Unmuted is a celebration of the powerful voices, words, and music of seven Ontario artists.  It’s also a celebration of listening—with a full heart—at a time in our history when distancing and masking have quieted our sense of touch, quickened our other senses, and sent us to our screens and earbuds in search of meaning, clarity, enthrallment, and beauty.

In a happy partnership that will span four months, Hillside and Silence present music and spoken word performances that will command your screen every other Friday starting October 16th, 2020 and culminating in Hillside Inside in February 2021. 

Look for Joni NehRita, Kevin Sutton, TRP.P, Andrew Craig, Mahlikah Awe:ri, Nefe, and DJ Shub who will light up your screens and lives with their Unmuted art.  

Unmuted at 7pm on these Fridays:

  • October 16, 2020. Joni NehRita
  • October 23, 2020. Kevin Sutton
  • November 6, 2020. TRP.P
  • November 20, 2020. Andrew Craig
  • December 4, 2020. Mahlikah Awe:ri
  • December 18, 2020. Nefe
  • February 5, 2020 (Hillside Inside). DJ Shub

Joni NehRita

Jamaican-Canadian artist Joni NehRita writes songs about unity, hope and social justice. Her jazz-tinged brand of soul is infused with rhythms & sounds from her Afro-Caribbean background. A multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer, she has a gift for writing infectious, well-crafted songs that are deeply personal.

This year NehRita releases her 4th full-length album, “Love & Protest” which is a marked step further toward global roots/world music. She has played festivals & concerts (both as a solo artist & backing other artists) in North America, Australia, England, France, Germany & Oman. She has also sung with the KW Symphony & Hamilton Philharmonic.

In addition to being a performer, NehRita has been a music educator for 20 years, teaching both privately as well as in workshop/masterclass format. She has been a guest teacher at Wilfrid Laurier University, Seneca College at York, has given jazz & improvisation workshops at high schools throughout Guelph and KW and has been a workshop facilitator at the music conference Folk Alliance International. Last year, NehRita added being a TED KitchnerEDx speaker to her career highlights.

Kevin Sutton

Kevin Sutton is a writer, spoken word performance artist, workshop facilitator, communications professional, and community organizer. He is a co-founder of Black Lives Matter Guelph and hosts The Great Pause on CFRU 93.3. His work with at-risk youth has led him to diversity, equity, and inclusion work helping organizations nurture supportive professional environments where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.


TRP.P (pronounced “trippy”) is a Toronto band breaking barriers on the Hip-Hop/ R&B scene. Composed of Truss (producer, singer/songwriter) and Phoenix Pagliacci (singer/songwriter), the dynamic duo began their collective artistry in the summer of 2017. In October of the same year, they released their self-titled debut EP. Since then, they have been unstoppable. TRP.P has made their mark in Toronto as a group to know. In 2018, NOW Magazine listed them among the list of Must See acts performing at Toronto Pride.

Dubbing themselves “The Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth of R&B”, Truss and Phoenix have an undeniable chemistry that is both relatable and infectious. The two have performed across North America, opening for heavy hitters like Oakland songstress Kehlani and Baltimore soulbird MumuFresh. Their new EP, 2TRP.P, was released in September 2019.

Andrew Craig

Andrew Craig creates and performs original music, writes plays, directs music, theatre and festivals, produces audio and video, and teaches. He’s worked with Molly Johnson, Wynton Marsalis, Measha Bruggergosman and Jackie Richardson, opened for Bobby McFerrin, directed tributes to Oscar Peterson and Quincy Jones, and performed twice for Nelson Mandela.

Mahlikah Awe:ri

Haudenosaunee Kanien’kéhà:ka & Mi’kmaw L’sitkuk, Canadian Poet Of Honor, Mahlikah Awe:ri is an Artist For Social Change, “Shifting paradigms through Indigenized ways of knowing and being; while reimagining what it means to be “In-Relation”, to the Land and to each other”.
Awe:ri is a nationally recognized Spoken Word Artist, Arts Educator, Musician, Land Defender & Water Protector, Public Speaker, Performance Artist, Curator and Afro-Indigenous Futurist Writer & Digital Artist, who was awarded the 2019-2020 Paula Fund for the development of new works for younger audiences for her acclaimed solo work Tionnhéhkwen Tionnká:non (Our Sustenance Our Medicines).

Mahlikah is currently based in Sewatokwa’tshera’t Wampum, Tsi Tkarón:to, Oniatarí:io, Kanata, as the acting Deputy Director of Programming for Neighbourhood Impact at the Centre of Learning & Development in Regent Park, Founding member of Red Slam, an Indigenous Art 4 Social Change Movement, Prologue To The Performing Arts Provincial School Touring Artist, an Indigenous Art Educator for the The Art Gallery Of Ontario, and a Faculty Member for the Wildseed Black Arts Fellowship.

Coming up next:


Adept listeners might be able to trace Nefe’s genre-defying sound back to her endless influences from folk to pop or R&B to reggae but what listeners will actually hear is an idiosyncratic sound that can only be described as 3-dimensional – affecting the listener’s heart, mind and soul. Nefe’s power has been described as her ability to make you feel before you can think. Her vocal range and precision vibrates with the healing tradition of ancient wisdom that belies her youth. Nefe’s voice is the salve that cuts through the pandemonium of the modern world.

Guelph Ontario native, Nefe is known for writing love letters to the soul. Releasing her debut EP ‘ Mama’ in 2017 Nefe introduced her music to the world wearing her heart on her sleeve. “Over the course of the record’s five tracks, produced by Timber Timbre’s Taylor Kirk, Nefe flits nonchalantly between rock, reggae, classicist R&B and get-your-lighters-out piano-and-strings pop balladry like she’s already been doing this forever and long ago moved past such petty, pointless distinctions as genre. And, man, can she sing.” – Toronto Star. Early 2018, Nefe hit the road across Canada with Canadian Legend Bruce Cockburn on his “ Bone On Bone’ Tour. Playing stages like ‘ The Center in Vancouver for Performing arts’ All the way back to the infamous “ Massey Hall’ In Toronto Ontario, where Nefe resides. Currently, Nefe is taking lessons from heartbreak, the road, the unknown, love and putting them in her newest piece of work (insert album name here- Thinking ‘ Tasman’) recorded out of coach house studios- an innovative, game-changing analog studio that reverts back to the days of tape, which Singer/songwriter Nefe believes has really been able to capture the realness and soul listeners receive when they attend her live shows. With many accomplishments under her belt, Nefe Continues to take strides forward towards her ultimate vision of healing the world through the power of music.

DJ Shub

Considered to be the Godfather of PowWowStep, DJ Shub has undoubtedly pioneered a growing genre of electronic music since his initial start with internationally-acclaimed group A Tribe Called Red. Born Dan General, he is a Mohawk, turtle clan of the Six Nations of the Grand River located in Ontario, Canada. Since the creation of PowWowStep, he has grown more aware of the Indigenous way of life through his music, merging his heritage with his craft. “This style of music – there is so much culture in it, and that’s what makes it so original,” said DJ Shub.

As a solo artist, DJ Shub released his first EP “PowWowStep” in 2016 and has since played some of the biggest music festivals in North America. He’s also been featured in a number of national media outlets. His song “Indomitable” was notably handpicked by Sacha Baron Cohen as the theme music to his hit Showtime series, “Who Is America?” DJ Shub is currently producing his first full-length album, due out Fall 2020. His new record will be brought to life on the big stage, a non-stop body-moving experience with vibrant visuals, live drummers, vocalists and instruments.

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