Where are you currently based?
I am currently based in Toronto, but have grown up all over Ontario and have roots on both sides of the country.
How did you first start rapping?
I started rapping in my grade 7 classroom and never looked back! After performing there, I would practice by myself but waited several more years before performing in front of people again.
What’s been happening recently?
I’m currently in London, England. I just got here for a short tour in London and then Amsterdam. I also released my second book On This Grind and my new album Still Driven so it’s been a busy time!
Your latest album ‘Still Driven’ is out now, what influenced the sound and songwriting?
The album is a nod to my first professional release “Stay Driven” which I released twenty years ago. Back then, I just wanted to rap and impress people with my skills. Now I’m about songwriting – well, and I still want people to be impressed with my skills, but I’d definitely say my experiences from the last few years shaped the album. Whether I’m talking about Black Canadian history on “Black 365” or talking about what makes a top rapper on “Top 5”.
How did you go about writing the album?
I wrote the album during COVID. Usually I get my ideas when I’m on the road so this was a change – kind of like a return to how I started in the sense that when I was beginning to rap I didn’t have a chance to tour and travel. But I always draw on those experiences in my music.
Where and when did you record/produce/master and who with?
I recorded the album at my home studio which was great because with COVID I was unable to travel to a studio. I was able to work with a variety of producers from Toronto to cross Canada to all the way in Amsterdam. I like being able to collaborate with both emerging and established artists – keeps me on my toes working with some of the young ones!
How did you approach the recording/production process?
I had to psyche myself up for some of the recordings. As I was saying, with COVID I was by myself so I didn’t have anyone pumping me up and I couldn’t rely on the excitement I’d usually have from coming from a performance. So one thing that I did was focus on the future – I visualized myself performing the music around the World.
Please tell us about your – Life Lessons From The Music Business – book ‘On This Grind’, how it came about and what we can expect:
I wanted to share my story of my experiences in the music industry. I hope that my journey is both inspirational to artist entrepreneurs, but also gives them some solid advice that they can apply to their career.
What did you find most challenging and rewarding during the creation of your book?
It takes forever! I had to stop myself because I would have just kept going and going. But the rewarding part was getting the final copy. It was like the feeling of holding my first CD. All the work paid off.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
I’ve been listening to a lot of Kanye. I really like his new album because of how he works with both new and established artists. He’s always reinventing himself and not afraid to take risks. I respect that.
What do you like to do away from music?
I like to run. I actually just set a Guinness World Record – I was part of 22,000 runners that went for 10k on a day in September. Feels cool to say that I’m a two time Guinness World Record setter – with my longest freestyle rap my other record.
What’s planned for the remainder of 2021 going into 2022?
I’m excited to be back on the road performing! It was just announced that I’ll be playing South Africa in November which is going to be a blast. It’s nice to see that we are finally seeing the end of Covid – well, knock on wood – hoping that we are turning that corner!
Favourite food and place to hangout?
I’m a big fan of seafood. My family is from Eastern Canada and I love getting anything from fish and chips to lobster and shrimp. Can’t go wrong with that!