November 2010 release date set for Durty Keyz of Burd and Keyz tribute album; official artwork released [News/PSA]
Toronto, ON – Keys of Life is a collaborative hip-hop/instrumental album by producer Durty Keyz of the production duo Burd and Keyz.
Born and raised in Toronto, Keyz – Anthony James – was forced by his parents to become involved with music, and he was a record fanatic at a young age, absorbing everything from jazz, soul, to rap albums, from Michael Jackson to ABBA. He learned to play the piano and became a wizard on the production software Fruity Loops.
While attending Seneca College for animation he stumbled into a studio session with local artists Blake Carrington, Wolf J McFarlane, Ron Dias and Owen Lee where he introduced his piano playing skills for the group. To say the group was impressed was an understatement and quickly dubbed James as “Durty Keyz”. In 2004, James formed the production duo Burd and Keyz with his childhood friend Andrew Liburd and began carving out a name for themselves as top producers in the city by entering competitions such as Battle of the Beatmakers in 2008.
Popular local rapper Famous caught a glimpse of the production duo’s battle on YouTube, liked it, and helped get the word out. From there the duo teamed up with Famous and produced his entire Goddess Girl EP which also featured singer Omar Lunan, Kim Davis, and rapper Luu Breeze. In 2008 alone, the young duo worked with Nickelus F, Luu Breeze and Show Stephens, all while still attending college for animation.
Before long, hardcore hip-hop fans began to know Burd and Keyz for their heavy and intricate baselines, steady shake bounce, shuffling high-hats, hard percussion, with drastically reshaped samples of tracks both obscure and obvious. The difference between most producer sounds was the duo ability to be both hood and unfailingly musical and rich in details.
Through the remainder of 2010, Burd and Keyz quietly racked up more output, including Rochester’s – “Turn Me On”, Darryl Riley’s – “BBM Me Up”, additional tracks with Famous, and Nickelus F’s – “World Renown” off his Season Premiere mixtape. It was in the same year Keyz expressed to Burd the need to show off his own individual style in a project he titled Keys of Life where he wanted to display a smoother, mellower side, influenced by 90’s R&B and underground backpack rap. He even intended to show off his undercover passion for singing and rapping on the project as well.
On June 28th, Keyz passed away, a victim to streptococcus, a rare, yet severe bacterial infection that got into his bloodstream and caused his organs to shutdown. As a result, the responsibility to finish Anthony’s album is in the hands of those who knew his sound the best, his cousin Matthew “McCallaman” McCalla and his partner Andrew “Burd” Liburd who intend to make Keys of Life, a project Anthony would be proud of.
The album’s artwork was designed by Sean Getti and the project is set for a November 2010 release. Stay tuned for more information on HipHopCanada.com.
Follow Burd & Keyz on Twitter @BurdXKeyz.