I reached a few big milestones in my career this year and have been so proud of all my hard work to get here, and of course have shared my gratitude for the people who helped along the way. It’s one of the reasons why I started The Hand That Helped. It’s also why I continue to believe that offering creators, performers, and artists just starting in their career my platform is so important, because that would have meant the world to me when I first started.
So as we go into a busy Pride month, I thought I would celebrate Pride Month with the Queer artists making waves in the First Up with RBCxMusic program.
For those of you who aren’t aware yet, “First Up with RBCxMusic is a program developed to showcase and elevate emerging musicians and recording artists from across Canada. The new Featured Artists will benefit from unique performance opportunities, mentorship, funding, as well as media and promotional marketing support from RBCxMusic. The program is one example of RBC’s ongoing commitment to the arts, which through the RBC Foundation and RBC Emerging Artists, has invested more than $119 million in support of over 35,000 artists since 2007.”
And as if that wasn’t exciting enough, Live Nation Canada, the country’s leading live entertainment producer and promoter, will continue to provide valuable performance and exposure opportunities for Featured Artists. This year, artists will receive the opportunity to be opening acts at Live Nation-produced shows at theatre-level venues across the country like RBC Echo Beach (Toronto, ON), Danforth Music Hall (Toronto, ON) and Commodore Ballroom (Vancouver, BC).
Other key partners and program offerings in 2023 include:
- AWAL, the music industry’s leading alternative to traditional music label deals, supported with the talent identification and selection component of the program. AWAL joined as a partner of First Up with RBCxMusic in 2022.
- Canadian nonprofit, Conscious Economics, will also return as a First Up with RBCxMusic partner to co-host an artist summit with the Featured Artists later this year. Building on the summit’s success in 2022, the event will guide Featured Artists through a variety of experiential learning seminars, development programs, networking opportunities, financial therapy and more.
- Yangaroo, the largest North American network for music promotion, will provide educational resources for First Up with RBCxMusic Featured Artists while working with them to distribute their music to radio and TV broadcasters.
Why is this so important? It’s not easy breaking into the music industry, and especially in Canada. An opportunity like this not only offers financial support, but connections to the media and ultimately to all of you as an audience.
Of the amazing roster of artists selected this year, I wanted to celebrate three of them who identify as Queer and are making rainbow waves during Pride month as their spectacular careers kick off in fabulous new ways.
the della kit, Charlie Houston and Syd Bomek are all incredible artists that have stolen my heart and I have been exploring each of them for their gorgeous talent and energy. In a world full of reasons to find differences, I wanted to celebrated these incredible queer artists to all of you who want to help me uplift, celebrate and showcase diversity and the beauty in being ourselves.
I want to end this blog post with this. If this topic is something you disagree with, I hope you put it down and find a topic you vibe with. Please, for the sake of all of our community feeling a lot of things this month, don’t lead with hate. You don’t have to love and embrace us, but you do have to respect us.
Wishing you all a fabulous Pride weekend full of laugher, these artists and their music, fabulous photos and so much joy.
I hope you enjoyed reading and that if you’re not already, follow me on all platforms at @dothedaniel
Photos: RBCxMusic, Daniel Reyes Cocka and participating brands
Don’t forget to be kind & laugh a little more this year
*Please note that this may be a sponsored post and promotional consideration may have been offered by participating brands – our disclosure can be found at all times by clicking here.