Photographer : Leo Xandre
Illustrations : Beril Irman
Models : @herawata
I’ve always had a love of music and just sound. I would say that I officially started making music when I was about 11 years old when I first came to Canada with my family. It all started when I was introduced to an English substitute teacher named Mr.Wilson who was a rapper himself. He had this after school club that was geared towards learning the root and history of Hip-Hop culture. As I was learning and going through this after school club I made up my mind that I would try my hand at rapping myself. I started really making music at about 13 after I started writing a few songs here and their, all of my friends kept encouraging me to continue and really helped me gain more courage with my writing and artistry. The reason why is because I always had trouble expressing myself and this was a great way for me to get that across. I still do that to this day: use my songs and the story telling to get my emotions, thoughts and dreams out to those who are willing to listen.
Is Rapping the only type art you create and or perform?
I’ve slowly been getting into producing my own music or simply creating my own beats to rap over. I want to learn how to create beats so I can truly express myself and my thought sonically. The reason being, that I can spend hours even days, just looking for the right instrumental and then I would have to email the producer and then would come payment and so forth. That I don’t mind but finding a beat that can truly carry your vocals and lyrics ot the next level is just better when you make it yourself because who knows you and your sound better than yourself.
I’ve also thought about getting into directing and or writing for shows or comics. The reason I say that is because I am a story teller at heart: I like telling stories. From thinking of different aspects of character development and overall story arcs that can be created through music and just creating a whole entire world that people might want to be a part of and invest their time in looking and wondering at. I have some things planned on that front so let’s hope that everything works out well. I have a dope team that’s ready to help me realize that artistic side of my nature and helping me tell stories with my music as well visually.
What do you think about when you hear/read the words aesthetic and beauty?
That’s a difficult one. When I hear the word aesthetic, I think of something that Is eye catching and really makes you appreciate the structure and thought that went into it’s appearance. I’m not talking about it’s physical appearance but what the person who crafted it had in mind when they were aiming for that certain look. Anything can look cool but once you try to visualize the creators concept on your own terms it really makes you think differently about different aspects that the person might have taken to pull that look off. If the person has been thinking about how to place that specific subject to tell a specific story or continue an overarching narrative that they’ve created through previous works.
When I hear the word beauty is makes me think of everything in the world. I don’t really know why but I just feel like everything in nature or just that we created is beautiful in its own way. I could easily say that beauty is the standard: what most people view as attractive but to me it’s more about how it stands out in it’s immediate space that makes something beautiful. For example; the simple act of walking aimlessly through a new building I just entered or any new place I just haven’t been to I find beautiful. I can appreciate how everything was made and crafted and just how I view it as compared to everything else in it’s immediate surroundings. I can gauge it’s purpose and how it all works in the greater scheme of where I am at, at that moment in time. That’s beauty.
Which musicians, photographers and creators do you admire?
Their are many creators I would like to mention but I’ll keep it brief:
I admire Delroy’s passion and just his drive to always learn and keep growing with his craft. I have to mention Jen as well, she has a great eye when it comes to artistic execution and attention to detail. When you say creators I just have to mention Komal, her writing style really translates well into making you really question how a person can do story telling and how well proper character development can REALLY make or break a story whether it be one (1) page or seventeen (17) pages long. Eeshaan also is an awesome artist, the way he’s able to make you think of scenery and overall story is just amazing, but then again he is a multifaceted human being so that’s expected. His minds eye for narrative is simply amazing. I don’t know if I’m able to mention models in this as creators but I will; both Jimmy and Kyla are super adventurous in how they get shot and what they decide to show, they have their own story telling through each set of shoots and they always do what feels right to them that portrays them.
As for photographers I would have to shout out Nicolas Robin Hobbs, I like his aesthetic that really keeps it simple but it ALWAYS tells a story. I hope I can classify Owain Parry here, I definitely LOVE his range when it comes to being able to shoot anything at any given moment. This man would literally be able to make bowel movements look gorgeous, his complete control of a lens in general is awe-inspiring.
Now for my favourite list, I would have to thank and always support my brothers and sisters in this music game: DJ iTubz, TMG, Jay-1Der, Jason Diaz, David Principe, Mason Dayot, Bleeding Gums, JETT, Juliet, SBWHY, Anonymous , ZARGO, Omar Martin, and MANY MORE whom I forgot to name because the list is just so damn long. The reason why I admire all of you is because you not only help push me to be better but we also come from the same mindset. You truly all understand what it means to really grind and always keep a positive attitude. They all keep on pushing their sound and expanding their lyricism whether it be through learning new things or working with different artists. Omar and Andrew (DJ iTubz) are just a musical geniuses walking among us point blank. They just always push their own creativity and essentially force me to do the same and that’s why I admire them all.
Can you tell us a funny memory from a performance of yours?
I was feeling great because this was n art event opening and so I was going to get to make some new connections at this function. I was set to go last due to some scheduling issues. So minutes before I perform every one just starts to set up and go home because it’s getting close to the end of the night, basically I tried to rally as many of the people that I just met to try and stay so that I could perform for a crowd instead of some chairs. What ended up happening was a bunch of people drunkenly dancing to most of my music and just making a fool of themselves. Some people also were singing random words and maybe have thrown up but who knows. None the less it was a performance that I will never forget.
Do you perform in public? Like concerts, radios etc?
I mainly perform whenever I get a chance to. For now I would say that I play as part of a set with other artists when I can. I want to start doing some radio show acoustic performances in the future. I’m planning on creating an annual series of sort of performances with me and a couple of friends. I already got that ball rolling by having the first unofficial mini concert series this past year during my birthday.
What do you think about new trends in music and how do you see future of music?
I feel like the future of music is mainly going to continue with the trend of streaming. After all most radio stations now a days go off what is popular on streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify. As for this new trend I have some grievances with the lack of lyrics to those who are popular for making party type music but I do respect their art of expressing themselves through their own medium. Sure some songs have merit but he artist doesn’t portray what they preach on certain songs taking away the whole illusion that ‘hey maybe they may NOT be all about drugs, sex or money and then Lowe and behold the same thing over and over. That’s my only real issue with this new trend, they do have merit in some songs but then don’t try to capitalize on hat knowing their platform. Some are realizing and some just don’t care. It’s not something I can change but it is something that I do plan on addressing through my own music. Other than that: I like the new music coming out.
How do you balance your music life and private life?
I try to make as much music in a short amount of time as I can or simply record on the weekends, so that way I can have some songs available to send out and post in the future. That gives me time to do promotion for songs as well as get some feedback back before I release it so I don’t have to tweak that much stuff. My personal life and my music rarely mix in the first place unless it’s for inspiration for a song, and example would be ‘Rock’ which is about my girlfriend. Other then that I’m a very balanced guy and you won’t really see me intertwine the two but I do focus on my for a short amount of time to make room for me to continually change stuff.
What can you tell us about your new LP ‘Invasion’?
My LP ‘Invasion’ is a first person account of what it would be like to be in the midst of an alien invasion. The songs are literal chapters of the different stages of the interactions that this group of people or persons (whatever you feel fits) is having with these aliens. From the fist contact and them saying ‘Hello’ to finding out that you ‘Drop the Shade’ of your own insecurities an become a strong person.
What story does your new EP ‘Journey’ tell?
With ‘Journey’ this serves both as a thank you note to my close friends and my supporters as well as telling the Journey of a human being and their trials and tribulations throughout the previous body of work, which in this case is ‘Invasion’. This serves both as a follow up to ‘Invasion’ and is the start of its own series of self discovery and realization. We all take a ‘Journey’ in life but it’s how we come out of it and how we deal with the hardships and how we get back up and move on in life. Thanks to those who support me in my craft and allowing me to continue on my own Journey of self discovery and musical expansion and growth.
His website is: https://www.therealmra.com