New addition: Nov.7th, 2011
Here's a video of Keisha and Kamau speaking on their inspirations and motivation to do what they do.
Video directed & edited by Ian Kamau, camera by Andrea Roberts
11.11.11 (November 11th, 2011) marks the official launch of not ONE but TWO local artists' masterpieces!
Keisha Monique: Born and raised in Toronto to two artistic souls, Keisha Monique, writer, musician, spoken-word artist, and sculptor has been creating since the age of nine. Armed with a pen and a pad, she began writing poetry, songs and short stories as a means of expressing herself. Since then, her love of storytelling has taken on various forms, developing into array of mediums. She is a member of the Jalimusolu Collective of black female storytellers in Toronto, a creative writing facilitator, and Project Coordinator for the developing ABENI Initiative: creating holistic approaches for the growth and development of young women of African descent, through the arts. As a multi-instrumentalist, Keisha Monique trained with Drum Master Muhtadi of Muhtadi International Drumming in 2006 and also plays the keyboard. She has since lent her talents to the Stephen Lewis Foundation AIDS Benefit Concert where she opened for artists such as Saukrates, K-OS, Jully Black, Nelly Furtado and Alicia Keys. Furthermore, she has provided drumming for d’bi.young’s play “word! sound! powah!” In addition to having her poetry featured on radio, television and film, she is also a two-time member of Toronto’s Up From The Roots Slam Team and two-time feature at North America’s largest spoken word event, ‘When Sisters Speak’.
Whether performing for the Free The Angola 3 Fundraising Concert or the Future Leaders Conference in Kingston, Jamaica; at University of Toronto’s Diaspora Voices: New Directions Conference or Project Humanity’s Annual Clothing Drive, her words reflect the harsh reality of everyday struggles fused with the courage to face them. Keisha Monique’s focus is on using her art to honour The Ancestors, The Divine and bring awareness on how personal, local and global issues all intertwine to create our current realities. "Because We Were Born" is a collection of poetry that she is officially releasing on November 11th along with Ian Kamau's "One Day Soon".
Here's a piece written and performed by Keisha Monique.
Ian Kamau: writer, producer and a graphic/visual artist, born and raised in Toronto to Trinidadian parents who are renowned documentary filmmakers. He grew up around ideas, information, education and art. Music and art has taken him around the world -- from painting murals in downtown neighbourhoods in Toronto, to volunteering with youth hip-hop projects in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Nairobi to working with the Royal Conservatory of Music...(not to mention he also offers his time as one of Manifesto's board members!)
Here's Kamau's latest video drop (3rd visual interpretation for this particular track)