Mississauga, ON – There’s been an intense surge in new talent coming out of Central Canada, and the wave of newly uncovered emcees isn’t finished yet. Mississauga emcee, Ashton should be recognized as a hidden talent who’s been producing great work in the area, and has redirected our attention with his poetic lines and thoughtful reflections. His latest release, “Love & Nostalgia” is an inviting introduction for us to provide you access to his equally as impressive library. Past releases are comparably as touching, and generally have a lyrical focus combined with haunting beats.
Although we’re just picking up on his music now, the emcee has been quietly working away, releasing tasteful tracks online for longer than a minute, and is well equipped with an impressive production team (such as dF, who has also worked with rising Canadian talent, K. Forest). The high production quality, and advanced song structure makes us feel like his content is anything but average. And with his first release dropping just shy of a year ago, he’s had some time to perfect his sound as his musical taste has grown and refined with time. We reached out to the Mississauga-based artist to talk about working with dF, the personal reflections he shares in his songs, and how he personally identifies as an artist. Check out our conversation below.
Brampton, ON – Unsurprisingly, Brampton is back at it again as a cultivator of promising artists. SBWHYis a voice we hope to see more of, and his recent release “Another Level” is a promising look for the Brampton-based emcee. The track is remix of The Celestics’ (Kaytranada) “Black Mozart” instrumental which proves to be a proper backdrop to highlight his lyrical abilities (and the chorus that’s undeniably catchy). His songwriting skills on this track are advanced, and he switches up rhyming directions and alternations at a few points to provide a textured tone.
There’s an overwhelming feeling of resilience and revolution to be interpreted, when SBWHY raps, “It’s time to take it to Another Level, yeah you should think about it/ We all go through pain, all the struggles and the changes, why not make something out (of) it?” SBWHY was able to further elaborate on the meaning through our correspondence, describing that, “I was inspired by being stuck in a tough position in my life, but choosing to elevate myself mentally despite those circumstances. It encourages listeners to make the most of unfortunate circumstances, and be the best possible version of themselves.” Regardless of your taste, that’s a message most listeners can appreciate and vibe with.
Los Angeles, CA – Songwriting is a skill that many artists spend their entire careers trying to perfect, but Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter/producer, Kyle Christophermastered the formula early on in his musical career. While many artists enter the industry as a performer first, Kyle was recognized by Warner Chappell and signed on as a writer firstly. It’s here that he made his first professional mark on the industry over the years, having written and produced for artists like Kevin Gates, French Montana, Kid Ink, and Trey Songz, and working on many charting R&B tracks (many of which are most likely among your favourites). His most recently his credits include, “2 AM by Adrian Marcel, “Wings” by Little Mix, and Zendaya’s latest single featuring Chris Brown, “Something New”.
Just shy of a year ago, his first single “Gettin Started” emerged on Soundcloud, which boasted the same infectious R&B sound that we hoped to hear. It also displayed a strong message that his audiences were only receiving a glimpse of the potential still to come from Kyle. The rest of this past year was filled with similarly impressive singles from Christopher which have defined him as an equally as talented artist as he is songwriter. Early August saw the release of “OK” which features Raven Felix and Sk8, also acting as the final indicator that he’s developing into a force to be reckoned with. We caught up with Kyle to talk about “OK”, his perspective on his solo career, and what’s next in 2017. Check out our conversation after the drop.
Mississauga, ON – The Gvllows is a multifaceted singer, songwriter, and producer who was born and raised in Toronto before relocating to Mississauga, Ontario at 8 years old. Over correspondence by e-mail, he elaborated that he was raised in a Caribbean household, and exposed to Soca, Jazz and Latin music at a very early age. It’s these influences that shine through in his two most recent single drops “Rivals” and “Don’t Wait For Me”.
His style is hard to pinpoint, and takes elements and influence from electronic, indie-pop and downtempo house sounds. The result is a solemn, and brooding vibe which carries his rolling voice over the two tracks. They are atmospheric editions that focus on highlighting open spaces rather than confusion. He draws and cites influence from artists such as Francis & The Lights, James Blake, Caribou, The Weeknd & Kanye West.
The cold and minimal production is a forward thinking approach to music which is matched by his neutral aesthetics for a satisfying product.”Rivals” is considerably more slowed down and euphoric, which “Don’t Wait For Me” speeds things up to give his distorted vocals the spotlight. Check out the two singles after the drop.
Edmonton, AB – Komrade and Pat Grim of The Brothers Grim enlist their former tour-mate Madchild for their new Nato-produced single, “It’s Grim.” The song was released with a dope new lyric video which you can check out below. Along with producing the song, veteran DJ Nato also dropped in the cuts and took care of mixing and mastering.
The Brothers Grim spent 2016 with Adlib & Alpha Omega on the Rebel Hippies Tour and are set to start off 2017 with two solo EPs and a new Brothers Grim album. Check out “It’s Grim” below.
Willingboro, NJ – OVO Sound’s Mike Zombie, known primarily for his impressive production portfolio, puts on his rapper hat for the catchy new Guns N’ Roses-inspired “Paradise City.” The track makes use of GNR’s famous “Take me down to Paradise city” chorus line, giving you a peak at Zombie’s state of mind as he effortlessly shows off his lyrical might and versatility.
“Delivering flying bars atop a multicolored production, a sample from Stranger Thing‘s ‘No Autopsy,’ Mike tells a story about life over the past year. When the gravity of life’s emotions become weighing, Mike packs up his bags and parts to ‘Paradise City.’”
Calgary, AB – HipHopCanada joined Spotify back in October and we’ve been releasing a new playlist with two hours of music every single week. Each Friday we’ll hit you with a Canadian urban music playlist curated by our Associate Editor In Chief, Sarah Jay. Every week Sarah will be putting together a 38-track weekly selection of new releases, classic favourites, throwbacks, and songs she’s playing heavy on rotation.
This week’s playlist includes several brand new just-released tracks including “Hercules” by DillanPonders (off the just-released new Acid Reign project which is probably Ponders’ best album so far), “Dangerous” by Roy Woods (off the newly released Nocturnal EP), “Beyond The Pines” by Derek Wise, “Down In The Hamptons” by HERO, “R U Down” by Jydn, and more.
The playlist also features records from Majid Jordan, Sean Leon, Plaza, Ikeno, Junia-T, DijahSB, EverythingOShauN, Drew Howard, City Fidelia, Ninetyfour, and more.
Check out the playlist and tracklist for Sarah Jay’s Weekly Picks Vol. 13 below, and make sure you go follow us on Spotify.
Hamilton, ON – Representing the GTA West, Hamilton based artist DBLCRSS was one of the best things to happen to the Canadian production scene this year.
After landing himself as a regularly featured artist on The6Track, the Nü Faith Inc. co-founder made a name for himself by delivering a slew of 2016 collaborations with guys like Ramsay Almighty, Bane, Van Hill, LEO., and more.
Artistically, DBLCRSS is still a bit of a mystery. He doesn’t show his face in association with his music, and it seems like he just kind of came out of nowhere this year. And that’s because 2016 was the year that DBLCRSS actually decided to premiere himself as an artist.
DBLCRSS produces in Logic X Pro and FL Studio 11, and draws a lot of his inspiration from older films and books. He almost always starts his compositions with a drum line, and builds the beat from there. He’s one of few producers I have come across who A) actually has his own distinct sound and B) has enough diversity within that signature sound to slaughter any kind of beat he touches; from dancehall, to Afrobeat, to trap, and everything else in between. But for some reason, the guy’s sound is totally left field from what we’ve come to associate with “the Toronto sound.”
This week I caught up with DBLCRSS for an exclusive interview to break down the year 2016. We talked about DBLCRSS’ massive rise to Internet fame, his work process for making beats, his forthcoming debut EP, his decision to branch out from working with rappers, why you can’t just pay him to cop a beat and more.
Toronto, ON – Originally published Dec. 24, 2016 – Following up to the release of his monstrous debut Foreign Water EP in October, Def Jam signee Jahkoy just dropped off a brand new single titled “Acceptance V1” (produced by BiznessBoi and Th3ory).
“Acceptance V1” was co-written by Ye Ali. So stylistically it’s on much more of a Ye Ali tip. This is exactly how you would assume it sounds; a sexy after-hours Ye Ali jam with buttery smooth Jahkoy vocals.
It’s also a very honest telling of what happens when you catch feels. You’re still probably gonna want to take your clothes off after you hear this record. But it’ll resonate with you and also probably leave you thinking about a certain someone: “Girl I’ve been drinking/ Browsing your pictures/ Got me up thinking/ You should accept me.”
“Acceptance V1” is HipHopCanada’s Song of the Day. Listen to it below, and if you haven’t downloaded Foreign Water yet you should get on that ASAP.
Toronto, ON – On Christmas Day, JellyTooFly and Sola dropped off brand new visuals for their collaborative track titled “Too Much.”
The video was directed by Rodzilla and takes us into a house party with Jelly and Sola. I’ve been such a huge fan of this record since it dropped because the bars slap so hard. Sola kicks off on the first verse. Then Jelly comes in on the hook. And then Jelly delivers arguably one of her best, hardest-hitting verses of all time.
The idea here is that you can never be too much and that nothing is ever too much. Be extra AF and don’t think twice about it. But also know you can never have too much of a good thing; whether it’s money, fame, or whatever else. Check out the video after the jump.