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D'BI YOUNG

Dub poet, lyrical wizard, playwright, vocalist, actress, mother – all this and more, d’bi.young is a one-woman explosion of dub poetry, roots-rock-reggae rhythms, with some dancehall and punk rock blended skillfully into the mix for a convergence of rhythm and sound.

The Jamaican-Canadian word-warrior has a talent, determination and universal flair which has awed crowds from the international reggae festival in Havana, to the Calgary Folk Festival, while opening for Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra in Montreal, on Lord Have Mercy, the first Afro-Canadian televised sitcom, and most recently in her explosive performance in Canada’s smash hit musical 'Da Kink In My Hair. She is a story-teller with a deep fusion of social, cultural, political, and spiritual influences which blend into her own fiercely unique wordplay. Her self, her life and her work are a straight-up challenge to systems of oppression and a celebration of resistance to fear.

young’s strength and determination shine through in everything she does. She has independently produced four dub albums, a demo and a single; penned a trilogy of plays called blood.claat, which won the Dora Award for Outstanding Play – and which she is currently working to publish bilingually; she recently launched her first book of poetry called art on black, published by women’s press; she is currently finalizing her fourth dub album ky.ky, an ‘exploration of womban, identity, race and class’; she is the fiery mouth-piece of the 7-member dancehall-rock band dubbin.revolushun.gangstars; and she is a full-time mother to her son, moon.

d’bi.young’s potent words and purposeful rhythms are a celebration, an exploration and a challenge. Along with the gangstars, she uses the fire and passion of reggae and dancehall beats to challenge systemic discrimination and oppression in the forms they take in our society: misogyny, homophobia, gender typecasting, etc. The freedom of her lyrical style is her weapon of resistance and her instrument of change. Her lyrical investigation of the dynamics of power and oppression is as uncompromising as her depictions of the realities of those who are oppressed within our society. Whichever medium her words are channeled through, the strength, joy, hope, fierceness and universal humanity of her personal and political message are unmistakable.

d'bi young supports get loud and War Child Canada. Other organizations and campaigns that d'bi has been involved with include:

  • She contributed her gift as a playwright and an actress at the Vancouver Sisterhood Festival in 2005
  • She co-produced the Cuban-Canadian feminist documentary blood, based on her poem the same name, and featuring political exile Nehanda Abiodun and Las Krudas -- one of Havana’s leading feminist hip hop groups-- with filmmaker Judy Singh
  • In August 2005, her performance closed out the three-day cross-cultural concert festival Latin Canadian Caribbean Cuban Arts Collaboration in Toronto


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