Just on time with 2020 Polaris Music Prize awards, it’s previous year winner, Haviah Mighty, is dropping her new music video, Bag Up.
Bag Up was produced by Haviah along with her brother, Mighty Prince, for her Polaris 2019 winning album, 13th floor. Almost a year after, a stunning music video, directed by Keethan Krish and produced by Rack & Pinion, is here to win again (at least, our personal top-10).
Bag Up is the song-reminder. As Haviah says, this song is a wake-up call from all that’s been happening in the world: a wake-up call reminding us to find our new state of normal and to continue to work to achieve our goals.
“’Bag Up’ is the celebration of that yearning,” says Haviah. “Through tribal drums and infectious synths, are lyrics of fierce effort within self, to quite literally earn money doing what one loves.”
The video is very powerful as well. The main scene is the elevator (which, I’m guessing from a couple shots showing the level number buttons and an indicator, is going to the 13th floor), with different women inside of it. Haviahn says the video depicts a selection of resilient women on different paths, dealing with different struggles, but connected with the “go-getter energy” that exists in all of us.
Haviah is well-known for not only her right-on-point lyrics, unique flow and her actual ability(talent?) to rap, but also for her meaningful and deep videos. On Canada day, she released a music video for Thirteen, the title track from 13th Floor. It’s the song about the long hard road of Black People in North America, and, if you’re not guessing it yet, it’s referencing the Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery.
“I am a first-generation Canadian, born and raised,” says Haviah. “My father was born in Jamaica, and my mother is Bajan, born in England. I have locks, dark, beautiful skin, and a full nose and lips. As a Canadian, I’ve been told countless times that I don’t know what racism is, that I’ve never experienced racism, and that racism doesn’t exist in Canada. Because of our reputation as a safe haven, Canadians can be quick to separate themselves from Americans when issues of bigotry arise. Racism is alive and well in Canada, it is simply more covert. The 13th Amendment may be specific to the US Constitution, but it is not specific to US ideologies. Racism is worldwide. The perception of Black people has been destroyed globally.”
And Haviah is working hard to change that. She’s not only the first Hip-hop artist, but also the first Black woman to win the Polaris Music Prize. Her unique sound is ranging from classic hip-hop to Carribean rhythms, while also adding a bit of electro and diverse instrumental range. Her music has won fans at CBC Music, CBC’s q and The Strombo Show, EARMILK, eTalk, CTV, ELLE Canada, FLARE, DJ Booth, The Toronto Star, Exclaim!, NOW Magazine, The Canadian Press, Pitchfork, Complex, XXL, Fader, NPR Music, and others.
Being raised in a musical household in Brampton, Ontario, she started singing back when she was a child, at the age of 4, and that escalated quickly. She’s already been rapping when she was 11, and started producing as she turned 15. In 2016, she was one of the three MCs of The Sorority — the hip hop group created during an all-female cypher on International Women’s Day that year. She was already pretty well-known back then. Now, she’s striving as a solo artist.
In addition to the album drop, Haviah’s releasing exclusive 12” vinyl of 13th Floor, as well as a new T-Shirt line, and, more extravagantly — her own line of rolling papers. Partnered with Ziggi Papers, the premium rolling paper is now available in a limited-edition collector’s series. Each pack includes 32 ultra-slim papers and 32 king size tips in a fold-in and reusable rolling tray.