Xpressions: Part 2

(Designed by Marsha Joseph)

Sahra Yousuf

Poetry

Bio: Sahra Yousuf is a poet who has been writing and performing poetry for the last five years. It started in high school when she attended a poetry workshop with a friend. Sahra’s confidence grew and she’s been in love with poetry ever since. The idea of how beautifully poets are able to eloquently tell their story is something Sahra has always loved doing. She continues to share her poetry on social media as well as facilitate poetry workshops. Instagram

Submission 1: Crafted”

Description: “This poem is about everything that happened with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and my thoughts and emotions during the current Black Uprising.”


Submission 2: “Home

Description: “This poem is about what home looked like in my mother’s eyes when she was in Somalia as a child, growing up and then immigrating to Canada. Some of the beautiful memories mentioned here are from conversations my mother and I had.”


Kaku Tumi

Poetry

Bio: Kaku Tumi is a Ghanaian creative currently based in Toronto. He is currently completing a psychology degree at Ryerson University, while pursuing his aspirations of making music full-time. Instagram

Submission: “Darkskin Queen”


Affrica Odessa Spence

Spoken Word

Bio: With roots in Calgary, Alberta, hopes and curiosity took Affrica from the West of Canada to Montreal then Toronto. All smirks and smiles, this second-generation woman loves hard in family, friends, and art. Be it painting, video work, design, or poetry, Affrica has always had a need to express. Painting, in particular, has been a self-taught passion, which has given the artist a platform to explore their identity, femininity, and Blackness. Website

Submission: “Sexless

Description: “Lust, love, then breakup is a hard enough process. And replaying the memories of simpler times only adds salt to a broken heart.”


Jasmine Kiara

Music

Bio: My name is Jasmine Kiara and I am a 21-year-old R&B singer, songwriter, actress, and multi-instrumentalist based in Toronto, Ontario. Since 2018, I have participated and performed in Toronto’s widely known HoneyJam; been chosen to write in SOCAN’s Toronto songwriting workshops; and independently co-produced, wrote, and released my debut five-track EP (gaining over 75,000 streams across Apple Music and Spotify alone to date). Instagram

Submission: “Like That”

Description: “I wrote it two years ago pretty much in tears over a piano. I was in an unhealthy relationship and didn’t want to keep bugging my friends about it, so I just wrote about it — kind of like my own personal therapy session. It’s about wanting attention from someone that you know doesn’t deserve it, and if for the moment you’re only able to get it physically then that’s what you’ll settle for.

“I’m not in that place anymore, but I’m grateful for the lessons that relationship taught me and the fact that it gave me this song.”


Sofinari & Ajhani Azure

Music

Ajhani Azure: “My name is Ajhani Azure and I am a 20-year-old independent artist, producer, and vocalist from Brampton, Ontario. My goal as an artist is to stand out with my unique approach and sound, inspire others to push boundaries and break the mold, as well as become the first tide of a new wave of genre-defying and groundbreaking artists from Toronto.” Instagram | Linktree

Sofinari: “I’m Sofinari, a 20-year-old singer songwriter out of Toronto, Canada. I make R&B music that explores many themes such as self confidence, new love, and heartache. With beautiful melodies and harmonies, I hope to pull in listeners with messages that are both relatable and uplifting, and keep them coming back for more with my unique style of music.” Instagram

Submission: “Oasis

Ajhani: “Oasis was not written with anyone in particular in mind, rather as an ode to my future partner. I wrote it when I was 17 years old, in my first year of university and it stands as a hallmark of my growth in terms of understanding love! Oasis truly captures my youthful perspective of relationships, as at the time I had just recently come to understand that relationships are more than just two people displaying affection towards one another. Relationships consist of understanding that you and your partner both bring your traumas and unresolved issues into your relationship, and must acknowledge and heal from them together. From the pain and drought of past deserts, you can be their water, their rest, their remedy, their oasis.”
Sofinari: “In terms of my contribution, I was able to add a layer of texture and emotion to the chorus to emulate my interpretation of Ajhani’s lyrics through vocalization. It was a pleasure to be featured on the track and it was definitely a great start in both of our musical journey.”

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By Kaela Tenn

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