Tag Archives: Canada

Canadian artist Sonreal interview

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Aaron Hoffman walks up into a room and knocks down a
handshake for a warm hug. “Hey, how are you doing?” with a huge smile on his
face. “Are you ready for this? It’s going to be a real fun night.”

Canadian artist Hoffman, who goes by the stage name SonReal,
is incredibly humble—yet still cognizant of his skill. When first asked about
how long he’s been doing music, he responds, “3 years, but you know, like
everything it’s a journey. I wrote my first rap when I was a kid, but I was
lucky enough to get signed and here we are.”

Here we are indeed. We reference SonReal’s elaborate music
videos, which portray Hollywood level quality of budget and casting, and the
artist is all humble smiles. “I’ve always loved acting, I’ve always loved
trying new crazy things. Rappers always try, since the beginning of time, to
look and be cool and I can’t do that. I can’t do that, but I do know how to be
goofy and have fun and that’s what I love about the videos we make.”

He laughs when we asked how he does it, over and over. “I
have an incredible team,” he replies. “I have the same director for each video
who pushes me over and over to get things perfect but it works.

First a rapper, SonReal’s musical aesthetic has progressed
over time, with more melodic vocals intertwining into his albums. The artist
smiles when trying to explain his musical structure but finally expresses
himself with a declaration of love for music. “I just love singing,” he says. “I’ve
always just loved music. You know, when I first started, I just wanted to a rapper. I wanted to rap and that was
what I knew how to do, and I wanted just that. But as time passed and I started
making more music, it was just a natural progression. I would be writing a lyric
and I just wanted to sing, so I did.”

It works well, on tracks like the single, “Can I Get A Witness,”
in which SonReal showcases his vocal range—a range, we might add, we did not
expect the artist to have. In the chorus of the track that has, as the artist
scales higher in octave, we’re shocked, but pleasantly. It’s a distinct switch
from his lyrical verses of rap to the almost reggae chorus he sings, and
unpredictably so. “I like that I’m unpredictable,” he says. “I don’t want
people to ever just get used to what I do or sing or rap. I want to keep you on
your toes, and so sometimes that might mean just singing a whole song on the EP [The Name] with no rapping at all or rapping a love sing entirely. Who knows, but I don’t want
to be predictable.”

And the artist is anything but, as we see him pump it out on
stage, dancing every which way, reminiscent of Chance the Rapper’s stage
presence and Macklemore’s dance floor energy. We see big things for SonReal,
currently touring with Jon Bellion. With a new album out in August, we’re hoping
to see Sonreal make more unpredictable music and collaborate and work with big artists,
making a name for himself.

“Here’s thing,” he tells us, sitting back. “I want to work
with people, I do. But the thing is I kinda just want to make my own music. You
know, I don’t want to ever walk into a room and have to tell you who I am. I
want to get so good, be so well recognized, that someone walks in and says, ‘I
like that guy, his shit’s dope, I really like what he does because he’s
different and unpredictable and does what other people don’t, I want to work
with him.’ It doesn’t matter how I make people feel with my music, whether it
makes them cry, smile, laugh…I want to work with other people.” He smiles and
looks off for a second before back on us. “But it’s not my time yet, I need to
get there first.”

Be sure to take a listen to SonReal’s singles currently out,
and be the first to grab that new album, The Name, August 12.

Ariana Rivera

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Album Review: Seaway – Colour Blind

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If a new American Pie
movie were to be made today, Canada’s up-and-coming Seaway would write the soundtrack. Colour Blind is the band’s sophomore album and their first full-length
release for Pure Noise Records, and
it’s definitely one of the year’s best pop-punk releases.

Pop-punk exploded in the mid-to-late 2000’s and, like most
of us, you probably got sick of it. But in the past few years the genre has
seen what could almost be called a re-birth. You’ve got everything from bands
like The Story So Far and Knuckle Puck combining the grit of hardcore
with pop-punk to groups like The Front
Bottoms
who put a folk-esque twist on the genre. While the music’s great,
it seems like so much of it lacks the fun
that used to be such a staple of the genre.

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That’s where Seaway’s got you covered.

What makes Seaway unique is that they harken back to the pop-punk of the early
2000’s. Remember the days when you’d hear blink-182
and Sum 41 at the mall? From the
start of Colour Blind you’ll
instantly feel like you’re back in that mall jamming to “Fat Lip” over the PA. These
songs aren’t out to make you sad. They’re for blasting on your way to a party
where you hope you don’t hurt yourself doing a keg stand. A few of the standout
tracks are “Best Mistake”, “Still Weird”, and “Turn Me Away”.

The lead single for the album, “Freak”, is the best of the bunch. It kicks off with a beautiful guitar riff and leads into an intro that will make you want to
stop whatever you’re doing and find the nearest available mosh pit.

For some, the nostalgia-factor may come across a little shtick-y,
but I enjoy it. The video for “Best Mistake” bombards you with everything it meant to be
a Canadian kid growing up in the late 90’s. Some of the video’s references
might be lost on Americans, but those of us south of the border will still eat
up the Drake/Degrassi cameo and the old videogame references.

The lyrics, while undoubtedly catchy, aren’t exactly
groundbreaking. The subject matter for most of the songs is your standard
pop-punk fare (girls, not fitting into the crowd, etc.). Sometimes a strong vocal delivery
can make up for less-than-innovative lyrics though, and I think this is where Seaway
really shines on this record. When Ryan Locke, the vocalist with the deeper register,
belts out the chorus to “Airhead” or the outro of “Stubborn Love”, you can
really feel the raw emotion behind the words. 

In a style similar to Taking Back Sunday or Four Year Strong (Alan Day of Four Year
Strong was actually one of the producers of the album), the band features two
vocalists who often trade lines back and forth throughout the songs. “Turn Me
Away” is the best example of what can happen when the dual vocals are used
right, and when it works it sounds great.

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While this record doesn’t exactly push any boundaries musically or lyrically, it’s just so damn fun. Look for Seaway to make a big splash in the pop-punk scene with this solid release.

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RJ Morgan



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LT’s Choice: Little Kid’s Album Logic Songs

This week, instead of posting a playlist, I feel obligated to post an album because no singular album that I have stumbled upon recently has captivated me in a similar fashion to this. 

Little Kid’s Logic Songs was recorded somewhere in Ontario, Canada. The only way we get a feel for where the location is is through the extensive use of train field recordings throughout the album. These overlap with guitar riffs and vocals that mirror the styles of both The Microphones and Elvis Depressedly

The first song starts out slow, as it is more of a cold invitation to the album, as opposed to a warm embrace of what is to come. The album defines itself from the second song out, so bare with it. With that being said, the album is one that is best listened to all the way through. 

Check it out in the bandcamp stream below:

Logic Songs by Little Kid

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Lauren-Taylor Mansfield