Guide, Lifestyle

Guide: 12 Awesome Torontonians to Keep an Eye On in 2019

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This insane city’s already had a ton of talent come out of it. We all know who Drake is, so here are a 12 Torontonians to keep an eye on this year. They’re the movers. the shakers, and the next big names in hometown talent. We’re pretty proud. Only crying a little.

KARENA EVANS

torontonians to keep an eye on karena evans

This local gal is the mastermind behind Drake’s most viral videos. Last year the duo broke the Internet with the Evans’-directed “God’s Plan,” “I’m Upset,” and “Nice For What” videos. Evans was the first woman ever to win the Prism Prize’s prestigious Lipsett Award honouring unique approaches to video direction and production. Oh, and she’s only 23. Watch for her moving into TV and film this year.

NAV

torontonians to keep an eye on nav

This Canadian hip-hop artist and producer has a spot on The Weeknd’s label and made his literal musical debut at The Weeknd’s 2017 Starboy tour. Talk about jumping in headfirst! Nav told Rolling Stone that the first time he ever “stepped on stage was the O2 Arena in London, U.K. on The Weeknd’s tour. There were 20,000 people.” No biggie.

RUPI KAUR

torontonians to keep an eye on rupi kaur

You’ve definitely seen the pop star of poetry’s words all over your Instagram feed. Her debut collection, Milk and Honey, became a New York Times bestseller literally overnight. Oh, and she’s got a cool 3.5  million Instagram followers to boot. The world’s been hanging on her every word, and we’re anticipating a third installment to fly off the shelves again.

SHAWN MENDES

torontonians to keep an eye on shawn mendes

What had you accomplished when you were 20? Nothing? Yeah, same. This QT may have his mom do his laundry, but he’s making serious waves in music. His self-titled 2018 album peaked right at the top of the Billboard 200 chart. Keep an eye out this year: He’ll be flexing his acting chops as the lead in Ivan Reitman’s Summer of Love.

JESSIE REYEZ

torontonians to keep an eye on jessie reyez

That girl on the Calvin Harris Track? She’s one of our own. Jessie Reyez won Breakthrough Artist of the Year at 2018’s Junos and her EP Kiddo already has two huge singles. Keep an eye on her, we’re suspecting she could be one of the next breakouts for the Canadian music scene.

GUILLERMO DEL TORO

torontonians to keep an eye on guillermo del toro

A true Toronto transplant, del Toro has been shooting in the city for over a decade. Sure, he’s from Mexico and also has a residence in Los Angeles, but we’re going to give the Oscar Winner the benefit of the doubt and call him an honourary Torontonian (especially considering how much work he’s given Toronto’s film industry). In 2019, he’ll produce horror film Antlers, direct Pinocchio for Netflix, and make an animated cameo on The Simpsons. 

JESSICA MULRONEY

torontonians to keep an eye on jessica mulroney

This very posh, very polished local launched herself when she emerged as Meghan Markle’s personal stylist. Those oh-so daring ripped jeans, the noticeable lack of pantyhose, and the effortless cool-girl vibe are compliments of this fashion mogul.

MATTY MATHESON

torontonians to keep an eye on matty matheson

The culinary brain behind Dead Set on Life and It’s Suppertime! has more attention on him than some Toronto top chefs. His debut cookbook became an instant bestseller. Further, his rave-worthy pizza joint, Maker, just opened a second location in North Toronto. Additionally, his new restaurant opens this summer. He’s riding the Toronto food wave biiiig time!

BARONESS VON SKETCH

torontonians to keep an eye on baroness von sketch

These are the queens of Canadian comedy. Their hit show was praised by Vogue as “The Best Thing To Come Out Of Canada Since Ryan Gosling.” In an industry where women are finally sharing the spotlight, these ladies are at the forefront of the charge. Trust us, they’re freaking hilarious.

STEPHAN JAMES

torontonians to keep an eye on stephan james

After starring as Jesse Owens in Race, Stephan James earned a Canadian Screen Award for Best Actor. As if that wasn’t good enough, he added his acting chops to If Beale Street Could Talk and Homecoming alongside Julia Roberts. Watch for this young Canadian mega-talent in 17 Bridges next.

NOUR HADIDI

torontonians to keep an eye on nour hadidi

This former financial analyst now writes for CBC Comedy and The Beaverton television show and co-hosts a monthly show at Toronto’s Comedy Bar called So Fresh N’ So Clean. She’s filled an important niche in comedy and addresses topics like racism and sexism with effortless humour. Keep an eye out for her comedic genius on This Hour Has 22 Minutes.

KLEESHAY

torontonians to keep an eye on kleeshay

Remember when you’d take a lyric from your fav song and slap that baby in the caption of your shiny new Facebook profile pic? This is Kleeshay’s inspo. His art takes references from kid’s themes in Sailor Moon, Dr. Seuss, Power Rangers, and Disney and makes them into street art. He’s been running solo shows for a few years now and we expect big things in his future. And maybe some caption inspo…

These are definitely the Torontonians to keep an eye on this year. They’re making us feel a tad unaccomplished but it’s okay, we’re stoked for them!

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