Toronto, ON (May 19th, 2022) – AFROWAVETO, Toronto’s newest Black music festival in partnership with Live Nation Canada, announces its 2022 event lineup. Headlined by Grammy Award-winning Jamaican dancehall artist Sean Paul and featuring a stacked lineup of local and international artists including Jamaican singer Stalk Ashley, whose style of R&B is blended effortlessly with strands of dancehall and reggae, cross-genre singjay and producer Projexx, Brampton-based 2022 JUNO-nominated soul artist Zenesoul, African (Angola) born and Canadian raised DoloTheGifted, and Dynesti AKA Dyna, who dishes royal hip-hop and soul with a “dash” of Rudegyal.
Founded in 2019 and spearheaded by Jamaican-Canadian artist, Lexxicon, the AFROWAVETO mission is to provide growth opportunities for Black multi-genre musicians working within the Toronto music industry and to produce world class festival moments featuring international superstars. “This festival means everything for Black music in general, and dancehall and reggae culture in Toronto in particular. We started with monthly showcases and now moving to a festival format will allow us to showcase some of Toronto’s amazing talent as well as bring some legendary international acts to the city,” says AFROWAVETO founder Lexxicon. “We’re here to build the Afro-Caribbean musical community here in Canada to lay the foundation to birth the world’s next Canadian superstar.”
After debuting online in 2021, this will be the first year that the acclaimed AFROWAVETO festival takes place in-person, with an incredible night at HISTORY , Live Nation Canada’s newest state-of-the-art entertainment venue.
AFROWAVETO 2022 – Artist Lineup
SEAN PAUL – His global breakout success began in Toronto, after recording key urban music crossover collaborations with Baby Blue Sound Crew featuring rapper Kardinal Offishall and R&B singer Jully Black on “Money Jane” and working with legendary Toronto video director, Director X, on Billboard hit singles “Gimme the Light” and “Get Busy”. Paul has become the personification of the dancehall genre. For just a word or phrase from their mouth to personify the entire artform. Sean Paul is one of those artists. Let him say “Dutty yeah” in his commanding voice, and you’ll hear the nuance of dancehall. Across seven studio albums plus, Sean Paul has taken the genre global, from its origin in clubs in Kingston, Jamaica to the top of the charts, packing some of the biggest venues in more than 120 countries. Only Paul has the distinction of being the first Jamaican to play shows in Kazakhstan and Madagascar.
STALK ASHLEY – Based in Kingston, Jamaica, Stalk Ashley’s style of R&B is blended effortlessly with strands of dancehall and reggae to create a concoction that is uniquely hers. Making her mark with addictive melodies and a self-assured delivery, Stalk Ashley’s lyrics are honest and often pretty steamy. Last year, Stalk Ashley was recruited by Stormzy to cover Beyonce’s “Brown Skin Girl” alongside him at BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge back in September. Recently, Stalk Ashley teamed up with “In2” hitmakers WSTRN for the song “Deserted”, as well as dropping “Open.” The songs are her first releases this year, following a trio of singles last year and a debut in 2018.
PROJEXX – Fitting into dancehall’s mold was never the plan for Projexx—he’s always wanted to dismantle it. The singjay/producer may only be 22 years old, but his desire to redraw the genre’s boundaries has been close to his heart as long as he can remember. In fact, it’s in his blood. Pulling from his own rich lineage, as well as a childhood spent traveling between the musical hotspots of his native Kingston, Jamaica, and the greater Toronto area (Brampton), Projexx embodies a worldly perspective which he brings to his work. By fusing dancehall with reggae, Afrobeats, R&B, and hip-hop—among other heady strains—he has become one of the genre’s most relentless experimenters, winning fans and collaborators across a vast swath of scenes and styles.
ZENESOUL – 2022 Juno-nominated Soul artist from Brampton. Born in Nigeria, she began writing songs at 11 years old. Incorporating R&B and Neo-soul into her art, Zenesoul has created a sound of her own. In August 2020, ZENESOUL released her sophomore EP, Coffee which demonstrated her growth and skill in songwriting and composition. Coffee was featured on CTV Morning Live, EarMilk and several music blogs. Leading up to her next release, Brown Sugar, Zenesoul released the project’s first single, “Love and Be Loved,” in early November 2020, featuring Aaron Ridge. The single quickly became her biggest hit, gaining almost 2,000,000 streams since its release, and was featured on major Spotify and Apple Music playlists and radio stations across North America and Europe.
DOLOTHEGIFTED – Speaks four languages (English, Spanish, Portuguese, French) and was born in Angola. He migrated to Ottawa at an early age where he spent most of his life, then moved to Los Angeles to pursue his music and acting career. He has eight years of experience in acting and has appeared in several successful hip-hop music videos and commercials for bank and sport companies. He decided to move to Toronto to pursue his music career and has been influenced by different artists like Cesaria Evora, Michael Jackson, Bob Marley, DMX and Kanye West. His catchy flows work across genres; TRAP music, R&B & Latin-vibes involving Spanish and Portuguese, and Afrobeats.
DYNESTI – Nicknamed Dyna for serving music that hits like food for the soul, she welcomes her listeners into “The Dyna” where there is nothing specific on the menu; her only goal is that you will leave feeling better than you felt coming in. Dyna is half Jamaican, half Trinidadian, and “Dyna” is also how Caribbean people pronounce “Diner”. In 2021, her debut album The Dyna was released in five parts: Say Grace, Break Fast, Lunch, The Last Supper, Dessert.