Meet quami.xyz, the Toronto musician mixing guitar with hip-hop on Clementine
Taken from his debut project Et Cetera, Clementine is the perfect introduction to the Toronto musician's sound.
While many believe that the increasing international dominance of hip-hop has inspired more bad than good, I'd argue otherwise. Sure, there's a few rough cuts within the global scene, but it's also welcomed a range of up-and-comers diverse in sound and style, recent Pilerats favourites including Joey Purp and JPEGMafia among the splattering of international names we've featured. While Toronto newcomer quami.xyz may not have the end-of-year list placements of Chance The Rapper co-signs of Purp or JPEG, he is definitely among the range of exciting up-and-comers gradually finding applause, with his debut project Et Cetera introducing us to a versatile musician that is both something different but easily accessible, straddling that fine line between left-field and commercial that's particularly hard to nail.
One particular single from the project, Clementine, is perhaps the most visible sign of this. It's a shimmering R&B name that you could find yourself easily comparing to Frank Ocean's more upbeat cuts, with quami.xyz's softly-sung vocal sliding over a percussive production held down by this repeating guitar melody; offering a minimalist back-beat for the Toronto musician to soar over with ease. It's soft and delicate, with the warmth of a Daniel Caesar-esque cut meeting the intricacy of something you'd expect from Solange and the soft pulse of The Internet's more low-key numbers, so you should definitely get around it and get to know him a touch better below.
Tell us about yourself?
I make music. I spend most of my time creating and trying to find different ways to express myself. Music means so much more to me than just a means to an end - the process of writing is my therapy. I have my demons. I am trying to become a better person. I am practising transparency. If I am transparent in my art, then it will reflect in my character. I keep hitting that reset button in hopes that I will eventually be satisfied. I guess that’s what makes me human.
What’s the vibe music-wise?
The vibe of my music would be best explained by the listener. I have never really enjoyed the idea of self-proclamation.
What are your production and writing processes like?
It is impulsive and a little bit manic. I have a hard time ignoring myself. I tend to have thoughts that have nothing to do with my current environment and I feel obligated to make note of it almost instantaneously. I am always writing and recording voice memos on my phone. There have been times where I have gone to the washroom in the midst of my shift at work to write or record ideas. I can’t ignore myself.
Can you tell us about your new project, et cetera?
This was three years of my life compressed into a project. I touched on recurring themes that I would find amongst people that I have had relationships with. I tried to talk about my battle with my own ego as well as depression. I wouldn’t have been able to make the project as alive as it is without the support of my producer, Dru. He played a crucial part in helping me translate these emotions into sonics... we produced the whole project together in our bedrooms.
You just dropped the vid for one of the tracks of the project, Clementine. Can you tell us a bit about the vid?
We shot the music video at the end of last summer. I wanted to have the visuals emulate how it feels to look back on moments, on memories.
Any shows coming up
What’s the rest of the year and 2019 have in store for you?
More music, self-love, and meditation.
Where can we find more of your music?
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