Look up the word blend in the dictionary and several definitions will come up including “intermingle”, “a pleasing combination” and “mixture”, all of which are perfect ways to describe the Hennessy Artistry: The Art of Blending event. The most recent edition of the event, which happened in Vancouver and Toronto, included two unique sounds – that of Toronto-based group Keys N Krates paired with hip-hop heavyweight producer and DJ, Just Blaze.

The mixture of the electronically infused sound of Keys N Krates and the soulful, sample-heavy production of Just Blaze created a memorable night for those in attendance. The art of blending, now a brand staple, is something Hennessy prides itself on.


Hennessy Canada Brand Manager, Marie Constance, sees the connection between hip-hop and Hennessy as a natural fit. “The hip-hop community really embraced Hennessy in the 1980s and still [does], so that link has been built over the years and is very strong.”

Constance describes what she believes is the art of blending in terms of music. “In music, especially current music, the most current music artists do that more and more. They mix and blend the sounds, the voices, the instruments and different music when they’re DJs.”

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Blending should be a positive experience or a pleasing combination and for the guys from Keys N Krates that definition fits their unique sound perfectly. Often considered a part of the trap music sound, these Toronto boys say their form of blending doesn’t fit into a particular box.

“I know for us we like to incorporate a lot of different elements into our music, which [is why] we’re kind of labelled in the trap world, but we tend to take a lot of elements of a lot of different types of musical styles,” explains keyboardist David Matisse.

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“We’re always trying to look for weird sounds and textures in a context that you wouldn’t necessarily expect,” adds turntablist Jr. Flo.

The art of blending is truly about trying something different and something new that normally wouldn’t go together. To intermingle or mix elements that on their own are opposites into something people can vibe with is a true talent and takes immense skill. Both Keys N Krates and Just Blaze distinctly displayed their ability to do just that.

“The great thing about this event is that it was kind of done around what we do as musicians. We mix and match things from different places to create our own art.” – Just Blaze

For Just Blaze, who is known for taking soulful samples and mixing them into up-tempo hip-hop anthems like Jay Z’s “U Don’t Know” or Cam’ron’s “Oh Boy”, an artist combing different genres together is like Hennessy mixing drinks.

“The great thing about this event is that it was kind of done around what we do as musicians,” he explains. “We mix and match things from different places to create our own art. Hip-hop is based on a lot of incorporation of other genres of music, samples and things of that nature and we pull from different sources of inspiration and we use that inspiration to create our own.”

Hennessy’s latest event didn’t only offer a fun experience, but it allowed fans of different worlds to come together. Fans of hip-hop music joined with fans of electronic, trap music, celebrating and partying as if there were no barriers at all and no labels placed upon the music they love. Now, that is the real art of blending.

Words By. Patrick Dennis Jr. + Photos By. Fitzroy Facey

Patrick Dennis Jr., also known as PDJ, is a product of the era of limitless potential. Born and raised in Toronto, his diverse interests and talents are reflections of his city’s exposure to all things eclectic and new. Graduating with a degree in media studies from Toronto’s University of Guelph-Humber, Patrick brings with him skills vital to content creators in today’s digital era. A communications and public relations specialist, freelance writer, consultant, event host, podcast creator, broadcaster, and online journalist, he represents a new generation of versatile media professionals capable of doing it all.

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