Interview by: Martin Bauman
As they’ll tell you, TiRon & Ayomari are tired of hearing the same old music. With their latest full-length effort, The Great New Wonderful, they offer an alternative — boasting that “happiness is guaranteed,” and then following through on that promise. “The best music has not been created already,” says Ayomari. “The human condition always changes,” adds TiRon, “so as the human condition changes, so should the message. Yeah, we want you to jam, but we’ve been jammin’ for a long time. Yeah, we want you to party, but we’ve been partying for a long time. There’s so many things going on within society that are little nuances that the music doesn’t reflect, and [we’re seeing] a disconnect [as a result].” TGNW is at-times uplifting, reassuring, dance-inducing, a call-to-action, and at all times, refreshingly different.
If you haven’t yet heard of the Los Angeles-based duo, now’s the time to get on board. After their superb A Sucker For Pumps release, followed by the strong offerings of HNGRY and The Wonderful Prelude series, they’ve made fans out of the likes of Q-Tip and Diddy and proven themselves as much more than a one-album success. More than being great artists, though, the two happen to be thoughtful and profound individuals with plenty to say. We caught up with TiRon & Ayomari to talk about the importance of self-love in the black community, getting out of their comfort zone, why they make music, and much more.
Listen to the podcast above and read the highlights after the jump.
It’s not surprising that John River is in the mood to celebrate these days — everything seems to be going his way. Just days after walking the red carpet at the MMVAs (where his “Hope City II” was nominated for Best Hip-Hop Video), and mere months after being invited to speak as a TEDx guest, the Mississauga emcee is back with a party anthem timed perfectly for the start of summer. “Get Down” is totally uninhibited and unapologetically enthusiastic, and as much as it’s John River’s party, it’s also a celebration of Mississauga and his hometown friends — it’s no coincidence that he wears Brampton native Tyler Ennis’ Milwaukee Bucks jersey in the video. Things are looking up for John River these days. It’ll be fun to see where things go from here.
I’ve been waiting a long time for this one to come out. John River just dropped the visuals to “Hope City II,” the first music we’ve heard from Mississauga’s young frontrunner in quite awhile. River comes out full throttle in what has to be the best revisiting of a song since J. Cole took a second stab at “Dead Presidents” — relentless flow, impassioned delivery, and impeccable breath control. It’s fitting, then, that River touches on his admiration and interaction with the Dreamville emcee in his nonstop verse.
Did I mention the whole five-minute song is one verse? Let that sink in while you’re listening. After you’re done pressing replay an appropriate number of times, check out our podcast with him from the end of 2014. For what it’s worth, it was my favourite interview of the year.
To hear John River tell it, his future lies in one of two extremes: either he’ll become the biggest rapper in the world, or he’ll end up as the biggest bust in hip-hop. The more you hear the 20-year-old Mississauga artist tell his story, the more you can’t help but believe that he’s destined to succeed. After all, this is the same artist who, as a teenager, took a bus to New York City and showed up unannounced at the president of Dreamville’s door. It’s also the same artist who left an indelible mark with his debut mixtape, The Calm, and is now prepared for its followup, The Storm.
What happens to a young artist when things don’t happen as quickly as they had imagined? The same setbacks that cause so many to call it quits served as a wakeup call for John River once the honeymoon of The Calm ended. “You have to really grow up,” says River. “You have to shut up, stop complaining, get educated, be willing to listen, and understand that maybe you’re not the best rapper in the world at 17.”
Suffice it to say, a lot has happened since the release of River’s debut mixtape two years ago, and it was long overdue that we caught up with him once again. We spoke about everything from believing in one’s greater purpose, to the significance of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, to the pressures of success and the fear of failure.
Listen to the podcast above and get a glimpse of the conversation after the jump.
Interview by: Martin Bauman
What happens when you feel like you’ve hit the ceiling in Toronto’s music scene? Either you give up, or like Junia-T, you look for that next step to grow. So it was that the Mississauga-raised artist found himself hopping on a plane to the United Kingdom, eager to find a musical foothold outside of his hometown. Even more remarkable was the timing: his latest project, Eye See You, came out when he was overseas — quite the leap of faith, when most artists would seek comfort in celebrating the release in their hometown. We caught up with Junia-T to talk about his month-long departure to England, things happening on divine time, being rich in love, and much more. Listen to the podcast above and read the interview after the jump.