Voice

She’s been poor, homeless and a ‘doormat.’ Now she’s a four-time Grammy nominee bound for Toronto

Nick Krewen Special to the Star January 8, 2020 Fear is either a paralyzer or a galvanizer, and no one knows that situation better than four-time Grammy nominee Yola, the current purveyor of big-voiced country soul. After wrestling with self-doubt for decades – and finally winning the battle with the release of her critically acclaimed debut solo offering Walk Through Fire, the Bristol, U.K.-based singer and songwriter refers to it…

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His father’s death taught him to stop trying so hard. Now Royal Wood is reaping the rewards.

By Nick Krewen Special to the Star November 30, 2019 On December 3, local singer and songwriter Royal Wood will be fulfilling a lifelong dream by headlining a show at Roy Thomson Hall. Actually, it’s a two-part aspiration, but he completed the first half a few years ago when he sold out Massey Hall. “It’s funny, I got shown a video a while back where I said I wanted to…


U.S. immigration crackdown inspires Jessie Reyez’s charged new music video

Nick Krewen Special to the Star Oct 07, 2019 In the visually compelling video for her latest song “Far Away,” Toronto’s Jessie Reyez pulls no punches when depicting immigrant persecution in Trump’s America. During the two-minute-and-50-second scenario directed by Peter Huang, Reyez’s character and her male love interest are dancing at a party that is suddenly stormed and tear-gassed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, who end up…


Clairmont The Second is up for a climb

Nick Krewen Special to the Star July 20, 2019 Clairmont The Second may be one of the more ambitious rappers out there, but he’s in no rush to achieve the lofty stardom to which he aspires. “We knew from the start that it was going to be the long game,” said the Juno-nominated hip-hop artist born Clairmont Humphrey, who hails from the Jane and Weston area of Toronto and brings…


Brain injury from Toronto crash derailed Kiesza’s pop career. Now she’s back.

Nick Krewen Special to the Star If you’re wondering where three-time Juno award winner Kiesza has been the past couple of years, don’t blame her – it’s not her fault. The Calgary-born singer and songwriter – best known for taking the world by storm by her house-influenced dance smash “Hideaway” and its accompanying album Sound of A Woman –  had just relocated to Toronto two years ago from the Big Apple…