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Jan 05/2016
WORDS Erin Lowers PHOTOGRAPHY Jan-Michael Stasiuk


Shy, but bold. Eclectic, but tailored. Gifted, but still obstinate when it comes to his craft. These are a few of the characteristics that define DMV rapper and ‘future bounce’ artist GoldLink, leading him to the fork in the road between independent artist and soon-to-be household name. In just two years, GoldLink has embarked on a journey that took him from the shark tank of hip-hop upstarts to a coveted position on the 2015 XXL Freshman list, and finally to the attention of Rick Rubin, who executively produced his debut album, And After That, We Didn’t Talk.

It’s like Montell Jordan’s ‘This Is How We Do It’ on crack… It’s the sound I’m bringing out of the DMV, one heavily influenced by go-go.

Despite his quick rise to fame, when it comes to his music, GoldLink remains true to the path he wants to walk. “I started making music a little over two years ago because I was bored with the music that was coming out,” he explains. “Soulection connected with me on that – we collectively sought out other options this industry has to offer. ‘Future bounce’ was a term created by [Soulection’s] Lakim. It’s like Montell Jordan’s ‘This Is How We Do It’ on crack… It’s the sound I’m bringing out of the DMV, one heavily influenced by go-go.”

This sense of nostalgia mixed with modern-day elements of hip-hop music has created a distinct and potent sound in GoldLink’s music, most notably heard on recent singles “Dance On Me” or “Spectrum”.

With the support of the Soulection collective, GoldLink also worked actively in 2015 with hip-hop veteran and seasoned producer Rick Rubin, who shaped the careers of Frank Ocean, Johnny Cash and Kanye West, to name a few. “Rick’s taught me that what has gotten me here, will keep me here. He offers light suggestions here and there, but he’s like a spirit guide,” GoldLink says.

In an era of ‘microwave journalism’ – as click-bait headlines and gossip have come to be known – GoldLink strives to focus on personal connections: “I think, overall, if you speak with conviction and truly believe in it, that’s how you directly connect with anyone.” Holding on to artistic purity, GoldLink has found himself at the helm of critical praise, but reminds us that “you can either be told what to believe or listen and believe it for yourself.” So do accolades like ‘Album of the Year’ or even acclaimed awards such as the Grammys mean anything to him? “Maybe one day. But my biggest accolade is seeing my mom proud and supportive of me.”

GoldLink will be heading on an American tour later this spring.

  Duckwrth cannot be pinned down. The 28-year-old rapper, born Jared Lee in South Central, landed like a splash of mixed paints with his debut full-length I’m Uugly in fall 2016. Its 10 elastic tracks stretch across hip hop, chill wave, funk, and punk, all shrouded in a soft-focused haze. He aptly calls this impressionistic concoction “psych rap.” Early last November, Duckwrth released An Xtra Uugly Mixtape. Whereas I’m Uugly exalted the beauty that lives within the harshness and griminess of everyday life – from the physical to the political to the socioeconomic – An Xtra Uugly Mixtape encourages being unapologetically you. It is, as Duckwrth writes on his Soundcloud page, “the anthem for your rebellion.” Fittingly, the tape is higher in energy; the guitar sounds are cranked. An Xtra Uugly Mixtape is his attempt to put hip hop and rock on equal footing within the same piece of music. An Xtra Ugly Mixtape is also a gradual step towards fulfilling his stadium rock ambitions. Duckwrth had one of his most formative musical experiences at a stadium show. “I used to do the whole protest [thing] and be more politically driven,” he says. “But then there was a time when


Over the past four years, Halifax pop artist Ria Mae has accomplished dreams she has openly spoken about: being produced by fellow Nova Scotia success story Classified and touring with Tegan and Sara and Coleman Hell. Since creating her self-released demo of “Clothes Off” in 2013, she has signed with Sony Music and Nettwerk Management. The former has helped develop the careers of Avril Lavigne, Barenaked Ladies, Coldplay, Dido, Sarah McLachlan, and many more. The finished version of the song – her major label debut – earned Mae her first Juno nomination, for “Single of the Year” in 2016, which put her in direct competition against Drake, The Weeknd, and Justin Bieber. From Mae’s new home in Toronto, only two days removed from a cross-Canada tour with Scott Helman, she spoke with Georgie about her sudden rise, working with Classified, stepping up as a voice for LGBTQ groups, and more. G—As you’ve discovered, you can make a lot of unexpected connections in a small town. But that can be a good thing because working with people who differ from you in their approach forces you to create from new perspectives. Do you ever have reservations about working with people who


Scott Helman

  Three years after the release of his first EP, Augusta, Canadian singer-songwriter Scott Helman has unleashed his debut full-length LP, Hôtel de Ville, a collection of 12 alt-pop coming-of-age tracks. The 22-year-old Toronto native who successfully broke into the music industry in his mid-teens earned himself two Juno Award nominations, certified gold status for his hit, Bungalow, and began quickly fielding comparisons to the likes of Vance Joy and Jeff Buckley. With a new level of acclaim awaiting him, Helman has recently finished his cross-Canada Scott vs. Ria tour with fellow Juno nominee Ria Mae. We thought it would be the right time to ask him about his momentous musical journey. G—You got your first guitar when you were ten. Was this what led you to become a musician? Scott Helman—I used to mess around on my friend’s guitar, and really wanted to learn how to play. So, I asked my parents for a guitar for Christmas. I remember coming down the stairs and seeing it, and knowing instantly what it was because of its shape. I never put it down after that. G—What kind of music did you listen to growing up? SH—My parents are British immigrants, so