Toronto's The Heard Festival is an annual event series that celebrates black culture through music and dance. For young African-Canadian artists looking to showcase their work, it has become the perfect platform to come together and collaborate with other likeminded performers. This year's edition took place from Aug. 23 to Sept. 4, and featured a variety of artists, including a collaboration between Brooklyn-based French-Congolese rapper Young Paris (aka Milandou Badila) and Toronto dancer and choreographer Esie Mensah.
Before the former signed to Jay Z's Roc Nation, he spent his early years growing up in the dance world, where his father co-founded the first National Ballet of Congo. At the age of 16, he became interested in hip-hop, and has since continued to evolve both crafts. Earlier this year, Badila put out African Vogue, a ten-track mixtape co-produced by Ben Bronfman.
Speaking with Daily VICE at their rehearsal, he and Mensah discussed fusing dance and Afrobeats, African culture in the mainstream, and of course, Drake and Wizkid's 2016 chart-topping collaboration "One Dance."
Watch the interview below.
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