For this month’s interview we’re featuring the homie Blvcknd, an underground artist coming out of Montreal. He’s a member of Triple Nine Section as well as the Grime Mtl collective. He’s been working hard in the studio on his debut project which is set to drop this summer. We’re anxiously anticipating Blvcknd dropping some new shit for us. His sound is gritty, lyrical and his style is extremely versatile. We honestly don’t know what to expect but are very excited regardless. Check out the write-up to get to know the story behind his stage name, some artists he’s listening to right now, and more.
What’s the story behind the name?
In 2011 Odd Future had this sub-group called Mellowhype which was started by Hodgy Beats and Left Brain and they dropped an album called Blackenedwhite. I liked how it sounded so i ditched the white, the two e’s in blackened and flipped the A to a V.
Where did you draw inspiration for your album?
I really love when artists make a character or a theme for the main focus on an album. I took a lot of inspiration from certain artists who do that like for example: Schoolboy Q on Blank Face. I also of course draw inspiration from my homies that do music too.
If we were to buy you a drink, what should we order?
I feel like my go to drink changes every year but for right now i’d have y’all order me straight Baileys with a lot of ice in the glass. People say i’m weird for it but that shit is fire.
What would you say is the biggest misconception people have about you?
I feel like people think that i’m very opened and social but in reality i’m hella shy and closed off if i don’t really know the person i’m talking to. it’s been that way since i was younger and i’m still trying to work on that.
If you had a choice of any producer for a album or mixtape who would you choose?
Literally everyone in Triple Nine can produce but me, so all the homies of course. My dream collabs with bigger producers though would be Working on Dying, Pierre Bourne and The Alchemist.
What are 3 things you look for when you see live shows?
Stage presence, audio quality and the first and last song of the persons set.
What are some of the artists you’re listening to?
There’s way too many to name but as of right now Lucki, Playboi Carti, Coi Leray, Fijimacintosh and Thugger
Creating a project has many parts, besides rapping what was your favourite?
YAMA//SATO basically produced like 80% of my new album so while i was in the process of making this project there would be times that he’d send me a beat he just made at like 1am and hearing that beat and what i could do on it was definitely a favourite part of mine.
What is the triple nine section?
Crypt and Jei Bandit came up with the name triple nine section one day and we decided to just start a little group because we all messed with each others music heavy. In Trip 9 it’s me, Crypt, Jei Bandit, Amideluxe, Yama//sato, Jämvvis and Oscar. Them boys my day 1’s till death
Thank you so much to Blvcknd for doing this interview with us!! Make sure to follow his Instagram and check out his singles on Spotify!
Shout out to our photographer @tragicboyjay and @gotsweige for styling the shoot. They killed the creative direction and got these crazy shots off an iPhone!!
Earlier this week we were blessed with the opportunity to sit down and chop it up with the bubbly and fun KidCrayola, a Montreal-based DJ and playlist curator, before shooting her for our June cover. She refers to herself as the Vibe Bender as well as the Waistline Whisperer (among other things) and does so with good reason. KidCrayola always stays strapped with music that just makes you want to move, enjoy yourself and have a good time. The summer is finally here and you can count on her to come through with solid vibes that will be a welcomed addition to your music library. Tap in below to get to know a bit more about KidCrayola’s first set, where the stage name originated from, and more!
Where does the name KidCrayola come from?
My high school best friend gave me the name Crayola because I used to have color in my hair before it was “in” for black girls to wear it in their hair. And I used to dress really colorful after I came back from Cali for the summer, this was like around the jerking era. But people weren’t jerking in Montreal yet. So I was kinda like the weird skater emo girl wearing a lot of colors. So they gave me the name Crayola. Kid refers to my personality. Super childish, mature, but childish.
How would you describe your sound?
Anything black. Basically, anything black that gives you that boom boom pow. I’m a sound selector so when I go into the world wide web I just dive into music. It could go from afro to Amapiano then to drill followed Dancehall and Soca. Just anything that’s appealing to the ear and made by black people, I will play. So like an Afro-fusion.
I also like to mix a bit of my culture cause I’m Haitian, so I’ll play a little Raboday, with some Konpa and Zouk. I like to call myself the Waistline Whisperer. My favorite thing is the slow whine, that’s my cup of tea. I think the girls like me a lot for that. But anything that is dope and black I will play.
Who are you betting on in a fight between Michiko and Huey Freeman?
Oh, Huey. Yeahhh definitely. He’s militant. He’s a real soldier. He’s like a mix between a samurai and a black panther. He will definitely win. I mean Michiko… Nah, Huey will win.
What’s the most memorable trip you’ve taken?
I went to New York with my best friend. I was coming out of a breakup, depression, and was like we just need to get out. So I bought the tickets for us and then we took the plane, it was his first time taking a plane. We got drunk on the plane, got off, and had the time of our lives.
You know when you go to a city and you can just be your natural self cause nobody knows you? It kind of unleashed, I would say, the badass person that I knew I was. But had kept hidden those past months due to depression. It was really memorable because there were so many people from different cultures and people with dope styles. When I came back that’s when I knew that I was really gonna do this DJ thing.
What genres of music are your favorite?
Right now? I’d say Amapiano is really good, also Afro-house and Soca. These styles are really making me happy right now. But I listen to too many types of music to just pick a few.
Do you feel like you’re being limited in the MTL nightlife scene? If yes. why?
I can’t say yes or no. Only because I feel as if I should get a bit more educated about the scene and what’s offered to us as DJs. Corona also makes things more complicated, a lot of events now have to be for a cause. I know the market is a little saturated and they don’t necessarily give a lot of opportunities to females. I’d like to change that narrative. I’ve had great opportunities. I’ve mixed for Moonshine and done a few gigs for Mural. So I’d like to think they’re giving us space but I feel as though I’d like there to be a platform for us. Have all the female DJs from Montreal gather together, there’s so many of us doing so many styles. We don’t have as much of a platform as men but I do feel as though the narrative is changing as women continue to own their power and get more educated.
I’m getting to know more people that can help me work on my projects. I was working on a project pre covid. I was doing an event called VIBE which stands for Visionary Individual Behind Energy. Because I feel like that’s what DJs are, they’re just like people that direct energy in the scene. It got canceled because of everything but I’d like it to happen. It’s basically a safe space for everybody including the lgbtq+ community. It’s really a place you’re supposed to come to dance, not stand on the wall. You’re supposed to catch a vibe for sure. It’s meant to empower people into being their truth and just expressing themselves through dance or music.
Tell us a body of work that you think was impactful in your life.
Honestly, I can think of a person, well actually two people, who were really influential in my life. Missy Elliot and Teyana Taylor really shaped me into the woman that I am. They basically told me that I can be extremely sexy and feminine as well as super tomboy-ish and that doesn’t define me as an individual. Like I can just be me.
When I first heard Missy I was like omg she is everything but when I saw Teyana I could really cause she was such a tomboy and a girly girl. Plus she’s multi-talented, she does everything. You know everybody wants to be like Rihanna? I’d want to be a mix of Rihanna and Teyana, like a philanthropist but then an artist as well. That’s the goal.
Do you have any desire to break into other areas of music like producing or sound engineering?
Yes actually God willing I’m going to learn how to do a bit of production once I get a hang of my programs. I want to go to Haiti for like two months to dive into my culture fully and just try to create the new Haitian sound. Or maybe try to have my own Haitian artists. That’s the goal for now. It’s really a selfish thing to do, I’m not trying to go international. It’s really for the culture and just to say that I can do it.
After that, once I come back I want to create after-school programs working with different people I know in the industry that would be willing to give classes to young artists.
Where was your first ever DJ set played? What was it like?
My first set was at Bluedog, my friend worked there. It was honestly the funniest thing, I had hit up my friend and was like yo I got my computer and my DJ controller I’m gonna do this DJ thing. He was like forreal? I was like yeah. He said ok you have a gig next week. I was like ok… But I don’t know how to DJ yet. So he’s was like ok, so you have a gig in two weeks. I was like that but I don’t know how to DJ. Then he was like the amount of times you’ve gone to the club and the DJ was wack, can you do worse than that? I said I don’t think I could. So he said to figure it out.
I did my gig with another female DJ and it was fun. All my friends were there and the energy was right. Honestly, when I first did it I knew it was what I wanted to do. When I was mixing my big brother and my sister came to surprise so I lowkey almost cried because it was like oh my god I’m getting some support. From then it hit me, I want to DJ, I think it’s fun.
I like to call myself the Vibe Bender. I have so many akas, I’m like the Waistline Whisperer, the Vibe Bender, the Sound Selector, your girlfriend’s favorite DJ. That’s all the names that I gave myself. But yeah, It was nice to direct the vibe of the place, be like a master puppeteer and just control the energy.
Do you have any rituals you go through before performing a set?
Yes. The week before I listen to the songs that I have and create a folder with the songs I must play throughout the night. Then I go on the net to dive in and look for new songs, new remixes. I like to play with nostalgia, so finding mixes to songs that people know. I get ready and go. If I really wanna be in a turn up mode then I take 3 shots of tequila, a rum, and coke, and I’m ready to go. If you wanna offer me a shot don’t give me no vodka, because that’s for people with no soul and I’m trynna be closer to god. So yeah that’s what I do!
Halloween is upon us and we’re so excited to have been able to interview makeup artist extraordinaire Subana (@sheezusrose) whose love for this holiday makes her a perfect fit for this week’s write-up! Subana has been dropping insane Halloween looks for the entirety of October, and to say she’s been killing it would honestly still be an understatement. When it comes to makeup artistry Subana is extremely versatile and can do anything from simple natural looks to dramatic ones to complete special effect transformations. She works as a freelancer in Montreal working with an array of clients from various backgrounds, all while dazzling us with looks on the ‘gram. For Subana’s 28th Halloween look she transformed herself into the mother from the classic animation Coraline while we inquired about her makeup journey, what beauty means to her, and more.
How’d you first get into makeup?
I started in grade 10 at school, there was a dance show and I did my makeup. All my friends saw it and they liked it so then I started doing my friends’ makeup. After that, it was just word of mouth and they told other grades. Then I became like the makeup girl at school because I always had a full bag of makeup on me. So it started from there.
What’s the meaning behind your social media handle @sheezusrose?
It comes from Kanye West lyrics, I was a big fan when I was 14. He has a lyric ‘Yeezus just rose again’. So I came up with Sheezusrose and I thought the name was cute. Then it just stuck, really stuck and I just kept it. I feel like it’s too late to change it now.
What are some highlights from your career as a makeup artist?
The first time I got a bride to ask me to do her makeup was a really big deal. I was like woah this is a big part of her wedding and she’s trusting me for it and I was 17, so that was huge. After that, I got a bunch of other bride bookings as well. Another one was this masterclass I took in Toronto with Makeup By Mario, he’s Kim Kardashian’s makeup artist. That was a huge deal too and from that class, that’s when I decided I wanted to do makeup as a career. I was so in my element that day being surrounded by a makeup environment.
If you were only limited to 5 products you could use on yourself and your clients, what would they be?
A brow pencil, concealer, lip liner, a liquid highlighter, and bronzer.
When did you start doing FX makeup?
I was always interested in special effects first. I just didn’t know how and I was 15, special effects stuff is super expensive. So I didn’t go through with it but it was always what I was more interested in. As I got older I became more committed toward it. I invested in good stuff, took classes, then went to school for it. It was just a matter of commitment and I had just always been scared to go through with before.
What’s the most important quality to have in your field?
You have to be creative. You have to have your own style. If you don’t stand out then you’re not going to be anything special. You really have to have your own style. My goal is that if someone sees my work they could recognize it just by how different it is. You have to constantly think outside the box.
What would you consider your personal style as a makeup artist?
I have like 7 aesthetics that I’m trying to fit into one style for my work. I still don’t know yet, I’m figuring it out!
What are some dream collaborations you’d like to have?
For a company, definitely Fenty Beauty. I think it goes without saying. Everything they stand for from their brand to the quality of their stuff is really admirable. For that reason, I’d say Fenty Beauty is my dream collaboration. Desi Perkins and Jackie Aina are my favorite makeup influencers so anything under their wing would be amazing as well.
What are some of the biggest struggles you’ve had in your career?
Doing freelance makeup is difficult because it’s not stable. Any freelance job isn’t stable so you kinda have to go out of your way to find gigs. Also establishing yourself as an artist, setting your rates, being confident enough to say yes these are my rates, and not toning down what I actually want for my work is difficult as well.
Since I do makeup and started on Instagram, I’m doing the whole influencer thing. It’s an app and like if it gets deleted tomorrow then all my work is gone. Like Instagram is hard and the algorithm is weird. Also since my portfolio is on Instagram, numbers are also something I always stressed about. Mostly social media stuff makes it difficult. The quality of your work doesn’t reflect numbers you might get.
What is beauty to you?
I would define beauty the same as I would individuality. I would say anyone who’s an individual and like owns their look, that’s beauty to me. If you have a look and you pull it off that’s what I would consider beauty as. It’s confidence and individuality.
We’d like to give big thank you to Subana for letting us interview her AND giving us this amazing Halloween content, we’re eternally grateful. For more gorgeous looks make sure to follow her on Instagram and Twitter if you aren’t already! If you need a makeup artist for literally anything from photoshoots, to music videos,weddings and more look no further!
Born in Philly and raised in Montreal, Kyron Warrick popularly known as Gotsweige is an all-around creator with an emphasis on menswear and streetwear. On his YouTube channel he makes videos of his streetwear,luxury,and vintage pickups,shares styling tips and parts of his day-to-day life. He dabbles in designing, and has recently collaborated with New York based brand Orée Nyc. Unfortunately for us the piece is already sold out. If we’re being honest, Kyron does it all; brand consultation, photography, modelling, and more. Kyron Warrick is a force to be reckoned with in the creative industry, and does far too much to be pigeonholed as simply a YouTuber or Instagram influencer. We had the opportunity to catch up with him and get to know a bit more about him. Read below and get find out how he’s built up his YouTube community, his style influences and more.
When’d you discover your interest in the fashion industry?
When I was 14 I was like figuring out if I wanted to continue doing skateboarding and BMX. I realized that I wasn’t gonna go pro with that, like at all. I wasn’t as good as my friends or anything, it was more of a hobby. I knew I had more of an interest in fashion and that I could turn it into a career.
From who or where do you draw influence for your style choices?
Mainly, my dad, he’s the main reason I got into style. The rest of my family too but my dad was like the main component. So I’d say my dad and like small influences from like growing up whether they be artists or actual musicians and stuff like that. I like Jimi Hendrix a lot, I like his style. Lenny Kravitz as well. I like the 70s style a lot. And then I also like avant guard stuff, so really dark almost mysterious attire. That’s why Rick Owens is my favorite designer because he’s super dark and mysterious. But I like wearing color too so that’s where the 70s inspiration comes in. I like contrasting those 2 styles.
What is it about yellow that you love so much?
When I was younger red was my favorite color but I guess as I matured I just felt like yellow was better. It just suited a lot of the clothes that I liked and then also it just works with my skin really well I feel like. It contrasts nicely, I’m really a person of contrast I guess. If it pairs nicely then it works, for sure.
Give us some of your outfit essentials.
Definitely a nice pair of boots. I feel like men going into their 20s have to veer away from sneakers. Getting a nice pair of boots is really appropriate and a part of growing up. A solid pair of trousers, a lot of people like flare trousers right now which is very suiting to my style and its 70s inspiration. A classic t-shirt is also good essential. You gotta have a good t-shirt. And also accessories, I’m a person that likes to invest in accessories. Whether it be footwear, bags or jewelry. If you have a solid accessory to pair with a simple outfit, it can take it to the next level.
If you had the chance to choose three pieces without the restriction of availability or cost, what would you cop?
I’d say Jordan 1 1985s, the Chicago ones. So like the first 1s that he ever released. Margiela Tabi boots and Rick Owens Dunks.
What’s your dream brand collaboration?
I want Nike really bad. Nike could be really crazy. Just cause I’ve loved the shoes going all the way back to my childhood. I want to work with them so bad. My dad really embedded Nike as THE brand, so anything Nike I’d kill for, for sure.
How have you built up your Youtube community over time?
It was always really gradual. Since the start, it was a hobby and even to this day, it’s still a hobby. It’s obviously become a bit of my career because I make most of my money through Youtube or things that stem off of Youtube. But I still treat it like it’s the same day that I started, like it’s always really fun for me. I just have to consistently upload because it has been incorporated into my career.
A lot of people ask me how to build a youtube community for themselves and I always tell them to just focus on doing what you’re going to do. People will follow you. If you’re tackling a niche then people will tag onto it eventually because that’s just the way humans work in general. Like everyone I’ve had around, like my friends, have all had a common interest in fashion, music, or art and those niches have only grown as the years progressed for me and everything else I’ve been attached to. I feel like with time everything grows.
Kyron has been in the lab nonstop working on some great stuff so make sure to keep up with his social media and you won’t miss a thing. Also stay tuned for a special edition of Drip or Drown, coming soon!
We’d like to send a big thank you to Justice (@tragicboyjay) and Bryant (@tragicboylew) from Tragic Archives for doing this shoot for us. Love y’all! Make sure to follow them and check out some of their work on instagram.
Romeo Don’t Die is a Guatemalan-Canadian artist coming out of Ottawa, Ontario. The 25-year-old rapper is far more than meets the eye, with not only his music but his entire persona. In his last project “Mans Gift 2 God”, he showcases his extreme versatility, blending and taking on various genres from hip hop to salsa. His catchy hooks, punchy one-liners, and his surprisingly insightful lyricism definitely make him someone to watch out for. In addition to is his love for his craft as an artist, Romeo also a culinary side and is a chef as well. He’s recently began doing pop-ups sharing his love for food, particularly Mexican and Latin cuisine, on his page @tacosoversex on Instagram. We had the opportunity to speak with Romeo Don’t Die and get his thoughts on everything from casual sex to flexing for the gram’ and tell us a bit about his music and brand new single, “Ask About Me”.
On being an independent artist: I think that it’s one of the best routes compatible with my approach to artistry because I have very particular styles, sounds, lyrics, and a lot of other things that I’m passionate about. Independence kinda just gives me those freedoms right because once you work for a label it’s kinda like working for a corporation or company. Whenever there’s bureaucracy involved you have to answer to people. So I think my art flourishes more with freedom and independence.
On Coronavirus: I definitely think it’s real. It’s not a conspiracy, as much as I’ve had drunk convos with people that think that it is. I think it’s something to keep in mind, and I think we need to exercise distancing as much as we can because that’s the most effective way of, you know, slowing down the exponential rate that it infects at. That being said with certain people I love or really care about it becomes a bit harder to maintain that distance if I really want to kick it close and do things. I’m also trying to fuck too like I don’t have a girlfriend so I kinda have to roll the dice each time. But I’ll still fuck with a mask on though, don’t get it twisted.
On his love for tacos: I think the reason why I got so into tacos is because a tortilla is like a blank canvas, you know, just like any other carb whether it be bread or rice. Also if it’s not a stew taco, it’s extremely portable which if you’re going down to Mexico or Los Angelos, where they have a lot of street taco vendors, it means that you can experience the city and environment you’re in while also experiencing the taste of the place you’re at. And I just don’t think a lot of other foods are able to provide you with that experience you know.
On flexing for the ‘Gram: As globalization continues to happen through transportation and the digitization of global markets; pandemics, civil and international conflicts will arise just because more people are in contact. As the world’s issues become much more prominent, flexing materialistically will lose its value and I’ve told this to people before. Anyone that was posting their new Gucci kicks or just something that was completely irrelevant whether it was when black people were dying at the hands of law enforcement, or during coronavirus, it just seemed so pointless. I think that is indicative of how flexing will become obsolete. And along with that celebrities as well, because in a way their whole life is a flex. Like I don’t know maybe one day someone who’s actually contributing socially, adding value politically, or whatever it may be, might be of more interest. That might be more of a flex in a way, but a positive one. Less status-based and more contribution-based. In a while though, not anytime soon, we gon’ keep wearing Balenciaga’s in the meantime.
On Palestine: In recent years there’s been a bigger light shed on Palestine in social media, to younger people, and others who may have not been privy to what is going on in the West Bank and Gaza. And even at first if I may have seen things that were somewhat misleading or misinformation, as someone who has been invested in understanding the Palestinian plight for a lot of years and visiting as well, I was still happy to know there was allyship. Sometimes it does come with misinformed people but at least it’s people who have their hearts in the right place. So I’m happy to know that, and I’m always going to be for the liberation and the right for Palestinians’ self-determination over their homes and lands that have been illegally annexed since 1967.
On his musical influences: My first musical influence came from my step-brother, Pancho, he used to always come to the crib when I was little. He had tattoos, chains, a Sean John headband, and like the flyest gear. And he was always listening to really good music, he loved Duck Down Records and Boot Camp Clik, which is a collective in Brooklyn. We talking Buckshot, Sean Price, rest in peace, and that’s sort of where I fell in love with the art of rapping. So it started with Pacho and the New York artists he put me on to at the time. And then for the first album I ever owned, the CD was “Country Grammar” by Nelly, that’s sort of where I fell in love with the musical aspect of hip hop, I was like 6-7. Once I began coming into my own, identity wise with my music, and my brand, my inspiration became more international. People like MHD from France and a lot of dutch rappers who were rapping over afrobeats and reggeaton. I also grew up listening to a lot of salsa romantica, so Eddie Santiago and all the people that are in that vein from the Dominican, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Columbia that have very soulful salsa, not so much festive salsa music. One song of mine that is reflective of that inspiration is “Para Mi“, just really soulful salsa music that has a certain level of pain and depth but is still rhythmic enough to make you move. I think that was really suited to who I was as a person, so I just ran with it.
On casual sex: I’ll start off by saying that when you’re genuinely interested, in love, or infatuated, any of those three, it enhances the sex. So I would take that over casual sex any day. Anything that has some sort of emotional investment, but I have had some good casual sex. It only tends to really work when there’s not even just an understanding. Sometimes you establish an understanding that people agree to and then they’ll turn around and start acting like y’all was dating. So it’s more than just an understanding, it’s a mutual feeling of we’re friends and we fuck, and if both people genuinely feel that way it allows that dynamic to flourish. So I’ve just had that a lot less than I’ve been able to find the other type of sex I was talking about. My thoughts are it’s good if it can happen, but more times it can’t on a consistent basis very well.
On his creative process: So when I write, first I have to hear the beat. I may have several things to get off on my mind, witty bars, life situations, whatever. They haven’t formulated into rhymes, they might just be thoughts. I usually like to write early, like mid-afternoon, when I’m having a late coffee, cause I drink a lot of coffee, or tea. I’m usually alone, in my room, the only other time I write is when I’m with Chanks but I’m usually alone. I put my headphones in, I listen to the beats that are either in my email from producers or I go online and try to find a beat. And I just start applying those thoughts and turn them into sort of easy and witty ways to digest my thoughts through my rhymes. I prefer recording late at night but I write during the day, I don’t like writing at night. I like the nightlife too much to devote it to writing.
On living in Guatemala: I’ve lived in Guatemala on and off throughout my life but most recently I was living there this past winter. At first, it was real nice, it was always really nice for the most part. It’s nice to be around family because in Canada it’s mainly just my mom and my sister. All my cousins my age live in Guatemala so it’s nice just reconnecting with family. I think when we’re younger we tend to place a lot of focus on our friends which don’t get it wrong, is not a bad thing; but enjoying yourself and having good times with family is a different type of vibe. It’s something that I don’t get to experience often because they’re so far. It was all real enjoyable until coronavirus hit and that’s when things got a little shaky. The whole country shut down, airports and borders shut down, and to this day are still closed. I had to make a split decision once I heard Trudeau was sending three flights, there were 2000 Canadians in Guatemala, so not everybody made it. I applied on the first two and didn’t make it, but managed to get on the third flight. I’m happy because although I could’ve been with family, I know in that particular circumstance, I wouldn’t be able to continue doing music or have opportunities that would only be able to happen here in Canada. Also, you know, with it being a poor country, you don’t know what kind of civil unrest can transpire with people that are starving and a government that even if they had the money, are so corrupt they wouldn’t take care of their people. So I felt like it wasn’t the best place to be, which sits a little bit on my conscience, cause I felt like well do I just leave when things get bad? That was another thought, do I stay here with my dad, my little sister, and my cousins? At the end of the day, you do have to look out for yourself, and they assured me they’d be alright. So I took their word for it.
On plans for his upcoming projects: “Ask About Me” will be out once the people see this, It’s produced by Chanksdaddy and will be dropping on his birthday. Chanks is such a genius in terms of his ability to fuse styles and make it make sense. He has the ability to mix different traits from different cultural sounds together. The track has kind of a house kick drum, but then the snares and everything else is reminiscent of an afrobeat, and I kinda just talk about getting money. I think it’s something refreshing and unheard of, so I’m excited for that to drop. I got a project that I’m going to drop in the fall, late September to early October. I won’t give the name but I’ll say, trust nobody. And at the top of September, I’ll have a song dropping with two artists that I like from Montreal. They remixed a song of mine, and y’all gon’ see who it is.
Make sure to stream Romeo Don’t Die’s new single “Ask About Me“, which is now out on all streaming platforms, and listen to his personally curated playlist below. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram @romeodontdie, also check out his culinary side @tacosoversex. We’re so excited to see all the things he has in store in the near future, make sure to follow him so you don’t miss a thing!
Shailah “SLM” Morris is a 22-year-old up and coming artist from Montreal. From the very beginning of her music career SLM has set her mind on her goals and accomplished them. She pays no mind to the haters and continues on her path to becoming a better artist and performer while pushing herself outside her comfort zone. SLM has recently come out with a music video for her debut single “Pony” that has garnered lots of attention for its amazing visuals, choreography, and the meticulous detail that went into its production. We had such a great time chatting with SLM about her debut album, her inspirations as well as her activism.
You’ve recently dropped your newest single “Pony” from your debut album. How does that feel?
It feels really good! It’s super overwhelming with the amount of love I’m getting, but it feels so good to be received really well by the city and even people outside of the city. It’s super fulfilling.
What was the inspiration behind the “Pony” music video?
So me and Q (@generaleQ), the director, were sitting on the idea of doing a one-take shot video since about February – March. We really wanted something creative, nothing that you’d expect like your typical Airbnb-party rap video. The number one reference video was Dani Leigh’s No Caller ID. We really loved that one take and wanted to do something reminiscent of that but way more colorful because I’m just a colorful bitch and you know that’s what I like!
We peeped that your debut album is on its way and we know we aren’t the only ones that are super excited! Can we get a little insider info on it? A name? A date?
The debut album is on its way, the name though.. I’m not really gonna tell you guys yet, but it’s something nostalgic. Most of my inspiration comes from my upbringing and what molded me into the person I am today, and I wanted to reflect that. I’ll give you a hint though! I’m just going to say a different world, do with that as you will.
What theme/messages do you hope to get across within your debut album, what’s the inspiration behind it?
I just want to empower women. I want to empower myself. Creating this album was really like a therapy session for me. There was a lot of negativity in my life, it was bringing me down and I was like, “fuck all that, I’m that bitch”! So imma spew all that out into songs, make other women feel like they’re that bitch, because they are, we all are. And just hope that it’s well-received.
You’ve been on your journey as an artist for about a year now, tell us about the birth of SLM.
Back in September 2019, I was down bad at my friend’s house for like 3 weeks, just trying to get my own space outside of my house. I was listening to Money in the Grave by Drake, and I was like this beat is fire, lemme write. I jotted the lyrics down in like 10-20 minutes, went on live, performed it, and then I recorded and dropped it! That’s where it all started!
Apart from being a rapper, you are also very vocal about your activism. Can you tell us a bit about your community initiative “Secure The Vibe”?
Secure The Vibe was started by myself and my best friend, Unique Daniels when we realized that there was a lack of representation for black artists in Montreal. We wanted to have a house for that. We started off doing poetry nights, where people would come in and read, there would be live paintings, kiosks set up and it was great to see the community be able to showcase and consume each other’s work. We had Full Circle, a three-part series that gave women, men, and nonbinary people a space to vent and express their concern with how the community within our city is progressing or regressing and things that we have to undo within our generation to progress and move forward. Ultimately how to break generational curses. Most recently, we got funded by Head&Hands and were able to host an online talent show during the COVID-19 lockdown which allowed artists to still be able to have a platform to be seen and also to be paid for their talents!
As for the future, we have a lot of plans for Secure The Vibe and hopefully, a lot of them will be realized by the end of this summer or at least a big part of it anyway, if not it’ll happen in the coming months.
How has your family taken to this new chapter in your life?
My family shows me the most support ever! Of course, I still get the occasional “you should have gone to university” or “ you should have finished school”. But I’m like listen, I did college, I gave y’all the paper, but now I wanna do what I wanna do. I told my mom, give me a year and I’m gonna have this shit on lock and show you I’m really serious about it and low and behold, here we are. Pony just dropped, got a whole album on the way and she just really sees it, she sees the dedication that I put into it and so has everyone else from my grandparents, to cousins in the states, to cousins in Guyana! It’s really full force. We’re strong together.
Where do you see yourself in the future?
I see a little tour, I see merch, I see multiple businesses, and multiple streams of income. What I see for myself and my family is financial stability, long term happiness, and growth. As an artist and as an individual, I just wanna use every experience to my advantage and dominate! I really wanna live comfortably and live happily off of my music. That’s the ultimate goal.
Thank you so much for sitting down to chat with us, where can we all keep up with you?
You can keep up with all things SLM on my Instagram and twitter @SSHAILAH. All the announcements will be happening there, maybe some surprises show, maybe some surprise pop-ups, I don’t know! There’s a lot of things going on so make sure you guys are tied into all of that. So you don’t miss a beat! ‘Cus y’all know I don’t!
Follow SLM on her twitter and instagram to keep up with all the exciting things she has in store. And make sure to stream SLM’s newest single “Pony” in our playlist that she’s personally curated!
More than 15 years ago, Mya and I met after peaking at each other across the curtains that divided her dad’s basketball camp, and the summer camp camp next door that I attended. I honestly don’t remember much from back then, I couldn’t even tell you what we bonded over, but that was the summer I met a friend i’d have for life. We spoke to each other all summer and by the next year had conviced Mya’s dad to let her switch camps, effectively ruining any dreams he might have had for her joining the WNBA. Luckily, his loss has been my gain.
A whole lot has changed since the first time we met, we’ve essentially become new people dozens of time over. We even had a stint of time in high school where we “grew apart”, yet somehow we have always found our way back. Mya and I are different in SO many ways (no really we’re so different). Though we aren’t much alike in personality, where you can find the most similarities are in our values and beliefs. The values and beliefs that we hold is what we’d like NobodyAsked. to stand for, not only to be seen in terms of brand identity, but also in action.
A couple of months ago, just before we’d know how drastically our lives and routines would change due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, Mya approched me about starting a shared blog. Weirdly enough I had been thinking the same exact thing for weeks, so I of course agreed. I will admit that I was a bit naive to the level of work that actually goes into blogging before even publishing a post. Since our initial meetings our ideas have grown and become bigger than we originally intended. What started out as a casual shared creative venture between two friends has blossomed into a start up magazine tasked with the job of making media more diverse in every which way possible.
Popular/mainstream media in Montreal and mostly everywhere isn’t diverse, isn’t intersectional and only very recently (after all our brainstroming on the subject)has tried to start appealing to different audiences and presenting alternate point of views. Our goal is to become a media platform that gives a voice to people who haven’t traditionally had one. We want to be a platform that rejects the constrictions of post-secondary education, because we know you don’t have a master’s in journalism to write quality content. We want NobodyAsked. to be platform where we uplift creatives, activists and the community as a whole.
I’m extremely happy to be embarking on this new chapter with Mya, and honestly probably couldn’t even find it in me to team up with anyone else. I’m so excited for everything we have in store and can’t wait until all our hopes and dreams come into fruition. Until then we’ll live by the expression, “success is a journey not a destination”. A journey that I am ever so grateful to be taking with my best friend.