“I’m half way between Yoshi and Toad, but I would say I use Toad more than Yoshi. I’m thinking way too hard about this,” said Harrison, a Toronto-based producer and self-confessed lover of classic video games. Whether he is filling up dancefloors, putting out mixtapes or creating music for the indie video game Bloxz – Harrison has been popping up on the music radar as a producer to watch. The bedroom beatmaker satisfies the growing demand for his music by regularly adding tracks to his popular SoundCloud page – an effort that is appreciated by his 25,000 followers.
The recent release of his debut EP, Colors, on venerable Canadian indie label, Last Gang Records, marks the latest addition to a string of achievements – all before the age of 20.
At 19, Harrison combines his love of classic video games with influences of funk, disco and house, which creates an interesting duality to his music. On one hand there is a sense of wistful playfulness and light; on the other, there is a subtle and underlying darker layer of longing. “It’s like my first child just went off to college,” describes Harrison about his debut release. “It feels great, but I’m sad that the project is done. It was a project I could’ve done over and over again.”
The duality of light and dark heard in his music may just be a reflection of Harrison – a young producer on the rise who makes dreamy, lighthearted beats but finds inspiration and solace in rainy days and stormy weather, “I’m not trying to glorify being sad or anything,” he quips. His previous SoundCloud page, Missing Hito, is what Harrison describes as “cloudy weather music to be played when it’s raining.” Started over a year ago, Missing Hito was an anonymous side project that was created out of heartbreak and has since been abandoned. “I want to get back to it eventually but I feel like I need to get over my own issues before I do.” A recent visit to Harrison’s SoundCloud reveals that he has since added a few of his Missing Hito tracks onto his new page.
Harrison has been able to successfully use SoundCloud to his benefit, and the sheer number of followers speaks to an obvious demand for his music. “How Can It Be”, a collaborative track with friend and frequent collaborator, Maddee, garnered 45,000 plays in less than 48 hours after it was released on the music sharing platform. “I did not expect that at all. SoundCloud is great. I love it so much,” said Harrison, “but at the same time I would like to try my best to not just be known as a SoundCloud artist.” With the ambition to make it big offline, Harrison has been able to transcend the “SoundCloud producer” label and turn his online popularity into a promising music career.
As part of Harrison’s transition away from SoundCloud fame, Last Gang Records signed him on and released his debut EP. “Being on Last Gang is like a dream come true. They were the label I wanted to be on from the start. Everyone is so supportive and I love everyone on the roster.” After opening up shows for label mates, Purity Ring and Ryan Hemsworth, Harrison was quick to learn that just as much as the Internet can love you, it can change its opinion on a dime. “I learned a lot from Ryan. Once I was talking to him about a review online. He just told me to be careful with the Internet and to not let it get me down. I’m very sensitive and I don’t like being judged. Maybe I chose the wrong line of work.”
Now that Colors has been released Harrison is keeping busy and is already working on his debut album. “I’m so excited. I’ve worked really hard on it so far. It’s darker than Colors, so it might disappoint a lot of people but I’ve poured my heart into this and I love it.” Online, offline, rain or shine, there is no doubt that big things are in store for Harrison.
The meaning of Jazz Cartier’s Fleurever is rooted in duality. In the two years since his sophomore mixtape, Hotel Paranoia, the artist has had to “[battle] the balances of love and money, risks and rewards, right and wrong, or living and dying”, alongside coming to terms with the throes of wealth and fame. Subsequently Fleurever—or, as he calls it, his “third project”—explores Cartier’s personal growth in the years following. With his newfound maturity in tow, Toronto’s rising rap star is on course to start a music revolution—well, that’s the idea anyway. Georgie caught up with Cartier to talk about gratitude, the rapper’s personal transformation, and the driving force behind Fleurever. G—Can you tell us a bit about your latest album Fleurever and the inspiration behind it? JC—Most of the inspiration came from growth, and a bit from my departure from Toronto. A lot of the record was made in my last days in Toronto, and just having that cloud over my head and knowing that I’d be leaving soon—it was more so showing my affection for the city that pretty much shaped my sound. G—Did you have a vision in mind when you started writing this album? JC—For the most part Fleurever is just myself and my
When asked to describe herself in three words, Nina Nesbitt didn’t hesitate. “Introverted, creative, and driven”. While you wouldn’t guess the former from her edgy, empowering tracks—her latest single “Loyal To Me” is a girl-power anthem, rallying women to ditch their unfaithful partners—the latter two can’t be questioned. In the six years since she was discovered in an unplanned encounter with Ed Sheeran, Nesbitt has released three EPs and one full length album; toured with Sheeran, Justin Bieber, and U.K rapper Example; and carved her way into the alt-pop scene with a harmonious blend of groove and grit. Earlier this year, the Edinborough-native was one of three emerging female artists chosen to partake in Spotify’s “Louder Together” initiative, recording the first collaborative Spotify single (“Psychopath”) with Sasha Sloan and Charlotte Lawrence, and showcasing her signature style of thoughtful messages pulsating atop hook-driven melodies. With her sophomore album ready to drop, Georgie spoke with Nesbitt about her experience being thrust into the spotlight and maintaining her creative independence throughout it all. G—You’ve been touring a lot this year, specifically in North America. How have your North American audiences been receiving your shows? Is it different than performing for UK audiences?
Named for the Toronto area they grew up in, The Beaches are a far cry from a placid day on the lake. Led by singer/bassist Jordan Miller—with her sister and guitarist Kylie Miller, guitarist/keyboardist Leandra Earl and drummer Eliza Enman-McDaniel—the Canadian four-piece burst out of Toronto with their 2018 debut, Late Show, and have since built up an aura of dissident swagger. Taking home this year’s Juno for Breakthrough Group of the Year, the all-fem rock quartet is bringing grunge, gloss, and 70s glamour to a predominantly male genre. Georgie caught up with Leandra to talk about the band’s latest music video, taking charge of their music, and three simple ways to keep women in the industry. G—Did you grow up together in Toronto? LE—Yeah, I met the girls in high school. Jordan and Kylie are sisters, so they’ve known each other a bit longer, but they grew up with Eliza in Toronto’s Beaches area. G—What kind of music were you listening to at that time? LE—We grew up listening to all of the music our parents listened to. That definitely influenced us while writing our debut album since we drew from a lot of the 70’s music that our