Tonight marked the opening night of Cityfolk at Lansdowne Park in Ottawa as some of Canada’s brightest young talents took to the stage. With the world still grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic, many music festivals have opted for an all-Canadian lineup and Cityfolk 2021 is no different.

The opening performance, sponsored by RBCXMUSIC, featured Töme, the Montreal born singer, songwriter and actor who has been gaining steam as of late. The Nigerian-French Canadian performer set the tone with her smooth vocals and powerful message, including her 2021 single “Nana”. Before going into the closing number she encouraged women to own their strength and identity from men who only think with their “banana”.

Then Toronto singer-songwriter, Roy Woods, took to the stage with a succession of sexy tracks, including “Get You Good”, “Jealousy”, “Touch You” and “Gwan Big Up Urself”. The ladies reciprocated the love with loud cheers as he hit his notes and dance moves.

When SHIFTER asked Woods in a recent interview what we could expect from him at the festival he said, “A lot of raw emotion. I love to be in tune with the songs and the people that I’m singer with. It doesn’t matter if you know my music or not. I want to make sure we’re all present in the moment. You’re going to get all of me. I’m going to dance. I’m going to sing. It’s an experience.”

Well, he delivered as planned. Woods’ voice sometimes hung in the air as he belted out song after song with that signature raw emotion.

Check out SHIFTER’s interview with Roy Woods:

The Brampton native then switched up the tempo and got the crowd going with “Bubbly”. 

It was clear throughout his performance that Woods is a natural performer. From his subtle movements to his all out dance moves, he created a vibe. He even closed out a few of his songs dancing, having fun and enjoying his own music as fans cheered.

Also on display were his out of this world vocals. From the occasional run to holding his notes just a little longer than expected, he showed why he’s an elite vocalist.

Then his OVO label mates DSVN took their turn wowing the crowd.

While Woods had the ladies swooning over his swag and effortless cool, DVSN turned up the sexy meter even higher.

He opened his set with “Too Deep” with the female vocalist singing, “I want make you pull out.”

He followed that up with series of hits, from the “Dead Presidents” sampled “A Muse” to “With Me” and “Not Time”. Vocalist Daniel Daley even treated fans to an acapella rendition of Usher’s “You Got It Bad”.

Closing out the night was fellow Torontonian Charlotte Day Wilson. The multi-talented multi-instrumentalist skillfully went back and forth between the piano and guitar, ringing off hits like “Strangers” and “I Can Only Whisper” to a screaming crowd.

Whereas Woods and DVSN were solo on stage for their performances, Wilson impressed with a full band and backup singers.

This was one of the more impressive hip-hop and R&B lineups to grace a stage in the capital in recent years. Hopefully there’s more where that came from.

Cityfolk runs from September 16-18.

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