Filmmaker Nathan Miller had a huge success with "LDN" his 45-minute ode to the budding rap and grime stars of London, and now the east London native has turned his lens on Toronto for a similar, albeit shorter, exploration of the fledging rap scene on this side of the pond.
Filmed over the course of three weeks in August, "NORTHSIDE" features interviews with many of the city's up and coming rappers including Smoke Dawg, Jimmy Prime, Sean Leon and CMDWN who all reflect on their experiences as artists in Toronto, their journey to get to where they are now, and the opportunities that still lie ahead. The film also sheds light on some of the challenges facing young artists in the city including the lack of resources, and a lack of support from entities like commercial radio. These are challenges that often get overlooked, especially by global audiences who see the success of Drake and the Weeknd and view Toronto as a hotbed for talent. It certainly is, but one that still has a ways to go when it comes to properly nurturing and supporting the amount of talent it's producing. Also making appearances throughout are Murda Beatz, Puffy LZ, Safe, Donnie, PARTYNEXTDOOR, Daniel Caesar and Derek Wise.
"'NORTHSIDE' has been such an interesting piece to create," Miller tells us via email. "I was only out in the city for three weeks, with very limited contacts. I'm very happy with the people I have managed to pull together; I just hope that the momentum from my doc will help the city collaborate a little more and hopefully get everyone the recognition they deserve."
Miller held a screening in Toronto last night at the Free Space with many of the featured artists in attendance. Watch "NORTHSIDE" above and check out some more behind-the-scenes images below.