Our Canadian talent needs to be celebrated, and it’s up to the writers and other artists to help boost each other’s profiles to get the recognition and attention that are justly deserved. Making it in Toronto is one of the big dreams when it comes to Canada. It’s (arguably) the most important city in the country and if you live here, you’re really blessed to be immersed with all the things that we have to our advantage. Sometimes we take it for granted, but really, it’s a blessing to be from this city.
There are people who take leaps of faith when trying to make it, and all are for very different reasons & circumstances. In December of 2015, I met a few producers who participated in the 10th Annual Battle of the Beatmakers, and I was really blown away by so many producers that continued to carry on the tradition of great ears for music as evidenced by the likes of Boi-1da & T-Minus (amongst a plethora of others). EveKey is one of the producers that I happened to meet, and hailing from Vancouver, she took a leap of faith and moved from one big city to the biggest city, in order to make her mark with her music. This is just the first of what I hope to be many profiles of artists in Toronto that you should get to know. Be sure to follow her on Twitter, and most importantly, check out her music. Enjoy.
The STiXXclusive Blog: As for the music itself, what made you want to make it?
EveKey: I started taking piano lessons at a very early age because of my parents and music was always around me, and as I continued learning keys it became a natural way to express myself. My piano teacher always used to tell me to sing as I shift keys, and although it was mainly classical music I was playing at the time, I still remember the expression when I make beats today, especially now that I make my own music, I know even more what she meant, and I think that’s what keeps me going. It’s such a fulfilling feeling for me to express emotions and draw pictures without words. That’s what making me want to make more music
TSB: How long have you been producing?
EK: I started making beats about 9 years ago, but I started really getting into it about 5 years ago.
TSB: Because of the craziness that’s happening not only in Toronto, but in Canada as a whole, how do you feel about being involved in what’s going on right now?
EK: It’s such a great thing and I’m so happy that I’m being part of it as well. I think people in general, whether they’re in the industry or not, they started to have further expectations for Canadian Hip Hop nowadays and that’s making a push even more.
TSB: How do you feel about beat battle competitions like Battle of the Beatmakers that just passed?
EK: I love them so much. I just feel so blessed being a part of that opportunity, and I’m so glad that I’ve been there 2 years in a row, so that’s a blessing.
TSB: And each time that you’ve battled, what have been some of the lessons that you’ve taken away?
EK: One of them would be, fully understanding what’s expected for the specific opportunity. It could be by studying the past battle winners or getting to know the judges who are critiquing what the audience expects to hear from you, whether it’s a remix contest or a battle. Studying the opportunity itself is crucial if you really want to win. Not just being a part of it, but winning. I think it’s the same as submitting beats to artists as well, although people say that getting placements by artists and being in battle competitions look different but there are so many similarities, and that’s something I learned by being part of the battle.
TSB: And touching on placements for albums or mixtapes, when you’re looking down the line at your career, what do you want to do specifically? Making instrumental albums? Getting work on movies?
EK: In the past, I made my own beat tape and I also produced an entire EP with one artist, which was very fulfilling and I learned a lot. I’m extremely interested in video game scores and also movie scores. Often times, people describe my beats to be full of emotions, so those are things that I’d love to do down the road.
TSB: So how much did video games really have an influence into your style?
EK: I’m not a crazy video game player, but playing FIFA or Call of Duty, for example, when I or my friends are playing it, I can see that music is a big part of the project. Of course you have sound effects and other sounds as well, but it’s the music scores & background music that gets people into it. I just want to be a part of that one day.
TSB: Being that almost every industry, especially music, is male dominated, when you look at yourself as a woman, particularly a woman of colour, how does it make you feel when you’re in a room looking around and it’s only one of you or a few of you holding it down for female producers?
EK: Personally, I’ve been in many situations where I’m the only female on a music project or the only female in the studio, so I’m pretty comfortable & I’m used to it. It’s definitely motivating and inspirational; it’s great to see women in social power and going forward with their passion. I feel very comfortable in it and I really enjoy what I do.
TSB: As far as this year is concerned, being that we’re already into February, what are some goals that you’d like to achieve?
EK: Well I just moved to Toronto three months ago, but there are still artists I want to network and connect with in person. Since I got here I’ve already got some inspiration and I’m already seeing changes in my sound. 2016 will be my brand new chapter that I’ve been waiting for. I want to start off by rebuilding my library first, then find the artists that can adapt to each other’s sound and be a part of projects, ideally. Because although I like producing singles or placing my own beats to individual artists, I like to have long term connections and relationships with artists to produce a series of tracks. That’s what I enjoy the most. That’s what I’m looking forward to in 2016.
TSB: And if there’s one thing that you’d want people to recognize you for as far as your style or sound, what would you want it to be?
EK: Because of what I played at Battle of the Beatmakers, people think I’m a heavy sample, bass producer, but like I said, my roots are keys. Throughout the beatmaking process, I actually enjoy making melodies more than anything, and when I sample, often I’ll chop it up and use them as one instrument with a random melody. The unique parts of my beats are the way I sample songs and also the way I make emotional melodies that give artists certain inspirations or feelings for writing lyrics.