This was our very first interview with Ottawa/Toronto MC, Eternia who, is easily one of the most recognized female MCs in Canadian hip-hop history. We’ve been around since 1999, so we decided to introduce a new series called Back In The Day where we’ll be showcasing stories we’ve run in the past. And, in the spirit of International Women’s Day, we’re starting off right here.
The interview took place back in 2002 when E was first getting started and during the hometown (Ottawa) leg of the Tough Dumplin’ Tour with MC Collizhun of Nefarius. Eternia had been working closely with Tough Dumplin’ Foundation and Apollo Records. R.I.P. Kwesro.
HipHopCanada: Your down with the Tough Dumplin’ camp. How did you link up with them?
Eternia: Well, how do I make this short? Basically, Collizhun (of Nefarius) and I always used to run into each other at hip-hop shows in T.O. around 1997. He showed me love after the first time he saw me spit, from then we were peace. So years later we end up on the same bill together, opening for Mystic in London… and he saw how I had grown lyrically over the years. He asked me to jump on a track for his album – then saw how well we vibed together in the studio, so asked me if I wanted to do my own album. Doing the track with him was basically a test… and I passed I guess! Tough Dumplin’ also includes Adversaree the N.M.E… a sick, sick lyricist. Look out for his shit soon.
HipHopCanada: What is the name of the track? Will this be the first Eternia video released through Tough Dumplin’?
Eternia: Well – I gotta clarify that actually. The video, named “Sorrow Song”, is seperate from Tough Dumplin’… it is produced by a dude in Rochester named Rudeboy, and remixed by Jigsaw Productions in T.O. (Bounce and Bookworm). Collizhun helped with the remix, other than that there’s really no Tough Dumplin’ affiliation. Why? Well, it was a solo track I had swimmin’ around for a minute, even before I hooked up with Collizhun. I never really knew if I’d have the guts to drop it (due to the nature of the track, and the chillness of it… would it be a good first release?) but many people convinced me otherwise… many people were touched by the joint, including the director (Erskine Ford from Vancity) who convinced me to shoot it. The rest is history.
HipHopCanada: Who directed your video? Did he/she take care of all the creative elements or did you have a specific concept for the video when you set out to make it?
Eternia: Well – that would be Erskine Ford, or Skin for short. It was dope, he found out about me through a little excerpt in PEACE Mag, and called me… buggin me for a solo track… (Laughing) I really worked with him on the ideas for the video, although the official ‘creative’ he wrote. He knew what I wanted though, and it corresponded with my concept of the song and the way I wanted to be depicted. Like one thing I told him straight out: I do not want to be depicted as a victim in this video, I don’t want it to look like some corny r&b video when the singer is breakin’ up with their ex… you know? So we focused on the universal appeal of the track… the fact that anyone of my listeners can identify with the subject, and probably went through some shit of they own… you know? The video is those audience members’ visceral experiences, their flashbacks, their identification with my words.
HipHopCanada: Where and when can we expect to see this video?
Eternia: Ahhhh… yes. Well, MuchMusic and MTV Canada and MusiquePlus should all be gettin’ hit off with a copy in mid-October, right after Thanksgiving. When we see it depends on who calls/emails in to bug them to see it! (Laughing) We know we’re going to see it, though, on an ‘on-set’ segment mid October, because MuchMusic came through to my video and shot some live stuff while we were making it. So that’s dope. I’m just proud we made this video, period. I think Skin, the director of photography James Liston (he did a bunch of Swollen Members’ videos), and D-Squared (production house) did an incredible job. It’s off the hook to me… hopefully the rest of the world will get a chance to peep it.
HipHopCanada: For the DJs… has vinyl for the track been released or is it being released when the video comes out?
Eternia: They gonna kill me! The track was put out by Phem Phat and Universal on a compilation called “Honey Drops”… whether vinyl drops of that compilation is really up to them… at this point I don’t know if thats going down or not, it probably depends on the sales of the CD. We don’t have plans to release this track on vinyl ourselves, BUT plans for an Eternia/Tough Dumplin vinyl single is in the works right now… fresh material… BRAND SPANKIN NEW…
HipHopCanada: When is the full-length Eternia album dropping? Rumour has it that all sorts of emcees/DJs will be making special appearances… any comment?
Eternia: That’s the infamous question! The album doesn’t have an exact release date as yet, we are still recording it… it’ll be done soon though, and we aiming for a Summer 2003 release. We hoping to drop that single on vinyl I was talking about before that… A.S.A.P. basically, but you know how this business is sometimes. About the guest appearances: well… I have no comment! Except to say that anybody who knows who my crew is, and who my peoples are, should know what to expect. I rep Nextra, I rep Tough Dumplin’, and Atomz Fam/Def Jux is my extended fam… do the math.
Check out more at TheRealEternia.com.
Written by Jesse Plunkett for HipHopCanada
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