Artists scream for Iscream


A young woman sits inside a Starbucks deep in the heart of Toronto. It’s obvious she is a part of this town, dedicated and inspired by the city she represents.

Del Mahabadi grew up in suburban Burlington, but quickly realized she needed to be part of something more glamorous and hip. After moving to Toronto in search of a way to express herself as an artist and businesswoman, she launched a website called Iscreammusic.

“I’m really passionate about the arts. I express my creativity through so many different channels, and I express it because I have to. It’s like an itch inside me. I write poetry and I paint. I played a lot of instruments growing up, including the saxophone, piano and the flute. I also picked up the guitar last year and taught myself,” said Mahabadi, 26, currently a publicity intern at Bell Media’s headquarters in Toronto.

“There is an inclination inside me that constantly wants to be involved in music, but my main form of expression is definitely painting. It’s the one I make my revenue on.”

Iscreammusic focuses on Toronto’s up-and-coming musical talents. Mahabadi is the creator and she has a team of writers who meet and interview various artists/musicians.

Although Iscream is only four months old, Mahabadi says her creation is well on it’s way to becoming an intrinsic part of the city’s music scene.

“Iscream is such a baby, and I’m unsure of what we want to do in the future. I want it to be literally a representation of Toronto’s music scene in the future. And with the speed we are going, it won’t be long until we reach that goal,” she said.

Artists that Iscream has interviewed include Thugli, Domanique Grant, Juvon Taylor and Farahri.

Mahabadi has an undergraduate degree in science, a post grad in communications and studied business at Sheridan for a year. She is also currently working as a senior editor at Real Talk Hip Hop. Besides being musically inclined, having a solid web presence in Toronto and interviewing people like Tech N9ne, she is a talented painter.

“I only started painting a year ago and I’m already selling them. The fact that my paintings are selling and I’ve never taken a single formal lesson, I feel that is one of my biggest accomplishments.” Her paintings sell for a minimum of $250.

Although she intends to remain in the communications field, Mahabadi has broader, more humanitarian goals.

Del Mahabadi in Toronto.

Del Mahabadi in Toronto.

“I’d like to eventually own my own gallery, because one issue that bothers me in Toronto is homelessness. I want to own my gallery and for every piece that sells, I want a certain cut to go towards helping an individual who needs it. I literally want to approach homeless people and change their lives individually. And whoever had bought that painting, that’s what the painting would mean to them. That painting changed someone’s life. It’s hard, but not impossible to approach a homeless kid and ask if they want to change. Just to get their feet on the ground,” she said.

Conway Gaskin is a fellow writer at Iscreammusic and friends with Mahabadi. Gaskin believes his partnership with her has helped him shine as a young Torontonian.

“We were friends before we started working together. She brought me on board and since then it’s been easy breezy. It’s been super sick. Our friendship has gotten stronger and we are even tighter. It doesn’t feel like work because when you get to talk to these bands you get to know them. It’s not just a regular sitdown, we actually get to know who these people are and get our audience interested,” said Gaskin, 19.

Their ultimate goal as a team of writers is to bring a sense of unity to Toronto’s music scene, which is a very competitive arena.

“I think we have a large amount of talent in Toronto. It’s so big that it kind of hinders itself because there are so many people here going after the same dream. Especially because it’s a big city, it’s kind of hard to stick out and make a name for yourself. But it’s definitely here. The market and audience are here. It’s just a matter of who wants it more,” said Gaskin.

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