UNHEARDOF gets LOUD
It’s true. Showcasing local talent is nothing new. However, when Toronto-based music tech company, LOUD embraces a traditional idea, they never seem to approach it the way it’s typically been done.
LOUD’s founder, Kimani Peter, says its past weekend’s event, UNHEARDOF, wasn’t just a chance for local artists the organization works with to perform.
“It's a concert, but it also has a conference feeling to it. This is an environment where you don't feel forced to prove yourself as an artist or a producer,” says Peter.
“You're just here to meet people and get to know each other.”
Peter also wanted to ensure the evening was just as comfortable for those in the audience as it was for those onstage.
“We really want to emphasize that whether you're on stage or in the crowd, that those aren't two different positions. You're just having the experience from a different standpoint,” says Peter.
“We all have the right to call ourselves artists, onstage or not. We all want to have a good time, together.”
With a 100-plus turnout at downtown’s modest-sized PaintBox Bistro and attendees waiting outside long before the restaurant’s doors opened for the event, the night’s artists may not be “unheard of” for much longer.
One of those artists, Adib Khondker, says being involved with LOUD.army has gone beyond helping his music career- its transformed him as a person.
“When I was younger, I just wasn’t as focused, and distracted with other things,” says the 21 year-old Scarborough resident.
“These guys [at LOUD.army], they gave me a voice. And they’re like family to me now. They changed my life.”
Peter says UNHEARDOF’s artists capture what mainstreamers can’t always do; the ability to connect with their listeners.
“The reason why I like [UNHEARDOF’s] artists is one, they're amazing, but two, I can relate. So why am I listening to Drake who's flying back and forth from Japan? I'm sure that’s great, but it has nothing to do with me,” says Peter.
“An artist in [UNHEARDOF] talks about how he's in Brampton and in North York, and I love that. To me, there's no comparison between these artists and mainstream music. And on top of that, I get to kick it with them (laughs).”
Since its birth in 2015, LOUD.army has grown to be more than a place that offers resources and services, such as their portable sound booth, LOUD.box, or its wide-ranging production team. The organization has created a community with a collective purpose.
“I never decided who'd work for LOUD. I just kept the door open and I kind of in real time with that person discover new opportunities that we could pursue because this person is talented at X, Y, Z,” says Peter.
“What we want to do for artists is be the reason why you can't say ‘I can't start.’ If you're an artist and you want to start, then it’s just like...bring your voice.”
To learn more about LOUD.army and their projects, visit them on Instagram at @loud.army or through their website, https://www.loud.army.
To listen to the UNHEARDOF mix featuring some of the performers, check out: