Anyone grasping to comprehend the charisma of Vancouver’s Manila Grey might have benefited from a trip to Toronto’s downtown venue, Toybox.
Comprised of singer/songwriter Soliven and rapper Neeko Francisco, the childhood friends easily filled out the sleek venue, having been making waves in Canada’s hip-hop scene as well as fame through streaming numbers.
First experimenting with their own music 10 years ago, the duo’s blend of rap and smoky R&B backdrops have resulted in their biggest tour yet, The Silver Skies Tour, currently sending them across Asia and North America.
In Toronto, their decidedly dressed-down approach and slouchy gait traded on an attitude that was embraced by buzzing fans. Unsurprisingly, the crowd came hyped unleashing a sea of smartphones as the two artists performed with a confidently direct swagger.
On songs like Filipino Pride they rapped regarding their upbringing on Canada’ west coast, a narrative that seemed to resonate with the specific audience in attendance: Image conscious Millennials and Gen Zers who aim for the good life.
Later on and looking happy, the duo delivered their most popular song Timezone. Packed with energy from the start, the track began with a thunderous, ““Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ / Island boys we the chosen.” The effect was immediate as the crowd jumped up and down nearly forming a mosh-pit.
The party vibe was so pure that the crowd didn’t even seem to mind that set only last an hour. Either way, Manila Grey was the real deal, wielding some the freshest and most-polished hip-hop emerging out of Canada in 2019.