Ian Kamau The Garrison, Toronto ON March 22

Ian KamauThe Garrison, Toronto ON March 22
There's a level of satisfaction that comes from watching a hometown artist grow and develop on stage over the years, not only building a live persona, but expanding their abilities and delivery. Toronto's Ian Kamau, his style having grown from earlier spoken word leanings to that of a more traditional MC, with increasingly impressive vocal skills gaining greater presence in recent years, put each of those elements on show during his brief Shad-curated Artist Select time slot. Layering copious amounts of soul over a slew of emotive rhythms from throughout a respectable catalogue, the ever-inquisitive lyricist held attentive listeners in a steady head nod with his talk of love and politics. Classic cut "Black Bodies" elicited a chant of "save our souls," while newer fare helped to accent the strides Kamau has made both as a performer and producer, creating a satisfying set for those amongst the mixed Thursday night Garrison crowd who came for the show.