Brampton rapper Spitty is taking his aspirations to build his city’s creative community to new heights in his new position as Artist Ambassador, and it all started in the office of Brampton’s former MP.
In a space that is usually full with political jargon and debates, Jagmeet Singh made room for the community. His office is decorated with games to entertain anyone who walks in. But one day in 2010, spirits were particularly heightened as Singh and his team prepared to host their seasonal open mic.
Spitty and his friends were the first to arrive but passed the time with a game of Jenga. As the room’s noise level rose, chairs shuffled into place. It was time for the 17-year-old to take the stage.
Shrugging in front of a crowd of experienced music professionals, community leaders, and friends, the rapper performed for the first time.
The memories of this event inspire the wordsmith to curate music industry events. 12 years later into his music career, he’s receiving the opportunity to do just so, on an official level. Spitty is now an Artist Ambassador in Brampton in partnership with Brampton Arts Organization (BAO). The community-driven organization connects various levels of organizations to produce arts, culture, and creative industries programming.
Spitty is one among Rupi Kaur, David Philips, Director X and five others serving the city to help advise and create artist resources and programming.
“It’s kind of like the step before you get a key to the city,” says Spitty.
The Brampton artist has been repping the city through his music, community work, and on social media. Within his first year of pursuing music, he released a song titled “Brampton,” praising his hometown. Since then, he has released four EPs, one album and several singles, including “Back to Brampton.”
“If you can really rep where you’re from and build that culture, then I think that’s how the culture really starts,” says Spitty.
He is currently producing his fifth EP, PEEL Vol 3. The album will feature artists from Brampton, Mississauga, and Caldon.
As he continues to lead this cultivation, Spitty prioritizes giving back to his community. In October of last year, he visited his former high school, North Park Secondary School, to talk to students about the balancing act of pursuing education and a creative passion.
With his new title, he aims to continue to support youth and young adults through monthly free open mics events starting in March.
“This first one, we have it in the most central area possible near a brand new city centre,” he says.
He plans on hosting the events in multiple locations across the city, making them accessible to everyone.
“That’s really why I wanted these open mics, because we don’t see a developed music industry ecosystem here yet,” says Spitty.
Although some of Toronto’s most popular creatives, such as Alessia Cara, Haviah Mighty, and Tobi, were raised in Brampton, Spitty found that there were very few opportunities for music creatives when he was growing up compared to neighbouring cities.
Nicole Chambers, a Brampton-raised singer-songwriter, often went to Toronto to seek mentorship and artist development programs. It wasn’t until she joined the BOA’s newsletter that she became aware of the various music industry opportunities in Brampton and the GTA.
Over the past 10 years, Brampton has seen a growing population of more than 200,000 people. As many families have moved outside of Toronto, there has been an increasing demand for music and entertainment events in the 9th largest city in Canada. BAO has seen a 600% increase in interest in creative community events, according to Michael Vickers, the Senior Program Lead at BAO.
“There is a real eagerness for creatives and musicians to reconnect, become stronger than before, and develop the skills necessary to make a living in the arts,” he says. “People yearn to rebuild community, and music is a universal language we all connect through.”
Since 2021, BAO has been developing the art sector—funding various showcases, grants and hosting events around the city. They partner with the Performing Arts and Cultural Services of the City of Brampton to provide various services. The catalyst of success, innovation, and creativity is drawing attention to Brampton’s art scene.
“We have seen an increased commitment to building on what is already here—a diverse and highly creative community,” says Vickers, an artist by trade. “The work is never finished, but it’s thrilling to see that across all forms of music, art, performance and more, how we are starting to fire on all cylinders in Brampton. We are here to help the GTA and world see what we have known and felt all along.”
The renewed sense of pride and potential of the city keeps Spitty excited about the future of the up-and-coming metropolis.
“I feel like nowadays, we don’t always know our neighbors. And, we’re a little disconnected, but I wish we were a bit more of a community,” says Spitty. “Brampton is a really big city, so it’s kind of hard to do, but if we start small and just build outwards, I think we can grow that.”