There have always been Black musicians in Toronto, but they’ve never been brought together quite like this before.
Premiering today (June 9) at Canadian Music Week and available on CBC Music starting Friday, June 10, The Onyx Experience is part concert film, part multi-sensory experience featuring a jaw-droppingly array of musicians, including the OBGMs, Fefe Dobson, SATE and an art installation by Kizmet. The premiere is a special invite-only wristband event but the film promises to have something to teach everyone who watches it.
“The Onyx Experience is an otherworldly multi-evolutionary live concert art film celebrating Black artists rocking out in Canada,” according to the film release announcement. “Shot in a studio transformed into a multi-sensory dystopian universe, The Onyx Experience tells the story of rise, rebellion and rumination with electrifying performances… Simultaneously on the verge and on the edge. Equal parts innovator and outcast. Gathered in one place to celebrate each other, shine a light on one another and remind each other that in this fast-paced, amnesiac world, we do and have always existed.”
Producer David “Click” Cox said he had a very clear reason for making the Onyx Experience. “I produced this film to celebrate and shine a light on Black artists doing rock music in Canada. There are not enough opportunities for Black artists to be heard and seen. This film brings together some of Canada’s best artists in an evolving art installation by Kizmet. With the vision of the director, we created a cinematic art film that will bring people through multidimensional rock performances and experiences.”
Director Andrew Hamilton adds “It’s not often you get a chance to create for the younger version of yourself. Bringing this project to life felt cathartic after all these years of loving rock music and constantly feeling like that love would never be reciprocated. We’re creating the inspiration for the next generation that will get to see themselves in the things that they love!”