ARTIST IN RESIDENCE
The Afrosonic Innovations Artist Residency is a 10 month community and academy engaged opportunity to dig deep into the reservoir of black musical life across any genre, to experiment, and challenge oneself artistically, Each year the Lab works with musicians or artists whose music daringly diverges from established conventions, and refuses to be contained by industry standards, and norms.
Each artist in residence proposes a project that integrates academic research and research creation. Projects can range from the creation of new musical works, archival research, performances, presentations or other possibilities yet to be proposed. Over the course of their residency, the Lab and the Artist collaborate to make the project proposal a reality. Together we immerse ourselves in musical communities and operationalize Lab supports such as recording space, musical instruments and digital equipment. The artist will have access to a variety of opportunities attached to the Department of Art, Culture & Media, including the Black Studies seminars, the Music & Culture Speaker series, the Studio Artist Speakers Series, our Spring and Fall Flourish concert series and our annual Artoutside festival.
The Afrosonic Innovations Lab is deeply invested in the myriad of musical formations which are both legible and illegible, oscillating around communities of practice, and influencing commercial industry. We love black musics and don’t love the stifling confines of genres, markets. As such we will culminate each residency with a live performance each June to mark Black Music Month in Toronto.
Alanna Stuart is a Toronto- and Kingston, Jamaica-based music artist, researcher, curator, and documentarian.
photo credit: Joshua Rille
photo credit: Joshua Rille
As one-half of the Polaris Prize-nominated duo Bonjay, Alanna created and performed a bass heavy, soul-driven sound that the New York Times calls ‘Canadian Dancehall’. Bonjay’s sonic hybrid established them with praise from NPR, KCRW, BBC, CBC, The New York Times, The Guardian, Pitchfork, Globe & Mail, Exclaim Magazine, and others.
Alanna is also a proud member of the Queer Songbook Orchestra, a chamber pop ensemble performing orchestral interpretations of pop classics and jazz standards, and sharing the obscured queer histories through poetry and recited stories.
Alanna is currently in the thick of an exciting solo work centered on what she dubs ‘femmehall’: a movement promoting the presence of women in dancehall production and presentation. She co-produced and engineered her forthcoming solo debut, To All The Girls I've Loved Before, with added vibes and ideas from La-Nai Gabriel (Maylee Todd, Madam Gandhi) and Robin Dann (Bernice), and some rhythmic contributions from Jamaican music icons, Sly & Robbie. The record features Jamaican music-inspired versions of songs by a mix-up selection of the women who have influenced her, from Liz Fraser to Solange to Casey Mecija.
Outside of the studio, Alanna is the founder of creative research consultancy Maroon Creative, exploring the relationship between the term ‘diversity’ and cultural innovation in tastemaking scenes around the world. Alanna is a Toronto Arts Council Leaders Lab Fellow and Radio Starmaker Fund and Pop Montreal board member.
Outside of the studio, Alanna conducts research that problematizes the concepts ‘diversity’ and ‘innovation’, and explores how creative industries engage with socially marginalized tastemakers around the world. Alanna is a Queen’s University Cultural Studies MA student, Toronto Arts Council Leaders Lab Fellow, and Radio Starmaker Fundboard member.