Where are you currently based and what is the music scene like there?
I am currently based in Montreal, Canada. The music scene is quite open and welcoming here.
How did you first start playing music?
I first started rapping when I was about 16 with my teammates on a basketball team I was a part of. They used to bang on the lockers to make beats, and I would rap.
What’s been happening recently?
Thanks for asking. I just released my debut EP: Second Life, I also started working with a new producer, R Cha, who has been remixing a number of my songs. All in all, pretty excited.
You’ve just released your EP ‘Second Life’ what influenced the sound and songwriting?
The biggest influence for the songwriting of Second Life was coming through hardships and emerging on the other side.
In terms of the sound, I just wanted to show as wide a range as possible in terms of my repertoire.
How did you go about writing the music for Second Life?
I just vibed. I went on YouTube and found beats, and contacted the producers, ifI vibed with their productions. Some of them got back to me, some of them didn’t.
For Falling Off Track (feat. Karen Chung), which is my production, I had a vision and ran with it. Will Bennett, my sound engineer also helped tweak a few elements I missed.
For the songs I’m on solo, I drew from my experience heavily, and delved deep. Different songs have an introspective and/or triumphant vibe. That came from my resoluteness and grounded understanding of myself in telling my story.
For Falling Off Track (feat. Karen Chung), and the collaboration with Emma Maryam, the outcome and process was synchronistic. I sat down, and wrote the lyrics, got in touch with them, and they came in and wrote, and sang, and helped me rap better, and listen better.
For each track, the two of us wrote the hook/chorus together and it just synced up in both cases.
Where and when did you record?
The entire album is recorded with Will Bennett (http://www.willowenbennett.com/) at his home studio over the course of about 4 months in October of 2018 to January of 2019. The mixes and masters were done soon after. Masters by Evan Tighe (http://www.evantighe.com/), and mixes by Will Bennett again. They did a fabulous job, and I am super happy with the result.
Who did you work with?
I worked with Emma Maryam and Karen Chung on guest vocals. That’s the order we recorded them in. That was a great experience, and educational on many levels.
Producers are: Mr. Shipp (California-based) & J Astronaut on Pass the Rock, myself on Falling Off Track (feat. Karen Chung), Realize Beats (GTA-based) on Survivor Stories, Illuid Haller on Turn My Head (feat. Emma Maryam), Donner (Chile-based) on One Drop.
Both Emma and Karen are Montreal-based artists.
You can catch up with Karen Chung on Facebook at:
And Emma Maryam at:
Recorded & Mixed: Will Bennett
Mastered: Evan Tighe
Cover Art: Lindsay Hughes
Cover Photo: Stacy Lee
MUA for Cover Photo: Steph Miramontes
What programs/instruments did you use?
I produce with Logic Pro X, been using that for about 5 years. In terms of instruments, these beats are all synth-based, to the best of my knowledge. Going to get some live instrumentation on future productions and projects.
What are your plans for Second Life?
My plans for Second Life are to spread it to as wide an audience as possible, and perform the songs wherever songs are heard that feels like a good fit, and wherever they’ll have me!
Where do you most like to perform?
Rock Camp for Girls & Gender Non-Conforming Youth! Don’t tell anybody.
How would you describe your live shows?
Super fun, for ME, and hopefully fun for the audience! Nah for real though, lots of back and forth with the audience, a little bit of storytelling, a tad bit of vulnerability on my part. Pure vibes.
I hear that you regularly organize and co-present events with Café Co-op (grassroots collective of mental health advocates) how did this come about and what goes on?
I came through some things, and needed to express myself, and wanted to create a space for others to do the same. I got together with a grassroots collective of mental health advocates with similar goals, and we got it started.
^^You also recently helped organize the Lux Magna Festival which is an event created to highlight the talents of womxn of colour, please tell us more:
I organized one event as part of a team at the Lux Magna Festival. It was a night to highlight women of colour. Janette King (R&B), Shanice Nicole (poetry), myself, Emma Maryam (acoustic folk/soul) and Claudia Edwards (live performance art) featured. It was a great night all-around, packed house, happy crowd, great vibes, and lots of talent.
Please tell us about the ‘Sister Spinner / Singer’ movement in Montreal:
Sister Singer was started by my friend, Ziggi Jadovsky, who is a dynamic singer and musician who blends funk, soul, rock, and feminine anger into music that speaks volumes. She created the Sister Singer event series to highlight womxn and womxn identifying artists in Montreal.
Sister Singer then helped create Sister Spinner, started by DJ Magellanic and myself, to highlight black womxn DJs in Montreal by throwing inclusive dance parties.
There have been 7-8 events over the course of a year and half between Sister Singer and Sister Spinner, and Sister Spinner is now headed up by DJ MVCOKO, who is a talented addition to the lineup.
It is indeed a movement.
What do you like to away from music?
I love hiking. I love dancing. I love spending time with friends. And spending time with family for sure. DJing was also one of my first musical loves, after Hip Hop, and I still love spinning Electro Dancehall and Soca House, which are my favourites.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
Hua Li (Montreal-based), Missy D (Vancouver-based), Kimmortal (Vancouver-based), and Janette King (Montreal-based).
What’s planned for the remainder of 2019?
Keep recording, writing, editing, and mixing new music. Working on my album for release in the Fall of 2020 (fingers crossed!), as well a few surprise collaborations, that I’m so excited to share with you.
Favourite food and place to hangout?
Poutine and oxtail (sometimes together). And with my friends. Alternatively, in my humble home studio, and by the river. Also my friendly neighbourhood parks when the weather’s nice.