This year flew by incredibly fast! It feels like just yesterday, everyone was anticipating what 2017 would bring and now we are winding down and planning out steps for 2018.
For me, this year was fascinating and filled with so many major changes that I still can’t completely believe. Here are 12 of my top crazy moments for 2017:
The Flight That Turned Back
Everyone knows that flying has it’s unsavory moments but at times, the strange things that happen on board can go from odd to outright perplexing! On a 10 AM West Jet flight to New York, a mandatory deicing delayed the plane by 30 minutes. Once in the air, everything seemed to be going alright and the captain had even announced that the decent into LaGuardia airport had began. Everyone prepared for landing… only, landing seemed to take a long while. After nearly 20 minutes of “landing”, we were all back in the air and the captain announced that the flight could not land due to a snow storm and that the flight was bound back for Toronto. Many thought it was a joke, but once viewing the CN tower an hour later, we all knew he was serious. We crossed customs by noon and could not get on another flight until 9 PM.
10:00am – plane leaves Toronto for New York City 11:00am – plane gets to New York City 11:01am – plane gets turned back to Toronto as it cannot land due to bad weather 12:00pm – back in Toronto What a morning! #torontomusic #torontomodel #saturn #libra #soul #moon #dreamer #fashionista #african #blackgirlsrock #melanin #southsudan #kakwa #toronto #instagood #musicbiz #beauty
Shooting the Music Video
I think we can all agree that ‘You & Me’ deserved a music video. When the time finally came around to getting the video done, I was extremely excited. Matt and Darnell of MC2 Music Media and clothing designer Sadi Johnson (Phresh Empire) jumped on board with colorful ideas. It was a full house! We had a blast dressing up, laughing, dancing and eating pizza during filming.
Meeting Nelly Furtado
The morning started off with 4 AM alarm, a 10 minute speed pack and jetting out the door and to the airport with only a mug of coffee in hand. Everything seemed normal: a flight to Boston for a show in Dennis Port in the evening. It didn’t quite work like that. The flight was cancelled without notification. I was thinking “surely, there was another Porter flight leaving for Boston, right?” The answer was NOPE! After 4 hours bouncing between 2 airports and 6 airlines, contacting everyone I knew in the air industry and doing all I could do to keep calm in the midst of cancelling a show, I called Emmanuel Jal, who managed to pull me out of my meltdown and coerce me to join him at Jal Gua Cafe for a meeting with Nelly Furtdao…
Not much coercion required there…
And the Juno for World Music Artists of the year goes to… Okavango African Orchestra! It was a spectacular moment to join the group and their manager Nadine McNulty. It also was quite exciting to meet Tasha The Amazon, another one of my idols!
Peace For South Sudan
South Sudan has been enthralled in a civil war that has affected thousands of people – including woman and children – in atrocious ways. To bring awareness to this, I asked a few friends to help me do a demonstration in the cold at Yonge & Dundas Square in Toronto. Read more about it here: The Story Behind #peaceforsouthsudan
“Yes, it would be unnecessarily standing half naked in public and being exposed to cold weather and scrutiny, but I could just go back to bed in peace at the end of the day whereas those suffering in the war cannot, so it was worth it.” Click on the link in the bio to read about the Story Behind #peaceforsouthsudan #torontomusic #torontomodel #the6 #saturn #libra #soul #moon #dreamer #fashionista #african #blackgirlsrock #melanin #southsudan #kakwa #toronto #instagood #losangelesmusic #newyorkmusic #musicbiz #beauty
A Stylish Show With Sadi Johnson of Phresh Empire
It’s no lie that Sadi Johnson can be really creative! This award winning designer put together a fashion show with a few local designers and stole the breaths of everyone at the show and I got the honors of performing!
So many exciting things coming your way! 💋 Stay tuned! Video by @riz_alice Outfit by Miss Beida #torontomusic #torontomodel #the6 #saturn #libra #soul #moon #dreamer #fashionista #african #blackgirlsrock #melanin #southsudan #kakwa #toronto #instagood #losangelesmusic #newyorkmusic #musicbiz #beauty
Back to Back Shows & Shoots
All of July was my biggest highlight for July. Sounds cheesy right? Well, numerous memorable back to back shows and photo shoots can do that to you. Everything from rocking out on stage at Afrofest to a fundraising show for South Sudan in Ottawa, to a multicultural shoot with Peter Lengyel. A schedule full of rehearsal, travel and lots of work could annoy many, but for a musician it’s a dream come true!
Surviving through the storms stronger than ever… 👑 Photo by: @bonaventurefineartphotography Makeup by: @cd.makeup Head Dress & Bodice from: @snobstuff Photo Assistant: @ocan03 #torontomusic #torontomodel #the6 #saturn #libra #soul #moon #dreamer #fashionista #african #blackgirlsrock #melanin #southsudan #kakwa #toronto #instagood #losangelesmusic #newyorkmusic #musicbiz #beauty
It was a nearly a last minute booking, but it was one that I couldn’t miss. The first place I had ever visited as a Torontonian became the stage I got to perform at. Hundreds show up to at the Scarborough Civic Center to catch the Afro-Carib festival and it was quite the spectacle. I was so excited to perform there that I had to catch a quick video on stage. After all, Scarborough was my first home in Ontario!
Scarborough is HYPE!!! Thank you so much for having me! ❤🎉💯 #scarborough @afrocaribfest #afrocaribfest2017 #torontomusic #torontomodel #the6 #saturn #libra #soul #moon #dreamer #fashionista #african #blackgirlsrock #melanin #southsudan #kakwa #toronto #instagood #losangelesmusic #newyorkmusic #musicbiz #beauty
Losing my voice before 2 Mega Shows
Emerging Young Artists’ ‘A World Away Concert’ at Daniels Spectrum and Francophonie En Fete’s Afro-Caribbean day time show at the Distillery District were one of the greatest shows of the year, and came shortly after losing my voice completely closer to the end of August. Practicing for the shows nearly came to a standstill, but surely enough, I regained vocal strength just in time and got to perform with some immensely talented people from around the world!
We were all blessed to have a SOLD OUT show tonight!!! ❤… The energy, the love and the diversity was undeniably the best part of the A World Away Concert!!! ❤ 🎉 Thank you so much to @emergingyoungartists for putting on such a beautiful show, to @ahmedmoneka, @stretchturner and the amazing band for bringing their talents to my songs and to all of the artists and guests that made this show unforgettable ❤❤❤ So much love for you all!!! ❤ 🎉 @danielsspectrum @ocan03 #torontomusic #torontomodel #the6 #saturn #libra #soul #moon #dreamer #fashionista #african #blackgirlsrock #melanin #southsudan #kakwa #toronto #instagood #losangelesmusic #newyorkmusic #musicbiz #beauty
African Entertainment Awards
In the middle of summer, I got notified that I had been nominated for Best Female Artist at the African Entertainment Awards show and I was floored! The ceremony was filled with many recognizable African artists who have done some wonderful things in entertainment, so I was honored to be among them. Although I didn’t win the award, I felt like a winner dressed in Sadi Johnson’s bright floral skirt and hanging out with Kristina Evanov and Andrew!
Reuniting With Iuliia Pele!
I loooove working with Iuliia Pele! She always has a high fashion vision and a creative eye that spells out into all the photos we do. Check out the shots we did back in November!
He Popped the Question!
Rewind to December 10th at Rebel Nightclub:
Cardi B takes the stage. We’re all in awe of her dazzling outfit and her outrageous onstage antics. Right after the entire audience sings along to Bodak Yellow, Andrew was somehow on the ground behind me. I thought he fell since the venue was rammed, but it turned out he was on one knee behind me. The answer was definitely yes!