Sin Nombre's new signing tells us what releases he's dropped, his music style, why he chose to sign with a UK label and his album 'The Frenzy Of Renown'.
Could you start by introducing yourself to our readers?
No doubt. This is the brotha Arabesque, hailing out of Toronto. Signed in the UK, and clobbering speakers worldwide.
How long have you been rhyming and what releases have you put out so far?
I've had professional management the last 8 years, rhyming before I sprouted my pubes. 7" Jazz 45 "Sounds Of Revolution", "Choked Up" 12", "Bellyache" 12", 'Mamma Dig Me' maxi single, two videos, slew of comps and mixtape appearances and now the full length "The Frenzy Of Renown."
For those that haven't heard you, how would you describe your style of music and its content?
My music is like Burt Reynolds bootlegging moonshine in Gator, with bounce like Pam Grier's backside in Sheba Baby. It's like a swagger flick featuring my personal experiences.
How do you feel about the strong response to 'Choked Up' and how hard was it for you to talk on such a personal level?
The aim of the wise is not to secure pleasure but to avoid pain, and real life won't let you escape that shit. I can't break out from talking about painful realities with something as treasured as my music. I think a lot of people could relate to the loss of life and those hardships that make you question God, ya nah mean? When our suffering has been dragged from one pity to another, as from one speaker to the next it's a weird thing. To hear cats reciting my pain is a twisted experience.
You've had tons of label interest. What made you decide to turn majors down and continue along the independant path?
Multinationals are these dispassionate monsters that use you according to their agenda. The trend in the game is to move with independents or so called indies to maximize all levels of artistic integrity. I don't have time to waste, idle by and shit at the hands of corporate goons. Who knows how much longer I have on this earth? Don't have time to be shelved.
What brought you to the decision to sign with the UK label Sin Nombre, as opposed to the others showing interest?
Sin Nombre offered me a reach that the greater part of US majors couldn't offer me. Distro' in three territories with heart oozing. Sin Nombre staff have been good to me. I signed 'cross the pond in hopes of dating M.I.A. but besides that, the British market is unrestrictive in material and genre. The genres range in substance. A great escape from the fluff poisoning the widely held outlets.
Have you heard much by the label's other artists, or any UK hiphop in general, and what did you think?
Big Up Hard Livin and the homie Vee Kay. As far as the Transglobal music scene, M.I.A., Daps to the Tamil Elam struggle. Estelle, Kano, Foreign Beggars and the gutter shit from the homeboy Skinnyman. Mark B on the production. Too many more to mention.
What's your local area like in terms of a hiphop scene?
Toronto, a lot of talent. 10 years behind NYC. Slowly getting there, it's unfortunate we are moving towards their chic. Get original folks, started in the Bronx, doesn't mean we gotta imitate the Gods out there.
How big is hiphop in Canada. Has it a strong and healthy presence in the mainstream or is it all about the underground?
The outlets for commercial are slim. I share the stage with artists like Swollen Members, Kardinal Offishal, K-OS, and a heap of other developed acts. The underground scene is real raw, from conscious to head butts in cipher rappers. A lot of talented cats.
How long did you spend putting together 'The Frenzy Of Renown' and what's the thinking behind its title?
The project took me close to 2 years. "The Frenzy Of Renown" is people's obsession with reputation, showing face shit. Being from a place where celebrity is not given to locals, I thought I would mess cats up with that title. A celebrity is a person who works hard all his life to become well known, then wears dark glasses to avoid being recognized. The whole thing is intriguing to me.
Will you be coming over to the UK to tour the LP and what goes down at a typical Arabesque live set?
I'm looking to touch down in the UK in January, touch down with so much vigor the scene will feel the god's presence. But definitely the new year.
Have you got any shout out's you'd like to make or messages to throw out into the world?
"The Frenzy Of Renown" is in stores now. "Stardust" video as well as "Bellyache" will hit screens across the pond in a minute. Pick up that album, crawl into the space between the notes and curl your back to loneliness. Visit: www.sin-nom.com & www.aramaic-online.com