Artist Spotlight: Tory Lanez


Toronto, Ontario, Canada birthed a legend  on July 27, 1992. Daystar ‘Tory Lanez’ Peterson was born to Sonstar and Luella Peterson. His family was based in Montreal before moving to Miami, Florida. Lanez’s mother died when he was young due to a rare disease. After her death, his father began working as an ordained minister and missionary which caused them to move frequently throughout the United States.

His father later remarried and moved the family to Atlanta, Georgia where Lanez met his friend Hakeem, who at  the time, was a janitor. The nickname “Lanez” was given to him by Hakeem, as a comment on his thrill seeking tendencies, that sometimes saw him mucking around in the street, not looking out for traffic and playing in the lanes.

In 2006, Lanez was sent to live with his cousin Dahir Abib, Orane Forrest, in Jamaica, Queens, New York, because of his behavioral issues. Later, he was forced to return to Toronto with his grandmother. Since she refused to take care of him, he was on his own at the age of 15. He then started rapping, giving himself the nickname, Notorious, and adopted it into his new moniker ‘Tory Lanez’. At the age of 16, Lanez dropped out of the 10th grade, and began performing songs at outdoor concerts. At the age of 17, he began singing, which he found an interest in although he had never received any vocal training.

In 2009, he released his debut mixtape ‘T.L. 2 T.O.’ While living in South Florida, he started directing his own music videos and posting them on YouTube. Singer Sean Kingston saw a video of Lanez freestyling over Lloyd Banks’ “Beamer, Benz, or Bentley” and immediately became interested. So, in February of 2010, Kingston called up Lanez and told him to meet with him during Justin Bieber’s tour and later got him to perform live. In 2010, Lanez released the mixtapes, ‘Just Landed’, ‘One Verse One Hearse’, ‘Playing for Keeps’ and ‘Mr. 1 Killah’. In 2011, Lanez signed a record deal with Kingston’s Time is Money Entertainment and released the mixtapes, ‘Mr. Peterson’, ‘Chixtape’, and ‘Swavey’. He later left the label to be an independent artist.

Since then, Lanez went from the homeless troublemaker to Toronto’s humble superstar. He describes his style as ‘Swavey’ which is fusing more than one experience together. He just released his third studio album on October 26th entitled ‘LoVE me NOw’.