Born and raised in Brampton, ON, and of West Indian descent, Raz has recently his new single, “Be Okay”. The track is an ode to the summer and a reminder that everyone experiences lows and highs, struggles, and triumphs. If summer and nature find a way to come back and give us joy and warm weather each year, then maybe we can pick ourselves up and get through this struggle on our way to our next triumph.
Check out “Be Okay” below and find out more about Raz via our Five Questions With segment.
Care to introduce yourself to our readers?
I was born and raised in Brampton, Ontario, and grew up in a West Indian household (Trini/Guyanese parents). I actually spent all of my life playing sports at a high level until my second year at Western University when I started rapping and making music – there was no turning back for me from there. I was en route to write my MCAT and all set up to apply to Med school before I found my music. The next thing I knew, I was telling my parents a week before the MCAT exam that I wasn’t going to become a doctor, I flew off to Australia within a year, turned down a Doctorate program while backpacking Thailand, came back to graduate in 2013, then flew off to Germany on a one-way ticket two months after graduation to go on tour and chase the dream.
Tell us a bit about your music and writing style.
I started off writing poetry and spoken-word before rapping and I always listened to a wide range of music, primarily hip-hop, rock, folk, and singer-songwriters. When I started rapping I knew from the poetry I had written and the artists I admired (Lauryn Hill, Lupe Fiasco, John Mayer, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Coldplay to name a few), that I wanted to say truthful, authentic, and powerful words that inspired people the way these artists inspired me. Fast forward to today and I would say my writing is poetry, in a singer/songwriter structure, with a hip-hop flow. My sound has evolved into what I call “Stadium Hip-Hop” – a mix of a big rock/anthemic sound with a lot of hip-hop influence, but completely focused on the message and emotion I am trying to evoke in my lyrics. That’s the most important thing to me; how my fans feel and how my words may be of service to them.
Do you have any upcoming shows (live streams, online)? For someone who has yet to see you live, how would you explain your live performance?
With COVID still lingering over all of us, the shows are now mostly online. But I post all of my shows on my Instagram, so follow me @razmusic.co for upcoming dates! My goal with my live performance is always to put on a show with lots of energy and passion to match the largeness of my music. However, I always want people to leave feeling like we just had one of those long, heartfelt conversations over coffee, where time stood still while somehow flying by all at once. My shows are big enough to get lost in and intimate enough to be yourself.
If you were asked to suggest only one of your songs for someone to hear, which would it be?
I feel like as an artist, you hope that every song is your best one and that everyone should hear it! But if I had to pick one, it would actually be my latest release “Be Okay”. This one is special to me because of the messages I’ve received on how it’s impacting and helping people during this tough year we’ve been having. When my goal is for my music to connect with and be of service to my fans, I know I’ve accomplished something when I get that type of feedback. Definitely go check out “Be Okay”.
Canadian Beats is all about Canadian music, so who are your current favourite Canadian bands/artists?
Oh, great question – I’d have to say, Daniel Caesar, TOBi, Snotty Nose Rez Kids. And most of all, a friend of mine I admire and have had the privilege of performing with, Mustafa the Poet.
I’m Jenna, and I am the founder and editor of Canadian Beats. I have had a strong love for Canadian music, which started many years ago. I have a passion for promoting these talented Canadian bands and artists, and that’s how Canadian Beats came to be. I am so proud of what it has become over the last few years, with many talented music lovers and writers coming together to spread the word of Canada’s music.