayor called gang-related gun violence last summer.

The 17-year old’s lyrics showcase the staples of street-oriented rap: rapping with a focus on corruption, violence and drug use. His auto-tuned singing mixes well with his quick beats, seamlessly fused with Afro-Caribbean tones. 

With over 175,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, his most popular songs include “Go N Get It” and “Southside” both with over two million plays.

Like the two hip-hop gurus set to perform at Western University, anders was also born and is based in the Greater Toronto Area, specifically in Mississauga. The singer and songwriter’s music is reminiscent of the impression of The Weeknd’s ominous R&B mixed with elements of upbeat pop.

The 24-year old is best known for his collaboration with Western’s own duo, Loud Luxury, on the song “Love No More,” which is certified Gold by Music Canada and has over 92 million streams on Spotify.

“It’s kind of like a close to home situation, which is really nice,” says Cozens. “It’s a pretty stacked line up just for the Friday.”

Upper-year students may not attend this event, although upper-year students transferring to Western can buy orientation passes.

The orientation fee paid by most incoming students is an ancillary fee. Domestic students are automatically opted into this fee, while international students and transfer students must opt-in, starting Aug. 15. Those who choose to opt-out can do so until Aug. 15. 

The three accomplished artists will give incoming Western students a glimpse into Toronto’s deep-seated music landscape on Sept. 6.

“There’s been a lot of good music coming in from all of them so I’m really excited,” says Cozens. “Next set of headliners are going to be equally hype if not more.”

The next set of performers for the Saturday night concert during OWeek will be announced Aug. 19 on the OWeek 2019 Facebook event page.

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