On the second night of Megaphono I was able to bounce around to a couple of venues and check out some groovy reggae and funk at Rainbow Bistro with Nile Groove and Subtle Curves, and then I moved onto The 27 Club for some hip-hop with The Sorority and Snotty Nose Rez Kids.

Ottawa’s Subtle Curves performing at The Rainbow Bistro in Ottawa during Megaphono 2019.

The night started with the funky fresh stylings of local group Subtle Curves, the newest alternative soul band in the capital. They reminded me of a blend of Miami Sound Machine and early No Doubt with some flares of funk. The group had a tonne of energy and were clearly having a blast on stage as smiles never left their face. From thanking everyone for coming out considering the guitarist told us he thought only his mom and dad would be show up, to a later moment when lead-singer Meagan held up some comedic signs (as seen in the photo above) about the guitarist as he was lead on the song. They closed out their set with an awesome track called “Shallow Water Jamboree.” Keep an eye and ear out for Subtle Curves as they are poised to continue to wow listeners around the city and beyond.

Nile Groove getting hot and steamy at The Rainbow Bistro in Ottawa during Megaphono 2019.

Up next on the Rainbow stage was another great local act, Nile Groove with their absolutely jammin’ reggae and R&B tunes to get people dancing. They opened with “It Was You” off of their second album Insatiable setting the tone and never looking back. The band was polished, professional and could really groove. Lead singer and songwritter Roxanne has absolutely commanding stage presence and is a self proclaimed bad gurl going crazy looking for rude boys. While Roxanne’s voice and moves draw you in and keep you wanting more, the drums and bass players truly lead the band’s flow and move the rhythm forward. Nile Groove got the Rainbow all hot and steamy, fogging up all the windows and filling the dance floor.

Snotty Nose Rez Kids brought up a traditional Indigenous dancer to join them as they lit up the stage at the 27 Club in Ottawa during Megaphono 2019.

I then left the Rainbow and headed to The 27 Club for quite the change of pace from local reggae to visiting hip-hop acts, Snotty Nose Rez Kids and The Sorority. Snotty Nose Rez Kids are an Indigenous hip-hop duo composed of Haisla rappers Darren “Young D” Metz and Quinton “Yung Trybez” Nyce, originally from Kitamaat Village, BC, and currently based in Vancouver. They perfectly blended traditional themes and political messages with modern hip-hop and rap themes and pop-culture references. Rapping about residential schools, the importance and significance of long hair, traditional language and stories, and even bringing up a dancer in traditional dress, while also referencing the TV show Home Improvement, legendary wrestler Rick Flair, SEGA’s Sonic the Hedgehog, NBA player Meta World Peace, hip-hop act Naughty by Nature clash, Oscar Meyer wieners and the movie Beatle Juice just to name a few. They stirred the crowd into a frenzy, especially when they dropped their single “Skoden” off their self-titled album. I’m not sure if there was a single person in the house not singing a long. Snotty Nose Rez Kids are clearly breaking down stereotypes as they take Canada’s hip-hop scene by storm. Do yourself a favour, go listen and learn from their rhymes and be sure to catch them live if they are ever close as their live performance blows away their already great recordings.

Toronto’s The Sorority rapping in unity at The 27 Club in Ottawa during Megaphono 2019.

Closing out the night was Toronto’s The Sorority, an all-female hip-hop group made up of pHoenix Pagliacci, Keysha Freshh, Lex Leosis and Haviah Mighty. The three MCs all bring their own flair. One with more of an old school laid back flow, another spitting like a machine gun and flame thrower combined and lastly one delivering rhymes with the confidence and aggression of a boxer who smells blood. All of this is balanced out with great beats ranging from classic hip-hop to trap and a group who looks to be having fun breaking down barriers and taking names as they do it.

The crowd was enthralled with The Sorority and were eating out of their palms, going nuts after every song, singing a long like crazy and bobbing to every beat in the packed 27 Club. I absolutely love how they structure their show to allow each MC an opportunity to shine and take the lead on certain tracks while still very much being a cohesive group and building off of each other. I picked up their record Pledge on my way out and have already spun in front to back 3 or 4 times in an effort to bring me back to relive the show again. No matter what kind of hip-hop you like The Sorority will capture you with either their technical prowess, their energy, their swift bars or their absolute love for what they are doing. They are destined to blow up and I’m glad I got to catch them now.