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TORONTO NATIVE DIAMOND Rings, known as John O by his friends, is no stranger to success. Having received glowing reviews from the likes of Spin, Pitchfork, and NME magazines, it’s no wonder Diamond Rings is taking the dance scene by storm.

His stage name may imply otherwise, but Diamond Rings is a one-man show. Supplying fist-pumping club beats and soaring synths along with his hypnotic, baritone voice, Diamond Rings is sure to come out of obscurity and start to heat up mainstream radio’s airwaves soon.

While his ‘80s glam-rock and androgynous on-stage persona would leave anyone believing he’s more style over substance, his music is more than hum-worthy. Diamond Rings’ songs may be filled with dance-friendly, pop-synth tunes, but it’s his heartfelt, confessional-type lyrics that leave the listener enthralled. His ability to combine catchy, upbeat melodies with lyrics about heartbreak and relationships has led him to secure a Juno nomination for Best New Artist.

Top tracks on his breakthrough album, Special Affections, include “All Yr Songs”, “Show Me Your Stuff”, and “Wait and See”.

Sounds like: Power pop-rock intertwined with heavy club beats and bright melodies.
Check him out: Online at


AS A LONG-term member of Enriched Bread Artists, Ottawa-based artist Karen Jordan evokes reflection through her latest exhibition, Slow Dance, juxtaposing questions about the tech world’s fast paced society to nature’s slow development.

Examining an ‘80s and ‘90s music classic listening device, the cassette, Jordan leaves many tapes on display for viewers to look upon.

Unwinding the reels of tape from the cassette player, the artist leaves them to become a tangled heap. Visitors to the exhibition are asked to ponder our society’s consumerist tendencies and apathy toward the environment.

With handwritten playlists and titles on the tapes, Jordan also awakens our nostalgic euphoria for the cassette tape’s use. She also communicates its abandonment to the CD, reducing cassette players to nothing but a huge amount of waste.

Looks like: A creative, yet thought-provoking exhibtion done in silence.
Check her out: At Karsh-Masson Gallery (136 St. Patrick St.), Feb. 3–April 8.

—Sofia Hashi and Tiolu Adedipe