Five Questions With Calm

East coast rapper, Calm has recently released his newest single, “Not That Deep” in collaboration with the up-and-coming Toronto-based produer, Brazil.

“Not That Deep was the first track I worked on since getting into the MusicLinks program,” says Calm. “It was my first attempt at taking what I learned from the program and applying it to pushing my creative boundaries as an artist. I chose to expand my skillset as a rapper and delve into more R&B territory, involving singing and melodic structure more heavily in my song writing. This single marks the first step in a more accessible sound I’m going to continue exploring among other sounds I've been experimenting with.”

The track highlights the struggle of balancing romance with a personal drive to succeed in a cold city both in temperature and disposition. Calm began the lyrics while he was in a long-term
relationship and finished them after the relationship ended, adding an interesting layer of duality to the whole writing process.

“This project came together seamlessly,” said Brazil. “The beat was a creation that took me 15 minutes to cookup in my home studio, and I knew as soon as it was done that Calm’s vocals would fit perfectly so I sent it over. Once he finished writing lyrics for the beat, we scheduled a studio session for final edits and mix/mastering. The two of us ended up finishing the track that same day for all streaming platforms.”

Check out “Not That Deep” below, and find out more about Calm via our Five Questions With segment.

Care to introduce yourself to our readers?

Hello readers! My name is Calm and I’m a rapper.

Bit of background on me: I was born in the Philippines and moved to Toronto with my family when I was one. I was lucky to be raised around a variety of good music, my pops played a lot of doo-wop, soul, and rock cassettes for me growing up, and was introduced to hip hop and r&b when I was three and naturally gravitated toward it. Although I grew up westernized, my roots are something I want to start incorporating into my sound moving forward – I aim to use my music as a tool to explore my identity as a Filipino.

Fun fact about me: My first foray into making music was using my folks’ karaoke machine to record myself to cassette tapes.

If you want to connect: @calmconnery for the gram. REARRANGETHEGRID for the motive.

Tell us a bit about your music and writing style.

My music is usually introspective and left field but it’s different vibes all around. I pull from a mix of life experiences and abstract thoughts and put them together. I’m trying to explore different sounds and have a good mix of experimental songs and more accessible joints. My writing style is slowly changing too. Right now I’m doing a lot of voice notes just to hum out rhythms and then filling in the words after.

How have you been keeping creative during the Pandemic?

I’ve been spending a lot of time reflecting and trying to keep what I do creatively varied. If I’m in booths too much they start feeling like cubicles so that’s when I know I need to just take a step back and live life for a minute or work on something else, whether it’s photography or videos that have nothing to do with the music. I think it’s important to have that balance and variation for me because it keeps things from feeling stale.

If you were asked to suggest only one of your songs for someone to hear, which would it be?

Not That Deep for its versatility. The track is my latest single and it’s the first step in a different direction I’m trying to explore that brings more singing and melody to the table alongside my rapping.

Canadian Beats is all about Canadian music, so who are your current favourite Canadian bands/ artists?

Tory Lanez is crazy; I really aim for that kind of versatility. There’s a lot of talent in the city that needs more ears! Clairmont the Second, Sydanie, Raz Fresco, Sammi Shyne, Eyeda Sophia, Haf n Haf just to name a few that I listen to on the regular.

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