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2017 Music Nova Scotia Awards: Quake wins SOCAN Songwriter of the Year Award

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You need to watch Ramsay Almighty’s new video for “Miami”

Kitchener-Waterloo, ON – MC-producer Ramsay Almighty just dropped this dope new video for his track “Miami” (produced by Aaron Francis) that dropped at the very beginning of 2016, and it’s one of my favourite videos from this month. This video was filmed by Photobyastral and marks a huge milestone in Ramsay’s career; it’s become his mark on the international market.

We see plenty of guys drop nods to the likes of New York or Compton or whatever. It’s pretty common to name drop a dope city in the U.S. But rarely do we see guys actually try to take it to that next level.

As Ramsay explained it to me: “These songs were all affirmations: I wanted to rap it and real life it. After a recent trip to Los Angeles, I was inspired to create sounds that brought listeners to a different place.”

Obviously that place was Miami. And not only was Ramsay able to bring his listeners to that place; he was actually flown out to perform in that very same place.

“Miami heard the song; they believed the vision! They [Cranium Clothing] literally flew me out there to host and perform at the Congress Hotel, South Beach. I performed one song and mobbed out with Lil Yachty at a roof-top party. But it all began with a song on my laptop and a vision for where I wanted to go.”

You need to watch Ramsay Almighty's new video for

I caught up with Aaron Francis (the producing mastermind behind this joint) to ask him some questions about the video, as well. According to Aaron, the track dropped with virtually no push. But the hype surrounding the track continued to build. Cranium Clothing put an offer on the table for Ramsay to fly out to Miami over spring break, so Aaron and Astral Black decided to come along and turn the opportunity into a music video shoot and fashion editorial, as well.

The video itself utilizes a home video style of shooting. So it feels like a dream. The footage plays out like a nostalgic memory; exactly like watching home videos. It’s a throwback to that time when Ramsay went to Miami and everything was surreal.

As Aaron explained it to me: “The home video look and feel was all Ramsay’s concept. We shot a LOT of footage: two full days of shooting in-and-around South Beach, multiple reels, two cameras, different lenses… it was nuts. We basically had a mini-lab in the hotel room. After shooting we would go back to the hotel and Ramsay would start editing right away. It also happened to be spring break so the energy was so way up [that] it was infectious. But at the end of the day, it was the candid footage that most accurately conveyed our experience. So Ramsay went with that.”

One thing the video doesn’t show you all is the grind that went in behind-the-scenes of this trip. Yeah, it’s a big roof-top party with hella chill vibes. But Ramsay and squad were operating on virtually no sleep. They departed from the airport in Buffalo at 3 a.m. and arrived in Miami at 6 a.m. They UBERed over to their hotel, dropped of their stuff, and started working right away with a lookbook shoot for Nor Apparel.

Aaron also spoke with me about the creative process for this song and it more-or-less turned into this deeply personal statement about how much he believes in Ramsay. I think you all need to read this because it goes to show how important it is to have people in your circle who truly TRULY believe in your mission.

This is what Aaron told me, and I caught major feels: “After [Ramsay] came back from LA (towards the end of 2015)…I would visit the lab [and] Ramsay would be in Studio B locked behind closed doors. That was a shift because he used to share music with us (Astral Black and I) for input. But his best work came when he stopped caring about the opinions of even his older brother and manager. I would listen at the door and hear him layering his vocals – take after take – and catch goosebumps. Like on the song “Dangerous”, for example; that’s a Doo Wop vocal arrangement! That’s why I had to put out [Ramsay’s unreleased compilation playlist titled] 401 WE$T – as a music fan I was compelled. Sure, at the end of the day every artist wants to pop and that’s where songs like “Miami” come in. But a song like “Glory” – the way the beat builds from piano he played into a full on pop-synth orchestra?! I listen to Ramsay and I hear Kanye before he signed to the Roc, James Blake before he crossed the Atlantic; I hear his vision.”


Twitter: @RamsayAlmighty


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Sarah Jay

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Sarah Jay is based in Calgary and works as a freelance journalist and photographer. Sarah is also a former A&R talent scout for the Universal Music Scouting Program, and runs a vintage store during the day. Sarah has juried the JUNO Awards, The Polaris Music Prize, and The Prism Prize. She has been fortunate enough to interview and photograph some of hip-hop's greatest influencers including Future, ScHoolboy Q, Ghostface Killah, Moka Only, Maestro Fresh Wes, Shad, Joey Bada$$, Mac Miller, and more. Follow Sarah on Twitter: @ThisIsSarahJay

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