On Our Radar: Toxsic [Interview]
Edmonton, AB – Up-and-coming Edmontonian hip-hop artist, Toxsic, is gearing up to drop his first studio album, Untouchable, in October 2013. The 21-year-old has been working alongside the EDM production duo, Get Recked Music, to craft his sound and finalize his vision. Toxsic’s sound is a distinctive mix of rhymed verses fused with poppy R&B hooks. Tracks like “All Night” sound like the hypothetical product of Sean Desman spitting verses over club bangers, while others, like “Invasion,” take a darker lyrical approach. HipHopCanada caught up with Toxsic to find out more about his upcoming album, potential tour dates with Vancouver’s Evil Ebenezer, and more. Check out our interview after the jump.
Interview conducted by Sarah Sussman for HipHopCanada
HipHopCanada: What sparked a love of hip-hop in you, and what steps have you taken to be part of the scene?
Toxsic: I have been writing music since I was seven years old. I was always fascinated with the art of rhyming, [but] it wasn’t until age 10 that I truly discovered hip-hop and all the incredible things you can do with words. My ability was a weapon. Every school I went to, I was known as that kid who rapped. It was kept on the down low in the basement until I was able to make a professional record. Now that I [have] finished my first album, Untouchable, I’m ready to get my music out to the world and establish my name.
HipHopCanada: What elements of hip-hop culture appeal to you most?
Toxsic: Definitely the competitive aspect. [Some] of my biggest influences are Eminem, Jedi Mind Tricks, Michael Jackson, and Tech N9ne. [They] taught me to rhyme and flow to the beat naturally. Those guys don’t play around when it comes to the lyricism, either. Their effortless skill is what appeals to me the most.
HipHopCanada: Specify your craft – what part of it you are the most talented at, and what do you work the hardest on?
Toxsic: I like to think of my style as a mix of carefully crafted lyrics, with the some of the most rapid fire flows around. Sometimes I’ll spend days writing a song—if not weeks. We really focused on the replay value of my album. We had a lot of fun mixing different styles and genres together. I got everything from laid back west coast beats, to grimy ecstasy club bangers.
HipHopCanada: Who do you feel you represent?
Toxsic: My music is for people who grew up with nothing, and [for] those whose parents were rich—people with rough lives, and people who live in mansions. People who hustle for bread, and those who just want to unwind. I represent all aspects of hip-hop music: the dark, the light, the fast, [and] the slow.
HipHopCanada: What are some signs of success in your musical career?
Toxsic: The completion of my debut album, Untouchable. I had always wanted to record a professional album and didn’t want to hit the scene otherwise. And here I am—waiting to tour Canada with my new songs, waiting to release a handful of banging singles, [and] waiting to do more interviews about it like this one. Fans give me faith and the feedback has been very positive so far. I feel blessed and I know I’m on the right track.
HipHopCanada: What have been some of the biggest roadblocks and how have you surpassed them?
Toxsic: A lack of money has always been the biggest roadblock. And it’s the reason why I haven’t put anything out until now, at 21 years of age. I’ve been keeping my presence in the game [very] low key for 11 years. [But] I think it was wise of me to wait. This is my time to shine, now that I have the proper budget and team in place.
HipHopCanada: What is your overall goal for your career in hip-hop?
Toxsic: I want to bring back skill and timelessness to mainstream hip-hop. No offense to any acts out there right now when I say: step your game up. I think making catchy pop music is much more difficult then fans think. But I come from the underground. So you know I’ll put time and effort into my songs. Fast rap is coming up and I’m excited for that because I spit quicker than anybody I’ve met.
HipHopCanada: What people or groups do you see as being instrumental in helping you to achieve that goal?
Toxsic: People who are up there already, doing what they love full-time. My manager, Brendan Bain of Reza Records, is also guiding me through this new path in life. We recently teamed up with Seth Shiskin at Live Fast Management in Vancouver. So I have a strong foundation of people backing me up at the moment. And last, but most certainly not least, the mastermind producers behind Untouchable—the EDM duo Get Recked. Those guys brought my vision to life.
HipHopCanada: Where can fans find you? Both in person and online?
Toxsic: You can find me online at my brand new website and hub for everything Toxsic-related. I have a link to my free EP called Light Speed. I’m also on all sorts of social media websites, such as Facebook and Twitter. I’ll be touring Canada with Evil Ebenezer this fall. So stay tuned for those dates on my website.
HipHopCanada: Any last words for the HipHopCanada community?
Toxsic: I want to hear what you, the people, have to say. Give me feedback because I’m always looking to grow as an artist. My debut album, Untouchable, is set to release this October on [the] Edmonton label, Reza Records. Every song is unique with its own flavour. So I’m sure it’ll have something to please every fan.
Interview conducted by Sarah Sussman for HipHopCanada
Photography courtesy of Live Fast Management