The Northern Hussle providing a platform for urban talent in Toronto

Published: 03 January 2015 | by Janine Dube
The Northern Hussle providing a platform for urban talent in Toronto
eNaledge and Alex H - Photo supplied by The Northern Hussle
The origins of Hip-Hop may lie in the US, but Canada, particularly Toronto, is proving to be a fierce competitor.

Toronto, has produced some of the biggest names in music including Drake and The Northern Hussle, an online documentary series, is there to unearth and showcase the city's urban talent.

Alex H - photo supplied

The Northern Hussle is the brainchild of eNaledge and Alex H and in an interview with OneVybe, they said: "The Northern Hussle highlights artists of all walks of life; from Hip-Hop artists and their producers, event organisers and their events, to graffiti artists and their street work, directors and their productions."

They aim to make The Northern Hussle 'the optimal source' of information north of the American border in a way that is entertaining and informative.

The online platform is ideal for providing the world with access to Toronto's artists, and the duo's long-term plan consists of covering talented artists across Canada.

eNaledge in front of the camera - photo supplied

The Northern Hussle was started after eNaledge got back from a six-year hiatus in Nigeria.

He wanted to see what was going on in the Toronto Hip-Hop scene and following significant online research, he concluded that there was not very much press for artists of the genre in the city.

He decided to document these artists with an objective to complete one full length documentary.

Within the first month, a mutual friend introduced eNaledge to Alex H, an aspiring director and producer.

They began to meet on a daily basis, building a foundation for what would eventually become more than just one full-length documentary, but a weekly series in which they dubbed The Northern Hussle (TNH).

eNaledge and Alex H - photo supplied

"As the artists continue to emerge, we continue to grow, and Toronto is only the tip of the iceberg," eNaledge and Alex H told OneVybe.

Being web based allows The Northern Hussle to be dynamic, bring about artist collaborations and be open to an endless supply of sponsorship opportunities.  

The pair said, "Toronto has had some big names come out of it: Drake, The Weeknd, Maestro Fresh Wes, Michie Mee, Jelleestone, Saukrates, Kardinal Offishall, Nelly Furtado; just to name a few."

They identified that the artists work hard and spend many hours creating their music and perfecting their craft and The Northern Hussle will also showcase the personnel behind the scenes, including engineers, promoters, dancers, video directors.

This will enable the platform to be "the one place to go to get a better understanding of who these artists are, and where their passion comes from."

eNaledge and Alex H in action - photo supplied

The Canadian government plays an active role in the growth of its artists, but according to eNaledge and Alex H's observations, a lot of people still don't know how to go about receiving financial aid and they believe that this could be the biggest problem for artists.

In terms of marketing, they say there is a lot of promotion for the artists on local sites and blogs, but the appeal doesn't seem to be reaching a global audience.

The Northern Hussle would like to remedy this by promoting artists worldwide because Toronto certainly has the talent.

eNaledge - photo supplied

eNaledge and Alex H said: "As with any new endeavour, we have been faced with countless amount of challenges but the biggest is time management, followed closely by funding.

"We both work full-time jobs to fund the project, so it takes a lot out of us to finish an 8-12 hour work day to pay rent, then get the energy to go out and capture the Hip-Hop scene.

"But it's the recognition and gratitude we receive from these artists that help us to overcome mental and physical fatigue.

"You learn so much from each individual that every encounter, you are given a new perspective on music, culture and how lifestyle plays a big role in each persons world.

"In the beginning, we went with the 'vibe'. If we heard something was going on, we just went and hoped for the best. From those experiences, we gained many connections to promoters and artists themselves."  

The Northern Hussle on YouTube

With time, The Northern Hussle started getting access to the artists and promoters individually and gained insight on where their inspirations come from.

On the most memorable artists they had interviewed, eNaledge and Alex H said, "Local Toronto artist SepTo, his lyrical abilities are virtually unmatched within the underground scene.

"On a higher scale, Classified, from Halifax Nova Scotia. No doubt a veteran in the Canadian Hip-Hop scene.

"Not to downplay the rest of the artists, we have learned more from all of these artists put together than we did when first began."

On what it takes to work with the Northern Hussle, eNaledge and Alex H say, "As long as it's urban, and the individual has the drive and determination to achieve their goals, we want to know who they are."

Alex H and eNaledge in action - photo supplied

For more information:
- OneVybe/The Nothern Hussle

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