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2018 Grantee Profile: Dirty B-Sides

Into hip-hop? Want access to professional music recording opportunities? Interested in taking your talents to the next level? Then keep reading to learn about ArtReach grantee, The Dirty B-Sides!


The Dirty B-Sides are one of Toronto’s leading hip-hop music collectives, working to create an open door for youth to learn, join, and expand in their own ventures! Funded by ArtReach in 2018, they offered a community-based performance workshop series that worked to create a sustainable culture surrounding live hip-hop performances, teaching professional skills, and improving quality and ethics of artists. The project concluded with a professional recording session for six Toronto musicians.


ArtReach team member, Zvi, was able to sit in on this live recording session and see the success of the project firsthand. He notes, “the level of professionalism of the music The Dirty B-Sides was putting on was fantastic to witness. We were able to listen to two different youth artists perform and record live with the band. The amount of talent and experience in the room from the musicians and young artists was a fantastic experience and was really inspiring”.


In reflecting on the goals of the project, Band Leader Donny Milwaukee spoke to the importance of being able to, “incorporate some sort of high school program and education. We want to make knowledge sharing a lot bigger than what it is, and allow people to learn what they can’t from schools or the internet”. He further shared how important it is to build relationships and partnerships with youth and adults with the same interests and passions, as there is so much that can be learned from one another and everyone can bring in new and different lived experiences.


When asked where he sees the program going in the future, Donny tells us, we’ve “been doing things like this without support- finding artists stuck in their career and wanting to help them through live recording sessions. We’ve done video shoots before but looked towards arts-based grants to make this project happen, as it wasn’t sustainable before. Ideally we want everyone to catch up on the technology side of things in the music industry, and once caught up and everyone is on the same page, we can take our work to the next level and allow for more artists to get involved in the program. Another goal of ours is to get artists ready to go and perform around the world, which would get the program known internationally”.


If you want to check out the great work The Dirty B-Sides are doing and get involved in their programming, check them out on their website or on Instagram @wethebsides!

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180 Shaw Street, Suite 201

Toronto, Ontario

M6J 2W5 

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647-660-5371

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