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  • Writer's pictureStevie Connor

The Rivoli Toronto: A Stage For Emerging Artists Where Music, Culture, and Legacy Collide


Canadian Music Week - Emerging Artists


On Wednesday, June 5, 2024, as part of Canadian Music Week, the Rivoli plays host to a stellar lineup of talent, featuring the winners of the 2023 RBC Emerging Musician Program. From the soulful melodies of Rachel Cousins to the infectious energy of J3M, each performance promises to captivate audiences and leave a lasting impression. Doors open at 7:30 PM, with the first act taking the stage at 8:00 PM — a night not to be missed, and best of all, admission is free!


Nestled in the heart of downtown Toronto, the Rivoli stands tall as an emblem of the city's vibrant cultural scene. Since its inception in 1982, this iconic venue has been a melting pot of artistic expression, hosting legendary performances that have left an indelible mark on Toronto's music history. Located at 334 Queen Street West, the Rivoli beckons both locals and visitors alike to immerse themselves in an unforgettable experience.



Rachel Cousins

From the soulful melodies of Rachel Cousins to the infectious energy of J3M, each performance promises to captivate audiences and leave a lasting impression. Doors open at 7:30 PM, with the first act taking the stage at 8:00 PM — a night not to be missed, and best of all, admission is free!


You’ll find her voice featured on tracks from a diverse roster of Newfoundland’s most successful artists. Most notably, the 2020 collaboration album Songs from Home and showcased Rachel alongside Alan Doyle, Fortunate Ones, The Ennis Sisters, and The Once. She has written songs and collaborated with Stella’s Circle Inclusion Choir , The NL Deaf Choir and the award winning Holy Heart Chamber Choir.


Rachel has grown her audience with an impressive list of sync placements in television and film since signing with Toronto’s CYMBA music publishing. She has had songs placed in tv movies, video games, Hockey Night in Canada and reality tv shows. She has written with artist from around the world including Nathan Ferraro (Lady Gaga, Jessie Reyez), Alex Tanas (Magic) Jenson Vaughn (Britney Spears, Madonna) Fionn & Alan Doyle.

Rachel was named Pop Artist of the year for Music NL in 2020 and 2021.Her self titled album also earned her an East Coast Music Award nomination in 2019.


Rachel just released her full-length album AURA, recently nominated for 5 Music NL awards. This year she won the Pop Artist of the Year and Solo Artist of the Year.

While pursuing a music career Rachel always finds time to contribute and lend her talents to many causes in the community. One of her most fulfilling is going to schools to speak to kids about bullying, mental health and music.




Murphy

Alberta-born artist Murphy is carving her way into the industry with each new future hit. Her bold pop melodies have already begun to make listeners hum along and she is preparing for the next big step in her promising career. Murphy has become known for her magnetic sound, cultivating driving melodies with a unique flair. The honest nature of her lyrics quickly turns listeners into fans, connecting on a deeper level to her audience’s emotions and experiences.


Today her sound is founded both on her love of pop music, alternative music and her love of EDM music. With over 750k+ streams on Spotify alone, her magnetism is irresistible both in her catchy melodies and in her exuberant, bubbly personality. She strives to create moments with her listeners, her live show a passionate performance which gracefully leads the audience through both their emotions and hers. Murphy is an artist that is hard to limit and even harder to forget. Her work continues to surprise listeners with its musicality and passion, catchy melodies that will be sure to have the audience coming back again and again.




J3M

J3M (pronounced “gem”) is the solo project of Toronto-based disco-pop party-starter Jemuel Roberts. The award-winning singer-songwriter and pianist has backed powerhouse artists such as Tanika Charles, Zaki Ibrahim, Amaal, The OBGMs, James Baley and more, both locally and internationally. His debut solo EP AFRONAUT, released in August 2022, made its debut on CBC Q last year and was even a top contender for the coveted CBC Searchlight Music prize. It’s a six-song cycle of love and loss, told via the tumultuous story between the titular Afronaut and his Alien lover.


Born in Ottawa to a Guyanese family, J3M has been performing for as long as he can remember. His influences range from gospel and disco-pop, to R&B and classical, and he’s been drawing on them to paint pictures, tell stories and share melodies that will live in your head rent-free.


He’s shared stages with Weezer, Brandy, July Talk, K’Naan, and the Arkells — just to name a few — played POP Montreal, too many Prides to count (Ottawa, Toronto, Saskatoon and Regina), Afropunk Paris, Osheaga and SXSW.


Whether it’s lighting up rooms with his sharp writing, production skills, or bringing down houses all over the world with his vivacious live performances, this unabashedly Black and queer artist is ready to get you dancing all night long.




TellTale

Amassing almost two million streams as an independent artist, Talltale is a singer, songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist who creates electronic/pop music with clever lyricism and forward-thinking production. Her single Tennis Club has received notable positive attention from outlets like Canadian Beats, Buzz Music, and VENTS Magazine, as well as a premiere for the self-directed and edited music video on Indie88. Her live show sets her apart from other artists in her genre, as she plays a standing electronic drum set while singing. Her previous work has earned accolades such as Best Electronic Song of 2018 in the Canadian Songwriting Competition, Artist to Watch at the EMAs, and two nominations as Electronic/Dance Artist of the Year at the Western Canadian Music Awards.


The lead single, Tokyo, off of her previous album, A Japanese Fever Dream, was placed on curated playlists and played across CBC, Sirius XM, and college radio, while the music videos for Tokyo and Shed My Skin were on rotation on Stingray’s 4k. Upon the end of the album cycle, Talltale was invited to perform at the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo. She regularly writes for other artists internationally and has participated in several CMPA international writing camps. Talltale was selected as an export-ready artist for the Canadian Passport Summit in 2022, and is currently rolling out a new AFA-funded mini-album titled sunshower.




Josh Alexander

Josh Alexander, the English pop sensation born on March 30, 2000, in Quebec City, is a versatile artist based in Montreal. He’s renowned as a songwriter, composer, and performer. His fluency in French, English, and Spanish has always been the wellspring of his emotional expression and creative inspiration. In 2018, he signed a pivotal management contract with Blu Dog Media, setting the stage for his songs “Je serai là” and “Not Alone” to feature in the globally distributed film “La Course des Tuques,” courtesy of Universal Music Canada in 2019. His debut EP, “Forevermore,” released in the fall of 2022, and his single “Hurricane” climbed to the 36th spot on Quebec’s ADISQ radio charts, amassing over 430,000 plays.


Since 2018, an impressive collection of 12 collaborative compositions have been released, Josh is set to enchant audiences once more with his latest bilingual offerings, “Jusqu’à toi” and “Fly Away,” slated for the upcoming film “La Légende du Papillon” or “Butterfly Tales” on October 16, 2023. In 2023, Josh continues to shine brightly, placing 8 collaborated works with esteemed Quebec artists such as Jeannick Fournier and King Melrose, along with contributing to popular TV animated series like L’Agent Jean/Agent Jon Le Bon and MiniJean Mini Bulles/Mini Jon Mini Maple distributed by Radio Canada. With each passing day, Josh Alexander solidifies his presence in the international music scene, and it won’t be long before his music resonates worldwide.



The Rivoli is a bar, restaurant and performance space, established in 1982, on Queen Street West in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The club originally earned a reputation as one of Canada's hippest music clubs, and many major Canadian comedy and musical performers have played on its stage, including The Kids in the Hall, Gordon Downie, The Frantics, Nirvanna The Band, Sean Cullen and the infamous Dark Shows.


The Rivoli was synonymous with Toronto's black-garbed Queen West scene. This reputation waned as the club's clientele became more eclectic and upscale, but the Rivoli's atmosphere is still unique.


Upon entering the Rivoli, guests are greeted by the harmonious blend of three distinct offerings under one roof. The ground floor sets the stage with a cozy restaurant in the front, where patrons can indulge in delectable dishes while soaking in the ambiance of local art adorning the walls. From mouthwatering Pad Thai to the infamous Wookie Balls, the menu offers a tantalizing array of options, with most dishes priced affordably under $25.


Venture further, and you'll discover the hidden gem of the backroom — an intimate space pulsating with the rhythm of live performances. Concerts, dance parties, and comedy shows light up the night, showcasing the diverse tapestry of talent that defines Toronto's cultural landscape. With a standing room capacity of 240 and flexible seating arrangements, the backroom morphs effortlessly to accommodate a myriad of events, from sold-out shows to corporate gatherings.


The Backroom entertainment schedule is as diverse as the city it calls home. Concerts, dance parties and comedy shows are the most common events. The standing room capacity is 240 although tables and chairs can be added if there are going to be fewer than 200 guests. The room is usually cleared for dance parties and sold-out shows. There is a dedicated bar in the Backroom.


As guests revel in the electrifying atmosphere of the Rivoli, they become part of a legacy that stretches back decades. From icons like Amy Winehouse and Arcade Fire to emerging talents on the cusp of stardom, the stage has witnessed an illustrious array of performers who have left an indelible mark on music history. It's a legacy that continues to inspire and shape the future of Toronto's cultural landscape.


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Canadian Music Week - Emerging Artists




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