English rapper LTtheMonk (Liam Tyndall) celebrated his second album release by putting together a party at Mill's Hardware on March 1st, 2019.
LT had been planning a party for the release of his second album Kinks, Drinks and Hip-Hop, for months in advance.
"I was messing around with dates for a while," said LT. "I really wanted to plan a sort of countdown. Fortunately, someone ended up cancelling at Mill's and I got my original date, March 1st."
As an aspiring musician in 2019, LT had trouble navigating how to network with local venues.
"I was in music business class, and our teachers were trying to teach us how to send a proper email- and we ended up having a little debate with them," said LT. "I said that most of my business is through Instagram, and they were like, "I know nothing about that," so how do I function on Instagram because you're telling me how to write "Dear sir," and all that? Then a few weeks later, Mill's Hardware followed me on Instagram, so I messaged them and said, "How do I go about getting a show?" So they gave me Darlene, who's the bookings manager for Mill's, and I said to her, "I have this idea for an album release party." She got back to me just after Christmas and we made it happen."
As well as featuring local hip-hop artists, LT invited Hamilton clothing brands Pine and Mad Thriftz to set up pop-ups at the venue.
"So I've been doing work- photoshoots and such, with Pine since the summer- they're the ones who made my LTtheMonk hoodie," said LT. "Then Mad Thriftz- I did a podcast with Jake, who runs the company. They're all Hamilton brands, and this album is the story of me living in Hamilton over the last couple of years, so I really wanted people that represented my experience here."
Two Hamilton hip-hop artists Hoss Bowman and Viktoria Csik are featured on the album, and performed at the release.
"I met Hoss on the same day that I had my first ever show in Canada, at Corktown," said LT. "I met Viktoria at a show at This Ain't Hollywood- she was Jude's friend (producer Judah Jump @judahjump), she just came up to me and said, "Hey I love your stuff," and I thought, 'Okay, who is this girl, I guess she's just a really big fan,' but we became really great friends and now I'm so glad that she's a part of the album."
Hoss (Joshua) Bowman is a Broadcasting and Television student at Mohawk College, and has been creating music since he was 16.
"I met LT about a year and a half ago at a Corktown show. He was out here looking for people to play shows with as soon as he got to Canada, he really jumped on any opportunity he could," said Hoss. "Ever since we just really hit it off, and we both go to Mohawk College so we were able to collaborate all the time. I started playing with LT when I met him, I did a song with him on my mixtape called "Who?", he did a real quick verse on there, and ever since we've just been performing that live whenever we can. Eventually we'll be performing "Who?" with his live band as well. I'm also featured on a track off his album, "Bless the Rappers"."
As the night went on, the crowd grew larger than expected. They sang along, danced, and started a mosh pit.
"The turnout was so good," said LT. "I'm so happy because we had more pre-sales than we had for the whole turnout, so then I started hearing about people who were buying at the door, and I thought, "Oh god, this is gonna be a good turnout." Like, I couldn't even see the people at the back of the crowd- it was a completely full venue. I'm so happy, I'm so excited to see the final numbers, plus the merch sale for the night."
When the night closed, the numbers were revealed- over 100 people had bought tickets, LT's specialty cocktail the Tequila Mockingbird had sold out, and almost all of the merch had gone home to happy concertgoers.
"This gig went really well, it was sick," said Hoss. "Between me, Viktoria, and all the designers, LT is really holding it down for the city and showing that he legit really loves Hamilton, and isn't using it as a crutch or an opportunistic thing. It's really cool that he's so supportive of local artists."