BY: KRISTINA RAMCHARRAN
Her name is known across Toronto and for anyone who is a fan of 90’s hip-hop. Michie Mee is commonly referred to as Canada’s Queen of Hip-Hop or First Lady of Hip-Hop. With connections to other greats like LL Cool J, Sinead O’Connor and Salt N Pepa, she is known for her distinctive sound as being one of the first artists to fuse dancehall and reggae into hip-hop.
From humble beginnings, Michie grew up in Toronto after migrating from Kingston, Jamaica, where she resided in the Jane and Finch area. She received her big break after being recognized for her rapping skills while she was a teen. But Michie wanted to make sure that youngsters aspiring to be artists have the resources they need to kick-start their career as an artist.
When asked which cause was closest to her heart, Michie responded with “community.” “I think performance in community and outlet platforms for artists or students who are interested in the arts at a young age,” she added.
“Right now I’m recording. So, I’m travelling, just coming back from New York and New Jersey,” said Michie on the latest happenings in her career. While travelling, she said she enjoys looking at the support and programs other cities have for young talent and their artistic abilities.
“So I’d like to just show up in different cities now and look at those events, since being a part of and performing at the local ones here.” Michie finds this as a way to find new views on helping the rise of upcoming talent in the Toronto area.
Currently, she does have three upcoming shows on her roster, including the Toronto Caribbean Business Social and the Canada 150 shows being held at Nathan Phillips Square.
Her recent community involvement also includes her role as a panelist during a Women in Music panel, where she discussed the importance of women in the hip-hop industry.
Her advice to the women and struggling artists in Toronto and beyond is to “Nurture your craft.” She also said “spreading your talent in terms of doing,” is a way to get exposure.
Speaking from her own experiences, Michie says she dabbled between being an actress and a musician to expand her reach while doing two things she enjoys.
“It’s a digital world right now,” added Michie, as the tools of social media and the internet can be used greatly to an upcoming artist’s advantage. She went on to urge young and upcoming artists to do the most they can to gain exposure and included that playing festivals and getting show bookings are an important part of creating a musical career.
“Do what you have to do to get yourself out there, for emerging artists. So people will know what you sound like.” From there, Michie added that the fans will begin pouring in with support and “they’ll kind of go on your journey with you.”
Michie’s next upcoming appearance will be on May 7th at the Toronto Caribbean Business Social, where she will address the crowd from a business standpoint.
She said she will be speaking on how to be an independent artist in the music industry. “The future of independence, what it means to every artist uniquely. And then just how hard it is and how cool it is just staying above water with minimum budget,” said Michie on giving a sneak peak of her keynote speech for the social.
For more of her upcoming appearances, she said to stay posted to her website michiemee.com. She noted both her website and social media can keep you up to date on the world of Michie Mee.