Kardinal Offishall Offers Out Totally free Musical Instruments to Youth on Toronto’s Queen West

At 9 am on Dec. 5 at 1604 Queen Street West in the Parkdale neighbourhood of Toronto, a indicator announces the grand opening of a new new music shop known as Soundwaves. Kids and young adults jam on guitars, keyboards, drums and mini-DJ sets. Canadian hip-hop icon and Def Jam document executive Kardinal Offishall shakes fingers with the young ones and receives in on the action, tinkering all-around on a large-pitched percussion instrument.

It’s a loud and energetic scene for the opening of a new music store, but with a twist: anything listed here is absolutely free.


The Soundwaves retail outlet in fact only exists for just one day, a pop-up to announce the launch of the SiriusXM Soundwaves MusiCounts Community Fund. The Soundwaves retail store opened to the public in the afternoon, from 3-6 pm. Youth under 16 could enter, test out a musical instrument or piece of products, then walk out with it for no cost.

The Soundwaves retail outletSiriusXM

Kardinal says the occasion is a tangible way to see the results of MusiCounts’ Soundwaves plan, which will make musical instruments obtainable to kids all through the country.

“That’s some thing for me that is dope and a little something that I wanted to be a portion of,” he tells Billboard Canada whilst children from a Dufferin and Eglinton new music method jam in the future place. “[The kids here now] are from five minutes down the road where by I grew up at Oakwood and Vaughan. So it is astounding to see persons that glimpse like me, people today that arrive from areas that I came from, can have entry to these devices.”

The Soundwaves method presents grants of up to $20,000 in devices, products, and means to assist audio education programs at the group amount. It extends MusiCounts’ mission of new music education and learning over and above the classroom and is open up to any not-for-revenue local community firm in Canada, specially these that really do not have total entry to means or equipment.

Kardinal compares it to the New Arts method that he took section in in the ‘90s in Toronto, which planted the seeds for the influential neighborhood software The Remix Undertaking. That loaded in for formal new music education for him in a large amount of means, he suggests, primarily as soon as funding was reduce to new music and after faculty systems.

“I didn’t definitely have access to many devices at all [at school],” he says. “It’s like, ‘you received 3 possibilities.’ I tried out the saxophone, and I was horrible. Unquestionably horrible.”

He later on remembers he also played the ukulele briefly in grade a few, but under no circumstances received considerably past “Ukulele Guy.” Devoid of official concept schooling, most of his output is done by ear, but he’s hearing a whole lot of organic and natural instrumentation combined in with electronic components of up to date hip-hop. (Continue to, he says, do not hope Kardinal to launch a sax album like Andre 3000 did with the flute.) Acquiring little ones obtain to songs equipment and education and learning opens different lanes up to long term generations, he suggests.

“What I did not have entry to and the factors that I wasn’t ready to experience, a whole lot of these young ones are heading to be ready to have that obtain through the partnership with SiriusXM and MusiCounts. You know what I imply?” says Kardinal. “I feel that is fireplace.”

Kardinal Offishall presides over a jamKardinal Offishall presides over a jamSiriusXM

The Soundwaves pop-up runs from 3-6 pm at 1604 Queen West.