SATE | Photo: Jessica Laforet

Emma Kenny shares her top 10 picks for MEGAPHONO so you can jam your way through February with these diverse picks for the festival, running February 7-9.

1. The Sorority

9:30 P.M. |  February 8 | The 27 Club | $20 at the door

Listen, there are no words to describe the power, the prowess, and the bad-assery of The Sorority. Comprised of pHoenix Pagliacci, Keysha Freshh, Lex Leosis and Havia Mighty, the group has all the flavour and flow of old school hip hop with a completely fresh way to centre femininity and solidarity. With a hometown pride for Toronto that puts Drake to shame and an impressive roster of festivals under their belt, this is a show you cannot miss.

2. Haviah Mighty

9:30 P.M. | February 7 | Triple 7 | $12 at the door.

Not only performing with The Sorority, Haviah Mighty will also be gracing us with a solo show at MEGAPHONO 2019 and we couldn’t be more excited. This Toronto singer, rapper, producer, and DJ is championing a message of empowerment for women with her fiercely powerful delivery and lyric sincerity. Her 2017 EP, Flower City, was named one of Complex’s Favourite Canadian Releases of 2017, and her reputation for intense live performances as seen her open for greats like A Tribe Called Red and Snoop Dogg.


9:00 P.M. | February 7 | Le Minotaure | $12 at the door.

SATE’s powerful vocals and blues/rock/punk style will straight up melt your face. I don’t make the rules, I’m just here to deliver the warning. Her signature live performance style as been seen all over the world, from Afropunk Brooklyn to the Paleo Festival in Switzerland, and it’s equal parts empowering, exhilarating, and engraging. Get ready to have a fire lit under you by SATE’s dynamic sound, with all the relentless and driving features of hard rock and punk informed by the spirituality of SATE’s practice of tarot, numerology, and astrology.

4. Luna Li

2:30 P.M. | February 8 | Shanghai Restaurant | All ages & pay what you can!

Float through the air on the ethereal waves created by Toronto garage rock goddess Luna Li and her women-centric four-piece band. With a vocal range and tonal quality that varies from bedroom pop crooning to rock n’ roll grit, Luna Li has a universal appeal while maintaining a sound that’s all her own. Drawing on years of classical piano and violin training, Luna Li plays ith genre by incorporating looped violin and dreamily distorted guitar into her tracks. Her brand new single, Silver Into Rain, was released in June with an accompanying music video to widespread excitement. Get ready for a show unlike any other.

5. Bad Waitress

10:00 P.M. | February 8 | The Dom | $12.

If you want to get loud with a band of four women intentionally formed to include only women, then you’re gonna love Bad Waitress. Vocalist/guitarist Kali-Ann Butala moved to Toronto five years ago with the express goal of playing music with more women, and Bad Waitress was born. The group has a loud-and-fast-and-wild style of bratty punk that just doesn’t quit, full of chanted vocals and crashing drums that’s guaranteed to make you want to hit something.

6. Cyber

7:00 P.M. | February 8 | LIVE on Elgin | All ages, $10 at the door.

The coolest crooner around, Cyber (also known as Leodie Domond) is blessing Ottawa with her sweet as honey, smooth as silk vocals again this year. If you missed her at DIY Spring last year, don’t make the same mistake at MEGAPHONO 2019. Cyber already has an international career in gospel and is now making a name for herself in Montreal’s underground scene with her hypnotic R&B sound.

Photo: Evan James Atwood

7. Haley Heynedrickx

7 P.M. |February 8 | Bronson Centre | $35

With vocals alternating between haunting and overpowering and deft guitar picking, Haley Heynedrickx tells an emotional story of self discovery on her debut album I Need to Start a Garden. With a sound that’s reminiscent of Sufjan Stevens and a vulnerability that evokes Mitski, Haley invites listeners to an introspective account of what it means to be a human being.

8. Melissa Laveaux

7:30 p.m. | February 9 | The NAC | $18

Let the sweetest, summeriest vibes of Melissa Laveaux carry you away on a wave of music unlike anything else you’ll hear all year. Fascinated and inspire by the cultural heritage of Haiti, Melissa uses music to honour the history and struggles of Haiti and its people while looking towards a future of limitless possibility and joy. It’s all right there, in her music, with its rhythm, technicality, warmth, confidence, and carefully placed distortion. Once called a “lesbian miracle” on French national radio, you’ll definitely want to bask in her presence.

9. Camille Delean

3 P.M. | February 8 | Bar Robo.

There’s something at once classic and refreshing about the music of Montreal singer-songwriter Camille Delean. With a voice so rich in tone and precise in pitch, Camille transports listeners with her a sound that feels deeply Canadian, despite her ten track album having been partly recorded in Englad. The result is meandering songs with beautifully layered instrumentals and a lush tone, evoking big open sky over fields of wildflowers. Close your eyes and go there.

10. Annie Sama

7:00 P.M. | February 8 | LIVE on Elgin | All ages, $10 at the door.

Last but certainly not least, take in the melodic noise of multi-disciplinary artist Annie Sama. Sometimes ambient, sometimes harsh, but always original, Annie incorporates elements of multiple genres to explode the concept of pop music and create a musical world all her own. Reminiscent of Sneaks and everything Grimes wishes she was, we can’t wait to hear Annie’s new EP, due in September. In the meantime, catch her live this MEGAPHONO and revel in this strange soundscape.