Toronto Youth Shorts film festival will be taking place this Saturday (August 6th) at Innis Town Hall. With 44 films on the roster, the range of subject matter is as eclectic as it gets.

We plucked a half dozen films that intrigued us most to spotlight. In Step 1, three musicians express their feelings and ideas on Hip Hop culture in Toronto. We chatted with filmmaker Carlee Diamond about what she learned from making this short, and what local artist we should be paying attention to right now.

1. Is there a definitive Toronto sound?

In my experience of Toronto’s music, there really is no definitive sound. In this city there is a little bit of everything. I feel like right now artists are really trying to experiment with what they can do, and challenge themselves to create something genuine and original.

2. What excites you in the Toronto hip hop scene right now? Who should be on our radar?

Tasha the Amazon is a Toronto artist that has been on my radar for awhile now, who has recently gained more and more spotlight in the past year. I am always thrilled to see female artists rise and inspire others to hustle for their dreams. 

3. What lesson did you learn from making this film?

In the making of Step 1 I learned that love is what makes things happen. This project is very close to me, in part because of the journey it took to make it. I fell in love with my subjects, their music, and the energy they put out into the world. I’ve never been so connected to a project in my life. My journey in making this documentary inspired me to always put my heart into my work and to put love out there in the ways I can.

4. Where is your favourite place to dance?

My favourite place to dance is at 876 Studio every Sunday at The Honour Roll of course!