It’s been a couple months since the release of his latest project, the well received Years Ahead EP, and Toronto rapper Redway is still basking in the aftermath. He’s back in the studio with the young producer phenom, WondaGurl, who produced all of Years Ahead, and the duo is working on the follow-up – a full-length album. He sees himself as one of the city’s forerunners, and although he’s been on the scene for several years, it’s only more recently, with admitted growth and maturity, that he says he’s come into his own and really been able to shine. Now he’s on the way to conquering a goal he’s had since his “young’n days”: performing a set on the Manifesto main stage at Yonge-Dundas Square.

WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO PERFORM AT MANIFESTO THIS YEAR? Manifesto’s cultural; Manifesto’s a big stage to perform on. When I was coming up, I always used to hear about people performing at Manifesto and I was like, ‘ahh man I need to get on that Dundas Square thing.’ I’ve never performed on that Yonge-Dundas Stage so for me it was very key to try and get on there.

WHAT WERE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO THE MOST ABOUT THIS PERFORMANCE? Performing the new material live. I’ve never performed it live on a stage like Manifesto yet. It’s a chance for the people who don’t know the music to hear it, and the ones that do to enjoy it live.

I mean the BLVD stands for the Belief Leading Visions and Dreams and Manifesto leads a lot of dreams.

I KNOW YOU HAVE YOUR MOVEMENT, THE BLVD. HOW DOES IT ALIGN WITH MANIFESTO’S PHILOSOPHIES? I mean the BLVD stands for the Belief Leading Visions and Dreams and Manifesto leads a lot of dreams. They lead a lot of artists to dreams, like performing on the Yonge-Dundas stage.

IN YOUR JOURNEY WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO HAVE MANIFESTO A PART OF THAT? I feel like my come up is coming so I feel like for me to do this show fresh off the project, it helps boost things up, adds more value. Manifesto is an OG stage. I feel like as an artist, before you get out of here, you have to rock that stage. My next goal actually is to headline the Yonge-Dundas stage. I still want to do Manifesto when I’m really popping.

It’s a good space to bring us altogether. Whether we get along or we don’t get along we’re all in that one place for Manifesto.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT THE FESTIVAL? The arts standpoint of it. There’s actual visual art. It’s always dope to see other Toronto artists perform and do their thing. It’s a good space to bring us altogether. Whether we get along or we don’t get along we’re all in that one place for Manifesto. It brings cultures together in the city.

ART IS POWER. WHAT COMES TO MIND WHEN YOU HEAR THAT? Your talent holds weight when I hear that. Whatever you do, whatever your art is, it could be cooking, that’s power.

EACH ONE, TEACH ONE. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN TO YOU? Everybody can learn from each other. I think it was two years ago that Manifesto had this b-boying thing. Me personally, I never been into b-boying, but I bumped into this guy and started talking about his art. It turned out he was a b-boy and I was like cool, I’m going to stay a bit and watch him perform, from there I kind of grasped and understood the hip-hop love through dance. And he described how his dancing is like my rapping, but it’s through his movements, not his words, that’s how he’s expressing himself. Each piece of art could teach another piece of art.

Interview By. Priya Ramanujam