Category: Interviews

[Interview] DeJ Loaf shares what she learned from the success of “Try Me” and why you should quit your day job

DeJ Loaf

Hailing out of Detroit, Michigan, DeJ Loaf released a mixtape titled Just do It in 2012 that encompasses the struggles she went through in college. Balancing school and music she dropped out of school to pursue the latter while working as a custodian at the Chrysler Factory. In a funk she quit her job and she was seriously contemplating if music was her calling, then one day while shopping in a mall these girls were giving her a dirty look and that’s when she decided to go home and record the song “Try Me”. Her only goal was to hit 5000 listens, if the song didn’t she was going to upload another song until something caught on. After a few youtube and Instagram posts “Try Me” went viral. Artists like Wiz Khalifa wanted to do a remix, “6” God Drake posted a lyric from the song on Instagram and the rest as they say is history.

I caught up with DeJ Loaf to talk about what kept her going when she was struggling, what she learned from her hit single “Try Me”, what she would have done if it didn’t succeed, why you should quit your day job, and so much more. Comment below on your favourite part of our interview with DeJ Loaf.

Peep the photography of the event after the jump.

[Podcast] TassNata talks working with Danny Brown, stealing first Rap tape and musical influence by his father

“My Dad used to take an hour sometimes just to play one song since he’d pause it so many times to explain what it meant, I was like 6 haha from that collection some of the biggest influences came from artists such as Bob Marley, The doors, Nina Simone, & bluesmen like BB King, and John Lee Hooker.” TassNata.

His father only age 21 when TassNata (Justin Nerling) was born, his pops was an avid music collector and audio engineer turned carpenter to better support the family.

TassNata first project Between Planets released in 2011, garnered attention internationally and featured singles with elZHi of Slum Village, Black Milk, DL Incognito, and SonReal. Since then, Tass has released two mixtape projects which brings us to his newest EP Before Mourning which features singles with friends such as Danny Brown, Andreena Mill, SonReal, Rich Kidd, & JD Era. We caught with TassNata to discuss what the significance the title Before Mourning means, how he connected with Danny Brown, how he treats everyday like its his last and what his introduction to Hip-Hop was and much more.

Check out the excerpts of the interview after the jump and let me know what your first Hip Hop memory is.

[Podcast] John River talks believing in a greater purpose, #BlackLivesMatter, and the pressures of success

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 + Podcast] Junia-T talks travelling to England, things happening on divine time, and being rich in love

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.

[Interview + Podcast] DJ T.Lo talks new EP with Shad, memories of their smallest shows, and digging for records

Interview by: Martin Bauman

You may not know his name, but chances are you’ve heard his music or seen him perform before. T.Lo has been deejaying for Shad since the very beginning, and he’s also responsible for producing some of the London emcee’s most beloved songs: “Rose Garden,” “Telephone,” and more recently, “Always Winnin.” Pretty soon, there will be another batch of songs to add to that list. The Mississauga native has been working on a collaborative EP with Shad for the past several months, and it’s almost ready for the world to hear.

The story of a touring deejay (or any band member, for that matter) is fascinating to listen to. They’ve been there through it all, from the humble beginnings to the peaks of success. When it came to T.Lo (a former Scribble Jam champion and DMC Canadian champion in his own right), we had to learn more. We caught up with T.Lo to talk about the upcoming EP, memories of the smallest shows he and Shad ever played, digging for records, and much more.

Listen to the podcast above and read the interview after the jump.

[Interview + Podcast] P.R talks Nujabes’ influence, hip-hop in Australia, and where Iggy Azalea fits in

Interview by: Martin Bauman

If jazzy hip-hop is your thing, look no further than P.R. The Sydney, Australia-based producer has the sound damn near perfected, drawing clear inspiration from the likes of Nujabes and meshing the jazzy, mellow vibes with the boom bap flavour of influences like DJ Premier, 9th Wonder, and J Dilla.

We first took notice of P.R when he sent his Moment In Time EP through last year, and it blew us away. Smooth production and stellar features from the likes of Substantial, Skyzoo, Blu, and Cise Starr combined to create one of the year’s most memorable EPs. It was only right that we eventually connected down the road to hear him tell his story.

We caught up with P.R to talk about Nujabes’ influence on him, the hip-hop scene in Australia, where Iggy Azalea fits in, and much more. Listen to the podcast above and read the interview after the jump.

[Interview + Podcast] Rapsody talks meeting Jay Z, self-belief, and choosing to “give a damn”

Interview by: Martin Bauman

Make no mistake: for all her humility, Rapsody is not an emcee to be overlooked on the microphone. On “Hard To Choose,” the budding Jamla star raps, “The quietest in the room is the baddest one like Durant.” The more you think about it, it’s not that far of a stretch to compare her to the NBA’s reigning MVP. Both entered their respective fields being thought of as too soft to succeed — Durant, for his wiry frame, and Rapsody, for being a woman in a male-dominated genre. Durant shed that misnomer in Oklahoma City’s first playoffs series win in 2011. Here’s how ESPN writer Royce Young described the moment:

Kevin Durant, who had dropped 41 points, including 14 in the final five minutes, stalked along the baseline, right in front of where owners Clay Bennett and Aubrey McLendon sat. With his teammates hanging on his shoulders, Durant popped his jersey and bellowed, “This is my motherf—ing team!”

Nobody was questioning KD after that. As for Rapsody? That defining alpha moment could very well be her latest offering, Beauty and the Beast. After steady growth on The Idea of Beautiful and She Got Game, the Snow Hill, NC emcee sounds like an artist who has finally found her voice. The rhymes and delivery have always been there. The difference now is in her confidence, which shines through on every track. Three years after Durant’s alpha moment, he had his MVP season. It’s only a matter of time before Rapsody has her own. We caught up with the Jamla emcee to talk about meeting Jay Z, where her confidence comes from, carrying the torch from the likes of Ruby Dee and Maya Angelou, and much more.

Listen to the podcast above and read the interview after the jump.

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