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Canadian Podcast AMPLIFY Aims To Uplift Black Voices In The Music Industry

In its new second season, AMPLIFY shares the stories and experiences of prominent Black voices in Canadian music, from artists like Jully Black to executives, choreographers and producers.

​Jully Black

Canadian artist Jully Black, who's in the first episode of season two of AMPLIFY.

Courtesy of ADVANCE

A Canadian podcast dedicated to uplifting Black voices within the music business has released its second season. AMPLIFY, produced by Canadian Black Music Business Collective, ADVANCE, aims to educate and inspire underrepresented music workers navigating the entertainment and music industry.

ADVANCE was launched in 2020 by founders Vivian Barclay, Craig Mannix and Miro Oballa. As Black professionals in the music business, their goal was to create a space to increase Black presence in the industry. AMPLIFY is a product of this push for change.


Season 2 features interviews with people like artist Jully Black, Canada’s Drag Race choreographer and artistic director Hollywood Jade and Grammy nominated-producer LordQuest, as well as a number of Black executives from record labels and ADVANCE. Originally launched in 2022, the podcast’s second season will explore the teachings of guests and navigating the music industry by providing mentorship to aspiring Black Canadians.

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This season aims to widen the scope from its first set of episodes. Media personality Jesse Jones makes her return as narrator, while TV host Marieme Ndlaye will narrate two episodes in French that explore stories and experiences from a francophone lens within Canadian music.

“Offering conversations with an even more diverse lineup of guests with unique journeys, and expanding the conversations surrounding success, season two advances AMPLIFY's goal of being an accessible resource in our community with universal truths that all people can benefit from,” says Jones in a press release.

“It’s important for us as a part of the quilt of hip-hop, to understand we’re laying in the pages of history,” says Jully Black in episode one, which debuted on Oct. 5. “The next is now.”

First Steps, Big Dreams | AMPLIFY by ADVANCE Season 2 Episode 1

Amplify is currently airing on YouTube. Full audio episodes will come out Nov. 24 on all major podcast platforms.

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Celine Dion
Courtesy Photo

Celine Dion

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Celine Dion Battled Extreme Muscle Spasms From Stiff-Person Syndrome With Dangerously High Doses of Valium: ‘It Could Have Been Fatal’

The singer opened up about her decade-long struggle with the rare neurological disorder in Tuesday night's (June 11) primetime NBC special.

Celine Dion was so desperate to alleviate the pain from severe muscle spasms during her secret, nearly two-decade-long battle with the rare neurological and autoimmune disease Stiff-Person Syndrome that she took near-lethal doses of Valium in search of relief. In her one-hour primetime NBC special on Tuesday night (June 11), Dion said she took up to 90 milligrams of the medication used to treat anxiety, seizures and muscle spasms, an amount that is more than twice the recommended daily dose.

“I did not know, honestly, that it could kill me. I would take, for example before a performance, 20 milligrams of Valium, and then just walking from my dressing room to backstage — it was gone,” Dion said of the instant pain relief the medication offered at levels, however that “could have been fatal” if she’d continued at that pace. “At one point, the thing is, that my body got used to it at 20 and 30 and 40 [milligrams] until it went up. And I needed that. It was relaxing my whole body. For two weeks, for a month, the show would go on… but then you get used to [and] it doesn’t work anymore.”

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