A Podcast Conversation With ... NXNE's Michael Hollett

2023 feels like a far-better version of 2022. We are out roaming the streets, lining the doorsteps to our favourite venues, and seizing any semblance of normality.

A Podcast Conversation With ... NXNE's Michael Hollett

By Bill King

2023 feels like a far-better version of 2022. We are out roaming the streets, lining the doorsteps to our favourite venues, and seizing any semblance of normality. The masks were all but tossed or lost. The chant—"I want to be me again. Get my life back," rings in the ears of most inhabitants of the earth. Indeed, the ones that survived and are in reasonable physical and mental shape. The World Health Organization has declared the pandemic over, and what remains of the heinous virus is moving into the medical glossary of yearly vax-up warnings. Finally, that flu season is not upon us.


There is no doubt people want change and life outdoors. I'm not speaking of camping around an open fire, but theatres, clubs, concerts, and festivals. The goodies that sweetened our will to party hearty. Not the flat-out drinker's tailgating kind, but those events that enhance the mind. Music, art, human contact, conversation, and fine dining.

Nothing says welcome back more than the familiar. Those summer events we almost lost in Toronto. Pride Parade, Caribbean Festival, Luminato, TD Jazz Festival, Harbourfront, Latin, all those ethnic neighbourhoods get-togethers.

The nearly lost, but not forgotten, have returned. 2022, attendance and goodwill sparked renewed interest in NXNE. 2023 looks to surpass that.

I caught up with founder Michael Hollett, also the man behind the publication - NEXT Magazine, and discussed a wide range of related topics, all central to where music and the future intersect. This is where we begin with this week's FYI Music News podcast.

More on NXNE

NXNE is Canada’s most important discovery music festival, presenting thousands of essential emerging artists, often just before they break, from across Canada and around the world - since 1995.

From June 13 -18, 2023, over 20 of Toronto’s best live music venues will again come alive with great new music! Festival passes are on sale now — only $25 for five nights of music.


NXNE makes splendid music accessible and inclusive of its low-cost $25 full festival pass (all nights, all venues, all bands) - and $15 single venue, one-night admission — get a pass!

NEW IN 2023

Musicians and live music fans are welcome at NX HQ, festival headquarters - a busy artist and festival hub - featuring performances, lounges, panels, parties, band merch and more. At It's OK - 468 Queen Street West - in the heart of Toronto’s live music district.

Here’s just a small sample of artists that have hit the NXNE stages since 1995.

LIZZO (2014 - Yonge Dundas and, on a streetcar: 2017 - Port Lands)

POST MALONE (2017 - Port Lands)

DANIEL CAESAR (2016 - Port Lands)

VINCE STAPLES (2015 - Berkeley Church)

RUN THE JEWELS (2014 - Yonge Dundas, Adelaide Hall)

FUTURE ISLANDS (2014 - Tattoo, Toronto Island)

DANNY BROWN (2014 - Yonge Dundas, Adelaide Hall)

THE BEACHES (2013 - Rivoli)

LUMINEERS (2012 - Horseshoe)

THE WEATHER STATION (2012 — The Great Hall)

GRIMES (2011 - Great Hall)

MAC DEMARCO (2011 - The Garrison)


METZ (2009 - Silver Dollar)

GARY CLARK JR. (2007 - Phoenix)

THE ARKELLS (2007 - Rivoli)

K’NAAN (2005 - The Drake)

FEIST (2004 - Reverb)

SAM ROBERTS (2002 - Rivoli)

BILLY TALENT (1999 - Rivoli)

PEACHES (1996 - Ania’s)

MATTHEW GOOD BAND (1996 - Horseshoe)

SARAH HARMER (1995 - Rivoli)


Mason Poole*


Chart Beat

Beyoncé’s ‘Texas Hold ‘Em’ Debuts at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs Chart

Plus, her "16 Carriages" rolls in at No. 9.

Pop and R&B/hip-hop superstar Beyoncé makes her debut on Billboard’s streaming-, airplay- and sales-based Hot Country Songs chart (dated Feb. 24) with her first two entries on the survey: “Texas Hold ‘Em” at No. 1 and “16 Carriages” at No. 9.

As previously reported, the songs start at Nos. 2 and 38, respectively, on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100.

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