As Canada’s largest and most diverse city, Toronto has a lot of cultural crossovers with London, resulting in accusations that Drake has nicked London slang (Toronto encouraged Jamaican migration due to factors such as nurse shortages in the 60s, not unlike the UK’s postwar windrush) and amusements when Drake samples the same Peverelist track that shook us all up a decade ago. Yes I just referenced Drake whilst introducing a Toronto DJ, I’m sorry everyone, BUT there’s a link, as Ceremonies’ sets show off an appreciation and response to the sounds shaking the UK in the present day, such as this fiery blast of techno featuring Peverelist, Hodge & Randomer, which she recommends for ‘home rinsing, home raving, a good ear cleaning’. Today she offers a look into the flip side of her record collection, enjoy...
Nothing Even Matters - Lauryn Hill ft. D’AngeloHonestly this list could probably be 100% D’angelo and Ms. Lauryn and it wouldn’t even be a lie, but for starters: this iconic collab from Lauryn Hill’s 1998 debut album. Equal parts tender and dreamy with unbelievable vibrato from two vocal legends.
Feeling U, Feeling Me - Alicia Keys
The top YouTube comments say it all: “This makes me want to fall in love... That in-too-deep before you know it, terrifying kinda love.” Baby are you feelin me feelin, feelin you / Everything you say, everything you do / gets me lost in you days at a time
Breathy vocals give way to sprawling piano and a lead guitar. Tip - Originally a short interlude on “The Diary of Alicia Keys” (2003) this tune’s been sampled by Mala (2007) and actually more recently Mall grab (2015) but the Mala tune fuckin bangs
[Editor’s note: damn right!]
Cater 2 U - Destiny’s Child
Michelle might take 3rd place in Destiny’s Child but she takes first place in the song, practically pouring out wedding vows in the third, and best verse. Beyonce’s got the chorus but Michelle’s got my heart.
Can U Handle It - Usher
Usher doing what he does best.
So Sweet - Kelly Price
If I Ain’t Got You - Alicia Keys
Double Alicia Keys - no apologies.
Really Love - D’Angelo & The Vanguard
Double D’Angelo too.
My Place - Tweet
Between this and Cab Ride, Tweet may have the purest booty calls on record. This is so tender and genuine. She even talks about asking her mom what she should do.
Blind Man - Xavier Omar
A newer one. Xavier Omar burst onto the international stage with this single in 2016 garnering a whole bunch of press and kick starting a first tour. A pivot from his previous rap project, this expertly toes the line between pop and rnb. After falling in love with this song and playing it over and over again I went back to discover that he was also featured on one of my other favourite releases of 2016, Telefone by Noname.
Girl - The Internet ft. KAYTRANADA
Special shout out to the ex who made me turn this off because it was “too much” for them... I love this song. I love The Internet and I love Syd, a tiny butch lesbian with a beautiful voice who had one of the best solo R’n’B albums of the decade. Missing You wins for best tune from The Internet in my books, but Girl is a straightforward radio romance and a good one at that.
Bonus Round: Erykah Badu - Next Lifetime
A different kind of love-- off limits love, but a classic all the same.