Spotlight: Off the Stage with Brendan Philip

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Brendan Philip is an artist from Toronto I recently became aware of. In this interview we talk about his latest release Culture Power Vol. 0, his progression as an artist, and his most memorable experience thus far. I recommend Culture Power Vol. 0 for days you want to relax and just vibe out.

1. As a music artist, describe your progression from when you first began making music to now. 

I used to spend most of my time with my brother, Keita Juma and we would just make beats and rap as much as humanly possible! Eventually I moved to playing guitar and doing some kind of rustic singer/songwriter thing. I saw Bob Marley doing it and then Lauryn did her MTV Unplugged and I was hanging with some folks who helped me learn to play. I liked that it was a foreign thing to me so there was a challenge that made me always want to play and write. Eventually though I moved more into the electronic world. Spending years listening to a Buffalo radio station, WBLK, my next move was to reference all the 90’s Hip-Hop and R&B and make some version of it. Ultimately now, I am still just finding ways to place all the things I love into a cohesive piece.

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2. What’s the meaning behind your recent EP’s title “Culture Power Vol. 0”

I think I have been working to curate an answer to this for some time. But I still don’t have an answer that wouldn’t involve rambling. I think it started out as a mission statement of sorts. I am pursuing art to contribute to it. It’s an offering. I might be doing something fairly original, or it works like putting out a call to gather up all the people who also occupy this kind of wave.

3. Which song means the most to you on this EP and why?

I really can’t say that one means more to me than another. I have listened to them so much and I do become quite obsessive in the creative process. I will say that I really love the project as a whole though. As a statement and an accomplishment. 

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4. While creating  Culture Power Vol. 0,  what kind of vibe did you hope people would get from it while listening? 

While I was creating this I just wanted people to want to skip work and drive around or hang out somewhere and listen to it. I really wanted it to be a drive slow type of affair. 

5.What has been your most memorable experience as a musician thus far? 

The most memorable experience as a musician was working on the music that would become the first EP. It was a few homies and I building this really left of centre machine. We really encouraged each other out of our comfort zones and we made something that was exciting us all. 

6. Based on your journey, what do you believe is the key to becoming a successful music artist? 

Well I am certain at this point it’s not technical talent. But it is for sure timing. It is dashed with who you know. DEFINITELY collaboration. Another thing that goes unmentioned is context; you just have to be clear with what you’re making because there are probably so many people out there making music that is not supposed to be on the charts or in Rolling Stone. I am sure there’s more I have learned but thats what  I can think of now.

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