Polaris Prize-winning Toronto rapper, Haviah Mighty, today shares her fresh new single, “Tesla,” the latest track pulled from her forthcoming mixtape, Stock Exchange, due out November 12th, 2021. “Tesla” arrives with a video game-inspired visual directed by Jesse Bryan of Die Fire Films along with Production Company, Cultiv8 (who were at the helm for Haviah’s epic ‘Obeah’).
Haviah Mighty looks to travel on “Tesla” not just as a means of taking her where she wants to go, but as a marker of how far she’s already come – a moment of reflection caught amidst her ceaseless recent momentum. Co-produced with Young Dreadz, whom she links up with again following visceral previous single “Protest Ft. Yizzy,” “Tesla” shares that contemplative sense of hard-won accomplishment, laying an ominous beat beneath creative samples and hard-nosed verses.
Of the single, Haviah shares: “Being fresh off the high from free-styling on Sway in the Morning just a few days earlier, to performing in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles… all of this solidified something in my mind – the idea that I could really achieve this. The only thing I have to do is continue to work hard. One thing I’ve always worried about is being stagnant and only being recognized for the last thing that I’ve done, so maintaining this work ethic has to be a focal point for me. While much of this song talks about the things that I feel I’m on my way to achieving, some of which being those nice-to-have material things – for me, these things are symbolic of something more abstract – a lifestyle that I couldn’t fathom prior.”
Haviah Mighty became the first hip hop artist, as well as the first Black woman, to win the Polaris Music Prize for her breakthrough 2019 album, 13th Floor. The project and the hard-hitting singles that have followed highlight her vast sonic influences ranging from classic rap/hip hop elements to Caribbean rhythms, frenetic electro and diverse instrumentation. On the Stock Exchange mixtape, Haviah tackles marginalization, racism, the Atlantic slave trade, loneliness, self-worth, among other topics with features from Mala Rodriguez, TOBi, Yizzy, Grandtheft, and more. The singles that have been rolling out since late 2020 have already garnered praise from the likes of Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Fader, The Source, Complex, Remezcla, triple j, Consequence and more.
The title – Stock Exchange – refers to an internal reckoning Haviah underwent across the last year thinking about how artists are now forced to validate their value as creators and the merit of their work based on a set of random data metrics (follower counts, views, streams, etc.), losing the authentic, universal human-to-human experience of art in the process. Carrying the themes of “Tesla” across the whole project, she adds that “these statistics that we use to compare ourselves to others and to define our successes have become proof of our worth. It’s all perception. These ideas around perceived value got me thinking about the Stock Exchange. Seeing parallels between the way it flows – the constant rising and falling – all dictated by the general public’s perception of an entity’s value, and ultimately how that influences the moves that we make as individuals.”
“Tesla” arrives following Haviah’s long-awaited return to the live stage, performing at national festival stages across Ontario and Quebec over July and August. This fall she’ll play Osheaga Get Together in Montreal (10/2) as well as Cranium Festival in Ottawa (10/3), to be followed by a UK appearance at FOCUS in Wales (10/8).