Sat. May 28th, 2022

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The pandemic and its restrictions have given time for artists to learn new skills and flex their creativity, resulting in an outpouring of new music. After combing through dozens of the latest offerings from Ottawa musicians, Lynn Saxberg picked five of the hottest new songs, with videos that are adding to the buzz.

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Here’s a look at each track and the artists behind them.

Banggz

“Who’s Gassing Who?”

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When the pandemic began, Damilola Salaudeen, a Nigerian-Canadian rapper who goes by the stage name Banggz, made a promise to himself. “I had one goal: I’m not going to come out of it the same,” said the 22-year-old Carleton University student. Although he had been turning out tracks for a few years, the isolation gave him time to improve his skills in production, songwriting, video editing and marketing. He even learned to play the piano. The results of these efforts can be heard in his first release of 2022, the catchy earworm of a single “Who’s Gassing Who?”, Inspired by a debate on the authenticity of some music-industry types. The accompanying video, shot by Quest, who also produced the song in his Dreamland studio, depicts Banggz and his friends in the Twelve07 artist collective cruising around Ottawa – not in expensive cars, but keeping it real on their bicycles. Watch for more music in the coming months.

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Lia Kloud

“On Everything”

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The 22-year-old rapper took last year off music to focus on her education as she completes a diploma program at Algonquin College. This track, produced by DDBeatz, signals her return to the music scene, along with a video that captures her dynamic flow and refusal to be underestimated. Written and recorded in 2020, the song also expresses Kloud’s commitment to her family. Born and raised in Ottawa, her hard-working Haitian-Canadian parents named her Alissa Ariste. “What pushed me to write the song in the beginning was promising my family a better living,” she said. “The biggest message is, whatever you want to do, do it. I do not come from a musical background but I love writing and poetry so if I can do it, you can do it. ” Early indicators say she’s off to a great start – the video is expected to surpass 40,000 views this week, while her second EP, Pray4Keeps, is due to drop this spring.

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Edison Rupert

“Ticket to a Place”

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The indie artist who calls himself Edison Rupert is better known as Mike Raymond, the 39-year-old guitarist, instrument repair tech, sound engineer and former doorman at Zaphod Beeblebrox. He’s been in several rock bands over the years, but this is his first singer-songwriter project, a creative outlet that arose to keep him busy during the pandemic. With a cool sidewalk video shot in one take in the ByWard Market, the song’s melodic groove revolves around a call for compassion. “It’s actually about real events that took place about 15 years ago,” Raymond said, casting back to the nights he spent tending the door of the York Street club. “I saw a lot of street life. People get desensitized to the homeless people we have in downtown Ottawa, but if you take a minute to talk to them, they’re people. They have a heart. ” To his surprise, the song is connecting in a way he never expected, essentially propelling him into a solo career. You can find his songs at edisonrupert.com.

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Jessica Pearson and the East Wind

Devil’s Rising

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The acoustic guitar and clear voice that characterize this heart-wrenching ballad belong to Jess Pearson, a 28-year-old singer-songwriter from Clarence Creek who’s been writing songs for as long as she can remember, and performing since her teenage years. Co-written with Nashville’s Tony Zavitson, this tune was created to counteract the negativity in the world. “Tony and I had a long conversation about how it’s our duty to really try and be the hope in the world,” she said. “If we give up trying, that’s when the devil’s rising, that’s when evil wins. We need to keep spreading love and kindness. ” To illustrate the message, the video shows Pearson and her fiddler, Maddy O’Regan, helping the Eastern Ontario charity Lionhearts distribute food to those who need it. The song is included on Pearson’s first full-length album “On The Line,” which came out last week.

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Eeshii The Free

“Jack Harlow”

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There’s no denying the appeal of this infectious Afro-fusion hip-hop track, which not only pokes fun at the success of breakout white rapper Jack Harlow but, as Eeshii says, is also intended to stoke African pride. With a video that was shot in front of a popular Mediterranean eatery on Alta Vista Drive (and features a Harlow lookalike), it’s amassed more than 40,000 views in less than three weeks, making it the hottest release yet for Eeshii – real name Hisham Abu -Nura – who was born in Sudan and arrived in the nation’s capital at age 16. These days, while he divides his time between Toronto and Ottawa, he’s determined to keep doing his part to show the multicultural side of this city. “We’re trying to rebrand Ottawa the way we see it,” the 29-year-old said. “Ottawa does have a smaller demographic of immigrants, but at the same time, that smaller demographic has bigger appeal to an international audience. For this track, most of the support has been international. ” The song is also a teaser for the full album, Million Dollar Immigrant, due this summer.

lsaxberg@postmedia.com

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