Artist Statement

My artistry is deliberately chimeric. As an improvisor, I playfully transport audiences to either safer or more dangerous versions of the world. I delight in afro futurism, embodying empowered Black excellence. In musical improvisation, my baritone voice soothes even as I challenge societal norms. 

As an evocative writer and storyteller, I seek to heal myself and my communities from the trauma of white supremacy. My work seeks to be insightful and open to the insights of my audiences. This inclusive sharing is profoundly cathartic, unflinching and gratifying. 

Velvet Wells

Land and waterways acknowledgment

While we are connecting virtually, I grew up in Tkaronto, the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishinaabe, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples. It is home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. Now, I reside on the the unceded, unsurrendered Territory of the Anishinaabe Algonquin Nation.

I continue to educate myself on the continued genocide of and oppressive mechanisms against Indigenous people. This is not history, this is today. Injustice continues — by government at all levels (federal, provincial, and local) and in communities. I am working to decolonize my mindset, action and choices. I am prioritizing the wisdom of Indigenous leaders over those of the Canadian project.

As a person of mixed heritage, I acknowledge that some of my ancestors were settled here. Although I am a cultural orphan, I continue to educate myself beyond the oppressive history of Black people, as taught as an afterthought by Canadian schools. I’m learning about our culture and influence, stories, and the way Black excellence appears across communities and inventions.

I am embracing Black Joy as advocacy, rejecting the single story of Black trauma reinforced in spaces traditionally dedicated to whiteness.

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