Exclusive Interview – Unmasking GoldLink: Exploring the New Generation of Future Bounce

By | Community, Meet The Team | No Comments

Photo Credit: Rog Walker

Back in 2013, I was at a festival in Atlanta working alongside Henny Yeguzu when he had mentioned he manages an artist from the DMV named GoldLink, that I should check out his music and that he’s going to blow. Naturally, based off the strength of Henny’s commentary, I did check him out, and realized he was something special. GoldLink made his official debut in 2014 with the launch of The God Complex, a 9-track mixtape that barely reaches the 30-minute mark – but that didn’t matter, the tape received media attention from Complex and Pitchfork to FADER and HHDX, and the 22-year old has been well sought after since. Earlier this year, GoldLink announced that he’ll be working alongside the legendary Rick Rubin to create new music as a part of a VSCO feature – what that truly entails, we’ll find out – but in the mean time, we spoke to GoldLink about his musical journey thus far, his native sound, and future bounce.

GoldLink will be headlining the Manifesto-curated Red Bull Sound Select event supported by Keita Juma and A K U A on September 16. Follow @GoldLinkon Twitter, and RSVP for RBSS!

It seems as if every three months a new tour or festival has been announced since the release of The God Complex last year – and you’ve also publicly stated you’re not a big fan of touring. What have been the best or worst experiences thus far?

A Goldlink show is an experience that brings unique sounds and styles in one arena. Touring can be taxing, but it’s always dope seeing the different kinds of people who come to the show and actually enjoy themselves.

In a similar breath, aligning yourself with the Red Bull network is bound to take you all over the world. For an artist who originally didn’t want to have an image attached to the music and stood by the concept of anonymity, to having a world brand associated with your name, how do you stay true to your artistic goals?

Red Bull is a great brand that’s done more for new music than some labels have. Red Bull is a part of festivals like this, and work with artists like me because they understand the music and understand the culture, so it hasn’t interfered with my artistic goals much; it’s only bolstered those goals.

At the top of the year, the word trickled down that you were working with Rick Rubin. Can you elaborate on what’s happened since February when the news dropped? In a two-fold question, how do you believe you captured the attention of a veteran ear like Rick Rubin’s by pioneering a new take on an electro-rap sound through future bounce?

Rick became a legend by having an impeccable ear. He has created plenty of waves in his career, and I think it was just a matter of him recognizing a cultural shift in music, and spotting a fresh new sound that emerged from that shift. People with great ideas happen to find each other, and I’m so honored to be able to have the eyes and ears of someone like Rick on the music I make and what I’m trying to do.

In July, a little bird tweeted that a new album is coming through Soulection titled, And After That, We Didn’t Talk. Can you speak a little more about that titled, as well as your relationship with Soulection?

Soulection is family, from day one. My sound grew with theirs, and now we’re both at a place where the world is listening – I couldn’t be more grateful to work with such a talented and progressive group of people and artists.

What about Lakim, Kaytranada, Sango or any of the other usual suspects in your discography… do they play a role in the new music you’re working on?

That’s family. They’ll always play a role.

Vulnerability in music can make or break an artist – meaning, there’s a fine line between putting your life out for the public and being unable to relate to. With you, you push the boundaries just enough that people get a sense of who you are. Why is it important for you to keep a sense of vulnerability in your music – not just as an artist overall, but also as a young man in the rap game?

As human beings, we have a natural desire to relate to others, and for others to relate to us. You gain a deeper connection with people when you can get them to see the world the way you do, and to do that, you have to offer a little bit of yourself. Keeping a sense of vulnerability in my music as an artist and a person allows my fans more insight into who GoldLink is – why I sound the way I do, why I say the things I say. It’s important for developing a stronger connection.

For a lot of young rappers / rap music fans, the concept of a bar-to-bar rap is almost an ‘outdated’ concept – yet you still have a huge respect for storyteller rappers like Slick Rick or Big L. How do these pioneers play a role in how you make your own music?

Slick Rick and Big L are pioneers of this rap shit first and foremost, we wouldn’t have a lot of hip-hop without them. My influences from legends like them are more subtle. I don’t take stylistic cues from them, but I may try to combine Rick’s pithiness or L’s dexterity in a story I may write.

Your stance on music, and from what you’ve said thus far, is about the art above everything – a lot like Kanye West. At the recent MMVAs, when Kanye accepted his Vanguard award, he said “Listen to the kids.” As someone from this new generation of artists on the come up, and at just 22 years old, what do you believe he meant by this, and why should we be listening?

Kanye has been at the forefront of culture since he came into music. What he was saying was relatively simple: kids are the future, let them build it. Young people are living and creating in a world that’s more different than it’s ever been – trailblazing is no longer unique, it’s required. We’re all forging new, exciting paths, and instead of trying to control or command the kids, just listen to what they’re saying, and where they’re trying to go.

WATCH: GoldLink – Dance On Me

Meet the Team: Jade Jager Clark

By | Dance, Meet The Team | No Comments

Meet the Team is a short series of posts that will be introducing the public to the 2015 Manifesto team- the people who are running things from behind the scenes.

Jade Jager Clark joined the Manifesto team this year as the in house dance programmer. She first came to Manifesto to promote one of her many dance events, and was later contacted by Managing Director Judi Lopez to discuss her participation as the Dance Programmer for the 2015 Festival.

Jade is a passionate artist; a dancer at heart, she started Jade’s Hip-Hop Academy in her home city of Brampton in 2006. Since opening, she’s taught over 2,500 kids how to pop, lock, break and krump, and has provided dancers for almost 300 events including Unity Festival, and TV appearances on Breakfast Television and TVOkids. This past summer alone her group has performed over 18 times at PanAm and Para Pan Am, as well as YTV Beach Bash at Canada’s Wonderland.

To learn more about Jade’s Hip Hop Academy, head over to http://jadeshiphopacademy.com/

See her also on Twitter @Jadeshiphopacad and Youtube






Meet the Team: Judi Lopez

By | Meet The Team | No Comments

Meet the Team is a short series of posts that will be introducing the public to the 2015 Manifesto team- the people who are running things from behind the scenes.

Judi ‘JuLo’ Lopez is Manifesto’s Managing Director for the 2015 Festival- her second year in this role, and third as part of the festival. A passionate artist herself, she has been a dancer for over 15 years and into breaking for 4.

She was introduced to the Festival while living in London, England. Her roommate- also a Canadian and friends of the founders- showed her a recap video of the 5th year.

Her amazement of the magnitude of the festival and love of dance brought her to volunteer at the 6th annual festival. Following her involvement, Judi created her own organization called ‘KeepRockinYou’, where she runs a program called the Toronto B-Girl Movement. Her team hosted its first ever B-girl battle at Manifesto’s Live at the Square in 2013, where she hosted the first ever B-girl 2X2 battle to happen in Toronto.

Judi is still working on the Toronto B-Girl Movement Program, which is currently launching a new mentorship program called Past, Present & Future, which involves creating mentorships with influential B-boys from Toronto.

For more on Judi and her projects, head over to www.keeprockinyou.com  as well as twitter and instagram at @KeepRockinYou


Freshest Goods website launch

By | Meet The Team | No Comments

Freshest Goods website launch

Freshest Goods is making a digital space for itself with the launch of a brand new website this coming August. The new site will mean products available for purchase 24/7; no more waiting for pop-up shops and markets to get your hands on products from Toronto vendors and Manifesto brand products. Freshest Goods will become a one-stop-shop for anyone looking to rep local Toronto designs and support up and coming artists.

In addition to a store, the new website will feature a blog to profile local designers, interviews, photos, and editorial content. Freshest Goods will become a forum for new and aspiring designers to get tips and advice on designing and breaking into the retail world.

Until the launch, the shopify website will continue to run, and those interested in buying MNFSTO brand products can still do so through mnfsto.com/shop. Those who visit the site now have an opportunity to sign up for Free shipping, and vendor forms are being made available to those who would like to have their brands featured or sold on the new website.


By | Meet The Team | No Comments

Calling all street dancers.
Battle it out for cash prizes at Hip-Hop Playground: Battles & Beats

as part of Ontario Scene


Version française


TOP PRIZE $1000 for the Last Style Standing
3 prizes of $250


May 2, 2015
12:30 to 5:00pm

Maker Space North
250 City Centre, Bay 216


MUSIC BY DJ Jervy Jerv (Ottawa)

Free for all ages but you must pre-register by clicking here:


Hip Hop
Until there is one last style standing.
JUDGES (1 judge per style)
Crazy Smooth – Breaking (Ottawa)
Simon Klassic Xavier -Popping (Ottawa)
Pryo- Locking (Toronto)
Gadfly-Hip Hop Freestyle (Toronto)
Each style has its own cipher
Cipher times:
13:00-13:20 – Breaking
13:30-13:50 – Popping
14:00 – 14:20 – Locking
14:30-14:50 – Hip hop freestyle
Round 1
The judge of each style will choose the top 4 dancers from each cipher.
Round 2
Top 4 dancers in each style compete against each other until one winner is named.
Round 3
Each style winner will then compete against the others until the last style is standing.
Click here to register:



Venez nombreux concourir pour des prix en argent à la Zone hip-hop : rixes et rythmes


Événement de la Scène Ontario


GRAND PRIX 1000 $ pour l’épreuve de résistance (Last Style Standing)
3 prix de 250 $


2 mai 2015<
De 12 h 30 à 17 h

Maker Space North
250 City Centre, Bay 216


MUSIQUE DJ Jervy Jerv (Ottawa)

Gratuit pour danseurs de tous âges, mais préinscription obligatoire:


Voyons voir quel style l’emportera!
JUGES (1 juge par style)
Crazy Smooth – Breaking (Ottawa)
Simon Klassic Xavier – Popping (Ottawa)
Pryo – Locking (Toronto)
Gadfly – Hip-hop freestyle (Toronto)
Chaque style aura son moment de gloire!
13 h-13 h 20 – Breaking
13 h 30-13 h 50 – Popping
14 h-14 h 20 – Locking
14:30-14:50 – Hip-hop freestyle
Premier round
Le juge de chaque style choisira les 4 meilleurs danseurs de sa catégorie.
Deuxième round
Les quatre finalistes dans chaque style se feront la lutte jusqu’à ce qu’une personne soit déclarée gagnante.
Troisième round
Les gagnants de chaque style s’affrontent jusqu’à ce qu’un style l’emporte.
INSCRIVEZ-VOUS pour prendre part à la compétition:


In Conversation With Emmanuel Jal

By | Community, Events, Meet The Team, Music | No Comments

Artscape + Manifesto presents the latest In Conversation with… series featuring Emmanuel Jal.

Musician. Philanthropist. Political Activist. Humanitarian. Visionary. Born as a child soldier in Sudan without a known birth date, Emmanuel Jal has risen from his struggles to be recognized as a man with limitless identities.


Listening to his singles like, “War Child”, “We Want Peace”, and “My Power” – it’s apparent that Emmanuel Jal is one of those artists that has something powerful to say. His music is just as much about the poetry as the message behind the lyrics. Peter Gabriel, lead vocalist of Genesis, refers to Emmanuel Jal as having “The potential of a young Bob Marley.”

Recognized for his talents, Emmanuel Jal has performed alongside artists like Nelly Furtado, DMC, Joss Stone, Nile Rodgers and Alicia Keys. He has also performed for Live 8, Nelson Mandela’s 90th Birthday Concert, and the One Concert for his Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Jal’s actions extend far beyond his words. As a philanthropist he established Gua Africa, a charity who’s mission is to develop education in order to restore communities that have suffered from the effects of war and poverty. For his dedication to humanitarianism, Emmanuel has been awarded the Calgary Peace Prize, the Humanitarian Award, the Dresden Peace Prize, and he has also been honoured by Ban Ki Moon at the UN for his peace efforts in South Sudan.

Hosted by Mustafa the Poet, the evening promises to offer an intimate and revealing conversation with Emmanuel about his incredible story and flourishing career.


Event details:

Tuesday, October 14
8:30PM – 10:30PM
Daniels Spectrum – Ada Slaight Hall
585 Dundas St. E.

Go to the Facebook event for more details.


Xolisa – “Four One Six (Recognize)” – Manifesto Mentor Class

By | Meet The Team | No Comments

“Four One Six (Recognize)” is the latest single to be released by Toronto emcee and producer, Xolisa (pronounced Koh-Lee-Sah). The track was created as a direct message to the many underground artists and entrepreneurs who make up the city, as well as to those residing outside of Canada, boldly telling them that not only is this young woman a force to acknowledge-but so are the waves of artists, movements, organizations and more who are working hard day in and day out- to pursue their passions. Be sure to keep an eye out for Xolisa’s second self-produced album dropping November 28th, 2014 entitled, Rhyme Until My Spirit Needs No Words to Fly. As well as the official video for “Four One Six (Recognize)” due this winter- which features a very up-close and personal view of Toronto, from one woman’s perspective.

Manifesto’s ongoing goal is to help support and develop well-rounded young artists in Toronto, and arm them with the tools to succeed. With this vision in mind, Manifesto developed a 4 class curriculum, entitled The Mentor Class Series, carried out over this past November, December & January. The classes took place in the basement of Manifesto’s office at 37 Bulwer St, and were a resounding success. Each class was moderated by David “Click” Cox, and included expert panelists like Illangelo, Rich Kidd, Skratch Bastid, Gaurav Sawhney, Katrina Lopes, Cameron Wright, and many more… From there we invited young artists who attended the classes to record at Dream House Studios and this month we will be showcasing some of the work recorded.

This music would not be possible without the support of Dave Plowman, Calvin Hartwick & Adrien Gough at Dream House Studios & ArtsVest.