Erin Lowers, Hip-Hop Editor at Exclaim! Magazine

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Since her first interaction with the music industry over a decade ago, Erin has worked with several music and culture outlets (Pound Magazine, XXL, Georgie Magazine, etc.), and now serves as the first woman to hold the Hip-Hop Editor position at Exclaim! Magazine. She also recently worked on the Emmy Award and Peabody-winning series, Hip-Hop Evolution.

Journalism aside, Erin’s love of music has also expanded into the festival market. At home in Toronto, she has worked with Manifesto’s Festival of Community and Culture as both the Educational Programmer and lending a hand to its music programming for seven years, as well as dabbling in programming for NXNE, CMW and Atlanta’s A3C Festival.


What is the biggest challenge you face in your job?

The biggest challenge happens to be the amount of artists, primarily rappers, who no longer want to do interviews. The rise of shock-value interviews have jaded many artists, but especially in the Hip-Hop/R&B worlds, leading to less enthusiasm when it comes to press.

What is one thing you wish more people knew about your job?

It's less about posting every single music single or video (we have a news team for that!), and more about creating contextual stories around artists. Who they are, what they do, how they do it, and why you need to listen to their music.

What was your first job in the music industry?

My first "job" was as an intern at a prominent Canadian hip-hop magazine called POUND. It was 2010, and I got to do my first artist interview with a NY rapper named Jean Grea -- who also happened to be South African like me. It lead to a massive conversation and familiarity that shaped how I've done interviews since.

Who are your musical heroes?

Missy Elliott, Slick Rick, Jay-Z

Top 3 favourite albums released in 2018?

Buddy - Harlan & Olandra
Cardi B - Invasion of Privacy
Pusha T - Daytona

Poutine, shawarma or pho?

Shawrma -- but with good tahini and hot sauce.

Jon Bartlett