Bunda Lounge has hosted some fabulous DJs in the last FOUR years! Bunda just celebrated its fourth year this year! I always wondered where the club name came from. It has a ring to it. Ivan explained, “It’s a slang word for a ladies’ derriere…..I won’t go into anymore details”LOL. Apparently this is the slang used in a few countries (Angola,Brazil,Haiti)! It’s quite a catchy name with staying power just like the transformational steps it took to start this joint……
I sat down last week to talk to owner Ivan Fialho of Toronto’s Bunda Lounge. I had an awesome conversation all about one of the hottest homes of the ‘international house’ scene in our city.
shine:Congratulations on celebrating 4 years! I had no idea. It takes a lot of dedication to keep something going let alone a business…What started Bunda?
Ivan:My involvement in music started this. I came to Toronto at 14 and began helping my brother with his music thing. He used to DJ and spin at different places and I’d carry his records. After he threw in the towel-I started spinning out at parties (specifically African music, Zouk & Kizomba etc.)
shine:What type of place did you want Bunda to be? What’s the best thing about running events here?
Ivan:All elements of Bunda including the music featured here, the acts that play here are reflective of my musical background. It’s not by chance but by design!I specifically wanted to focus on my (Angolan) roots music- the kinds of music I grew up dancing to with my Mother. As a child she would force me to dance with her and as I got older I learned to like and really appreciate this music! Bunda was born out of wanting to move forward without having to move from venue to venue. I wanted a place where my musical tastes could have a unique exposition of culture.
shine: Bunda’s location-Why Dundas/Ossington?
Ivan: When I first got to this neighbourhood, no one was here! I knew this area was gonna be a bustling area. This area was initially 90% Portuguese and 10% Vietnamese. Now the area caters to all kinds of people bringing business to the area! People here are open to all kinds of foods, music and services!
shine: Last Summer Bunda Lounge was quite the hotspot, EVERY WEEKEND….you collaborated with United Soul/Groove Institute extensively last year; what’s in store this year?
Ivan: The partnership continues this year! It’s been quiet the last few weeks because of this year’s World Cup and the games brought some good business lol. We’ve got some big acts lined up for the next 5 months. Some of the big acts from last year are returning and of course, we will always continue to work with local talent.
shine: What was the best event you’ve held at Bunda Lounge?
Ivan: Hands down, the Boddhi Satva party! That party was on of the ones that stood out. He took us on a journey! The vibe that night was incredible. He showcased all kinds of real good music. He told a story! (I totally agree with him about this.)
shine: What’s the future of Bunda Lounge and the Bunda Lounge brand?
Ivan: Bunda Lounge is here to stay. We’re gonna keep going. We’ll continue to showcase what Bunda does best. With whatever you do understand that you can’t please everyone but you’ve gotta try. When I started I didn’t know anyone-no one knew about this venue. Now,I take time to build solid relationships with the establishments around Bunda and others in the industry. I’m creating a sort of Bunda Renaissance.
The Lounge is open from Tuesdays to Saturdays every week! They are open occasionally during the day for games/matches on TV (World Cup). For folks who don’t know, Toronto is a PATIO city!There’s a patio outside where you can grab a few drinks and chill. Bunda is available on Sundays for private events. They’ve got a Hump Wednesday night coming up. Thursdays and Fridays usually have some dope house nights and Saturdays are usually the best nights around!
Ivan still spins in the city and will be playing at this year’s Festival Kompa Zouk Toronto – The festivities run from July 26th to August 4th 2014. More things to do in Toronto! Check it out here: http://www.fkzo.ca/events.html
This Saturday Groove Institute is back with legendary locals Dino + Terry this Sat July 19th at Bunda! It’s always a dope party! For locals, see you there! For out-of-towners and international visitors to Toronto, it’s truly a one-of-a-kind party! If you’re visiting Toronto find Bunda on Twitter @BundaLoungeTO or Facebook!