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 beginning stages of dealing with duality. The biggest thing I wanted to get across was that I’m maturing as an artist and as a person, and anybody who’s watched me through my journey can appreciate that.
G—I see that a lot in “Soul Searcher”, which is a really cool, self-reflective track. I’m interested to know why you chose it as the first track on the album?
JC—If anybody was waiting for this project, or if you’re a new Cartier fan or somebody that just casually pressed play, and you didn’t listen to the rest of the album but there was one song you listened to it was going to be “Soul Searcher”. I feel like it’s a strong representation of me as an artist and myself as a man.
G—I kind of saw it as a kind of bookend for the album. Does the track kind of sum up what you’re trying to say in Fleurever?
JC—For the most part yeah. It was like a prologue. That’s how I envisioned it.
G—I really like the lyric that you finish with in that song, “I must’ve fucked up a hundred times, blamin’ the liquor to justify / Everything that wasn’t going right in my broken life / That’s Fleurever”. Does this album mark a transformation for you?
JC—Yeah, it definitely does. I’m definitely more aware of my actions than I was previously. A lot of things people go through in life, you don’t realize, you just sort of build up little things over time. And the way that we are, and the things that we do, and the reasons we behave the way that we do—it all stems from something happening. And I was just coming to a realization that I’m not perfect. I am a fuckup, and I need to find ways to escape this bubble that I’m in—by my many vices—and that’s not the mature way to deal with things.
G—What do you think brought you to that realization?
JC—Understanding that cause and effect is a real thing. People can be really affected by the little things that you do, and a lot of people these days are selfish—I myself have had selfish tendencies. This is just a general thing I’ve noticed with people but also mostly within myself.
G—You mentioned that the driving force behind Fleurever was duality. What dualities have you dealt with in your life or even in the past couple years that inspired this album?
JC—I’m not really sure how to explain the whole duality thing, it just comes with it. Like you start to become [busier], and your friends start seeing that you have less time for them, and then you start penalizing yourself for working towards your dreams. And that’s not healthy. It’s little stuff like that. It’s like the more money you have, the more you want to do for people, but people don’t want to do the same for you. You get as much as you give, but really you don’t because not everybody has your best interest in mind. And you really start to see people’s true colours, which is the most disheartening part of the whole process.
G—How do you feel Fleurever compares to Hotel Paranoia in terms of musicality and themes?
JC—They’re both different. I really feel like [with] Hotel Paranoia I was in a tense place—not tense, but I felt the weight of the world on me, as opposed to now. I was just dealing with a lot of unhealthy changes. The music was good, but I just felt like this time around my conscience is just a lot more clear.
G—I heard you say that Hotel Paranoia and Marauding in Paradise were more angsty, and that Fleurever is more joyful.
JC—My approach with those first two projects was just, like, serious. I was in the studio, I was writing, I was a lot more serious. But this time around I wanted to have a lot more fun, and get things off my chest but also just discover a new side of my artistry and not take things so seriously.
G—You refer to wealth quite a lot on the album. In the last couple lines of the chorus in “Gliss” you say, “All I wanted was the money / Who would’ve thought it made me rich?”. Does it surprise you that music made you money?
JC—Yeah, definitely. It still surprises me to this day that I’m able to do what I love and get paid for it because there was a time I was just a kid writing rap in my books and now people are paying to see me at shows. I’m just forever grateful for it.
G—How does the music you make compare to the music you listened to growing up? What have you borrowed from old school hip hop or other genres, and what have you brought that’s totally your own?
JC—All the music I listened to growing up had a lot of…there was depth to it. I feel like my music has that to certain degrees. I think my style is definitely new. [It’s] more of the times and more so melodic, but I still have that element of bars because at the end of the day I am a rapper, and I did start with rapping, and I think that’s still a strong element you should have. Rappers should think of themselves as Pokémon trainers.
G—Pokémon trainers? Can you expand on that?
JC—You can’t just have all fire Pokémon and expect to win. Somebody with water Pokémon will come in and kick you out. I have multiple talents as a person in various areas just so I’m prepared, ready for anything. I just made that up on the spot, but that’s pretty accurate. Shout out to me.
G—You’ve said in the past that your new material was going to “open up doors for artists in Toronto to be themselves”. In what way, would you say?
JC—In Toronto right now, people give us respect, but they don’t really give us the respect that we need. And I feel like it’ll take a full blown takeover from everybody—not just one style—so there’s more pieces getting added to the fire, as opposed to the same style that everyone else is doing.
G—Kind of like a music revolution.
G—What’s coming up for you this fall?
JC—Just a lot of shows, and also I’m going to keep recording and make new music. That’s where my head’s at right now. I don’t want people to wait another two years for a Jazz Cartier project.
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
Tyler Shaw is going through a renaissance. After exploding onto the scene and the charts in 2012 with his hit single “Kiss Goodnight” and a wildly successful debut album that followed, it’s hard to imagine what the Canadian pop singer could possibly need to reinvent. But after two years of writing and exploring, Shaw has taken the reigns on developing a new album and a new sound that’s better in tune with his growth as an artist. Just before the release of his new single “With You”, Georgie caught up with Shaw over the phone to talk about his upcoming album, mental health, and the feelings he’s harnessed into a musical renewal. G— What were some of the biggest differences for you between making the upcoming album and making Yesterday? TS—Yesterday was more so “I’m a new artist, I don’t really know what I want to do. This sounds cool on my voice, so does this.” With this album on the other hand, I know what I want. I know what melodies I want to go to and what I want to talk about. [Yesterday] came out in 2015, and ever since then, I mean, you go through life experiences