Standing alone in a room and staring out a window to a world that is quickly learning how talented he is, Vancouver-based rapper SonReal seems poised to take the hip-hop world by storm. With his laid back, easy going style and down to earth attitude it’s not hard to see why so many people across the nation are becoming fans of his music. He’s worked with some of Canadian hip-hop’s most respected names including Rich Kidd, Shad, Kardinal, Burd & Keyz and many more. SonReal is on the verge of doing something special, and with five nominations at this year’s MuchMusic Video Awards (MMVA), including Video of The Year; the rest of the music world is starting to take notice.
DESCRIBE WHAT THE PAST YEAR HAS BEEN LIKE FOR YOU. It’s been crazy! I never got an award or been nominated for an award up until last year and we got nominated for a Juno and then an MMVA last year. To come back this year and be nominated again at the Junos and be up for five MMVAs is just huge for us. We worked hard on this, my manager and me, we put everything into it and we try our best to do quality over quantity. We really put everything into the quality of our work so, to be recognized for that is just amazing, we’re excited.
WHERE WERE YOU AND HOW EXCITED WERE YOU WHEN YOU GOT THE NEWS YOU WERE NOMINATED FOR FIVE MMVAs? We were on tour at the time, I had just got off touring the USA, but I think we were in Austin and I woke up and I was looking at my Twitter feed, and people were tweeting at me saying, ‘Hey you got nominated for five MMVAs!’ I went onto the site and I checked it out and we actually were, I was just psyched man! I mean like, we weren’t going to turn up at like 9 a.m. or 7 a.m. but it was a good feeling! I’m excited to be talking to people, meeting the artists and people in the industry. If we walk away with zero actual awards, just to be nominated five times is amazing so we’re just riding it out.
To be put in a position to go up against someone as powerful as Drake, I don’t even look at it as competition or anything like that. All I look at it as that I’m meant to be here, I’m happy right now, I’ve worked for years to be here and I just want to keep it moving.
HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE GOING UP AGAINST HIP-HOP HEAVYWEIGHTS LIKE DRAKE? I’m a firm believer that like even right now there couldn’t be a better time for me. To be put in a position to go up against someone as powerful as Drake, I don’t even look at it as competition or anything like that. All I look at it as that I’m meant to be here, I’m happy right now, I’ve worked for years to be here and I just want to keep it moving. Obviously to be up against the people we’re up against in these categories is great; I’m a fan of lot of the people we’re up against so just to be to be in the same category as them lets me know I’m doing something right.
HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE IN A GENRE THAT IS BLOSSOMING RIGHT NOW? It’s good man! I think there couldn’t be a better time for me to be doing the type of hip-hop that I do. I hop all over the place from doing harder rap songs to crossover stuff that’s infusing other genres. There was a time when that wouldn’t really fly in hip-hop, but it does right now and I’m happy to be a part of it. I’m trying to move the genre forward. I want to do the same kind of things that Drake did, I’m not trying to be a Canadian artist that can only tour here. I want to be able to tour everywhere and affect people everywhere.
WHAT WAS IT LIKE MAKING THE VIDEO FOR “EVERYWHERE WE GO”? The video was hands down one of the funniest things I’ve shot on camera ever! Real talk, that style of comedy is a piece of me, it wasn’t something we really had to try to manifest, those characters we think that’s just funny. The limp face guy with the braces and stuff, it’s just funny! Like the braces kind of pushed up my lip so I couldn’t even make my regular face anyway so, it was just like instantly into this character of like super awkward guy.
I think anytime I try to do a video for a song, especially if it’s going to be a single I try to complement the song with the visuals. People listen with their eyes now. We put out that video before the song was even released, so now when you hear the song and see the video for the first time you can’t even listen to the song without understanding the humility of the song and the video.
People listen with their eyes now. We put out that video before the song was even released, so now when you hear the song and see the video for the first time you can’t even listen to the song without understanding the humility of the song and the video.
WHAT DO YOU WANT YOUR FANS TO KNOW ABOUT YOU WHEN YOU’RE WRITING YOUR SONGS? The thing is I’ve got a different story than these other guys, I’m from a small town, I came up skateboarding that’s what got me into hip-hop, I think I just had a different path and where I’m from, this stuff doesn’t happen. I think that’s the story I convey in my music and the way I say it is different that the next guy.
A lot of artists get pigeonholed into one style and that’s all they can do, it might be hot at the time but what happens when times change and things evolve? They can’t survive because that’s all they can do is that one thing. With me I’ve been blessed enough to work on my craft enough that I have many different lanes. I always say some of the best hip-hop artists of all time could live in music without hip-hop even existing. I know for a fact Kanye could be a rock artist if he really wanted to, or Drake could go sing soul or whatever it is. I always say the best artists could live outside their genre in music and be successful. That’s something I always try and challenge myself with, is to just try new things and be experimental while at the same time being true to myself.
WHAT KIND OF CRAZY ENTRANCE DO YOU HAVE PLANNED FOR THE MMVA? Man, I’m gonna roll in with two feet and a heartbeat!
WHAT ARE THE PLANS FOR 2014, WHAT CAN FANS EXPECT? We’re working relentlessly to do this the right way. I don’t want to be an artist that has a single or album that does well then he’s out. I’ve worked very hard and we’ve worked very long to get to here and my main goal is to be as big as I’m destined to be, but to be around for a long time.
I think we have what it takes to do things that nobody’s ever done from this country. I mean, a lot of people are putting a lot of belief in us right now, and we’ve got all types of situations approaching us that we’re excited about. I think the biggest thing is, I’m willing to put in the work and do whatever it takes to get us there, so there’s no telling where we’ll take it.
Interview By. Patrick Dennis Jr.