At the drop of midnight on New Year’s Eve, an explosion of positivity erupted in Toronto. No, not the city-sanctioned fireworks display on the unfortunately foggy night. It was Blaine Walker’s new single, “Party in the 6ix,” a song destined to go down in Toronto history. It’s not just a civic anthem—it’s consciously written as an anthem, designed to celebrate everything Walker loves about his city. Especially its sports teams. When the Raptors won the 2019 NBA Championships, or when Toronto FC won the 2017 MLS Championship or the recent Grey Cup win by the Argos, there should have been a song tailor-made for just such moments. Blaine Walker didn’t think there was. So, he wrote one.
“I was born and raised in Toronto,” says the guitarist, who’s been harbouring stadium-sized rock-star dreams since he was a child. “I wanted to write a song that could be used to represent our city in the 2026 World Cup at BMO Field and to get played as a staple at all of our teams’ home games. Our battle cry. Our call to arms. Something that would become synonymous with Toronto. A song that would hype up both the players and the fans. A song that you could dance and party to in the clubs and bars. This is my tribute to one of the greatest cities on Earth.” The song references one of Toronto’s oldest nicknames when Walker sings, “We play to win / you know this city is driven / We’re called the Big Smoke coz we smoke the competition”—punctuated by whoas, yeahs and woos for maximum crowd participation.
The title uses a phrase, “the 6ix,” coined by Toronto’s biggest global pop superstar, Drake. But it also employs Kardinal Offishall’s “T-Dot-O,” heard in his 2001 single “Bakardi Slang” as well as his 2011 song “The Anthem.” Blaine Walker isn’t a hip-hop artist, however: the former guitarist of Hollywood Sins makes fist-pumping, foot-stomping, singalong arena rock in the vein of Queen, Kiss or Bon Jovi. “The only thing I’ve ever wanted to be was a rock star,” he says, “so settling for something else other than what you’ve always dreamed of makes absolutely no sense to me at all. If you can’t stop thinking about it then don’t stop working for it. You can create your life the way you want it to be with the power of your mind. The first step is envisioning what you want, because you can’t hit a target if you don’t know what your target is. You’ve only got one life to live, so why not shoot for the moon?”
That competitive attitude served Blaine Walker well while writing a sports anthem. “Party in the 6ix” is destined to become a worthy successor to Kardinal’s “Anthem,” or to the Bat Boys’ 1983 hit “OK Blue Jays”—but with a lot more rock’n’roll fuel to fire up crowds. It’s a party in the 6ix. Time to get your fix.