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Is There a Distinctly “Vancouver” Watch?
Vancouver-based hip hop/rap and soul artist Missy D makes music for all ages (and in two languages).
When enough people tell you, “Hey, you kind of remind me of that Missy Elliott girl,” you embrace it. That (combined with the childhood nickname Didi) was how Vancouver-based hip hop/rap and soul artist Missy D got her name.
Missy D was born in Rwanda and lived in Côte d’Ivoire and Zimbabwe before moving to Vancouver. “I’ve always felt out of place, and I was pretty shy,” she remembers. Poetry was her outlet—that is, until she wrote her first rap as a school assignment. “I realized I’m not as shy when I express myself through music,” she says.
And when you see Missy D live, you’re not likely to get a shy vibe. “If you come to my show, you’re about to have a little call and response, you’re about to dance, you might be shedding a tear or two,” she says. Her high-energy rap and soul music is bilingual (her first language is French), and she’s gained popularity with an audience not usually associated with the genre: children.
The term “music for kids” might conjure up hellish replays of “Baby Shark,” but that’s not the case with Missy D. In fact, the upbeat, honest and unapologetic nature of hip hop makes it a perfect fit for younger crowds. “I love performing for kids,” says the artist. “I think they are smart individuals who feel their feelings.”
For children and adults, English- and French-speaking alike, Missy D’s songs tackle themes of identity, belonging and community. “My music is full of joy and full of heart,” she says. “It’s for the people.”
Follow Missy D on Instagram, listen to her music on Spotify see her speak at Creative Mornings on April 14—more info here.