2020 Winner: Tafari Anthony|
Tafari (pronounced Ta-far-eye) Anthony is a Toronto based artist whose music blends Pop, R&B and Soul. He is an artist who embodies the spirit of the modern musician. Not just a musician, but a creator. Known for his sleek vocal tones, sultry melodies and music which oozes with personality, Tafari leaves listeners in awe - somewhat apt considering his name means “He who inspires awe”.
His influences range from artists like Prince, Brandy and John Legend, to more contemporary artists like MNEK and Charlie Puth, among others. Tafari creates deeply emotional songs that resonate across generations. “All of these artists create music that is pop in its own right, but also so different from each other”, shares the musician.
Having taken a break from releasing music in 2018 to focus on creating new material which explored his own personal soundscape, Tafari returned early 2020 with the release of his pop anthems, “Centerfold”, “Live in a Dream” & the emotional “No Good.”
Tafari has seen success with his music garnering acclaim from the likes of PAPER Magazine, Billboard, Gay Times, Earmilk and MTV to name a few. He has been nominated for a Toronto Independent Music Award and receives regular airplay on CBC Radio, with one of his singles being named one of CBC’s Most Influential Songs of 2016. The singer has also performed alongside Shangela (RuPaul’s Drag Race) and has performed at Toronto’s Dundas Square and Massey Hall. His latest EP “The Way You See Me” was released to critical acclaim from PAPER Magazine & Billboard in November 2020.
I am beyond excited to be the 2020 winner of the #RSDUnsigned competition! This is a year where I had full release plans and as an independent artist who has fully self funded this project, when the pandemic hit, I wasn’t sure how I was going to continue with the releases. I had to make the decision to just keep pushing through with the releases and put the rest in the universe’s hands to help me make it through. So many amazing opportunities have come my way this year, from dream press features, to dream collaborations and now being able to actualize my latest EP “The Way You See Me” to vinyl with the support of #RSDUnsigned… I am honestly just so overwhelmed and thankful! Thank you so much!
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2019 Winner: The Sun Harmonic!
Kaleb Hikele - Piano, Guitar, Vocals
Dave Skrtich - Drums, Vocals
Ian McLennan - Bass, Vocals
The Sun Harmonic is the creative outlet for Canadian musician Kaleb Hikele; an eclectic songwriter and adventurous recording artist who comes from the small town of St. Thomas, Canada. Classical-trained pianist first, folk/rock songsmith second, The Sun Harmonic started performing in 2009 as a solo artist and has been accompanied by opera singers, a chamber string orchestra, and today is backed by his rock and roll trio. With two new singles, A Heart So Heavy and In The Forest, released in Spring 2019, he's put to rest his first ten years as The Sun Harmonic with a vinyl release and Ontario tour to celebrate the next ten years.
After releasing a debut album in 2009 and then two more albums in 2010, Kaleb looked to his studio to produce indie albums, run a grassroots record label and create his own side projects for years. As time passed, Kaleb blossomed creatively with a songwriting project that revolved around the piano and the season of winter. He worked on writing, recording and creating the album for 8 winter years, and in 2017 debuted the album simply titled "Winter". It is a concept album, a double album, ranging from folk, rock, jazz to his classical roots. The next concept album is on the way, a folk record made across the country in studios from Vancouver to Halifax, this time only 5 years in the making. Coast To Coast is set to arrive mid to late 2020, following a new rock band EP also coming from the song and dance man.
The Sun Harmonic comes to life on stage with intimate solo performances on guitar & piano, or amplified with his live band to invite you to dance and sing along. With his life-spanning catalog of original songs at hand, he sings just like he wears his heart on his sleeve.
1st Runner Up:
Jon Raven Visser
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