By the time he was 16, rapper Perrion had already caught the attention of major record label, Universal Music. Since then, the Harlem-raised rapper might have separated from the major label, but not from music.

After a break from music, Perrion came back in 2010, with the debut of his mixtape Perception, inspired by award-winning film Inception, and the following year an album titled Le Bourgeon. He’s opened for A$AP Rocky and will soon rip the stage twice at this year’s Canadian Music Week.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO PURSUE MUSIC? I got signed to Universal at a very young age, but even before that I was saying, ‘yo this is something that I want to do for the rest of my life.’ I was bred into hip-hop. My whole family was listening to it – everybody from my aunts to uncles. I grew up around it. I loved it so much that I started writing at a very young age. It just stuck with me.

I want to have longevity. I want to be here for a minute. I want to be able to leave a mark on hip-hop so people can remember who I am for what I did. Make music for people to vibe to and they can relate to.

WHAT WOULD YOU DESCRIBE AS THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECT OF BEING AN ARTIST? I go through every day, regular, normal people things. I don’t know – just real life and the troubles that I go through more than anything. Challenges as an artist, I don’t really see it that way. But, I guess trying to make it to a higher plateau [would be my challenge]. It definitely takes a lot of hard work and effort.

IN YOUR TRACK, “RAMBLING”, YOU SAY THAT YOU HAVEN’T REACHED THE POINT YOU WANT TO BE AT, DESCRIBE THE POINT THAT YOU WISH TO BE AT AS AN ARTIST? I just want to have a big impact on hip-hop. I want to be able to be one of those people like Jay Z. I don’t want to be too cliché, but I want to have longevity. I want to be here for a minute. I want to be able to leave a mark on hip-hop so people can remember who I am for what I did. Make music for people to vibe to and they can relate to.

DESCRIBE THE PROCESS OF CHOOSING YOUR BEATS. It’s really just me vibing out. I get a bunch of beats from my e-mail or I’ll be in a studio with producers and they’ll play beats for me. I like to skim through and vibe out to different types of beats. I don’t like just one type of sound. I can do the old school or I’ll do some trap, it’s really just whatever I’m feeling at the moment if it sounds tight.

WHAT CAN PEOPLE EXPECT FROM YOUR MUSIC? A new face. A breath of fresh air. Something new. Something that people aren’t really used to, but can still vibe to.

WHAT DO YOU PLAN TO BRING TO CMW AS AN AMERICAN ARTIST? I’mma definitely come out there and turn up. I’mma have fun. It’s going to be my first time in Canada that I can actually remember. I went there as a kid. So it should be fun. I’mma let them feel my presence. Get high as shit [laughs]. Have fun and turn up.

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO MOST ABOUT CMW, BESIDES THE ACTUAL SHOW ITSELF? I’m into the ladies [laughs]. I like meeting different women everywhere I go.

WHAT SORT OF IMPACT DO YOU HOPE TO HAVE ON YOUR CANADIAN LISTENERS? I want them to feel where I coming from. Hopefully they can relate to this and be like ‘I f*ck with this,’ for all the new people who don’t know about me. I want people to f*ck with me. Have a nice little fan base in Canada so I can come back and turn up with y’all again.

Perrion performs on Friday, May 9, 2014 @ Phoenix Concert Theatre and Saturday May 10, 2014 @ Baltic Avenue as part of this year’s Canadian Music Week.

Words By. Faduma Mohamed