LAL: Driving the allied arts movement

Emily Copeland is the Founder of Copeland Publicity, and today, she’s also a guest contributor to A Quarter Young. Emily is helping LAL, an electronic music duo from Toronto, celebrate their new music, which emphasizes the importance of accepting diversity, spreading peace and tackling issues head-on.

Emily put together the following article about LAL’s success and mission. Read more:

LAL of Toronto is made up of producer Nicholas Murray and vocalist Rosina Kazi. Photo courtesy of: LAL.
LAL of Toronto is made up of producer Nicholas Murray and vocalist Rosina Kazi. Photo courtesy of: LAL.

LAL is a transcendental electronic duo from Toronto. Producer Nicholas Murray and vocalist Rosina Kazi have been working and living as musicians for the past 18 years out of their home studio-turned-performance space, Unit 2. They met in the late 90s when they were both working at then-music-giant HMV’s dance department; Nic (aka Murr) was producing for Da Grassroots, a group that helped develop Toronto’s hip-hop culture.

They’ve just wrapped up their first North American West Coast tour, beginning in Victoria, BC and ending in San Francisco, CA, sharing the stage with poignant artist-activists like Ah-Mer-Ah-SuLee Reed and Kimmortal, and audience members in support of, or curious about, the allied arts movement. The messages shared on stage combined the person and the political, not to mention polyrhythms, minimalism and techno from their last album, Find Safety (Coax Records). Listen to the album on Bandcamp, here.

“We sound like migration, we sound like deportation. We sound like everything changed and taken into another world,” says Murr.

“We want to create safer parties, healing spaces and art spaces for all of us,” says Rosina.

There’s no better time than now: LAL’s new video single, ‘Tiny Mirrors,’ debuted recently via The FADER, is a song that,  “embraces ceremony and hope in an oppressive world.” It actively symbolizes situations like the Sioux Nations’ fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Black Lives Matter movement.
Radiate. Photo courtesy of: LAL.
Radiate. Photo courtesy of: LAL.

Dance music, since its disco and house nightclub culture of the 70s and 80s, and into rave culture of the 90s and 00s, has always promoted PLUR (peace, love, unity and respect). But the issues run deeper.

Fabric London’s closing is symbolic of a lack of support for nightlife across the board from government organizations and legislation. We’re tragically witnessing that even commercial spaces designed for dance music aren’t safe from hate and discrimination. But that hasn’t ever stopped artists like LAL from working.

LAL’s home, Unit 2, is a space where likeminded individuals can find a safe space to exchange ideas and values. Lately, media outlets have been shining a spotlight on organizers and musicians in the Toronto community who incorporate tolerance and positive mandates into their events.

Check out It’s Not U, It’s Me, and Yes Yes Y’all events in Toronto, and listen to Rosina and Murr talk about their work as artist-activists.

You can also keep up with LAL on Facebook.By: Emily Copeland

Want more? Listen to LAL’s new track, “Stand In My Way.” Click here.

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