THE SINGER

Annex Post - - T.O.'S MOST INSPIRING WOMEN OF 2017 - BY KINNIE STARR JUNO AWARD–WIN­NING PRO­DUCER

If you haven’t heard Columbian-Cana­dian Lido Pimienta’s mu­sic (she won the 2017 Po­laris Mu­sic Prize for her in­cred­i­ble break­out al­bum La

Papessa), you may have seen some of the vit­riol over how she op­er­ates from the stage, bring­ing brown folk to the front and blast­ing that mes­sage from the mic like a boss.

Let’s get this con­ver­sa­tion straight — a pow­er­house of an artist wants to shape the room such that brown folk move to the front for 30 min­utes, and the “of­fended” alarm lights up red? Se­ri­ously? Peo­ple get an­gry be­cause they need to step back for 30 min­utes while their friends move for­ward? If you are one of the of­fended when asked to step back, honey, get your­self a glass of wa­ter from the back of the room and cool out to the sick beats. En­joy the mo­men­tary change in so­ci­ety’s nar­ra­tive. You’ll be back at the front of the line as soon as you leave the club so chill.

The first time I saw Lido Pimienta play, we were shar­ing a bill. I was struck by her con­fi­dence. She writhed and rapped and sung and danced and twisted her­self up with the mic ca­ble, cen­tred all the while in her lyric and in rhythm. My ego got a bit wilted — “Why can’t I have that kind of con­fi­dence?” — and at the same time I got power from her strength.

To me, this is the mark of a pro­found artist, some­one who stirs emo­tion and unveils in­ter­nal con­flict and is planted deep in­side their work, un­fet­tered, mak­ing us as the au­di­ence feel some­thing in­side our­selves. For some peo­ple, I guess those feel­ings are un­com­fort­able. For oth­ers, we are em­pow­ered by her power.

Pimienta and her son live in the Duf­ferin Grove neigh­bour­hood

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