“Incendiary groove machines, [TUSH surfaced] from the fertile warehouse scene where Kamilah Apong and Jamie Kidd ignite dance floors with their transcendent live show –– a celebration indebted to the glory days of early disco that cleverly [avoids] pastiche thanks to the troupe’s sheer talent.” (Exclaim!)
In 2017, musician Apong responded to a Craigslist ad, ending up in seven-piece ‘70s live disco band Mainline with production guru and bassist Kidd. They later rebranded as TUSH, with Apong and Kidd at the helm. The pair dove into songwriting and live band curation to release ‘do you feel excited?’ in 2018. “A big part of that was to make [the music] more reflective [of] the origins of disco and house. How mixed it was, how Black it was, how queer it was,” says Apong. The record charted at No. 3 in electronic music across national campus radio, with the album’s cover of ‘Southern Freeez’ making German collective Jazzanova's top ten (and later opening for them). This success was chased by two remixes of ‘Oh My’ by underground house icon Osunlade, which saw the charts of luminary DJs such as Danny Krivit, and was followed by with singles ‘Don’t Be Afraid’ (2019) and ‘Leh We Guh’ (2020).
Since their vintage disco days, the sound has evolved as they adopt other styles that are part of its lineage, including ‘90s house, electro-funk and more contemporary underground flavours. But the notion of community has remained steady in the music and is reflected in the shows they play. To that end, Apong founded local youth arts platform LIL SIS (lilsis.ca) to better the industry for emerging, underserved artists, while Kidd co-founded international production group Box of Kittens to offer inclusive electronic music events in Toronto and Berlin. The two strive to honour the various icons and women-led, queer and Black communities that planted the communal seeds of dance music in all they do.
Their debut album Fantast dropped in 2021 on Do Right!, prompting collaborations with legendary producer Matthew Herbert, who remixed ‘Don’t Be Afraid.’ The record hit No. 2 on national campus radio, garnering spins from pop culture icons like George Strombolopolous before making waves in the UK via BBC Manchester Radio.
In their short career they’ve graced many stages including PRIDE, Toronto International Film Festival and Electric Island. Described as “creating some of the most inventive dance music coming out of Canada,” (Biff Bam Pop), their live shows reflect this with “emotional highs that dissolve the barrier between audience and performer” (NOW Toronto) and push the boundaries for how dance music is created, heard and experienced. With more grit than glam, TUSH’s sound embodies the rawness, vulnerability, and intimacy of the dancefloor.
Having only released a handful of EPs, and more recently, their debut album Fantast, dance duo TUSH (Kamilah Apong, Jamie Kidd) have gained attention around the world. With nods and collaborations with electronic music mavens like Jazzanova, Matthew Herbert, and Osunlade, TUSH are building a name due to their authentic approach to dance music. Their live shows reflect this with “emotional highs that dissolve the barrier between audience and performer” (NOW Toronto) and push the boundaries for how disco and house music is created, heard and experienced. With more grit than glam, TUSH’s sound embodies the rawness, vulnerability, and intimacy
of the dancefloor.
Meet Tush, the band making house and disco raw again | The Intro
Dec - Revival (Jazzanova opener)
Nov - Queen Elizabeth Theatre (Boney M opener)
August - Capital Pride, Ottawa
July - River and Sky Festival, Sudbury
July - Electric Island, Toronto
June - Everyseeker Festival, Halifax
June - TD Toronto Jazz Festival, Toronto
Apr - Women From Space Festival, Toronto
Mar - Toronto Dance Theatre, Toronto
Jan - Loop Sessions, Toronto
Nov - Victory Social Club, Toronto
Nov - The Coulson, Sudbury
Aug - CODA, Reboot Music Festival, Toronto
July - Beaches Jazz Festival, Toronto
June - PRIDE Toronto (online)
Mar - Sous Bas, Hamilton
Feb - Lee’s Palace, Toronto
Feb - FASHION Magazine Canada Launch Party, Toronto
NYE - The Gladstone Hotel, Toronto