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South African Canadian artist Zaki Ibrahim is a globally distinguished singer, songwriter and producer known for making music that defies any one genre. She has emerged as one of Canada’s hip-hop and soul icons, collecting two Polaris Music Prize nominations (2013 & 2018) and a JUNO nomination for R&B/Soul Recording of the Year (2009). Filtered through the prismatic and often contradictory lenses of personal, historical and scientific relativities, Zaki’s work has been praised as “futuristic soul at its best” and “a retro-Afrofuturist vision” that revisits 40 years of electronic music. TD Sunfest audiences can look forward to a blend of retro R&B vibes with elements of spoken word, hip-hop, soul, house and 1970s pop – brilliantly produced in ways that will take them out of this world.
Throughout her career – from Vancouver to South Africa to Toronto and many points in between – Ibrahim has worked against the encroaching systems and machinery that would limit or dilute her vision. Ibrahim’s work pushes back against binaries, against reductiveness and against the clenching muscles of expectation.
In 2018, Ibrahim independently released her much-anticipated second full-length album, titled The Secret Life of Planets. Writes Pitchfork critic Anupa Mistry, “Planets isn’t just a product of Black American or South African music styles; its multiple identities make it distinctly Canadian…It’s the work of an optimist whose voice wasn’t silenced by the confines of an unimaginative industry; it’s expansive in effort, and by sheer existence.”