Tre Mission allows his music to speak for itself
Stigmata is authentic. Canadian rapper/grime-star Tre Mission may not admit it about his first official album straight to your face. But he knows. And once you take a listen, he knows that you will soon enough know too. When speaking about his latest work, which officially drops August 12, Tre Mission talks with a quick and humble approach to each answer. The same approach he takes to all of his work. He’s a man of very few words when reflecting on it, because – diverting any cliché here – his music really does speak for itself. Simplicity comes naturally to him. So do the notable lyrics and mesh of Toronto-inspired hip-hop and UK grime that he’s known for. He finishes every answer with, “you feel me,” because well, it’s easy to. He, and his music.
STIGMATA. HOW WAS THE PROCESS OF RECORDING IT? I just did it like Mal Maison and carried on the same way. Some of the [Mal Maison] songs I made a long time before and some I had done right before it came out, but these ones are made with the same mindset and time frame.
YOU PRODUCED THE MAJORITY OF IT. I WAS SURPRISED, BECAUSE THERE’S SO MUCH VARIETY IN IT. YOU’VE GOT THAT GRIME AND THAT HIP-HOP. WHEN YOU SIT DOWN TO MAKE A BEAT, WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SITTING DOWN AND MAKING A GRIME BEAT AND A HIP-HOP BEAT? I don’t really know, because I don’t really think about it, whether it’s going to be a grime beat or whatever. At the end, it just comes out whatever it is, because my influence is in it and I just let it go from there. I use my computer still. I was just making a beat right now with the laptop. I don’t really use the midi-keyboards. I can play it, I just feel like I have more control with the mouse.
WHAT WAS YOUR MAIN MOTIVE GOING INTO STIGMATA? Just to make the music that I want to make and get it out there. As simple as that.
WHAT’S IT LIKE TO HAVE A BIG BACKING BEHIND YOU WITH THIS PROJECT, WITH BIG DADA? I always had support around me, but I guess I don’t have as much freedom to just wake up and necessarily say that, ‘I’m going to do this,’ or ‘I’m not.’ Not because anyone is stopping me from doing what I want to do, but because people are counting on me. I have responsibilities in that sense.
YOU’VE FEATURED A LOT OF CANADIAN GREATS LIKE K-OS, SAUKRATES AND ANDREENA ON THE PROJECT. HOW DID YOU GO ABOUT CHOOSING WHICH ARTISTS TO FEATURE? Just ones that I liked. I liked Saukrates already, but he actually hit me up to do some work and when we linked up, we’re like, “we’ll trade,” you feel me, “you’ll get one for your project and I’ll get one for mine.” So it works out. But that one is probably going to end up on both of ours. And Andreena, I met her a couple of years before. We’ve been meaning to work on something. When it was time for me to do the album, I went and hollered at her. We were in the studio together for both those songs.
WHAT WAS THAT ENERGY LIKE? It was good. We basically built the songs from scratch, because she knows how to make beats and use programs and everything so when she has an idea, she can just sit down and do it herself. She knows all the short keys and that was good. With Sauks, the same thing. He’s a musician all around, so it was easy.
“ON ROAD” IS MY FAVOURITE CUT OFF THE PROJECT. I WAS AT TATTOO THE NIGHT YOU PREMIERED IT AND THE CROWD SNAPPED. WERE YOU EXPECTING THAT REACTION FROM THAT SONG, SPECIFICALLY IN TORONTO? I kind of had a feeling, but I wasn’t sure. I had a little bit of a feeling, because I tested it out by showing it to my n*ggas just to see their reaction. But at the same time, in Toronto, that’s like the last thing you expect.
YOU JUST HAD A SHOW IN THE UK. HOW WAS THAT? It was cool. It wasn’t like home, but it was cool.
WHY WASN’T IT LIKE HOME? I have people with me every time and they weren’t with me, because obviously I wasn’t there. So it felt a bit different.
HOW DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’RE BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN THE UK SCENE AND THE TORONTO SCENE? I think it’s just natural. If it’s meant to happen, it’s good to know that I was a part of that.
Interview By. Samantha O’Connor