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City On My Back Archives » Interviews

INTERVIEW: Burd from Burd & Keyz w/ Respect-Mag.com (#KEYZOFLIFE)

hyperadmin | Interviews | Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

Peter Marrack from Respect-Mag.com chops it up with Burdy Lo about, well….everything. Dope interview, although (after the National Post thing specifically) I’m not sure what’s going on with all the typos these days. Anthony passed in 2010, not 2008 and I’m not sure who ‘James ‘Durty Keyz’ James’ is…???

Anyways, lol. Get that Keyz of Life here.

Burd & Keyz are a Toronto hip-hop production duo composed of Andrew ‘Burd’ Liburd and Anthony ‘Durty Keyz’ James. Although the latter passed away in June of 2008, due to a “rare, yet severe bacterial infection called streptococcus”, Burd has kept Keyz both in his name and in our memories, as he dropped the 14-record tribute to his friend, entitled Keyz of Life, earlier this month. Keyz of Life features production almost exclusively by Burd, with collaborations by T-Minus, McCallaman, Kardinal Offishall, Luu Breeze, Rich Kidd, Divine Brown, Shi Wisdom, among others. The project serves as a vivid reflection of Toronto itself, a multicultural hotbed which breeds such diverse sounds as hip-hop, reggae, soul, pop, dance, and R&B, all working in harmony to produce one cohesive flavor.

Download Keyz of Life here, and read the complete interview after the jump.

What does Keyz of Life mean to you?

It’s something [Keyz and I] promised each other a long time ago. One day we were riding in a car together, coming home from work at Enterprise. We worked at the same place. We were talking about our game and we were like, “We got to put out our own project before we go,” because no one knows how talented you are until you put something out, you know? Keyz agreed, but we were too busy making singles for other people, working on other people’s projects, that we couldn’t really focus on our own shit. Now and then we’d stash away a couple beats for our own shit though. Like, “Yo, that was a special one.”

How many downloads are you at now?

Probably 2000 in a week or two weeks.

Is that more or less than you expected?

It’s pretty good, man. I’m flattered. It dropped on Wednesday and I went out downtown [Toronto] on Friday to see Rich Hil and people are coming up to me shaking my hand. Every time I’ve been downtown people have been shaking my hand, like, “Yo, Burd, Keyz of Life,” and then they just walk by. I’m like, “Cool.” People in the States are acting like I’m some sort of Don or something. [laughs] I’m like, “I’m just Burd.”

Any opportunities popping up as a result?

Definitely, people want to sign the kid. Managers want to manage me. But I got a lot more work to do now that this is out. I got to come up with some new bounces.

Are you working right now?

I’m working while they sleep.

You told me the story of “Burdstrumental (Losing My Bestfriend)”…

Yeah, it was Keyz sampling idea. I took it and then he got mad at me for taking his sample idea. I’m like, “Yo, you’re not doing it.” After he passed I took it again, and that’s when I called up his cousin, McCallaman, who’s actually here with me right now. I told McCallaman the vision I wanted, and then we just ran with it and it came out dope.

You said it’s more positive than you intended.

Yeah, I wanted a slow, dark, depressing song, but then I was like, “Fuck this, man. Let’s switch it up on them.”

Doesn’t that sum up the whole project, turning something negative into something positive?

Yeah, exactly. You could either choose to be all sad about it, make songs that put you in that mood- But everyone’s been giving me really positive feedback about that song because they’ve never heard that sound from me, or they haven’t come across McCallaman and he’s really good at that dark shit as well.

He likes the dance beats.

He loves that shit, so that mixed with me chopping up the sample, it’s a tough mix.

READ THE FULL INTERVIEW HERE

Previous: NEWS: Keyz of Life National Post Article (The Beats Go On)

Previous: NEW ALBUM: Burd & Keyz – Keyz of Life

INTERVIEW: Rochelle Jordan w/ SingersRoom.com (Part 2)

hyperadmin | Interviews | Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Here’s the rest of Rojo‘s choperation with SingersRoom.com:

Toronto native Rochelle Jordan has been making a name for herself, especially with the release of ‘R O J O,’ a project with in-house producer Klash. On the project, Rochelle showcased her raw and unique talent on the 15-track set, which was reminiscent of the 90s sound. Drawing elements from the likes Aaliyah, Kelis, Samantha James, and even Paramore; it was largely Ameriie and her debut album ‘All I Have’ that impacted Rochelle’s sound the most.

First Song Fell in Love… First song I ever fell in love with… I really liked Kelis’ “Caught Out There” when I was young, but the songs that I fell in love with, and the album that I fell in love with, where I literally couldn’t put it down, was definitely Amerie’s ‘All I Have’ album. Pretty much all those songs on that album, I dedicated my life to for a really long time. [Laughs] I’m talking like four years, I was dedicated to listening to her harmonies and melodies and everything that she was doing with Rich Harrison. That’s kind of what I fell in love with.

Defining Audio Style… If you notice within my lyrics and within certain songs, I always mention “the vibe, can you feel it?” and I guess it’s a certain aura that Klash and I possess with our music. We’re obviously definitely R&B, but… It’s hard for me to explain, but it’s a really vibe-y sound where it gives you the feeling that I got back in the day when I used to listen to music when I was 11-12, and that 90s era when music was just powerful and almost like touching your soul. I always wanted to give that back to people, and I always said it was the vibe of the sound. That’s how I kind of describe my music. A certain vibe.

Music Inspiration…  I go from anywhere from Samantha James, who is an underground, lounge-y/pop-ish singer who is absolutely crazy and not a lot of people know about her… I take elements from that and also from Aaliyah, Amerie, and even Paramore. I take different elements and kind of mash them together. That kind of helps me develop my sound, but I can say for sure that Amerie was a huge influence in my sound. Kelis was also, and Aaliyah for sure.

Staying True to Toronto…  Toronto is an amazing city, but I don’t know. They always say that Toronto has a certain sound, and we’re very emotional… emo. [Laughs] And especially with the last song that I dropped, “Shot,” people were like “Oh yeah, there’s that emo, Toronto sound.” [Laughs] It is what it is. I’ve had amazing support down here and whatnot. Everything influences my sound really. I can’t just sit here and say Toronto influenced my sound. It’s just a mash of a whole bunch of things. I can definitely say being from Toronto, now that Drake kind of broke out in the states, it definitely helped my sound reach further than it would have if he didn’t.

Reaching For Success… The success for me was just the fact people merely just took to my sound. Just being able to get my emotions out and have people understand it and relate to it… That is success in my eyes. I mean, the rest will come later. I obviously want to be a really heavy recording artist and person within the industry… And I’m just praying that comes. But right now, I really feel like the success was just breaking through these different parts of the world and have people listening to my music. That’s where the success lies.

Fighting Sickle Cell… Yeah I do have that. And so does T-Boz. I remember once I asked her on Facebook. I found her Facebook and I was like “Oh my God, T-Boz. I heard that you have sickle cell anemia. How do you deal with that being in the industry?” She actually hit me back up. She was like, “Oh my God. That’s so dope. Okay, well when you’re in the industry, you got to make sure you’re taking care of your health and all that kind of stuff. Balancing your sleep and your food and whatnot.” It’s really dope. That’s one thing that not a lot of people know about me. And that’s one thing I’ve fought with my entire life. I fought all the way to where I am in my life right now. It’s been good. [Laughs] It’s been okay.

Yeah. For the people that don’t really know what sickle cell is, it’s an anemia, like a blood disorder. It’s basically when your immune system starts shutting down, your heart creates cells that are kind of misshaped and then They can sometimes get stuck in your veins. Then it causes you to have like weird pains all over your body and stuff like that. I always think that it could have been worse. There’s a lot of people out in the industry with it that I’m finding out about, which is really, really cool. It’s nothing that you can’t fight.

Proper Introduction… Yes and no, because ‘Alien Phase,’ as dope and amazing as it is up to this day… ‘Alien Phase’ is really just me trying to find my sound, and find out exactly what I wanted to do. After ‘Alien Phase,’ we started creating different songs and the growth just started happening. That’s when I realized that ‘ROJO’ is how I want to be perceived. Hearing ‘ROJO’ is exactly who I am. So I don’t mind even re-releasing a couple songs off of the ‘Alien Phase’ project in the next couple months or something, so that people have an idea of what I was. To start off, I definitely just wanted people to understand me ‘cause that’s one of the most important things about this industry. You want to be understood. You don’t want people to be so confused, like “I don’t understand what she’s trying to do.” Or just to not understand you as an artist. So I just wanted to make sure that was patented out and ready to go.

Previous: INTERVIEW: Rochelle Jordan w/ SingersRoom.com

INTERVIEW: The Airplane Boys w/ GlobalGrind.com

hyperadmin | Interviews | Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

The Airplane Boys are Toronto’s premiere hip-hop duo.

Coming down from the high they experienced with legendary rapper Snoop Dogg, GlobalGrind caught up with Beck Motley and Bon Voyage to chit-chat about being hometown heroes.

Adding to the list of talent emerging from Toronto’s music scene, The Airplane Boys are the new faces of an ever-evolving hip-hop genre.

Check out our exclusive interview with The Airplanes Boys below!

GlobalGrind: You guys came back from the UK. How was that, you were with Snoop?

Beck Motley: All the time.

How crazy was that?

Amazing because the time zone difference, the different culture, they drive on the right side, different type of money —as a group it’s a whole new experience. The traveling part and learning different cultures and communicating and just hearing different accents, it’s refreshing for us.

How was it touring with Snoop?  Did you guys roll up with Snoop?

Bon Voyage: We did, the first tour. That was ill.

Beck Motley: It’s nuts. After every show we would go into the crowd and take pictures with them, drink with them, toast with them. It’s really wild out there, especially in Scotland.

Bon Voyage: Guys trying to kiss you, girls trying to hawk you down. It’s some f*cked up sh*t.

Beck Motley: Trying to grab your face, put it in their chest.

Wow. What’s been like the wildest thing that’s happened, then?

Bon Voyage: This 38-year-old lady grabbed my head and just tumbled me down, and I had no f*cking choice. And she’s like ‘OK, let’s take a picture.’

You guys did some shows with J.Cole, how was that?

That was amazing because we’re driving from place to place, and that gave it that rock and roll feel. In every state I’m going to go in. it was just inspiring to see another—who you would say is leading the new young wave. With Snoop it was an iconic legend, and you learn that way. But with J. Cole it’s someone that’s not too far.

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

Previous: VIDEO: The Airplane Boys (Interview w/ The Come up Show)

Previous: VIDEO: The Airplane Boys “Open For J. Cole In…” (BTS)

INTERVIEW: Rochelle Jordan w/ SingersRoom.com

hyperadmin | Interviews | Monday, November 28th, 2011

SingersRoom.com chops it up with Rojo about her influences, her sound, the city and more. This is just a teaser too. Full interview coming soon…

Toronto native Rochelle Jordan has been making a name for herself, especially with the release of ‘R O J O,’ a project with in-house producer Klash. On the project, Rochelle showcased her raw and unique talent on the 15-track set, which was reminiscent of the 90s sound. Drawing elements from the likes Aaliyah, Kelis, Samantha James, and even Paramore; it was largely Ameriie and her debut album ‘All I Have’ that impacted Rochelle’s sound the most.

“Pretty much all those songs on that album, I dedicated my life to for a really long time,” Rochelle tells Singersroom exclusively. “I’m talking like four years, I was dedicated to listening to her harmonies and melodies and everything that she was doing with Rich Harrison. That’s kind of what I fell in love with.”

Despite spending years perfecting her craft, Rochelle struggled in the beginning stages to breakthrough as an artist, and ended up focusing more on being a songwriter. “It’s kind of hard in Toronto to get your start, especially when you don’t have connections and you don’t know what to do or how to go about taking it seriously,” Rochelle explains. “When I turned 18, I kind of faded back from singing and I was more songwriting. It wasn’t until my early 20s that I met up with Klash.”

“I can definitely say being from Toronto now that Drake kind of broke out in the states, it definitely helped my sound reach further than it would have if he didn’t,” she says.

Though breaking into the U.S. market is no longer the main obstacle for the Toronto native, she still battles a health condition on a daily basis. Much like singer T-Boz, of the Grammy-winning girl group, TLC, Rochelle Jordan also has sickle cell anemia. Rochelle even reached out to T-Boz via Facebook and asked for advice on how to deal with the blood disorder while being a singer.

“I found her Facebook and I was like, ‘Oh my God, T-Boz, I heard that you have sickle cell anemia. How do you deal with that being in the industry?’” Rochelle reflects. “She actually hit me back up. She was like, ‘Oh my God. That’s so dope. Okay, well when you’re in the industry, you got to make sure you’re taking care of your health and all that kind of stuff. Balancing your sleep and your food and whatnot.’

“It’s really dope. That’s one thing that not a lot of people know about me. And that’s one thing I’ve fought with my entire life. I fought all the way to where I am in my life right now. It’s been good. It’s been okay.”

Stay tuned to Singersroom.com for our full exclusive interview with Rochelle Jordan.

Previous: NEW MUSIC: Rochelle Jordan “Shot” (Prod. Klash & Pat Preezy)

Previous: NEW MUSIC: Rochelle Jordan – King A (Aaliyah Tribute)

INTERVIEW: Noah "40" Shebib ("Backstory" w/ GQ Magazine)

hyperadmin | Interviews,Music | Friday, November 11th, 2011

Really dope 40 interview w/ GQ Magazine.

Drake’s music isn’t complex, but it is complicated. Steeped in warm, deep, dense beds, it’s closer in spirit to R&B than almost any hip-hop ever recorded. Wet, slapping drums; hazy synth tones; delicate, enveloping chords—it’s a sound that’s added a gravitas to the Canadian MC’s music. Drake feels important because his music sounds important. The primary architect of that sound, Noah “40” Shebib, has worked closely with Drake, creating an unusual partnership. 40 is credited with production on only eight of the 17 songs on Take Care, Drake’s second full-length album, but as an engineer and sounding board, his fingerprints are everywhere—the expansive palette, the patience, and the dramatic flourishes at song’s end. They craft albums together.

The 28-year-old Shebib, a Toronto native with a background as a child performer, like Drake, has been beside him during the biggest moments of his career. I talked with 40 on the eve of the highly anticipated Take Care about their history and the stories behind some of their best songs.

Get the full interview HERE!

Previously: FEATURE: Noah “40″ Shebib w/ TheFader.com

VIDEO: The Airplane Boys (Interview w/ The Come up Show)

hyperadmin | Interviews,Music,Video | Sunday, November 6th, 2011

Chedo chops it up with The Airplane Boys.

www.thecomeupshow.com

Previously: VIDEO: The Airplane Boys “Open For J. Cole In…” (BTS)

Previously: VIDEO: Sese, Jesse & J. Probs & DMoneyDolla on The Come Up Show

INTERVIEW: Drake's Assistant Engineer Noel Cadastre talks w/ The Come Up Show

hyperadmin | Interviews,Music | Friday, November 4th, 2011

The Come Up Show’s Geoffrey Granka drops a dope interview with Drake’s assistant engineer Noel Cadastre.

Noel Cadastre gets happier the harder he works. He crossed paths with Aubrey Graham and Noah Shebib while working at a recording studio in Mississauga. He was the only one willing to work an awkwardly scheduled late shift. Nobody who knew Noel would be surprised he was willing to work a last minute shift. Just as nobody can be all that surprised that he was then asked to go on the road with Drake and 40 to help finish what would become Thank Me Later. A couple million international sales later, he’s very happy these days.

Noel sat down with The Come Up Show to geek about studio gear, the upcoming Take Care, and offer insight to working with one of the biggest artists of the decade so far.

TCUS: How did it work out that you would start working with 40 outside of Metalworks Studios? What records have you been involved in since?

NC: Well the short form is: When Drake was recording Thank Me Later they were running out of time because his tour dates were starting. They still had four unfinished songs, two days before our last session before the tour… they asked me if I would go out on tour for two weeks to help 40 finish the album. Obviously I [agreed], took two weeks vacation from Metalworks and went.

Noel’s two weeks became three and his vacation became permanent after being invited on board by 40.

TCUS: What takes up most of your working hours?‬

NC: Assisting in the studio for recording and production, working with the label, management and the rest of the team to facilitate the recording process when we’re on the road. I am considered first and foremost to be Noah Shebib’s assistant. He is really who I work for. In his absence I am Drake’s recording engineer. We are the only two people who record his music‬.

Noel would go on to assist with most of Thank Me Later, Lil Wayne’s “I’m Not a Human Being”, Rihanna’s “What’s My Name”, Alicia Keys “Unthinkable (Remix”, Jamie Foxx’s “Fall for Your Type”, Rick Ross “Made Men”, Chris Brown’s “Deuces (Remix)”. I’ve been in the studio with Lenny Kravitz, Florence from Florence and the Machine, Rihanna and the list goes on.

TCUS: Not a bad year, eh?

NC: It has been pretty good so far.

TCUS: A lot of people are interested in or get involved in the music because of the perceived enjoyability of the entertainment business. What got you into music and why did you keep at it? Is it still fun?

NC: I got into the music because of music. Nothing more, nothing less. I love music end of story. [There is] no other motivation, it will always be fun as long as I love music. I believe everything else is as a result of that love and passion; everything else comes after the love‬.

TCUS: Do you ever have to remind yourself how awesome your job is when it gets tricky? ProTools crashes and deadlines… etc.

NC: Never. I’m a strange person. I thrive on being challenged, I shine in what some people consider the worst situations I love fixing shit that seems unfixable!

TCUS: Do you consider yourself as part of the production team?  Are you technical or creative or both?‬

NC: I consider myself apart of the team period. I’m definitely tech support more so than anything else but it goes beyond that. To make music the way 40 and Drake make music, everything comes into play.

TCUS: How do you mean?

NC: [Everything] from the temperature in the room, to who’s in the room. In some ways I just assume the responsibility of being the assistant facilitator/protector of their creative process and that’s just something I try to do but was never asked. I try to pay attention to the things that they both enjoy in the studio and just make sure that no matter what city we’re in I can provide them with a similar creative environment that we enjoy at home in Toronto.

Catch the rest HERE!

VIDEO: Saukrates x Redman (Interviews w Hiphop Homage) + "Money Or Love", "Drop It Down", "Da Rockwilder" + more (Live)

hyperadmin | Interviews,Music,Video | Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

Hip Hop Homage catches up with  Saukrates and Redman rocking out at Club 77 in Hamilton.

Footage continues after the jump!

Web: http://www.biggsoxx.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/biggsoxx
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Saukrates/370415812455

Previously: NEW MUSIC: Saukrates feat. Richie Hennessey “Megaman” (DJ Pack) (Prod. Saukrates)

(more…)

VIDEO: Big Lean & R.O.Z (Interview w/ Royalty Radio)

Ty Harper | Album,Audio,Interviews,Mixtape,Music,Video | Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

Royalty Radio chops it up with Big LeanR.O.Z. about life, beats, raps and more.

www.bigleanbaby.com

www.piffmusic.net

Previously: NEW MIXTAPE: Big Lean “Something Gotta Give”

Previously: NEW VIDEO: R.O.Z. feat. Big Lean “Let It Go” (Directed by Cam Savalan & Ty Black)

VIDEO: Blake Carrington (Interview w/ Vibe.com)

hyperadmin | Interviews,Music,Video | Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Vibe.com catches up with Blake Carrington before his performance at “RNB Live” in Hollywood, CA.

www.blakecarringtonsworld.com

Previously: NEW MUSIC: Blake Carrington – Kodak Moment feat. Sir Michael Rocks (from The Cool Kids) (Prod. Ric Notes)

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