'I'm going to absolutely kill this': Up and coming Brampton musicians step into spotlight at NXNE

This is Brampton is the first-ever showcase of emerging Brampton talent at the North by Northeast music festival.

This is Brampton is happening at Toronto's Rivoli on Friday night

Vaz is one of four musicians who will perform in the first-ever This is Brampton showcase at this year's North by Northeast music festival. (City of Brampton)

"I'm going to absolutely kill this."

That's Brampton R&B soul singer Vaz's mindset heading into his performance Friday night at Toronto's Rivoli as part of this year's North by Northeast festival. 

He is one of four artists hitting the stage as part of This is Brampton — a first-ever showcase at NXNE of emerging Brampton talent.

Vaz is originally from London, England, and moved to Brampton with his family 10 years ago.

"It's a great opportunity to network within the Brampton community and Toronto and to show people what I am about," Vaz said in an interview with CBC Toronto.

Vaz is originally from England and moved to Brampton with his family. (@cmbino)

The showcase is a collaboration between the festival and the city of Brampton.

The city put out an online call for local musicians, recording artists and bands from all genres to submit free applications to participate. They received 42 submissions.

A group of artists and music experts were among the jurors who selected the final performers for tonight.

Tonight's spotlight on Brampton talent is "overdue," says juror Greg Peddie, who works the city of Brampton culture office.

"Now that we are showing this level of commitment to our cultural community in music and beyond I have a feeling that there's going to be a lot of people that live and reside in Brampton that will be very proud to call Brampton home outside of these borders."

Roy Woods, Tory Lanez, Alessia Cara and Jessie Reyez are some of the musicians who have come out of Brampton over the years.

Music video director Director X is another huge talent to come out of the city. Tonight at the showcase, the date for his induction in this year's Brampton Arts Walk Fame will be announced. The ceremony is expected to take place later this year, according to the city.

Director X, known for directing several Drake videos, is an inductee on the 2018 Brampton Walk of Fame. (City of Brampton)

"He's very excited to be a part of the Walk of Fame and be in Brampton and find ways to connect with the community here, particularly to how his career has influenced hip hop in Brampton and being an inspiration to youth in the city," said Victoria Mountain, culture manager at the city of Brampton.

He might even show up at the showcase this evening at the Rivoli.

Michael Hollett, who founded North by Northeast 24 years ago and is the festival's president and managing director, says he's open to future showcases like This is Brampton at NXNE.

"Based on this experience with the city of Brampton we are definitely doing more of this; they have just been amazing," said Hollett.

Vaz takes the stage at 9:45 p.m. at the Rivoli. Selena Dhillon, Phab and EverythingOShauN will also perform in the showcase tonight.

The Riv, as its clientele calls it, sits among international retail outlets on Queen Street West. (CBC)

"The fact that North by Northeast chose Brampton out of everyone shows that we are doing something good and Brampton is getting on the radar like we should," said Vaz.

"It's good to be recognized and even better to be a part of it."


Victoria Valido is a producer based in Ottawa for the CBC News parliamentary bureau. She has produced for Power and Politics, The House, Rosemary Barton Live and The National. Previously, she was CBC Toronto's Social Media Producer. She also produced local Toronto TV newscasts and worked on CBC Radio One's Metro Morning and Here and Now. You can email story ideas to