How DJ and cultural planner Kwende Kefentse created a soundtrack for his city.

When you think about music cities, Ottawa probably isn’t the first place that comes to mind. Kwende Kefentse, a musician, urbanist, and cultural planner, is trying to change that.

At city hall, Kefentse is Ottawa’s music industry development officer, working with community leaders to grow local music businesses. In the studio, he’s DJ Memetic. In 2014, Kefentse was commissioned by the local arts organization Artengine to create a soundtrack for Ottawa’s #2 bus, which runs from Rideau to Richmond and passes by almost all of the city’s record stores. The result is a 28-track ode to Ottawa, featuring samples of records Kefentse found and field recordings he made along the way. In the companion documentary, we see Kefentse making this journey in all weather—waiting for, boarding, and riding the bus; DJing; producing; digging in the crates. It’s an intensely personal portrait that also reveals the vibrancy of Ottawa’s music scene.

Watch the 13-minute documentary of Kefentse’s “RIDEAU2RICHMOND” above, and listen to the entire soundtrack on SoundCloud.

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