Hanging with The Lytics at TD Winnipeg International Jazz Festival [Article]
Winnipeg, MB – It’s 3 p.m. on Saturday afternoon and The Lytics are gearing up for their sound check at Winnipeg’s Centennial Concert Hall. After making headlines at Toronto’s NXNE Festival last week, the boys are back in town (Winnipeg, that is) and ready to spit some rhymes as the opening act for The Roots during the annual TD Winnipeg International Jazz Festival. And Winnipeg’s hip-hop quintet – Anthony “Ashy” Sannie (MC), Andrew “Andrew O” Sannie (MC), Alex “B-Flat” Sannie (Producer), Mungala “Munga” Londe (MC), and DJ Lonnie Ce – have invited HipHopCanada to sit in on their sound check. See how it all went down after the jump.
Though The Lytics are known as Winnipeg’s hip-hop quintet, they’ve invited their friend, classically trained trumpet player Ravi Poliah, to join them on the stage. So the quintet is actually slated to perform as a sextet. And they are performing in the Winnipeg-equivalent of Carnegie Hall: Cenetennial Concert Hall. The hall has served as the venue for industry pillars including Drake, Lauryn Hill, and countless others. Now it’s the Lytics’ turn, and they are basking in the moment— carefree, and doing what they do best: hip-hop. But the boys are shockingly humble about the whole experience. “I don’t think anything really came as far as it goes for us. We’re just going to keep doing the same thing,” said Anthony.
The boys are also quite modest about their recent Western Canadian Music Award (WCMA) nomination. Though reminded that their nomination puts them on the same playing field with the likes of Moka Only, Madchild, Kyprios, and the entire Swollen Members crew, The Lytics shrug it off with some humour, joking that a Polaris Prize is next on the bucket list. The boys are more concerned with enjoying their music than anything else. Munga sheepishly admits that he doesn’t like to get girls’ phone numbers while on tour because of the long distance charges.
During the sound check, the Lytics are their usual energetic selves. Ashy, Andrew O, B-Flat, and Munga are dancing around the stage and hamming it up with one another as soon as Lonne Ce drops the beats.
Munga— a self-proclaimed photography buff, of sorts—struggles to hold his camera in one hand and his microphone in the other. That’s right—he is simultaneously rapping while filming the sound check on his Sony camera. Between hyped up renditions of “Stand Up” and other bangers off of They Told Me the boys pause to applaud Ravi as he adds a soulful trumpet tune to the already poignant track, “That’s What They Said.”
The Lytics take moments between tracks to capture photos of the venue from the performer’s perspective. The rows of plush red theatre seats seem to go on for miles. And in only a couple of hours, those seats will be filled with jazz aficionados and grinding hip-hop heads. The Lytics head out to power through some Pita Pit eats and squeeze in some last-minute rehearsal time.
Written by Sarah Sussman for HipHopCanada
Photography by Sarah Sussman for HipHopCanada