About

In partnership with Toronto2.0, these low-key sessions are intended for anyone interested in exploring the craft and the art of writing better lyrics, and learning about everything from performance to the pen to telling your story. It is an homage to the community created by Danny Castro and Anthony Marshall, as well as compilation records (Lyricist Lounge and Soundbombing) created by Rawkus Records in the late 1990s.

This is about flows, expression, storytelling and community. While grounded primarily within Hip-Hop, all artists, writers, poets, and genres are welcome.

Session overview

Each session will be split into two halves roughly an hour to an hour and a half long each. The first half will be structured. It will be a community-oriented process where the topic will be explored through lyric, song, and artist suggestions by the audience. There will be short writing sessions/activities built into the agenda for each session to practise and get in the habit of writing consistently. The latter half of the sessions will be a more vocal process with freestyles and/or collaborating a on a specific beat.

The sessions are envisioned as split into groups of three (three sessions in one group) with each group discussing several tenets within the same realm and the group ending with a facilitator/guest speaker.

Schedule

Fri Sept 15

Workshop: Writing over beats vs. making a song from scratch

Location: South Sitting Room, 3rd Floor, Hart House

Hosted by Naseha Chowdhury, Sami Huda, and Guests.

The idea for the first session is to discuss the different approaches to song creation with the two most prominent ones being writing lyrics to a pre-made beat or working with a producer from the ground up. The session will go over how these approaches impact the process of song writing and whether one approach stands out as superior.

Fri Sept 29

Workshop: Lyrics vs. Music

Location: South Sitting Room, 3rd Floor, Hart House

This session will negotiate the different levels of importance given to the lyrics of a song vs. the music by different people. Due to the subjective nature of the debate this session will draw from people’s experiences and opinions and discuss how both should be worked on to create a good song.

Fri Oct 13

Showcase and Performance Opportunity: Hip-Hop and R&B

Location: Arbor Room, Basement, Hart House

Hosted by Naseha Chowdhury, Dylan Konde Johnson and Nidhil Vohra.

A showcase event from Lyricists’ Lounge attendees performing their original pieces involving the dialogue portion of the artist's songwriting process. This showcase will merge the wider University of Toronto audience with the up-and-coming Toronto Hip-Hop and R&B community, in the newly renovated Arbor Room. The event includes a cypher portion, all creatives are welcome to participate! Register in advance for updates.

Fri Oct 27

We Do It For The Culture

Location: Arbor Room, Basement, Hart House

With Special Guests: Dan-e-o and Keysha Freshh!

Part of the We do it For the Culture: a Hip-Hop at 50 Event Series celebrating the 50th anniversary of Hip-Hop, curated by Hart House, York University, and the Roots Rhymes Collective.

Fri Nov 10

Workshop: Focusing on R&B

Location: Burwash Room, 2nd Floor, Hart House

With Special Guests: TBD

This session will discuss what is R&B and how an R&B song is made. We will look at the commonalities between popular songs within this genre and also discuss people who have been known to bend boundaries within this genre. This session will also draw from people’s experiences and opinions of how they go about their own music.

Fri Nov 24

Workshop: Writing your own song

Location: Burwash Room, 2nd Floor, Hart House

With Special Guests: TBD

This session will be facilitated by an external speaker and the first half will be spent understanding the songwriting process of any genres the group wants to discuss that hasn’t been talked about before. The second half will be spent writing a rough draft of one’s own song in their genre of choice.

Fri Jan 19

Workshop: Why do we Write?

Location: Burwash Room, 2nd Floor, Hart House

This session will understand people’s motivations behind writing, whether that be songwriting, poetry, story writing, screenplay writing, or journaling. Through discussion and debate about “Why we write?” the aim is to understand how people go about trying to connect their work with the audience (if that is the aim). The idea being that this may expose participants to multiple approaches towards writing that they can apply to their own craft.

Fri Feb 2

Workshop: Creative Block

Location: Burwash Room, 2nd Floor, Hart House

The aim of this session is to discuss the presence of creative and writers’ block and where this stems from for different people. People are encouraged to contribute their struggles with the same in a positive environment as the group will try to understand ways to deal with the same in their own crafts. Strategies used by popular artists will also be studied to provide external ideas.

Fri Feb 16

Workshop: Freestyling

Location: Board Room, 2nd Floor, Hart House

With Special Guest: TBD

One known approach that artists use is to freestyle melodies, flows, and cadences before writing to a particular beat. Additionally, many like Jay Z have even been known to freestyle entire songs without penning down anything to them. This session will go over this idea of freestyling and understand its importance in the process of songwriting.

Fri Mar 1

Workshop TBD

Location: South Sitting Room, Hart House

More information coming soon.

Fri Mar 15

Workshop TBD

Location: Burwash Room, 2nd Floor, Hart House

More information coming soon.

Fri Apr 5

Workshop TBD

Location: Burwash Room, 2nd Floor, Hart House

More information coming soon.

Facilitators

Guests

Partners

Toronto 2.0

Toronto2.0 is a movement for Hip Hop culture in our city. In the summer of 2022, Toronto2.0 began its Live Music Series: which gives featured emerging performers a platform to showcase their talent, as well as an open mic platform to hone their craft.

Event Metadata

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How to register
  • Date: Fri, Feb 16, 2024
    Add to Calendar
  • Upcoming Recurrences
    • Fri, Mar 15, 2024
    • Fri, Apr 5, 2024
  • Time & Duration: 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm (EST) (2h)
  • Cost:
    • General Admission

      FREE

  • Venue:
    Hart House
    7 Hart House Cir,
    Toronto, ON M5S 3H3
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  • Room: Multiple rooms, see schedule.
  • Event Contact: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)