Factor: On grieving, Kirby Dominant and MoSoFest [Interview]
Saskatoon, SK – After announcing the release date for his upcoming album and dropping a fresh new video for the track “Don’t Give Up,” Saskatoon producer Graham “Factor” Murawsky is getting ready to perform at Saskatoon’s MoSoFest later on this week. HipHopCanada caught up with Factor to chat about his longstanding Paranoid Castle partnership with MC Kirby Dominant, anticipated MoSoFest performances, and –surprise– his nationwide tour which will be kicking off in Saskatoon on Aug. 10. Check out our interview after the jump.
HipHopCanada: Fans are anticipating your July release of Woke Up Alone. Tell us a bit about the concept behind it.
Factor: The concept really developed naturally while I was making the music. I knew I wanted to have a concept for this new record and this one came together after a lot of brainstorming and time in the studio. Woke up Alone is a concept that everyone can relate to on some level— everyone has to deal with death in some capacity.
HipHopCanada: The storyline is based on psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’ five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Which stage of grief do you most identify with?
Factor: That is a tough question. The stage I hope to identify with the most is probably the acceptance stage.
HipHopCanada: Acceptance is key. So what have you been grieving recently?
Factor: I haven’t really been grieving—maybe, reflecting. I made most of this album during winter months and I find it tends to have a darker feel. Like winter might never end.
HipHopCanada: It often feels like that in the prairies, doesn’t it? The album looks at a man [played by the lovely Mr. Dominant] who is looking to bring his wife back from the dead. If you could bring anyone back from the dead, who would it be and why?
Factor: Big Kirb. Paranoid Castle. I don’t know who, or if I even would bring anyone back at this point.
HipHopCanada: So what surprises are in store on the album?
Factor: The album is a mix of styles and features. The surprise is how dope everyone executed their parts. All the guests killed it.
HipHopCanada: How did you and [fellow Paranoid Castle member] Kirby Dominant meet?
Factor: I used to own a record store called Kno Static Records with another OG [from] Saskatoon [who] moved to Toronto, rapper-producer Muneshine. We threw a Living Legends show with Mystik Journeymen and Eligh as a promotion for the shop. Then one night I got a call at the shop, randomly. It was Kirby Dominant from the Kemetic Sunz. He wanted to come to Saskatoon and rock the show with the Legends and check out Saskatoon ‘cause it was the birth place of one of his favorite artists, Joni Mitchell. They all came and ended up staying a couple [of] extra days. We did some song, which ended up coming out on my first ever Factor album, “Time Invested.” Hah. [The] rest is history.
HipHopCanada: I love how a roller like Kirby is a fan of Joni Mitchell. Mad props. So you must be pretty excited to play MoSoFest this year.
Factor: MoSoFest is great—had a blast last year and this year should prove to be even bigger. I am going to be doing two shows: DJ set on the Jun. 14 and Factor and the Chandeliers with Side Road and guests, and Astronautalis [on] Jun. 15. [It] will be insane.
HipHopCanada: Which shows are you going to be hitting up during the festival?
Factor: Lots of awesome stuff. Always hyped to see Jeans Boots. Deep Dark Woods, Foam Lake, [and] Astronautalis.
HipHopCanada: You’re also playing at the Gateway Music Festival in July.
Factor: Yeah, I’m rocking Gateway this year with Def 3. I’m very hyped about it as it will be my first time at the festival.
HipHopCanada: So which Canadian music festivals are the best?
Factor: Canada has lots of awesome festivals. Shit. Too many to name. But last year I got to play Shambala in BC and Ness Creek in Saskatchewan. They were so dope. Both had different vibes but I can get down on the festival circuit.
HipHopCanada: Are there any festivals on your to-play-at bucketlist?
Factor: Factor and the Chandeliers are ready to rock as many festivals as possible. Holler.
HipHopCanada: You’re heavily involved in the hip-hop scene– but as a producer instead of an MC. Do you ever experiment with rapping—even if it’s just in the shower?
Factor: I’ve got lots of raps that will never see the light of day— mostly fun songs. But they will stay in the vaults forever.
HipHopCanada: Well damn. So when you’re not busy playing music festivals and rapping in the shower, what other upcoming projects do you have in store for us?
Factor: We are doing a Canadian tour as Factor and the Chandelier with guests starting [on] Aug. 10 in Saskatoon at The Odeon. Dates will be out very soon. I’ve got some new videos that will be coming out with the album, too. So stay tuned.
HipHopCanada: Sounds like it will be a gooder. Any last words for the HipHopCanada readers?
Factor: Shout out to HipHopCanada for supporting the scene.
Interview conducted by Sarah Sussman for HipHopCanada
Photography by Kaid Ashton