16 Black Montreal Artists Whose Works Will Help Spark Your Own Creativity
Montreal is bursting with creative talent. As one of the most artistic cities in the world, it's hard to keep up with. That's why we've compiled a list of both well-known and up-and-coming creatives across the city. The
mentioned in this list come from a range of mediums.
We asked each of the artists on this list to tell us a bit about themselves, their work, and what being an artist means to them, so the biographies you're reading comes straight from their hearts.
The photos or videos included are just glimpses of their artistic abilities, but we've added links to their personal pages for you to get a true feel for the works they create.
This list is by no means exhaustive, but we hope it helps you discover local artists from every corner of the city.
Who knows, maybe checking out their art will inspire your own — whatever your craft may be.
And if ever you're looking for more local artists, you can check out @blackmontrealcreatives on Instagram, which is brand new to the social media game.
Lana's art focuses on love and humans interactions while intertwining with fashion as she seeks to normalize female nudity.
In her contemporary paintings, Lana "loves to represent diverse faces and the diversity within the African diaspora."
Last year, this talented artist created a mural for Montreal's Mural Festival.
Malick's photography captures artists in their "truest modes of being," as he seeks to depict their uniqueness within his photos.
Currently, he's working on a photobook titled Extension. Once published, Malick plans to donate a part of the proceeds to Montreal's Collective Opposed to Police Brutality (COBP).
Jalen FrizzellCourtesy of Jalen Frizzell
Jalen, working in the white-dominated tattoo industry, found "representation in blaxploitation movie posters, and album artwork of hip hop, jazz, and punk music."
Using skin as a medium, Jalen hopes "to heal the ancestral and contemporary trauma of today by commenting on autonomy and challenging the accepted idea of whiteness as normalcy," while "showcasing the beauty of melanated people, and melanated skin tones."
J-Rob is a black, Jewish Montreal poet and musician who currently leads a politically charged punk-rap group called Half White Full Black.
Their first song, coming out in the near future, will explore "the pain and pride of being an empathetic and socially aware Black man in a society built from white supremacy."
Courtesy of Naïka Deluy-Garwood
Naïka's work is reflective of her personal changes in identity. She first began exploring colour by painting both herself and other POC.
Later, through performance art, she discovered "the power of the present and all about notions of time" within expressions of suppressed pain.
As she moved toward sculpture, her focus shifted to becoming "a mediator in connectivity."
Naïka now seeks to "bring people together who may have never gotten the chance to share an experience together," which you can see an example of below.
Kelly Krow is a Haitian-Canadian singer who combines afro-pop, zouk, and kompa genres together.
Krow recently released a song for the Black Lives Matter movement titled "Pwoblem pap janm fine," which translates to "Eternal problems," and has lyrics in English, Creole, and French.
Josepha self-describes as a conscious entrepreneur and artist who believes that "a brain that doesn't create is a dead brain."
They use their textile painting to both express themselves and make others feel good.
Josepha is also a founder of Maven Agency, Boutique Phine, and les soirées sans cell.
Michael Haze is a singer, songwriter, and music producer whose work reflects himself, his experiences, and his continued personal growth as both an artist and a person.
"The duality of vulnerability and strength" is how he describes his music, which you can stream here.
Jeh is an Afro-Latina artist based in Montreal, who describes their art as both "shocking and raw."
"My art represents a specific character going through different situations like social or psychological issues."
Marcus Dillon, who goes by the stage name Darkus Millon, prides himself on freestyling — believing such is the true essence of hip hop.
Through performing at open mic's around the city, he met the members of his team The Dust Gang, who have recently released their second EP: The Sword & The Staff.
Another member of The Dust Gang, Shem G., is a multi-instrumentalist, producer, and vocalist who seeks to "create a sustainable future for the music community in the city."
"[I] plan for longevity over the frivolous every time," they told MTL Blog.
Hantz thanks their talented friends for encouraging them to pursue music and being "so instrumental in [their] growth as an artist."
Right now, Hantz is working with The Collection Records to finish his debut EP.
Kwame Djoss relays their experiences of the world through their music.
"Experimenting with different genres and collaborating with artists working with various mediums lets me broaden my sense of who I can be and what I can do."
High Klassified, a Haitian-Canadian producer, has an all-encompassing love for music. He's been in the music scene since 2010 and hasn't looked back since.
High Klassified has collaborated with major artists like The Weeknd and Future and has three critically acclaimed solo projects.
The artist also has his own line of clothing: "Laval Ou Rien."
Greezy uses his music as a form of self-expression.
"I feel like I lack communication skills and through music, it helps me get the message through. It's therapy," the artist explained to MTL Blog.
Nate Husser has made a true mark in the city, performing at various Montreal festivals including Osheaga, International Jazz Fest, and Igloofest.
Husser has gone "from the roughs of Little Burgundy to international stages, Nate has won numerous awards for his musical talent and vision as an artist such as Video of the Year, as well as Anglophone Artist of the Year at the 2018 Gala Dynastie."