Hillside Festival 2019

July 12 - 14

Cartel Madras

Cartel Madras is a Calgary-based hip-hop sensation, who are known for shaking things up in Calgary, in Canada, and in the music industry.

Hailing from Madras in South India, sisters Contra and Eboshi (a.k.a. Priya and Bhagya Ramesh, respectively) are rappers building a considerable fanbase and capturing the attention of fascinated on-lookers as they develop empowering narratives as people of colour (POC). Through rapping, Cartel Madras delivers these narratives in an explosive way that taps into popular culture and uses it as an effective platform to engage diverse audiences. With a huge community of support, notoriously tongue-in-cheek lyricism, fire beats, and a good bit of fun, the team dynamic helps keep Cartel Madras grounded.

Sexuality (de-stigmatization thereof), racialized identity, and gender identity are a few recurring themes that listeners may encounter in the musical stylings of Cartel Madras. Though these themes are present in hip hop already, Cartel Madras seeks to subvert the normative roles which are applied to immigrant women, in this space. In its conception, the group was conceived of to unabashedly and authentically represent the under-represented. By exhibiting the characteristics that they wish they could find in hip hop idols, Cartel Madras is seeking to stir things up and proudly represent people of colour, the LGBTQ+ community, and Canadian rap. Contra and Eboshi are steadfast in determining their own path in this tumultuous world.