TORONTO — Haviah Mighty is a rap powerhouse. The Juno award-winning rapper is a local legend, born and raised in Toronto before moving to Brampton as a preteen and finding a love for hip-hop. She joined Brandon for a Hennessy Conversation to dig into her career, success, and what it’s like being a woman in hip-hop.
First things first, despite it being an incredible stage name, the Canadian superstar smiled when explaining that Haviah Mighty really is her government name.
“What Haviah means, some people ask, I don’t know… I usually say it means that my dad loves me, because he made it up,” she explained, adding that Mighty is her last name.
Mighty explained that she didn’t always know that she wanted to be a rapper, but she’s had a passion for music from a young age. Taking singing lessons from age four to 11, she then developed an interest in hip-hop at the age of 12.
“Once I moved to Brampton and I stopped the singing lessons it was like ‘what is going to fill this void?’ and that’s when I think I found hip-hop,” Mighty explained, adding that one of her favorite artists is 50 Cent.
“I learned the ability to convey a story through his story-telling type.”
Haviah Mighty: Living Her Truth
But Mighty says that she enjoys a wide variety of music, and has inconsistent taste, enjoying everything from Mozart to trap music. Mighty explained that one of the reasons she is so hard to put into a box is that she is so unique.
“I guess it’s a blessing and a curse. I feel like the things that have always made me different are the reason that I actually have the career that I have today,” Mighty explained, adding that trying to fit the mold would only limit her.
“I’m just trying to understand how to brand what literally is me,” she continued.
But how would she describe herself?
“Growing exponentially, boundary-breaking internally. I feel like there are some things that I’ve done that people say are boundary-breaking externally… I appreciate that it is that, but it doesn’t really feel like it because I’m just doing what I’ve always done. But internally is where I really feel the boundary-breaking.”
She explained that she has worked so hard to be where she is today, that she often forgets how hard the journey to success was. She explained that at the beginning of her career, she had to cope with receiving many ‘nos’ and struggling with not receiving opportunities.
“Not getting the opportunity, or when you get the opportunity, maybe you get a lesser version.”
She explained that she would have to promote her own shows and be tasked with convincing audiences to listen to her work. Mighty says that she was often too scared to make the effort and struggled to believe that she deserved to take up space.
“If I did take up the space, and I was able to get a slot that people were actually gonna see, like not performing super early or super late, now people are like ‘wow that was really good for a female rapper’.”
But she was a lone wolf at the time and says that she never paid a lot of attention to the way people felt about her music.
“If I was hearing what people were saying about my music back then maybe it would have interfered, but I didn’t give a f**k.”
Haviah Mighty: Home Owner
On top of recent Juno performances and other successes, she’s also achieved a Canadian dream: buying her own home. Mighty recently became a homeowner for the first time and explained why it was an important purchase for her.
“I needed the independence, I needed to have my own space and be able to continue that expansive internal growth without all of the distractions. I needed to create something stable for myself that’s not reliant on my parents.”
She explained that she got to a point where she could afford to buy a home, and instead of buying a gold chain or a collection of new shoes, she felt as though it was important to buy a home now, while she has the bag in hand.
“I felt like why would I wait until things go left? I mean I don’t think that will happen, but let’s solidify the foundation now. And that’s what I did.”
Mighty said that she is good with her money, and when she saw that her first gold chain would probably cost her between $60,000 t0 $80,000, she realized that money could be used to buy a home instead.
“That’s how I made the decision. By the time I get the chain, I want it to feel like I didn’t even feel the payment come out.”
Mighty and Brandon discuss all of the talent that has come out of Brampton, mainstream hip-hop in Canada, and more in this Hennessy Conversation. Let’s leave some love for Haviah Mighty in the comments!