House of Paint Festival: Mischa makes a splash with songs of empowerment


House of Paint is billing this year’s festival as a “gathering” that will once again bring together the various elements of hip hop culture in Ottawa after two pandemic-wracked years that thwarted any efforts to come together.

The theme of reunion is reflected in the show, which features recurring appearances from headliners who have thrilled HOP audiences in the past, such as Haviah Mighty, the Toronto rapper who made history this year when she became the first woman to win Juno Award. for best rap album and francophone hip-hop legend D-track. The festival starts on Friday and lasts until Sunday.

Announcement 2


But the show also sheds light on the emerging artists who began to make a name for themselves during the lockdown. One such promising new talent is Mischa Plouffe, the 29-year-old Ottawa rapper who goes by her first name on stage. She performs on Saturday.

“She is someone who has really come on the scene in the last two years, making a name for herself and getting involved in the community,” said HOP Executive Director Veronica Roy. “It’s an honor to introduce her.”

Mischa is the word dynamo responsible for Alpha Barbie, a catchy, groove-filled song that came out in 2020 and caused a sensation with its feminist swagger. There have been a string of singles since then, including One Up, G2G and her latest, 999, building momentum that is starting to fuel her career. So far this year, she’s won a Capital Music Award for Best Music Video (for G2G) and has already performed at RBC Ottawa Bluesfest, Cranium Arts Project and Montreal’s Metro Metro festival.

Announcement 3


“I love pushing empowerment in my songs,” Mischa said, “whether it’s a song like One Up, which is more about sexual empowerment, or G2G, which is like, ‘Hey, I’ve got to stand my ground and get what I want. I want in life because I deserve it’ or female empowerment on Alpha Barbie, I want people to listen to my music and get that confidence boost.”

Now he seems to have no shortage of confidence, but it took him a few years to get there. Although he was born in Ottawa and lived here for the first five years of his life, Mischa grew up primarily in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. He has been writing since his teens, but it never occurred to him to create songs until he moved to Ottawa with his parents about eight years ago.

“I always wrote down all my feelings as an outlet,” Mischa said in an interview, “then slowly over the years I began to turn those thoughts and emotions into rhyme, but it wasn’t until I was 25 that I said: ‘Hears. , Did you know? I’m going to try to make a song. I had no idea how to structure a song, but I just wanted to give it a try.”

Announcement 4


He enlisted the help of a producer/DJ friend, Jonny Brown, whom he met at work. He loved what they recorded together. a new version of a Rihanna song and encouraged her to pursue music as a career.

Without a doubt, Mischa has thrown herself into it. She completed an audio engineering course (through The Audio Recording Academy) and now works as a production manager and technical director, gaining skills that allow her to experience the music business from the inside.

“I’m a big believer that if you want to thrive in a specific aspect of your life, it’s also great to go behind the scenes, get that knowledge, and be well-versed in everything,” she said. noting that creativity is just one piece of the puzzle.

ad 5


Mischa also makes use of the resources offered through the Ottawa Music Industry Coalition (OMIC), including networking events, information sessions, and panel discussions that provide her with the knowledge to manage her own career as an independent artist.

But her first love is acting and she has ambitions: the ultimate goal is to break out of Ottawa and attract a worldwide audience.

“Honestly, whether I perform for one or 10,000 people, I want to convey the same energy. I want to give an immaculate performance,” she said. “I love acting, I want to share that energy with people from all over the world. I want that international fan base and I’m so ready to do whatever it takes to get to that place. I really can’t wait for what’s unfolding.”

ad 6


Back at House of Paint, the organizers are crossing their fingers for a successful event that will pave the way for next year’s 20th anniversary edition. “We’re financially healthy right now and that feels great,” Roy said, “but we really need to see that the community wants this festival to happen because it relies on donations and grants.”

Highlights of this weekend’s festivities include the return of popular performances like the OG 500 poetry and breakdance battles, along with musical performances and mural painting. Saturday’s main event will be held from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. at the traditional festival house under the Dunbar Bridge between Carleton University and Brewer Park. Admission is by donation.

In keeping with its mandate to nurture hip-hop culture, the festival also includes events that aim to cultivate the next generation. There are introductory workshops and presentations in the Seeds tent on Saturday, and a Knowledge Conference is scheduled for Sunday at the SAW Club. Visit for complete details on programming and tickets.

[email protected]

Announcement 1


Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil discussion forum and encourages all readers to share their thoughts on our articles. Comments can take up to an hour to be moderated before appearing on the site. We ask that you keep your comments relevant and respectful. We’ve enabled email notifications – you’ll now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there’s an update in a comment thread you follow, or if a user you follow comments. visit our Community Principles for more information and details on how to adjust your E-mail settings.

Leave a Comment