Brittany Exmiranda Manu

Brittany Exmiranda Manu, lyricist and spoken-word poet, has been turning heads with her unique sound, dynamic flow and ability to infuse various genres into her eclectic rap style. As an advocate for inclusion and diversity, she uses her artistic prowess to engage her community and inspire youth from vulnerable populations.

We asked rising local rapper Exmiranda about her musical influences and how Toronto helps shape her unique sound.

What are the biggest influences on your music and writing style?

My biggest influences are my personal experiences as a black African-Canadian female, my experience working as an advocate for vulnerable populations, my spirituality, and my passion for personal development. My writing style is also influenced heavily by my artistic influences, including poet activists like Maya Angelou and singer-songwriter activists like Nina Simone who used their art as community development tools.

How does Toronto, and where you’re from, influence your creativity and your work?

As a person from Toronto who is a part of the Ghanaian community within the city, my music integrates these different cultural influences, allowing me to mix the popular Toronto sounds with other West African sounds like high life, Afrobeat, hiplife and Afrofunk. In addition, my experience with Toronto culture and my experience as a person from the city greatly influences the themes, concepts, stories and ideas I write about.

What has been your biggest accomplishment in your career so far?

My biggest accomplishment throughout my career is creating the Pursuing Our Passions project for youth who are blind and partially sighted. The program allows youth who are blind and partially sighted to learn the tools and skills to pursue careers in the arts. I’ve also contributed to the Reaction4Inclusion Movement by supporting youth with and without intellectual disabilities through Community Living Ontario.

What does it mean to you to be nominated for the Emerging Artist Award?

This award would allow me to experiment with other genres and sounds. I am looking at reinterpreting, remixing and discovering different music styles to push the genre of hip-hop forward through a variety of sounds and genres. Access to this award would help me to grow artistically by incorporating innovative styles that aren't typically used in hip-hop from Toronto, and help pay for additional studio time and collaborators. Additionally, much of my arts advocacy work is volunteer-based, where I donate my time and skills as an artist to various not-for-profit groups. The award would assist the development of artistic programs and projects that support the advocacy work I am involved in.