Real Recognize Real

Real Recognize Real is a hip-hop saying that means “real” (or true and genuine individuals), have the capability to identify with and respect other “real” people. Someone who keeps it real, as the saying goes is very good at pinpointing others like themselves. In this case it means acknowledging those who are serious about pursuing their passion for music.

Real Recognize Real is a column in our Entertainment section based on showcasing musical talent in the GTA for all people with some bit of Caribbean nationality to them. I created it because just like sports, I know in music it can be really difficult to break through. Most artists trying to make it out there experience this: no opportunity from radio stations to get their tracks played, record labels brushing them off because their sound is different, or unless they are “a somebody” already, and sometimes even the brush off from family and friends. But how can one become known unless true talent is heard by the right people? With the wide distribution of Your Caribbean Guide, each artist’s spread is bound to fall into many hands – hopefully some of the right ones. At the very least, a lot of exposure is gained, thus increasing the awareness of the musician’s up and coming career. It is a great opportunity for any local artist to get themselves out there.

What I look for when seeking an artist to interview and write about are the following:

  • Serious musical talent
  • Must have the desire to pursue it as a career and have work to prove that this is the direction they are going in
  • Caribbean background of some sort, can be mixed or have at least one parent from an Island
  • Any genre is welcomed: Soca, Reggae, Hip-Hop, Gospel, Jazz, R&B, etc.
  • Originality
  • Groups are welcomed

If you have an artist, are artists, or know an artist that would be interested in having a spread in our magazine and website, please contact me directly by submitting any bios and tracks to:

Keep the passion

Quisha Wint

Twitter: @Quishawint

What truly defines the word ‘real’? In the sense of musical artistry, it refers to the ones who simply aren’t afraid to be themselves and to express music the way they want to – those who are nonconformists. Quisha Wint is as real as they get. Despite the turn that music has taken over the last few years, with record label companies seemingly catering to just one sound, Wint understands that music is so much more than what we hear today. “A lot of the songs these days don’t mean anything; people are singing about topics like money and dancing, when music should be about love, issues, life, and purpose – something that we can all connect to. These songs have longevity.” This beautiful vocalist has a sound so breathtaking it puts her on a level with voices like Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston.

Quisha began singing in her church’s choir at the early age of six. However, it wasn’t until after high school that she realized singing was truly the path she wanted to take. After studying music at Humber College, a program introduced to her by Donovan Fuller, her mind opened up to all of the endless possibilities. Quisha’s album, titled My Journey, includes some of the most pleasant music you have heard in a long time; each song representing key changes that occurred in her life. In particular, ‘Hold my Head up High’, a song worked on by Carlos Morgan, Juno award R&B soul artist, and Michael Shand, keyboardist, (both fellow Jamaicans as well) stands nearest her heart because it is a song that shows her growth during a time of struggle. Quisha Wint has a diverse portfolio, from traveling all over the world to perform, to being one of the top 30 finalists on Canadian Idol’s first season. Those experiences led to her receive a phone call from Jacksoul’s lead singer, Haydain Neale, who asked her to become his new backup vocalist. Her most memorable career moment happened while singing with Jacksoul to open up a show for the legendary James Brown. What a moment that must have been!

With such an exuberant personality like Quisha’s, it’s no surprise the positive attitude she carries towards her Caribbean culture saying, “Where do you find a culture of people that come together to celebrate like at Caribana? Everyone knows Reggae, Calypso and Soca. Even track and field – Jamaica we run tings! I’m so happy to be a Caribbean black woman. I’m not ashamed at all.” Quisha Wint, a proud mother with an up-beat spirit, utilizes her talent to make people happy. Her music serves as a getaway, giving people an escape from their daily woes. Whatever situation or issue she has, singing just brings joy to her and her voice transfers that joy to others. Singing is her meditation and funny enough, her medication. “Music is so healing. And it’s universal. Nobody can say that they don’t like music.” This woman, Quisha Wint, is so gifted that she has been dubbed by some as the female version of Luther Vandross. A compliment like that speaks for itself! Quisha is currently working on her next gospel album, and wants everyone to know that she truly loves what she does and hopes that they enjoy the messages and emotions in her music.

By: Chanté Salicksingh

Winston Paddy

Twitter: @Winston_Paddy

Jamaica, Jamaica. This authentic reggae artist born in Kingston is proud to represent his Jamaican heritage through the art of his performances. Winston Paddy is a well-known solo artist that is unlike many artists of this genre that you will come across. Although he classifies his music more as conscious, Paddy’s unique capabilities and vocals allow him to sing lovers’ rock, culture, and dancehall too. This versatile musician even writes for hip-hop artists. “Music is easy. There is nothing hard about it,” he states.

Paddy’s natural-born talent emerged at the young age of eleven where his first performance at a fashion show allowed him to be heard by Derrick Barnett, the base player of Sagittarius Band. This introduction to his vocals helped him be seen on some big shows in various parts of the island. Shortly after being presented with these opportunities, Winston had the chance to perform amongst popular sound systems such as: Stone Love, Inner City, Jam Rock and Exodus which helped take his career to another level. Winston always seemed to find much inspiration in Bob Marley because of the culture, truth, and positivity that he spoke within his music. This influence is reflected in Paddy’s writing as his music is full of songs with strong messages like in his favorite one titled ‘Unity’; produced in 1993, featuring Eddie Bullen, it talks about the fight for justice and unity. Paddy says that if he wasn’t pursuing reggae, soul music would be next in line. He even admits, “I’m a very good soul singer. I have actually performed soul music in shows with groups like The Manhattans, Drifters, Stylistics, and Chi Lite.” Winston also says that, in the next couple of years, he would love to collaborate with artists like ours truly, Kardinal Offishall, and Deborah Cox who he feels has strong vocals. Winston Paddy is a home-body by nature and a family man before anything else, his song ‘There’s No Me Without You’ is a song Paddy dedicated to his wife, who is also featured in the music video. Winston is no rookie to the music game in Toronto as he has performed everywhere from the Roger’s Centre, CNE, Guvernment, and at events like Jamaica Day. The word he wants to get out to Canadians is just to support Canadian art a lot more. He gives a special thanks to all those who have supported him throughout the years, such as the infamous producer Wee Pow, who played a large part in his success as an artist overall. Listen out for Winston Paddy on local college radio shows such as CHRY’s Cool Runnings, Radio Dubplate, and more. You can also hear his songs playing on G98.7. Be on the lookout, as this musical genius is soon to release his two newest videos titled ‘Bye-bye’ and ‘True’.

By: Chanté Salicksingh


Twitter: @TiffiesWorld

Born in the downtown Toronto area to Jamaican parents, this mother of four turned a punishment as a young girl, into a full-blown passion! Some consider her music dancehall while others are calling it pop-dancehall. Whatever it is – it’s hot, literally. Tiffie is an artist with a definite drive to succeed. As a little girl, Tiffie was told by her father, owner of MJ Recording Studio, to go to her room and write thoughts down on paper as a punishment for getting in trouble. She later had to sing her words aloud to an instrumental, usually one reggae-inspired. This ended up drawing her to love the outcome of the piece created. Tiffie, many may not know, was fortunate enough to be born into a Jamaican family whose ties were closely related to reggae prodigies such as Lady Saw and Beenie Man. Tiffie drew a lot of inspiration lyrically from Saw, who was engaged into her family. Tiffie’s first mixtape, Tiffie’s World, proved to be a huge hit in Toronto where there was no shortage of people at her release party in October of 2011 at Orange Room. Friends and strangers who were supporters of the artist gathered from near and far to fill the room to capacity that night and join in her celebration. A lot of love was shown to her from cities, like Montreal, where she performed tracks from her debut album. In Edmonton, she was presented with the opportunity to open up a showcase for Ann Apparel, a local clothing line. Although her songs seemingly have lot of adult content, Tiffie is not to be judged based on her music alone, as it’s something she chooses to have a lot of fun with and her song ideas are often creatively taken from conversations with friends. A lot of artists in Toronto do have the sex appeal but are too shy to express it; Tiffie is definitely not afraid to bring it forward and that confidence comes out in her video, “Secret Affair”, produced by Fizzle Productions. This is also one of her favorite songs because it is entertaining, as much as it is different, and sexy. This woman is definitely a go-getter and usually gets what she wants. You can even catch her co-hosting on CHRY’s Wizology radio show from time to time. This summer, she will be launching her whole new Tiffie’s World campaign which will include two new videos, her EP, a clothing line and the re-launch of her website. With a style that’s urban, unique and “Canadian”, Tiffie still states that she can appreciate being Caribbean, “At the end of the day, as much as Caribbean islands are separated, we are all family-oriented and still always come together when necessary.” This island star-in-the-making plans on taking her musical career to the next level simply by continuing to keep pushing on.

By: Chanté Salicksingh

JiXX a.k.a Jiggy

JiXXTwitter: @getjiggystayfly

YouTube video: Jixx f/ Dre Marone – Spoil You

Some artists struggle to find themselves while others just know exactly who and what they are destined to become. The latter is without a doubt the case for innovative emcee JiXX aka Jiggy. Hip-hip musicians of Toronto, pay attention. This handsome rapper, who considers himself an original Leader of the New School, is schooling rappers everywhere as his style is a brilliant combination of modern-day hip-hop with an old school flare. No rookie to the hip-hop scene, JiXX’s unique flow started getting recognized years ago when his tracks made appearances on local hip-hop DVD’s such as: King of the City, Rap Sheet DVD, and Ambush. This Toronto born, Guyanese-Jamaican artist feels that being West Indian further enhances his style, as many Caribbean people are known for their natural musical talent, and is proud to be affiliated with that. JiXX says he first fell in love with hip-hop after hearing Method Man’s You’re All I Need, featuring Mary J Blige, which dropped in 1995. A writer even before he was a musician, JiXX composes not only all of his own music but in addition to a team of writer’s from his record label LP Entertainment, composes music for other artists of various genres. JiXXThis young artist’s defining moment came at The Stylist Awards, which is where he really got noticed. For those who don’t know, that’s like the Source Awards but in Canada. After his track ‘Spoil You’ featuring Dre. Marone made Who’s Got Next? in 2012, JiXX knew that all his hard working was finally paying off. He has big plans for 2013; with his hot new mix tape LOTNS (Leader of the new school) part 2 that dropped this month, The Ryda and Jixx mixtape coming this Spring (which is a collaboration with Sly Tha Ryda, JiXX’s talented young brother) and his official EP anticipated to arrive shortly after. The Hip-Hop game in Toronto is no joke and neither is this lyrical genius whom many can barely keep up with. “I’m always trying to do things differently. I use different flows. I’m always switching up the style. A lot of artists just stay in the same box, I’m not too impressed. I’m not a hater; I’m a musician so I just respect the art. Most people are not putting in the hard work. They aren’t a stand out.”

JiXX has an undeniable passion and love for being both in the studio, and in front of a crowd.
He’s not one to sit on, and warns those with similar desires to “Go hard. Practice your craft. Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. Just grind, go for it. Don’t sit back and wait. Always be one step ahead.” Enough said.

By: Chanté Salicksingh


Daniella Night

Daniella-NightTwitter: @daniellanight

Facebook: D Night (under construction)

YouTube video: D Night – Under Pressure

Born in Winnipeg but raised in Toronto, this Canadian-Guyanese diva is nothing short of a shining star in the making. As a solo musician who began recording in 2004, Daniella Night has been writing her own songs, specializing overall in the effervescent sounds of the reggae genre. Focusing more on the realm of lovers-rock deeply rooted in her Caribbean culture, Daniella Night’s sultry voice on this music is one that will blow you away. You know a true artist when they are adamant in really making the music their own; “Lover’s Rock really allows me to create things in my own way, there are no limitations”, says Night. A talented writer whose love for God shines right through her music, especially in her song ‘Everything’, she exemplifies that passion is crucial in pursuing as career as a musician. While working hard as a full-time pharmacy technician, Daniella appreciates the moments that she gets to write her music which is usually during early mornings and blocks everything out until her pieces are complete. This girl is a perfectionist when it all comes down to it, which is more condoned in this business then it is shunned. When asked why she chose reggae over other genres, she simply replied, “It just seems to come naturally to me, besides if I can’t listen something over and over again, it’s probably not the type of thing I’d want to do.” She just loves reggae overall. Daniella expresses her favorite part about being Caribbean as the dancehall music. “I love the parties” she states.

Night is currently working on doing more live performances, creating a mix tape on top of the Daniella Nightdub plates that she has out which showcase her collaborations with artists like: Sure Star, and Fire Chess, and putting together her press kit. This diverse young artist, inspired by the beautiful sounds of reggae artist Alaine, and funky pop star Pink, began experimenting with contemporary sounds of R&B in more recent years. Her biggest accomplishment to date has been her music video titled “Pressure” which she filmed in 2011 and was produced by Denroy Dermaine from Product of Toronto. Look out for this appealing artist as she is definitely one bringing something different to the table. Her advice to upcoming artists: “Stick to what you know is right for yourself.”

By: Chanté Salicksingh