Music

How COVID-19 altered a pivotal moment in Haviah Mighty's career

In the 3rd episode of COVID Diaries, the rapper and singer talks about learning to slow down and maximize the setbacks of the pandemic.

In the 3rd episode of COVID Diaries, the rapper and singer talks about learning to slow down

Haviah Mighty | Covid Diaries

5 months ago
Duration 4:30
The COVID Diaries is a five-part series that was recorded over several months before the Omicron variant hit, when the touring economy seemed to be opening up, albeit briefly. These interviews offer a candid glimpse into the lives of musicians as they prepped for what they thought was a return to a sense of normalcy.

Following the high of her 2019 Polaris Music Prize win for her debut album 13th Floor, Toronto rapper, singer and producer Haviah Mighty couldn't wait to keep that energy going. 

But, COVID-19 had other plans. She was in Los Angeles on her first-ever U.S. tour when she found out Ontario would be going into its first lockdown in March 2020.

"I felt like it was like a prime-time, pinnacle moment in my career and I didn't even get a year to benefit from the momentum [of winning Polaris]... It kind of felt like, maybe my time won't happen." 

CBC Music caught up with her after a performance at Osheaga in October 2021, one of her first live shows since everything shifted. In Episode 3 of COVID Diaries, Mighty opens up about feeling like she was losing that 'pinnacle moment' in her career to the pandemic and how she kept that momentum alive in spite of everything. She worked virtually with other artists, including Old Man and began work on her second album Stock Exchange. It also became a time for her to get introspective: "A lot of transition, a lot of learning self, a lot of self discovery, a lot of stopping and slowing down, and I feel like we're bigger and better than we've ever been." 

Watch the video above and stay tuned for more COVID Diaries to come. 

For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.

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