Over the past decade, Toronto solidified its place in the music industry. Some of the biggest artists in the world are from Toronto, and even the artists that aren’t, look to the producers from Toronto to help them get to the next level.
T-Minus, Boi-1da, and WondaGurl are just some of hit-makers that have been able to sprinkle a little bit of Toronto energy into the catalogues of some of the world’s biggest artists. J Cole, Travis Scott, Kendrick Lamar, and many more, have had some of their biggest records when collaborating with Toronto’s own. It’s safe to say that betting on Toronto is always a good idea.
At Sidedoor, we are more than willing to give flowers to the creatives that have paved the way for us today. Following in the footsteps of the multi-platinum, Grammy award winning producers, like the ones we mentioned earlier, are a new generation of talented producers who are hungry to reach the heights of those that came before them, and hopefully take things even further. Without further ado, the following is a list of Canadian producers that you want to look out for in 2021.
YoungTN, a 17-year old producer out of Scarborough, Ontario, had a big 2020. After feeling discouraged a few years ago, TN fell back in love with music and was able to lock in with some of the biggest producers in the world. Through his relationships, and talented melody-making, TN received his first platinum certification for his work on Lil Baby’s My Turn (Deluxe). TN provided the infectious melody that engulfs the time-capturing “Social Distancing”, a record that we’ll be looking back on for years to come.
Following his placement with Lil Baby, TN continued to thrive, pushing out the single “Moods” with Scorey, before working on several tracks off of Toosii’s break out album, Poetic Pain, including the intro “Sinner’s Prayer”.
TN closed out the year with another big placement on NLE Choppa’s “Moonlight”, which featured Big Sean.
TN is focused on creating the best music possible and bringing up as many people as possible. We happen to know that he’s prepared to continue to thrive in 2021, but only time will tell if we’ll get to hear his dream collaboration with Polo G.
Jenius Level is only 19 years old, but he’s been making music for over 10 years now. As much as he’s new to the game, he’s far from a rookie. Already in his career, he’s worked with the likes of Travis Scott, Don Toliver, Sheck Wes, Jack Harlow, and Pop Smoke.
In December of last year, he closed out the year with placements on Kid Cudi’s MOTM 3, Jack Harlow’s debut That’s What They All Say, and co-produced the Anders single “Don’t Play” alongside WondaGurl and London Cyr.
We spoke to Jenius after his busy 2020, and he assured us that he has a lot more music coming in 2021.
London, who works closely with Jenius Level and WondaGurl is another producer that has the midas touch. His collaborations with Wonda and Jenius have topped the charts in the past, but he’s still got a lot left in him.
The Vancouver-born, London, has the ability to make bangers like “Can’t Say” by Travis Scott, but can also slow it down and create songs like “Know My Rights” for 6lack, which features Lil Baby.
Just like Jenius, London Cyr is mentored by WondaGurl, so we have a strong feeling they’re gonna have a busy 2021.
Kevin Rolly has some of the most outstanding production in Toronto. As soon as you hear his producer tag, you know the beat is gonna knock as hard as possible. In 2020, Rolly continued his streak of working with some of the most talented artists in Toronto. His self-released project Rude featured appearances from SLIMEBOITY, Jaay Cee, Why G, Young Tory, Roy Woods, AR Paisley, Castro Guapo, K CAMP, JUGGER, Swagger Rite, Yung Jizzel, Oso, Manu Crooks, and Astrokidjay.
Rolly is a staple in Toronto hip hop and is known to create some of the hardest tracks in the city. In 2021, we’re undoubtably gonna hear a lot more Rolly, within the city, and outside of it too.
Harrison has been making waves behind the scene for several years now, with cross-genre collaborations that have resulted in much earned recognition as a producer and musical composer. Although this relationship with music is a rocky one, he knows what his talent can do. Now that he’s back in love with production and music in general, the world should be prepared to hear a lot of him.
He’s challenged himself to create something new everyday since the pandemic hit, and he’s going to continue working with the underground legend Sean Leon for his upcoming project. We’re sure that Harrison’s impact is gonna be felt in 2021.
SLMN is another producer that has been working behind the scenes for quite some time now, with several hits under his belt. He, alongside a few other Toronto-based producers, helped Anders grow NST into the label it is today, with early work on songs like “Choosy”, “With or Without”, and of course, “Diamonds”.
Since then, SLMN’s catalogue has grown to include the likes of Mariah Carey, Black Atlass, and Elijah Blake, among many others. SLMN has continued to work with Anders, co-producing many of his recent records like “Bad Habits” and the ballad “Love In the Winter”. At the beginning of 2020, he released “Shot Again” with Roy Woods.
SLMN has proved his ability to work with artists across several genres, so we expect that the multi-instrumentalist will continue to shine in 2021 and beyond. We can’t wait to hear what’s next.
Before forming a duo alongside Just John, Dom Dias worked as a club DJ and worked to develop his skill as a producer. Dom is known for his eclectic sound choices and his individualist production. He’s a “producer’s producer”, and is able to create every kind of mood. Whether it be Dancehall, Disco, Rap, it doesn’t matter, Dom will make sure it sounds good, and won’t compromise his creativity in doing so.
Dom’s already started off the year strong with Cartel Madras collaboration titled “DRIFT”, and we’re excited to hear more.
Whether you knew it or not, VillaBeatz is likely responsible for some of your favourite 88GLAM tracks. Villa contributed to their early success, producing songs like “Bali” and “Kyrie”, as well as several others off their debut album. His relationship with 88 is as strong as it’s ever been, and he’s continued to work with them into 2020, producing songs like “Gucci Snake”, “Analog Keys”, and “Drive” off their most recent release, New Mania.
If we had to bet on it, we’d say that he and 88GLAM will continue to impact the industry with their undeniable energy and unique sound. We also happen to know that he’s gonna do his part to uplift Toronto’s new generation of artists.
KwaceGod is a young producer out of Toronto that has been working for the past few years to prepare himself to reach the masses. One of his recent placements comes on the “Real Toronto”, a collaboration between him and the enigmatic Parkdale artist, G Body. G Body brings a new energy to the sound of Toronto, and KwaceGod compliments it perfectly.
G Body is one of our Artists to Look Out For in 2021, and we know that the sound the two are bringing to Toronto will appreciated, respected, and coveted.
KwaceGod is gonna follow up a busy 2020, with an even busier 2021.
Pitt Tha Kid
Pitt Tha Kid is another young producer that has already taken the game by storm. He’s worked with the likes of Lloyd Banks, 2 Chainz, Schoolboy Q, Jaden Smith, Young Thug, Nav and more. He’s already got a couple of plaques, one of them being form the work he did on “Creature” off of Pop Smoke’s double-platinum album Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon, which featured Swae Lee.
Pitt has always felt like an underdog, so although he’s accomplished so much already, he’s still hungry for more. His catalogue is deep, but that’s not gonna stop him from flooding 2021.
DRTWRK is a Montreal-based producer that has found success not only developing with artists locally, but also building with some of the biggest artists in the world. After being apart Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter V, for his contribution on “Let It Fly”, which featured Travis Scott, DRTWRK got to work with his idol Kanye West on the Jesus Is King record “Use This Gospel”, which featured the Clipse and Kenny G.
Considering the success he’s had years prior, it’s understandable that DRTWRK would consider 2020 a “slow” year for himself. Although he was grateful to be credited alongside Timbaland and a few other producers on the highly successful Saweetie x Jhene Aiko collaboration “Back To The Streets”, he was hoping to have a much busier 2020.
For that reason alone, we know he’s gonna come back hard in 2021, and remind everyone why he’s a Grammy-nominated producer.
Bijan Amir is another producer that has been working closely with Sean Leon over the past few months. Although it seems as though Bijan’s recent focus has been the growth of Toronto-based artists, through his production on songs like “Blackberry Zap” off of Pressa’s Gardner Express EP and “DIBBY DIBBY” off DillanPonders’ Because We’re Alive album, Bijan’s biggest record came in 2017, when he worked with Metro Boomin on the Without Warning standout track “Ric Flair Drip”.
The Mississauga-based producer has been grinding for years, and now that he feels like he can have fun doing what he loves, the accolades are certain to add up. We’re confident another big record is going to come very soon. Let’s see if 2021 is the year.
We made this list not only to appreciate the producers behind some of our favourite songs, but also to inspire the rest of Toronto to do what they love. Although we’ve only included 12 producers on this list, we know that we could have made it much longer. But just because we didn’t get to show love to everybody, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. Please continue to encourage and support the creatives in your life, because you never know what it might do for them.
Toronto, keep shining. We’ll be here to listen.