NXNE Festival Guide

40 essential artists to check out at Toronto’s massive club crawl.

Find the best bets out of hundreds of bands playing Toronto’s NXNE this month with NEXT’s exclusive Festival Guide. The Guide highlights the most promising acts in your favourite genres.

June 14-19, 300+ bands, 20+ venues

How to NXNE

North by Northeast (NXNE) is Canada’s leading festival of new music, has been since 1995 when we launched in partnership with Austin’s SXSW. NXNE is committed to showcasing the best new music from Canada and around the world in tightly run performances that start on the hour and run 40 minutes. Five sets a night, starting at 9 pm, last set at 1 am, some venues have extended hours. We encourage club hopping, see new acts and new venues. Festival HQ Gladstone House Hotel.

Admission to the entire festival is only $20 for a full festival pass. Single admissions are $10. That’s it!

Complete schedule, ticket info and venue list @nxne.com

HIP HOP

Listen to the playlist on Apple Music
Listen to the playlist on Spotify

Omega Mighty

Omega Mighty

Omega Mighty

Gladstone (Sat., June 18, Midnight)

Powerhouse singer and rapper Omega Mighty has been a feature at her JUNO Award-winning sister Haviah Mighty’s shows for years. A choreographer for Arkells, her high-energy shows will make her the next Mighty star.

Mighty joins a stacked bill featuring international acts that includes: Vicky R (11 pm), a rising star from France, originally a beat maker in her native Gabon, now breaking in Europe; Omar Noir (1 am), based in Norway, his sound is infused with influences from Senegal and Gambia, where he grew up; BLVCK (10 pm), a young Jamaican-American rapper with a smooth sound; and Lebs, a London, U.K. rapper who has worked with Tory Lanez.

Getchnah

Getchnah

Getchnah

(Gladstone, Fri., June 17, 1 am)

The upbeat Tamil-Canadian rapper embraces her Scarborough roots with a rich sound and a dance-packed live show.

Kydd Jones

Kydd Jones

Kydd Jones

(Gladstone, Thurs., June 16, 11 pm)

The Austin-based rapper has showcased at SXSW and Austin City Limits as well as festivals in Europe and the U.S.

Tia Bank$

Tia Bank$

Tia Bank$

(Clinton’s, Sat., June 18, 11 pm)

Big beats and urgent energy from this Toronto rapper on the rise.

Killa CAD

Killa CAD

Killa CAD

(Supermarket, Fri., June 17, 9 pm)

A soulful groove powers beats that drive this Detroit rapper.

Kii Storii

Kii Storii

Kii Storii

(Drake Undergorund, Weds, June 15, midnight)

There’s some MTS vibe to this Bronx rapper as she pushes her powerful tracks.

SOUL R&B

Listen to the playlist on Apple Music
Listen to the playlist on Spotify

Osé

Osé

Osé

(Rivoli, Fri., June 17, midnight)

Teenaged R&B singing and songwriting sensation Osé’s career got huge boost recently when she started working with her idol H.E.R.’s management. Highlights strong Brampton Showcase also featuring: Ashlye (11 pm), Keziah Music (9 pm) and rappers MixTapper (10 pm) and TCSpades (1 am).

JHYVE

JHYVE

JHYVE

(Rivoli, Sat., June 18, 11 pm)

JUNO-nominated for best R&B artist in 2018, this talented singer’s career stalled until recent track Down won him the CBC Searchlight award.

Dion Racii

Dion Racii

Dion Racci

(Supermarket, Fri., June 17, 10 pm)

Sumptuous, sensual, chill-wave tracks from Alabama-born singer

Victory

Victory

Victory

(El Mocambo, downstairs, Thurs. 10 pm)

Fresh new soul from young singer with opera training, who draws heavily from classic stylists like Billie Holiday and Nina Simone.

Mighloe

Mighloe

Mighloe

(Supermarket, Fri., June 17, 10 pm)

Toronto-based singer’s dreamy, sensual tracks have been featured on BBC and regularly on CBC’s The Block.

Odreii

Odreii

Odreii

(Rivoli, Sat., June 18, 10 pm)

Montreal powerhouse’s groove-rich soul has been featured at SXSW and Osheaga, and her singles have tracked on Quebec radio.

POP

Listen to the playlist on Apple Music
Listen to the playlist on Spotify

Dallas

Dallas

Dallas

(El Mocambo, upstairs, Wed., June 15, 11 pm)

Toronto-based singer-songwriter has huge online audience for hit-friendly pop sound that seems destined to turn her into a star.

Desiire

Desiire

Desiire

(Drake Underground, Pride Showcase, Thurs., June 16, 10 pm)

Congo-born, Torontobased soulful singer blends African and American influences, from D’angelo to Papa Wemba. Performs as part of Pride Launch Showcase.

3409

3409

3409

(Gladstone, Fri., June 17, 10 pm)

Modern mix of influences from Toronto band that has hints of boy band energy in upbeat sound.

Takaayla

Takaayla

Takaayla

(Drake Underground, Fri. June 17, 9 pm )

Confident, catchy pop, smart like Billy Eilish and Tate McRae with great vocals from 22-year-old Mississauga rising star.

Jordan Astra

Jordan Astra

Jordan Astra

(Gladstone, Fri, June 17, 11 pm)

Classic, richly layered pop with influences including George Michael and Hall and Oates. Dare you not to smile.

Atay & JAX

Atay & JAX

Atay & JAX

(Baby G, Sat., June 16, 10 pm)

They recently picked up an ECMA nomination for hip hop, but we think the fun pop vibe of this Nova Scotia duo belongs on your NXNE pop playlist.

HARD ROCK & PUNK

Listen to the playlist on Apple Music
Listen to the playlist on Spotify

Dear Youth

Dear Youth

Dear Youth

(Bovine, Fri., June 17, 11 pm)

Billy Talent fans will love this powerful pop-punk band from Montreal, whose tracks have garnered over a million streams.

Radium Moon

Radium Moon

Radium Moon

(Bovine, Thurs., June 16, 11 pm)

Sandrine Chouinard shares lead vocals in this super-charged Montreal power trio.

Late Night Trouble

Late Night Trouble

Late Night Trouble

(Bovine, Fri., June 17, 9 pm)

This female-fronted hard rock band from Montreal are so tough their track is the official anthem of a Quebec wrestling association.

Choices Made

Choices Made

Choices Made

(Bovine, Wed., June 15, midnight)

Angry, earnest and in-yourface punk influenced by classic California underground sound.

Black Pontiac

Black Pontiac

Black Pontiac

(Garrison, Thurs., June 16 11 pm)

Upbeat Vancouver band that’s a blend of influences, including a big rock sound. Occasional feels and goofiness.

Foolproof

Foolproof

Foolproof

(Bovine, Fri., June 17, 10 pm)

Paige Koop powers lead vocals and guitar-fronting, grunge-fuelled rockers from Niagara.

INDIE ROCK

Listen to the playlist on Apple Music
Listen to the playlist on Spotify

Päter

Päter

Päter

(Clinton’s, Fri., June 17, 10 pm)

Smart indie rock, sometimes with an edge, sometimes with a smile from Toronto singer with modern sound.

book club

book club

book club

(Handlebar, Fri., June 17, 10 pm; Garrison, Sat. June 18, 1 am)

Dreamy, breezy indie from Vancouver that flirts with Yacht Rock – in a good way.

dwi

dwi

dwi

(Garrison, Sat. June 18, 11 pm)

Zolas bass player Andrew Blacklaw created Dwi as his dreamy, riffy pandemic project while locked down in Vancouver.

Toebow

Toebow

Toebow

(Baby G, Sat., June 18, 11 pm)

Brooklyn five piece creates upbeat yet sometimes heady tracks Brooklyn Vegan calls “shapeshifting, complex art pop.”

Beyond the Sun

Beyond the Sun

Beyond the Sun

(Dakota, Fri., June 17, 10 pm)

Three Toronto brothers with a rich, satisfying sound that flits between upbeat indie with hints of Lumineers-infused Americana.

The High Loves

The High Loves

The High Loves

(Cameron House, Sat., June 18, 11 pm)

Clever, upbeat indie-pop with hints of ‘80s synth guaranteed to make couples smile.

Grace Grennan

Grace Grennan

Grace Grennan

(Supermarket, Sat., June 18, 10 pm)

Passionate vocals power intelligent indie that draws on modern pop with hints of star power. Part of Buffalo Showcase presented by WBFO The Bridge also featuring Stress Dolls, Farrow and Aircraft.

Blue Kubricks

Blue Kubricks

Blue Kubricks

(Garrison, Sat., June 18, 10 pm)

They’re from Leeds, UK but there’s an Arkells vibe to this British band’s upbeat and fun party sound.

Harkness

Harkness

Harkness

(Handlebar, Fri., June 17 9 pm)

Ambitious, grandiose and engaging, Harkness grew up around music royalty and the influences abound with a richly layered sound with hints of Brian Wilson, prog rock and more.

Taylor Abrahamse

Taylor Abrahamse

Taylor Abrahamse

(Dakota, Fri., June 17, midnight)

There’s Jack Antonoff feel to the clever, complex songwriting here that powers from Prince and classic pop.

Capitol

Capitol

Capitol

(Baby G, Fri., June 17, midnight)

Hamilton-based band has all the swirling guitars, angsty vocals and compelling drive of ‘80s British bands who made you feel good about feeling bad.

ROOTS COUNTRY

Listen to the playlist on Apple Music
Listen to the playlist on Spotify

The North Sound

The North Sound

The North Sound

(Dakota, Thurs., June 16, midnight)

Gorgeous harmonies and solid songwriting from duo who have picked up Saskatchewan Music Award for Indigenous Artist of the Year recently nominated for Roots Album of the year.

Balto

Balto

Balto

(Horseshoe, Sat., June 18, 10 pm)

Draws on rich Americana roots of Wilco, Jayhawks and the rest with passionate, authentic, well-played songs featuring rich harmonies from this LA-based band.

Nora Kelly Band

Nora Kelly Band

Nora Kelly Band

(Dakota, Sat., June 18, 11 pm)

Grunge rocker Nora Kelly from Montreal’s DISHPIT brings her rich vocals to slow burning alt-country with members of Fleece, Bell Orchestre and Treasure Eyes.

Michaela Slinger

Michaela Slinger

Michaela Slinger

(Dakota, Thurs., June 16, 10 pm)

Passionate Vancouver singer-songwriter who moves from roots to indie with wisps of Americana classic.

Cheyanne Summer

Cheyanne Summer

Cheyanne Summer

(Wheat Sheaf, Thurs., June 16, 9 pm)

Toronto singer ably blends influences including The Chicks, Patsy Cline and Billy Joel powered by gorgeous vocals.

Jeremy Voltz

Jeremy Voltz

Jeremy Voltz

(Horseshoe, Fri, June 18, midnight)

Soulful Toronto singer-songwriter has toured the world with his heartfelt tunes influenced by Paul Simon and Jeff Buckley.

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