The story of Kiana “Rookz” Eastmond’s life and career is both impressive and inspiring, but saying that is probably underselling it. She has gone from being a homeless, gay, black high-school dropout to being the founder and director of Sandbox Studios, an influential recording and artist services company, as well as the executive director of the Manifesto festival and arts organization. She is also one of the most important business people in Toronto’s urban music industry. But when you chat with Rookz, it’s easy to see how she did it. She’s tough and intelligent while also being passionate and compassionate.
In this illuminating conversation, Rookz tells her story and shares her unique insights on Canada’s urban music industry.
For any Canadian artist or industry professional in any scene, she is worth listening to.