Manifesto had some big moments from The Circle and The Sorority reunions to a number of memorable performances. Here are some of the highlights from Manifesto 2023.
Yesterday, thousands gathered at Echo Beach in Toronto for the 17th edition of Manifesto, billed as “Manifesto Presents: The Block Party” in partnership with CBC Music’s The Block.
The lineup featured artists from across the Greater Toronto Area, as well as Ottawa, Edmonton and Calgary. There was Friyie, would brought his melodies and high energy to the stage. There was Toronto/Ottawa supergroup No Tourists who performed from their eclectic catalogue. There was also JellyTooFly who is coming off a recent show in London, England. And who can forget Calgary-based British artist Temia, who alongside 4KORNERS, oozed stardom as she flowed over drill beats.
There were too many highlights to name, but here were some of the standout moments from Manifesto 2023.
Keysha Freshh is joined by The Sorority
Keysha Freshh delivered a solid performance in front of a packed crowd. Aside from playing music from her catalogue, she also vibed with the audience over some Caribbean music. But the highlight was her being joined by her former The Sorority group mates Lex Leosis, Haviah Mighty, and pHoenix Pagliacci for the final time according to Freshh. Fortunately, this wouldn’t be the only group to reunite at Manifesto.
Saukrates is joined by The Circle
Saukrates is an MC who knows how to put on a show. He went through his solo catalogue, including classics like “Hate Runs Deep” and “Money Or Love”, and big features like “Heaven Only Knows” (No, K-OS wasn’t there). He also brought out rapper and producer Rich Kidd who called Saukrates his mentor and the most talented artist in Canada. But the highlight was a reunion with members of The Circle, including Solitair, Choclair and Jully Black. If you were a 90’s Toronto hip-hop head, this was a moment to remember.
Sadboi oozes talent, mystery and sex appeal
A Balaclava and racing suit wearing Sadboi came to the stage as she performed a blend of Caribbean-infused and soulful tracks. She’s a gifted and natural performer who knows how to move her waist and engage the crowd. Definitely one of Toronto’s more promising musical talents.
Kuruza gets crowd moving with innovative music and performance
When Kuruza is on stage you have no choice but to move. They bring a fusion of Afrobeats, hip-hop, amapiano and dancehall combined with live instrumentation, and looking at the crowd, they were feeling it too. In a time when artists are following formulas and cookie cutter sounds, Kuruza is a refreshing and innovative group. This act is on its way up.
Clairmont The Second…that’s all
Clairmont The Second was a moment on his own. In person, he’s mild mannered and thoughtful, but on stage he’s a beast. The only problem with his set was that it was too short and he let the organizers know as much.
He easily had the most energetic set of the day, performing both released and unreleased tracks, which says a lot given the other performers. When his show ended he abruptly walked off the stage as if he did exactly what he came to do and had nothing else to say. The walk off was fire.
Aminé closes out with a bang
After an epic electric guitar solo, Aminé came out with energy, draped in an Eritrean flag and dancing from one side of the stage to the other with one leg in the air. There’s nothing much to say here. He has a dedicated fan base and you can see why. Aminé comes across as a down to earth guy you wanna hang out with and talk to. He knows how to engage fans and has fire bars and concepts to his songs, all while bringing positive messaging like reminding the crowd they’re beautiful.
He even made a local artist’s day when he brought Toronto’s 4sante onstage to help him perform his hit record “Reel It In”. Dope.
SHIFTER editor, Kevin Bourne, is a Toronto-based entertainment journalist focusing on music and film & TV. He was recently named a Golden Globe Awards international voter by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and a Tomatometer-Approved Critic by Rotten Tomatoes.