His city, his family, his team.

These three elements combined act as a relentless force propelling the creative gears grinding in Mez Mariyé’s stream of consciousness.

The lyrics to each of the Toronto-based artist’s songs are repeated on a loop in his mind minutes before he touches the stage of Nocturne Club for #TheUncrowned showcase presented by BLIS Music Group.

Each performer scheduled is given 12 minutes to intrigue minds, and as hosts Raz and Dee announce the next set, Mariyé pounces on stage.


“What drew me to him more than anything was professionalism,” says event organizer Calabru.

“His videos are all quality and have views, he’s got his brand together, and he’s got his media together. That’s one of the things that really makes a difference, you don’t see that with everyone.”

Rocking ripped jeans, a DSTND tee and a black bandana hugging his spiral kinks, Mariyé seizes the room with a gripping vigor. A vibrant movement accompanies each bar as he runs through tracks “Oh No”, “Tokyo” and “Charlie Chaplin”.

The emcee praises his producers Sia Rad and Norm Sabourin for their ability to harmonize with his vibe, the latter being one of his greatest mentors.

“Norm Sabourin’s always been there for me,” says 20-year-old Mariyé. “Nobody else would have been like, ‘come to my studio and record for free.’ He’s definitely played a big role in starting me up and we’ll continue to rock together.”

Aside from Sabourin, Mariyé says a main source of his motivation comes from family members – in fact, his performance name is a play on his father’s name, Mezgebu, which means ‘book of records’ in the Amharic Bible.

“I want people to appreciate good craftsmanship … I want them to see the little things that paint the bigger picture.”

Mariyé’s parents were born in Ethiopia and worked rigorously to provide for their family. They, along with the undying encouragement of his older sister, are the reason Mariyé was inspired to pursue a music career.

Having already traveled to Dubai, Paris and Tokyo for his music, Mariyé is now busy working on moulding the jumbled stories in his head to poetry on paper – he’s putting the details together and aiming to perfect his art on his sophomore release.

“I want people to appreciate good craftsmanship … I want them to see the little things that paint the bigger picture,” says Mariyé. “… It might [sound] like [I’m] in the shadows, but I’m making sure the quality’s there.”

Photos By. Sadé Powell

Sadé Powell is a freelance writer and illustrator based in Toronto, Ontario. With six years of experience in the journalism field under her belt, she has had the freedom to dabble in a range of topics including music, technology, culture, fashion, local and international daily news.

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