SonReal + Exclaim Magazine choperation.
By Chris Dart
Vernon, BC-born, Vancouver-based MC/singer SonReal is very much a man of his time. Even ten years ago, Son would have struggled to find an audience for his laidback, introspective songs about the sort of small struggles that make up our daily lives. Now, in the post-Drake/post-J. Cole era, the t”houghtful, rapping everyman” has become its own hip-hop archetype. What differentiates SonReal from the rest of his subgenre, however, is how well it’s executed. On new mixtape Good News, which is really an album, SonReal proves that he’s a diverse MC. As a singer, he may not be R&B star calibre, but his whiskey-soaked rasp is more than enough to carry songs like “I Don’t Give a Shit” and “Jerk.” SonReal is, in turns, sensitive, cocky and funny, and he writes his own hooks. He has all the qualifications for the job of rapper-as-pop star.
Things are looking good for Vancouver’s SonReal. Not only does the MC/singer have a new mixtape, entitled Good News, making the rounds on the major download sites, he also has two more releases, including an EP with Toronto producer/MC Rich Kidd, set to drop in the next six months. With a sound that’s more polished than ever and an almost ridiculous work rate, Son thinks is ready to take things to the next level.
Do you think people who might have been on the fence with you a little bit might be coming around with this record?
I think that with any new artist, everyone needs some time to decide if they really like you. Even me, when I hear a new artist, it takes me a while to be sold on them. I really feel like Good News is that kind of album that’s almost undeniable. I kind of feel like Canada needs this right now.
You look at my city: there’s been nobody to come out of my city since Swollen Members in the early 2000s. I feel like this record is an important record for Vancouver. It’s just great to have some of these amazing DJs in my city come up to me and say, “We haven’t seen anything like this in a long time.” I think Canada needs a record like this because hip-hop’s changed. You don’t need to conform to being hard anymore, being gully, having anything to prove. This record is just really honest and it relates to everyday people.
Tell me more about the idea of representing Vancouver.
We don’t really have anyone doing things on an international level. We have some great artists from my city doing their thing ― Snak the Ripper and guys like that ― but we don’t have a Drake or K’Naan. Even K-Os lives in Vancouver, but you wouldn’t be like, “K-Os equals Vancouver.” We’re trying to build the Vancouver brand and sound. Vancouver’s a very laidback place and a very open-minded place, and I think that’s what I bring to the table representing Vancouver.
READ FULL INTERVIEW HERE
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