Labeled as the “Huge” Ticket event, the 20th edition of The Big Ticket showcased a number of legendary Toronto acts. The crowd was excited to see headliners Michie Mee and Saukrates, not to mention two intense Beastmode MC battles and DJ Law mixed classic hip-hop music videos like Pharoahe Monch’s “Simon Says” all night long. Tasked with the challenge of opening up the show, Goliath PAW didn’t succumb to the pressure. The 25-year-old, Ottawa-born emcee, who also released his Canary In A Coal Mine EP at the event, talked to Urbanology Magazine about his influences and rituals for concerts.

WHO ARE YOUR BIGGEST INFLUENCES? My biggest influence is Will Smith. Growing up I knew all of his songs, bought all of his CDs and knew every single lyric. Also DMX. It’s kind of funny how they’re on the opposite ends of the spectrum, but I like the rawness, grittiness and the attitude he brings on each record. I like Will Smith because he’s clean and he made it so far and he’s such a good role model.

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW? I just finished wrapping up my first industry project, Canary In A Coal Mine. It’s eight tracks and features a variety of different songs, but the EP is generally high energy, a party type of album.

WHAT DOES THIS PERFORMANCE MEAN TO YOUR CAREER? It’s one of, if not the biggest performance of my career. I’m excited to go up on stage, I brought a band and a singer, Lauren, to come with me on stage and perform with me. I take my career seriously and I want to go out there and have a great show and expand my fan base. Every show is another chance to expand your fan base. I bring the party here. It’s high energy; I’m a party type rapper, a lot of movement on the stage, getting that crowd interaction.

WHAT WAS THE REASON BEHIND THE FULL BAND? Just to add a different dynamic. I like to stray away from the norm. I like to be a trailblazer and do something different in hip-hop. My stuff isn’t the normal hip-hop stuff that you’ll listen to. There’s a lot of different pop and rock elements in it as well, so it sets me apart from everybody else.

DO YOU HAVE ANY RITUALS BEFORE YOU GO ON STAGE? Not really, I just kind of run through songs in my head, some talking points that I would do and it all depends on the audience… I say a little prayer and after every show I always call my mom and tell her how the show went. I tell her I did a really good job and she congratulates me.

IS THAT THE NEXT MORNING OR THE SAME NIGHT OF THE SHOW? Yeah, it’s the same night. She’ll usually stay awake or I’ll wake her up. (Laughs)

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO GET INVOLVED WITH THIS EVENT? Because Big Ticket is one the best shows here in Toronto. I’m from Ottawa and I moved out here maybe like four or five months ago and this is the only one that brings the most people out. It has all the sponsors and it’s very well known.

WHAT’S IT LIKE SHARING THE SAME STAGE WITH MICHIE MEE AND SAUKRATES? It’s crazy. I feel really blessed doing this. I grew up listening to them and watching them on TV, so just to be able to share the stage with them and being able to say that to other people, I feel really honoured.

Interview By. Cameron Da Silva