Max Merrifield is not only the guy at the switch for BLOOM 2 (and Northern Lights Festival Boréal, for that matter) but under his performing moniker of Max Silvertongue, he’s a pretty accomplished rap performer.
Diversity is the name of the game for BLOOM and given Merrifield’s love of hip hop, it’s no surprise the second edition of the NLFB’s BLOOM includes a good dose of hip hop.
Rap fans have a special night all to themselves at The Asylum (19 Regent St.) on March 7 featuring Toronto’s Clairmont the Second, Eyeda Sophia, and Sudbury’s own Jor’Del Downz.
Clairmont The Second is a 20-year-old critically acclaimed independent Toronto artist and visionary, BLOOM said in a news release. His works have been recognized by the Canadian Independent Music Awards, the Polaris Music Prize, and the 2018 Juno Awards.
Eyeda Sophia is a Toronto-based MC and poet, who “unpacks tales of growth and self-reflection via spoken-word delivery,” the festival release said. She has curated several Toronto-area cyphers and events in support of safer and more inclusive spaces to enjoy rap.
“Eyeda continues to represent the wave of new age hip-hop; a place for queer, marginalized and femme peoples.”
Jordel Downey, a.k.a. Jor’Del Downz, is a songwriter, singer, rapper, percussionist and beat-maker. Born and raised in Sudbury, Jor’Del has been honing his musical talents since a young age.
“Born with underdeveloped retinas, JorDel was totally blind until four years old, when he gained back 50 per cent of his sight. Despite this condition, Jor’Del always was always drawn to musical instruments, developing an intuitive musical sense that has only gotten stronger.”
With several albums and mixtapes under his belt, he’s toured Canada, collaborated with acclaimed artists such as Joell Ortiz, and shared the stages with major rap names like Obie Trice, Fetty Wap, Madchild, and Nino Bless.
In 2018, he also began speaking to students at elementary schools, and eventually universities, to raise awareness about different types of blindness, something that had never held him back. In 2019, Downz reinvented himself releasing a more R&B project called The Getaway, trading in rap bars for sung verses and hooks. He continues to evolve this style on the recently released EP 5 Deadly Venoms: The Scorpion, in collaboration with producer James Stang.
This special concert is just one of many in the BLOOM 2 schedule. Other artists coming to Sudbury for this celebration include: A Tribe Called Red, Lido Pimienta, Terra Lightfoot, Poirier, Partner, and more.
BLOOM 2 runs March 6-7 at various venues. The ‘BLOOM 2’ mobile app is currently available in app stores, with schedule, ticket, and artist information also posted at NLFB.ca/BLOOM.
Full Festival Passes are also available at Jett Landry Music (Lasalle Blvd.), Old Rock Coffee (Minto St.), and A&J Home Hardware (Bouchard St.).