Toronto is a city with untapped potential and under-appreciated artists. Despite a growing international media spotlight, the focus remains on the multi-million dollar pop culture icons (ahem, Drake) and collectives that have found global success. But within the underbelly of the thriving city, you’ll find a fully stocked arsenal of musical talent, which includes the stage-diving, spa-going, Juno-award winning rapper Jazz Cartier.

“This is a first for me, getting my hair done while I do an interview,” says Cartier, who’s sitting on a concrete block as his hairstylist Keisha braids his locks. The two have clearly done this before, and are all smiles at the Queen Street loft located west of downtown Toronto.

“People ask me how I'm doing. I tell them I'm alive because anything can happen,” Jazz relays, while maintaining his perch on the block. “It's 2018, no one's safe. When I wake up and look in the mirror, and I'm alive, that's the celebration within itself.”