Duane D.O Gibson Shares Thoughts On What To Expect From The 2022 Urban Music Conference Northern Power Summit 

Kat Harlton

Northern Power Summit (NPS) will deliver its 6th annual conference as an in-person, three-day event in Toronto on Thursday November 24, Friday November 25, Saturday November 26. 

Sponsored by Believe Music, the conference will provide emerging artists and music professionals alike with a prime opportunity to launch their careers into international waters. Through relevant educational programming and the opportunity for artists to speak to music industry experts, attending NPS is the perfect way to build a network and learn new ways to thrive.

Born in Watrous, Saskatchewan, with Cape Breton Nova Scotia roots, Duane D.O Gibson grew up in Southern Ontario before settling in Toronto. He has defied the odds as a rapper from Canada, becoming a certified international artist, a successful record label executive and a socially active community ambassador. He set a Guinness World Record when he freestyled for nearly nine hours in 2003, sold tens of thousands of CDs, hit #1 on U.S. College Hip-Hop Radio charts and traveled the world performing for sold-out crowds.

In February 2022, Duane capped his 90-show virtual Black Canadian 365 school tour, including the launching of his inaugural conference, which was attended by over one hundred thousand youth from across Canada. Duane’s dedication to encouraging youth to stand up for themselves and persevere led to Stay Driven. This anti-bullying program comes from Duane’s own life experiences, where he addresses relevant topics such as anti-bullying, peer pressure, and literacy. To date, he has performed at over one thousand schools where he has shone light on this topic and inspired the next generation to believe in themselves.

With a year-over-year increase in attendees, this year’s Northern Power Summit is set to bring life and beats to Toronto.

I had the opportunity to chat with Duane about the 2022 Northern Power Summit, inspiring others, and some of his favorite memories from past summits.

Kat: We’re so happy to hear that Northern Power Summit is back and in person from November 24-26 in Toronto! For those who are unfamiliar, what is the conference’s mission and who can benefit from its programming?

Duane: Thank you! We are all about artist empowerment. We want to give artists the tools to expand their career – both here in Canada, and to give them international opportunities. We’re excited to be bringing in a conference founder from Barcelona, some great music supervisors, and some extremely talented and successful artists that will share their story with us.

Kat: Can you highlight a few of the key speakers and panelists that attendees can look forward to hearing from?

Duane: We have Niall Doorley from Barcelona’s Future Music Forum. I have attended and performed at this event twice and it’s amazing. I love how he curates a conference with so many great people. I learned a lot, and I was also able to make some key business contacts.

We have R-Son from the bluegrass Hip-Hop group Gangstagrass. They are known for the theme song on the TV show Justified and were quarter finalists on America’s Got Talent.

And we have Friday who runs the popular We Love Hip-Hop podcast. He’s been a veteran of the Toronto Hip-Hop scene and I love how he shines the light on up and coming talent from the city.

Kat: There are also some incredible performances lined up. Who are a couple of the artists set to perform and what is it that you love about them?

Duane: I’m so excited to see Keith Mullins and Morgan Toney. I’ve known them for a few years now and love the energy they bring on stage. My family is from Cape Breton, so it’s cool to have some fellow Cape Bretoners come. I’m also excited to see Jory. She’s a breakout artist that has been making some incredible music with Beatchild. We have over 20 artists performing so I’m really excited to see them all!

Kat: You’ve been passionate about mentorship and inspiring others for quite some time. We’d love to hear about a favourite memory you may have from previous editions of Northern Power Summit. What stands out for you?

Duane: My favourite memory is when an artist asked music supervisor David Hayman how they can approach him to license their music. He said something to the effect of “I’ll be having a beer afterwards, why don’t we chat?”. They chatted, and a few months later that artist had their first licensing deal. I love how organic the connection was. That’s what we strive for.

Kat: Where can people go to register or purchase tickets?

Duane: You can register directly at http://www.northernpowersummit.com. Thank you for having me!


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Twitter: @NorPowerSummit
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