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It's August and we have something special in store for you, but first, when you find the chance, please rate and reviews on Apple podcasts or whichever app you use to listen to the show, it really helps people discover made in India. So earlier this year, I was able to get an interview with hip hop artist and rapper from Toronto, Sean Vincent de Paul. He was touring in India and he came in for a chat along with Johnson, who accompanies him on Rhythm of shots, talks about his family's immigrant story from Jaffna to Sri Lanka to Brampton, Ontario, the biases in the music industry being a thumbhole in Canada, the Brown Artists Renaissance, and we discover that Sri Lanka is the lowest gravitational point on earth.
Also, Sean and Johnson performed those Mbenga raps, too. You want to know what I'm talking about? Take a listen. What up, everybody up, Sean, Vincent de Paul and we're on Made in India with me, Yayo. Gobble, gobble, gobble, jump up off the top rope to drop a bomb on my helicopter, back over a couple of them, come back up, pick up those houses on the hill. For my mom, I'm a different type of breed, a beast of good.
Jesus, Allah, Mohammed Ali, allow me to introduce my alter ego. Flip that back up to get you your flip the bird. Take a picture of this perfect blow off the rig to get your twisted up off the mic mixed up just to make the mix of the doctor make his own reward for the horsemen that kicked the doors in. How is that me? That was awesome. I didn't know it was the end or not, I was like, is there more and more whatever the indicator of the end?
But we're done now. Yeah, we can move on. Yeah.
So welcome. I'm so excited about this. We've got Sean, Vincent de Paul all the way from Toronto.
And we've also got Johnson.
Roj Mohun. Yes. Is that your whole name. But is this Johnson. Bernau Johnson. Like Madonna. Exactly.
You know, with my show I sort of go through the origin story of the people who come on the show. And I'm really excited about this because I do way too much. I've got an entire thesis, a five page thesis here right now. Wow.
So, Sean, I know you were born in Jaffna. That's right. Right. In Sri Lanka, which, by the way, literally the most dangerous place in Sri Lanka. Well, I mean, the civil war was raging there, and that's why your family left.
June Truthy 13th, 1986. Is that right?
Well, you know, I call my mom and check, but that sounds right. That's, um.
But you you left and you get your parents and your family, your four brothers, four older brothers.
That's right. And you're the youngest of the youngest. Yeah. That's a hell of a lot of bullying.
That's right. You see, you know, that's a lot I've got to ask.
That's only because I'm an older sibling. I did the exact. Exactly. I get I get the trauma that may have been inflicted upon you. And then your whole family were kind of uprooted and moved to Canada. That's right.
Your parents with us a my stories about like the underground networks. Absolutely. What was that like? Were you six or something when I was six.
Yeah. They just tell us all these crazy stories. Like, I remember there was a guy in India that was initially supposed to, like, help us out with her, get her passports or something and be handed over like their life savings to this guy. And he fucked us over. So, like, that was the starting point. I'm like, OK, you don't trust anyone in this journey, but.
Oh, yeah, but eventually we got, like, I guess, fake passports. Oh, no. They might have been real passports.
But when we went on the plane, my mom tells the story how she flushed the passports down the toilet on the plane. So when you land, you can claim refugee status because if you have your passport, then you they'll send you back. But if you don't have any passports or papers in Canada has to claim you as a refugee.
So she knew all this knowledge. I think it was common knowledge. Like to know all this. Yeah, exactly.
And then my my brother, who's one year older than me, like he thinks he like something happened to him where he just passed out on the plane and. Yeah. Almost died or something, so, yeah, it was pretty it was a pretty traumatizing journey, she tells us all these and she was alone because my dad joined us later. Yeah, but, yeah, it was crazy.
Her dad was like, you go ahead. I'm pretty much pretty much I'm going dig all the kids. So if you have clearly you will be able to get five boys crazy. He was crazy.
Your mom is a rock star. She is.
She's a I have seen there's a really sweet family picture you put on Instagram, which I think every likes. Outstanding photo that's really like her, like you see. All right.
And we look in that photo. Yeah. I think that we probably took that before we left, though.
Your dad is a killer moustache. Yeah, right. That that stuff is just like, you know, you go to the gym. What that was like. That's right. Winning.
I do know when your parents actually when they moved to Canada, obviously it's a real struggle. You're trying to like take any job that comes your way. And I heard that they're working in like restaurants and factories. And at one point, your whole family were delivered newspapers.
That's right. Yeah. Yeah. Is it true? That is it was the Toronto Star. You had to wake up at like 4:00 in the morning. Why?
Yeah, because you deliver the paper early. Yeah. Yeah.
But as most of my brothers did, like the hard lifting, I would do like Saturday, Sunday. But but still it was. It was. Yeah the whole family did. Yeah. Deliver the Toronto Star. Oh my God.
And then so each of you would take turns to do it. Yeah.
We had a day and then um did your parents then start a furniture store.
That's right, yes. Sunflowers furniture. And they still own it. They still run it. Yeah. It's a family business. That's our family business. That's right.
You know, when the reason why, like, you know, our grandparents had so many children is because they had like farms like that's common thing.
Why many, many people have children.
But then now our generation, like, I have one child and I'm good. Yeah. But like one more we can do one. Yeah.
But like my parents, I think they instead of a farm, they just started a business and we were like the co-op did.
Yeah exactly. So like we don't need to hired employee. Exactly. We have. Yeah. Five strapping young men. That's right. Yeah. Yeah. So you are like doing literally all the heavy lifting.
All the heavy lifting. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. I love this.
So one of the things that you did talk about was that your family being like first generation immigrant that like art music wasn't a really big part of your growing up.
No, no hip hop sort of come in.
Um, I think it was just like exposure to just various. I think I remember seeing like this Keris one Shabba Ranks. You guys unmatchable ranks. No no's like a rebel ranks. Yeah, human.
The one had this song and me and my brothers were just I think it was just we were fascinated because one you just wouldn't see. Yeah. Brown people. And then we were like black people were the closest thing to brown people, like, OK, this works like this. And it was just so different and unique and we just got obsessed and we just keep playing the same video over and over. And then my brother, he would bring tapes that he borrowed from his friend in elementary school.
And then I think it was like naughty by nature. And I was like, there's also this I had this fascination because had so much swearing in it it was banned. Like my older is like, you can't listen to this and then you would hide in his room. And obviously, if you tell someone that they can't listen to something like I have to listen to this now. Yeah, exactly. Yeah.
So it's like hip hop had that element that. OK, yeah.
I hear you not doing something like well you know, I think I might exact forbidden fruit. Yeah. The first time I started taking rap seriously and writing my own raps was after hearing Outkast. It was the criminal album.
Oh yeah. So Outkast was like huge for me and. Yeah.
And also another one was am I am I am. I was more so just like a normal girl. Yeah. Just like this can't be. This is like I was blown away. It was the sun showers video. Yeah. Yeah. And I was like what.
Like I was dressed like really playing. Yeah.
It was like a hair's way, the whole video like elephants and she was rapping in the jungle like South Indian. Yes. Girls at least. Right.
I never seen that. I'm like, wow.
And it's not even like they're wearing like bikinis and they're along the waterfall and stuff. I was just literally supernormal, normal, just like look like schoolgirls of pigtails.
Yes, pretty much. Yeah. Oh my God. I remember that. Yeah. Oh yeah. And then she says that I salt and pepper my. That's right. Yeah, yeah. I'm like oh yeah yeah yeah. Of course my mom puts all the pepper on like apples.
It's delicious. So what was the the first rap you ever wrote. Was it like a real. I know there's a really bad impression of Nas. Is it true. Oh hey you.
Really went in, you know, let me try to like like like not impersonating them, but like trying to steal his style essentially. And I'm like, wow, I suck. Like, you know, when you're trying to do something like how how are they so good? And I sound like shit.
I have to like, do do do you remember any of the vasi road?
Well, I think I started like call me Mr. Hurrican Boy Blizzard, the MC wizard. I was like, yeah, it was terrible.
But that was terrible. But it's also funny because Nas put out Illmatic, which is considered one of the greatest rap albums of all time.
Yeah, he was 16 when he wrote that. That just didn't think about that. Like how you could be a virtuoso. That young also intimidated me when I was getting into like music and art, because you see all these people that I'm like, how were you that good, that young?
Because you were like, I'm still Blizzard wasn't.
That's it. Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's right. You were talking about like jail experiences and like real life. And I'm like I'm down about it's just a big gold here. That's right. Yeah.
That's pretty much I want to actually like sort of like fast forward a little bit to your debut album.
Savir is I really and I'm not even kidding. I think this may be my favorite album of yours. Oh wow. And I've listened to everything. Yeah. It starts off so good because thank God. Yeah. Is now one of my favorite songs because it's mine too.
I mean I don't know what it is. I think he just like hits you with such power just like. Yeah, yeah. And I heard this Sabre's was about your conversations with God is that. Yeah.
Yeah. I think the whole album was like a savior was just when I made it there were like. Four, five people in my life that didn't give up on me because that before that, up until that point I was in groups, I was in like a larger group and then a small like three man group. And then finally, like a duo, we put out like two and a half albums.
Yeah. And then, um, and I dedicated all my life and money and time. And then that didn't work out.
And for the first time in my life I was solo and then I found like I some of the I haven't run them down, but there was some of the groups that you were in was, you know, did you go did you go into, like, civilized society?
Oh, my God. There's something with Spirit. Yeah. Yeah, that's right.
So I decided I was a first like, yeah, we put an EP and then the dude I was in was Magnolia's with my best friend. Yeah. And then when I went solo, I like it was I've never written a solo song like you were starting like I was what I was probably like 27 then.
I was like such a late time to start fresh clean slate. I do like, you know, like put out Sean Vincent de Paul solo stuff for the first time. But yeah, I had yeah. Just like a great circle of people that believe the mean album was like a dedication to them. But yes, essentially just a conversation with God and just, you know, following my purpose. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Can I say the ones I really was.
Please do. I loved church so thank God in church. Yeah. Um Pandora. Yeah.
It's dark and or dark but it is like I think one of my lines is my favorite.
Like this is the reason we came for the position of power and I like the line right now and also the video for a bug in.
Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. Oh my God. If you guys haven't seen please look up Sean Vincent de Paul Bugan right now. Go to Google.
Don't watch the video with other people or. Yeah. Not safe for work. Yes or not. Not not safe work video. Yeah. So you had like bug in. Yeah. And then you had lights. Yeah. That's on the same album. Oh right. Yeah. Yeah.
We like sexy time. And what happens.
I think this is. Yeah that's that's right. Pregnancy test.
Oh yeah. I know the video for Light is adorable. You and your daughter Mimi. Yeah. Me or what.
Raamdeo X Remedios is her full name with Mimi for sure, but her ex is her middle name so we just call her.
Mimics where we. Yeah but yeah. She's so cute. She's four years old for you. Yeah. Oh my God.
I thought she was super adorable. There's a lot of bribing in that video because the beginning was like her just popping out of shit like. Yeah. And then she got tired of it. I'm like, come on, I'll give you one more cookie. Just pop out of this box. She's like, fine.
Really. Yeah. It's got a lot of bright.
I still do. Like when I do photo shoots I'm like, oh, I'll buy you toy. I've no shame in bribing my child. And you know what she she's negotiates. She's like, no, too.
Well this is the real world. You gotta work for it. Yeah, definitely.
So what's the second song you guys are going to get it for free today.
Oh what should we do. We just do episode two. We are just gonna order I mean at this point in my life I just go in order.
All right. It's true. Don't worry, Johnson. I've got questions for you to expose his demons to.
Not that's not good. I'm I'm a good kid. And we know Kleiman's. I'm an angel. You know why I sound so seductive right now, but I'm a good kid.
Yeah. Got a heart full of hope and a mouthful of gold and a plot to hold the whole globe and apply, what, 40 acres in a walled off from the pain that I turned into quotes never really had any doubts that we take to the very edge of the cliff that we we've given up ahead of the heart and we go off to whatever city is up next. The danger is going to meet those trying to break the bread before they leave the east, give up on a man with the handful of dough.
This here is patty cake for me. I think I get it first. But first of all, because those perks that like this tipsy I mean, it's a win in enteritis history. Should I mean it to. It's every bit of like in me. And I was going to be like an a no, not just for the first song, the second song is like when he's done the Murdo ends. Yes. OK, so this is really interesting because I think I you know, coming from India, I understand the independent music scene here.
I guess I don't know much about the Canadian industry as such.
And I feel like you have some level of sort of animosity towards the Canadian industry.
How many interviews have you read me? And I can tell you, you know what? It's I can read 99 percent of the country, which is fact's.
The facts, you know what it is, I I hate being humble with my art, especially as a Tamil artist. I feel like we have gone through so much. And I feel like any time I see Tamil artists being humble, it irritates me. Like you could be humble as a person. You can carry yourself with humility and compassion and empathy as a person, which I hope I do, but as an artist.
I hate being humble because we need our community to be the best at whatever we're doing, we need to be competing with the world.
So I think the reason why connect with Johnson so much. You have similar ambitions of its not just being the best in our community. It's we want to be the best in the world, you know.
And um yeah I feel like with, with that I mean it's, it's, it's not really animosity as much as me just talking. I'm just like, I'm just like I, I know how good my art is but there's so much like politics you have to navigate within the Canadian scene, you know, and it's and it's still a white country.
Do you feel like they don't really support brown art? No, not at all.
I feel like that support is also like just them not knowing there's a there's a disconnect, like how could they possibly support something they don't they're not really that connected to it. Whereas if we had people in the industry, there'd be a different thing.
But we don't it's all still like somehow like representing you, like the producers exact label owners or.
Yeah, well, I have to say, there's some interesting things. We were talking about your first album, right? We're talking about Savior and Light and you and your daughter. Did you go and visit Joff now with your daughter.
Yeah. Twenty eighteen. That's right. Yeah. That was, that was a surreal experience. Yeah.
Because, because my aunt's house is still there, the exact same house that I grew up in. Yeah. I'm sorta like be in the same driveway with my daughter like thinking like well I used to be your age playing, you know what I mean. Yeah. And it's and it's crazy because I tell the stories about how during the war they had to like, pack up everything, leave that house, the whole community had to evacuate and then they came back.
So there was a history like by the time I left, there was just like history of violence there. And then me to be back there with my daughter. I'm like, wow, this is just crazy.
Can you imagine, like, if you I mean, not that I hope this never happens to anyone and it's currently happening on such a huge scale.
But like imagine like exactly where you're saying you were playing. Imagine you having to do that for your daughter.
Imagine having to pick up and leave that house and leave everything and take her with you. Yeah. And then your mom who had five.
Yeah, exactly. You're like, I'm struggling with one one. I don't have enough cookie. That's right. And this is like I'm just trying to shoot a music video. That's my struggle is like you popped out the box too early, like I told you to wait until the downbeat.
But that's my struggle. Like, yeah, you 100 percent. I think that's what that's part of it. It was me thinking about that.
There's one thing that I think is super beautiful about you and your daughter. Did you create like an email account for her, the email? That's right. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. So you send her emails and she can barely read. That's right.
You know, it's actually for later. I don't know when she'll read them but or when I'll give her the email. But yeah. Just because you know, like there's so many things you forget when you're like I just want to like day to day experiences and let her know what she was like as a child, because even I might forget when she's older, you know, so it's just like let her know funny shit that she like you really.
Do you email her account. Oh, man. Maybe twice a month. That's all bad.
Yeah, there was that.
So when she gets that email account, it's going to be like a thousand emails from you and me all that's pretty much pretty much.
But it's like there was also this question of like how much how real do I get with her because I don't know when she'll open it. So like I did question, like my just keeping all the sweet or am I going to talk about some real shit and when do I start talking about some real shit like you do know me. So I just kind of it is true.
You never know when she's going to she's going to be searching for that email address and she's like, oh, this email address is taken.
I wonder why. Yeah, that's right, Bill. I will probably get this. I'll give it to you when you're eighteen. Pretty much. Yeah.
So you're you put out an EP in 2017, right. SCDP one. Yeah. The Secret is my favorite song. Oh yeah. But there's also a song that you've done your collaboration with Johnson. Oh that's right. Slow Love. Our first collab.
Oh my God.
But how did you guys actually meet. I don't even know that story. Tell me the love story.
I don't know because then I'm going to ride my it will go on. You can tell the story of slow love again.
Know pretty much so I went to school for audio engineering and when I graduated and my first goal was I want to find a Thommo artist. Oh, that could show me the ropes or someone I can mentor me or just the demo artist. I was doing music full time, for that matter. Yeah, because there wasn't a lot of us, of course, during that. Even now, you know, it's it's obviously really hard to be a full time musician, especially in Canada, but then I remember my sister, my sister always keeps me up to date on new music or like she's always on the lookout for artists.
Yeah, for me, too. And for herself, we're a big music fans. So then she put me on Sean Nepal's article. He had an article, a feature on global culture like who the fuck is this guy I've never heard of?
Because his what was the music video on the article again? Diachronic Diaconu diag. Oh, that's no. You had the one with the red.
Oh, is water water money. Power. Yeah.
And I'm like this video like the whole architecture of the video which is so surreal. Yeah. Like you could tell he has, he has a good eye for detail. I could tell. Right then I found he directed his videos and I felt like Melco disguises all around creative. I interview this guy. I got to find a way to kind of I don't care what the fuck either do I'm going to find a way is what I kept telling myself.
Yeah, I told my sister. Right, that's funny. I talked about this the other day and said, Can you believe you're on tour?
Which I used to tell me about the stuff that you want to meet this guy. And I'm like, now it's crazy.
So fast forward. Yeah.
And then a year after that, ended up being in his mom's furniture store buying furniture from his mom, I don't know as far as I'm sorry.
So I got some flat furniture was like the staple furniture store for all Srilanka thumos because it was right beside this pretty famous temple called Vorticity Temple.
And I used to play at the temple all the time as a kid being a bit of a player. So I would always go passive. I would never I never felt the need to go inside. But then finally my family, we moved a lot and then my parents were looking for a mattress. They looked to sleep on. So we went matter shopping. And then we end up in some flat furniture.
And then I meet his mom. Wow. And like, yeah, his mom was a boss as lady. I'm like, man, this lady is so cool. And then we she gave boys, man.
I got to be able to hear his mom and my mom connected to my mom talk about how because I was with them, how my son does music. And she's like, no way. I have a son who also does music. And then I'm like, what's the name is like the name Shamans in Nepal. And that first name, that ring is like, no, no, such a Google like you may have heard of him and they search him up and then one, three, two done Dumble culture article that I read a year before that moment.
This was meant to be male. Yeah. No. And then in that moment I'm like this is meant to be, I really looked up, I'm like thank you. Like this, I'm not taking this opportunity lightly. So at that point I made a decision. I'm like, I don't care what I have to do. I'm going to be his mom until she gets me out to Tucson because I have a direct connection. Is his mom.
I will buy your magazine and I will go because he swerved in at first, right?
So I try to asking for his number and and I remember this, I remember her telling me what he should look where she's like, she's like there's some kid that came to the store and he wants your number and I didn't give it to him. I like that. You don't give random people my number, please. She's like, are you sure? Like that point?
I was just really excited, right? I'm like, I'm going to be Chong. I'm going to be tonight. That's all I'm thinking. I'm like, all this time I said goodbye last time I was manifesting it's coming to reality now, right? So in my head, I'm like Bob Brown's and he's such a good player.
I didn't nobody knew that the whole world knew that except for you. Hello. The temple was right next door to God part and that part.
I didn't know of the story that you used to play in the temple across the furniture store. No, no. OK, that's also really dope crazy thing. How the energy already existed. I was probably like assembling furniture.
Yes, actually, I may have I may have even passed by him like your son. I played there since I was like six years old.
Wow. That temple that I hear is like the staple here for, like, my family and stuff. He's the idea who did it from. I didn't get to.
Yes. Crazy. This is I'm also learning this history now.
OK, so yeah, this is obviously finer details. I didn't tell them because it's not that close yet, but. Yeah. Jesus. Yeah.
I pretty much went back to his mom's store for the next two weeks. I bought like about eight mattresses. I mean, I didn't have the money to buy, but I made it seem like I did know. I just wanted to I wanted to find a way to connect with them.
Like on a personal note, I'm coming to the store any time.
But then finally she gave me his email. And then right after that, about a week later, I released my first song as a solo artist.
Oh, New Me. Oh yeah. So on the covers like my. Yeah, I didn't get your cover to cover. Right. And then yeah. I sent it to him because when I met his mom in that moment I found him on Instagram, I found my Facebook, I dumped him hoping that he would see the message right or something like that. And then a month later I sent in the song and then he finally responded back on Facebook.
And he's like, Sorry man, I don't really use Facebook. Talked about Iggy. So that's a good song again on Iggy. And then I guess he took the time to actually listen to it.
And I figured, like, there's probably a lot of Dumbledore sending music to Sean. Oh, yeah. Kushan is the guy that everyone looks up.
He's the guy that fucking does music full time, is very talented in his craft.
You could tell he puts a lot of work this crowd.
And it shows when he sent me the song, I was like, oh, wow, OK, like, because I he's right. They do get it, like a lot of people are sending me stuff. And then he was there was the first time I've heard, like, the fusion of, like, modern hip hop RB with, like, traditional South Asian. I'm like, whoa, like I've never heard people, like, try it before.
Like, but it was it was it was poorly done. This is the first time I heard I'm like, whoa, this is like nobody's doing it like this. Yeah. Yeah. So and then I invited them to the to my studio and. Yeah. And then the rest was history.
Pretty much. Yeah. Which is connected. It was great. It's amazing. So third song.
Yeah. You get a twenty one gunshot to look to you for keeping your cool amongst the hard truth. If anyone ask about my whereabouts or whereabouts we're going you can play stupid.
Oh yeah. Yeah they are. Huh. Uh huh. Yeah. Yeah they are. Huh. Last time we said the last time we make another can't find my way with Judi's landlords keep breaking not make or break a one ninety nine nine and tell the operator I'll be fine. And I've been, I've been on I can hide and riding out the storm hit the forkful before we hit the road sixty six blocks before King. But when it fit the profile chip off of my shoulder Setsuo my hopes to hold to my dream is loaded.
My clips are clips of muscle hold to my colleagues close to my post wake up call to let the mortality rate for my sense of humor don't hold my daughter's life when I'm walking. Let them take on a name. Remember my face to face when I'm gone. Gone, gone. Boom. That's so good, the two of you are like a great combo. Yeah, we're pretty good combo.
So you actually I think that the two of you this is not your you're currently here because you're touring in India and this is not actually your first time in India, right?
Oh, this is my second, but not the first time I came was just a family in India.
And Johnson, you got some stories. I know that you were here in 2009, but you just told us a little OFF-MIKE that you were here before that.
Yeah, actually came down when I was about I think. Yeah, about six or seven years old. And I because I was a part of this group and we did a dance in front of cyberbully and put the party.
That's crazy. Yes, I did like a whole drama, it was like a whole like one hour show in front of about himself and I was a part of this dance and that.
So you dance. So you were playing more than I danced. That's kind of awesome. Yeah, I'm because I used to go to a high level class.
We had sort of upper class and Budgens.
Yeah, yeah. Back in Toronto and my parents were big sidewards. Yeah. And then yeah I had that opportunity.
I'm like, hey, let's go to India. Yeah. So yeah.
Yeah. So this is like your third time then. This is my third time and then I came back. Yeah. Again at that time it was just to study Burlingham under Naimoli Vanquisher.
So I lived in this house and I love it them and pretty much that camp style training.
Well so how long were you there for then learning. I was there for about three months. O- on my own. Yeah. I would have been basically like yeah. Yeah. Because like I guess for me I always had that passion. Yeah. From when I first saw someone I was like love at first sight. So then when I started learning more than just Passionist grew into an obsession and obsession led me to force my parents.
I'm like, yo, I know where I need to be if I really want to get to the next level.
And that's India. That's incredible. So then when my guru at the time, I'm sure he would come to Toronto. Yeah. And teach and then my parents. Awesome. Is it OK if he can come down and he's kindly said, yeah, come on, because he always has people coming all over the world.
Yeah, yeah of course. And obviously I was still young so my parents were worried. Let me go by myself. Yeah. But I kind of convinced them and then my nose messed up my life. Yeah.
Yeah. Like I wouldn't be playing the way that I am now if I didn't have to go through that phase.
And then you're doing what you're doing because you love it. Right. I mean, that's I mean, everything that you're doing is for the passion that you have for the instrument. Exactly. And so it's always going to be fun.
See that we're back in India with you playing.
I don't like it because I told myself last time, a decade ago when I left India, I want to come back, I'm going to conquer the kind of industry that was the goal like I was. I want to be the best political player. I'm telling you, man, you go back to China, I told you, call it Monday, give me a call. Tell him I said hi, Mrs. OEM's.
Oh, I have heard. So last year, you Yon's and you put out an album, Sentimental Kids. Yes, that's right. Yes.
I really like that album. Thank you. It's so good.
I wanted to understand the inception of gum raps because your all your performances are basically those like the two of you collaborating. So how did that come about? How do you go?
Let's make these videos to Johnson. Um, put out a song called Know Part of Sentimental Kids, and I was featured on it. And then when we put out the song, we thought to promote it, just it was just for like an IG promoting. We're like, let's just do like a stripped down version of of my verse. And you play I rap no beat nothing in that was just in my studio floor and then ah boy Naruse was there with an iPhone were like, let's just try it out.
Yeah. And then um yeah it was just like knocked it out, uploaded it and then it kind of just went viral immediately.
It's like yeah I think a part of us also new. I'm like this is. Hasn't been done before. Yes. We're like in this form anyway, and I don't think there's ever been an English rapper. No one's seen this before. Yeah, exactly.
So I was just like these guys on my show, like we definitely talked about it before. And, you know, even when I first met John, I told it is important that I bring my culture into music and especially the rhythm.
I'm like, would be so cool to do some stuff like this. Right. But then when I was in the studio, like, yo, let's try this out. Yeah. Like raw, uncut. You play them to them. I do my ears. We're just like what you have to lose. Right.
And we both knew, like man with the level of the level of play I could do, my love of thing has raps like we knew together we could do something that was like, you know, revolutionary or this, that and the way that we look. And I was like, OK, this is something the statically everything was there. It's a no brainer. It's, oh, my God.
And we didn't play our instruments to seem to like I have a very staccato style of like. Yeah.
And so like it just it was like I've I've always wanted to play with a rapper who can rap fast and like match me with the type of patterns I do. And he was like the first I'm like that, we just did it and like we did that first within like five minutes. It was really just improv. Like we were jamming and then the just took that video. Yeah. They put it up and we just both are inside. You start blowing up and I've never had a reach like that this quickly.
Yes. And he's like, bro, look at this shit as good looking. I'm like, oh my gosh, yeah. You look you know all you have to do, right?
We got to keep have to turn this into a series. I'm like, are you sure you. You're right. Oh yeah.
So then the goal was each and every video was like, we need to elevate the production, the video quality, and did it in a cherry.
Yo, we risk our lives this year. I almost died. Oh, what is with that.
I sold the tree and I was like, that's crazy. Yeah. Yeah. That was actually the one in the tree. Had one of my favorite lyrics in a in a way I a great great great.
Yeah. That's like one of my favorite lyrics also.
It's nice because you it's like a jungle Bunday between the two of you. Right. Like it's just like you kind of bounce off each other.
It's like you're half competing but have you company. It's kind of cool. I like the friendly competition. Yeah.
It's amazing. And then I'm amazed by the way that you put out another release in twenty seventeen like in August and in December you put out like trigger happy heartbreak.
Yeah. Which also I really love though I think walk on water.
What's the, what's the song about your.
They to your your parents joining your family's journey and stuff like that, and then you have the adorable family photo that was amazing. I did really like this.
I think Hartig Highway was. Yeah. My favorite on the long game. Yes, they're really good.
But this was interesting because this you said that was a conversation with your lover this month.
Yeah, I was going through it with my relationship then. Like a struggle.
Oh, yeah. I would say I would definitely say yeah. So the whole album was just based on my relationship at the time now, which unfortunately didn't make it, but.
Oh I'm sorry. Yeah. But um. Yeah, no album was about that.
Talking about your parents and that. What's that song. Walk Walk on Water. Yeah.
There is actually a really amazing story that you mentioned on that post about um my brother when my brother went to Harvard.
Yeah. Yeah. Tell us that story is kind of incredible. Yeah.
So, um, I made the post because I wanted people to share just like how the Tamil community can come together and support each other. Yeah. Yeah. Um, and I always love the story because so my brother got into Harvard for his undergrad and, um, we weren't a wealthy family by any means. We're like middle class suburban. But so all of my parents did, like, pull all the resources, all their money to make sure that he can go.
So they drove, but they secured everything. He was good to go, got in his books or whatever, but they didn't have housing for him, so they drove to Boston. Was Harvard again. Cambridge. Cambridge, yeah. Yeah, they drove to Cambridge and they're like, we'll just figure out housing there. When they went there, I think they were there for like two days. They couldn't find anything, obviously. Like, you know, you can't just go to pull up in a university, expect to find housing, but it was just like important for them.
And then, yeah, like I think my mom just felt insanely hopeless. They couldn't find anywhere that was affordable or available. So she went to the phone book. She remember those phone calls? Yeah. And then she opened the phone book. She found the first Tamil name that she stumbled upon called, called it, and happened to be a man that was living near the university. And she told him the story. And he's like, you can you can crash out in my spare room until you you can find a place, the first Tamil name.
Could you imagine if you just called up a Smith?
If you're a white guy like that can never work.
I got a call up of Somalia doing this. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. It was just like that. That sense of community is is incredible.
And I mean, clearly, you're not the same as when your mom did not give you and you're.
No. No, what I like how you tie that in the most brutal horror movies is like, will you please give my son some clues? Did you want Chun's? Not no, not happening. But you can have an email address one month later.
I also like how you've given her parents all these indications after she doesn't speak like this in my head.
Your mom doesn't like, um, so I actually work to understand, like, just obviously I didn't know this because this is so much through my research.
I didn't realize it was actually a really big and as you guys are talking about, a really big normal population in in Canada, in Toronto has the highest Tamil population outside of Asia.
I didn't know she had that right. Yeah, I know.
I had no idea. And I'm sure this must have been really, really difficult at the time, especially when during the time of the civil war was raging. And I think it ended in like 2009. Right.
And there were I know that there was a there's a story about a protest.
Yeah. In Queen's Park. Queen's Park. But there was there's a major highway, the Gardner Express, yet all the Tamils gathered and they just blocked the highway that that kind of level of protest had never been seen. And I was there.
I was there when that happened. Yeah, you were there, too.
I mean, I was obviously a lot younger. But, you know, we all want to be a part of the movement in a sense, like, you know, and support like your brothers and sisters in another country.
Yeah. Everyone's going through a really terrible time. But I heard, though, there was a like a low flying plane.
Wow. How did you what where did you go?
Who are you? I was there too. Yeah. Oh, my God. Yeah. In Queens Park, there's a low flying plane while we were protesting for genocide. Essentially, you are people are getting wiped out and we're all gathered in Queen's Park and there's a low flying plane that had one of those banners, you know, you can rent or whatever. And I said what he said.
He said, go back home. And like someone took the time to pay for that, for that he to tell us to go back home while we're in the most desperate time. And it was just like a like I don't want to say it, but it was like maybe it was just a real reflection of what the average Canadian thinks about us.
But that's awful, because if you think about it, I mean, you never feel like that place was your home, except most people there.
The younger people were born there. Yeah, the answer.
Yeah, I, I was born and raised, you know, I still haven't been back. I was like, OK, so that's not his home and Sri Lanka is not his home.
So what is his home then.
You know, you even when you went back to Sri Lanka, did you feel like less of an outsider there?
And yeah, that was the first time in my life that I've not been the outsider in my whole life. I've never I've traveled everywhere, like all around the world. But I'm like when I went to Jaffna, I'm like, whoa, everyone here just looks like me.
This is like what I was going to do. It was awesome. Now I have like some really random stories that I found out about.
Oh, you. Which was that did you have like a slightly racist teacher? Oh, my cursive writing you you posted on my Twitter.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. OK, I don't know. Yeah, yeah. I remember my my grade three teacher, Miss Broder's, which can take her out right now. There's like cursive writing exercise where like to practice our cursive writing, you'd bring up your notebook to her desk and then she would write a sentence and then all the other kids like got like I love math and then you go take the kid, kick the notebook and then write, I love math.
And then, you know, someone to goes like, my name is Lisa. And then she'd go back and practice. I went up and she wrote, I love Curry.
Oh, my dog. Are you serious? Yeah, I'm just like and the way I've never heard of white people see Cory before because he's a cutie and I'm like, I was so baffled of occurring. What are you talking about? I'm like, I don't know what, what, what. And I was just like, when? And then when I sat down, I'm like, oh, this bitch did me wrong. I just like crazy.
Yeah, but can I ask I'm assuming my brother's was white, of course, because if she was brown the I like her.
Yeah. If she was brown is raising hell with it. Just like know it was the fact that she imposed my this love for curry that I had.
But you might not. You might like pizza.
That's not. No I love curry but I didn't need to hear from her. Also did you get into a lot of fights. Yeah.
Elementary school going to every single one was because the word Packy. Yeah, every single one.
And then in grade six, someone called you Srilanka Bread. Srilanka bread. But I sure like you bread.
I'm like, what? I'm so confused. I'm like, I don't know. I got to swing.
I'm just like, you're going to get hit because I'm just like, I don't know if I should punch him or is like, that's weird. I'm like, do you mean rotty?
Just like I did write like Brenham. Like, yeah, I got suspended for fighting so many times, but I actually never got suspended. Like actually it never followed through because my mom being the boss us she was, she would always threatened to sue the school. She's like, OK, you have to suspend him. Lawyers will be here tomorrow and no elementary school in Brampton that can't even afford textbooks want to deal with lawyers. So, like, we'll work this out.
And I never got suspended. Wow. Your mom is she's made.
She is a kindergarten. Yeah. I cannot wait to meet her. Yeah, it's going to be amazing.
I also know the story about your daughter, and she would call herself a princess. And you call your gardener.
Oh yeah. That was cute. Yeah. We keep playing this at this time for like a whole year. She's like, okay, yeah, I'm the princess and you're the gardener. And she'd always make me the gardener. And then, like, I just one day I'm just like, hey, I'm going to be someone else. I don't know, I don't want to be the gardener anymore. And then I'm like, she. And then I asked him, like, do you even know what a gardener is?
She's like, Yeah, the king. And I was like, a single teardrop.
Just like, all of that is amazing.
It's like, how did the gardener in the kitchen, I think I mean, one of these stories the gardener turns into the king might be one of these Disney movie Frog Princess is something like that. I don't know. Wow. Yeah.
I don't want to be the gardener anymore. I'm the king. Okay, because. But also your daughter. Right. But I saw you beatboxing.
So all the times you did that, like, literally the only time in her life that she did, she just rapped give us those bars and I'm like rap one more time is like, no, that was it.
And she killed it. She killed it.
Then it's just like one email that that's the one time you dropped and you did. I'm so unhappy I was going to put you on my next album.
I'm trying. Not anymore.
You know, I do have something so weird coincidence. But in December, I ended up interviewing this incredible band from Sri Lanka. If you guys ever go there, I will introduce you to them. They're so awesome. They're called the soul and they're this reggae dub, blues rock. They, like, play so much stuff. And I'm going to I'm going to be releasing their album because they're I'm in love with them. I think they're an incredible band.
And in their in their Facebook bio or something, they said something that I did not know. Did you know? And this is I got like I felt like I was going back to school.
Did you know that Sri Lanka there is there's a spot like in the in the Indian Ocean where Sri Lanka is, that it has the lowest gravity on earth. Yeah, it's cold. So it there's a spot there that is the lowest gravitational point on earth and it's called like the Indian Ocean GEOINT low and it's it's right there. And I didn't know that.
And they just mentioned that. And then I was like, what? That's the lowest gravitational point, which means that what you guys like little about, what does that even mean?
There's like a little less gravity there.
I don't know. It's crazy, but like, it's it's actually a we're walking on water. Yeah.
You had the lowest gravitational point is like in an area right near the school, the more you know.
Yeah, I did not know that it was super interesting. One more song.
What do you want to hit them with that fire? Call it what you want it. This is double elegance with that dirty elephant sideways and you mentioned mention my name only with great if you got to otherwise keep my fucking name out. Chatterbox, the top notch marksman hit the target with the blindfold, turned around to poke a third eye out sucker. I got my eye on the prize. Got a pilot's license to be his fly fly by rap guys get lapped on a daily lot of gold bars that I kept on safety, kept on going, got slapped, going crazy.
Fuck. And I can do it in my sleep on the regular order name. So religious. The bar still secular. No church in the wild wild west. No Testament's just the damned and nefarious. Everybody's asking for the best brown rap is. Like dog, is you serious, been that dude since my debut dropped my own shit to come, my own clock wrote my own script and did my own stunts that are iconic and I ain't blinkx want to be done, be sold to sold and the marryat on the planet that keep 16 at the hip show down under pressure and nobody out in the city with these fellows asking for the smoke skirt off in a Tesla.
I made it out alive and anticipated that I would lead a legion of geniuses to the pilgrimage. I had an out of body experience. By the time I got my body home, somebody was filming it. I wrote a bit of Trojan inside of this industry to let the motherfuckers know what a timeless. I should have seen the coming with leeches, but that's the least of my fears. Deep, deep in this beast with blood in the water, the sharks circled it on his arm off of me.
My daughter is getting slaughtered. Play my position to make a meal off a vision and multiply it by nine and divide it up with my kindred. Must be that several hundred of hieroglyphics, the higher power, that higher caliber driven up with, according to my vision, as I see the light of God. And I got a hold of this call to the minus. I love it. I have heard best friend from a brand new CoLab album between the two of you.
Yeah. So it's the trickle.
You know, I, I, you know, that was just like Brett Johnson just set me.
He's like he sent me an email and he's like, here's all the beats for the album. Yeah. He's like, oh, he's like an endearing term.
And then I saw the way he spelled it, but I didn't say it in our ears and I like that. He's like, here's piece for the album. Yeah.
He put three days and I looked at him like that all. I'm like, I love how it looks.
So this is him. It's like he said something that's iconic. That's it.
That's it. Yeah. I'm like it looks like a pretty much a shirtless white iconic. Yeah.
He doubted at first he doubted. But now look here in India it work. It worked. It's so work.
I was there, I was like reposed that we're getting on the show shirtless if possible.
But I love that there's still time so that this is actually coming out in March right there.
The album. Yeah, the song is out. We're seeing the video through all through the tour.
Awesome. Yeah, I'm so excited. And then there is also an album that you're working on. Sean. Yeah. Or I don't know if it's done. It got made in Jaffna.
Yeah. I mean made in India. Main job now. And to be telling you pretty much and this is like it's all autobiographical, right.
Yeah. Yeah, yeah. It's definitely the most autobiographical. Yeah yeah yeah. Yeah. I mean recited.
I heard that you're a very no holds barred nouns in truth, but this one I have to. Yeah.
So how was, how do you feel like this is different from your previous albums.
Um, well this one is specifically for my community. Um, I think I had this fear like that if I were to ever tell.
My story or like speak on our communities experience that it would fall on deaf ears just because I didn't have a platform then because I've written about a little bit and it did fall on deaf ears.
But now that I have a bit of a platform, I'm like, OK, I can finally tell the story. And I'm just like, you know what? Yeah, I'm going to tell the story. And yeah, a lot of Tamil influences, a lot of Tamil artists on that.
You think there is like a negativity around like Tamil Eelam? Yeah, for sure. I really. I don't know if in India, if you see that, but around the world there is for sure. And even before in Toronto, if you mention the word Tamil, people like all your Tamil Tiger or terrorist like Tamils are always identified with terrorism.
They were labeled a terrorist group and got us right when I was in India. When you say Tamil, I think filter coffee really delicious. Yeah, yes. I'm not surprised because I never so good.
That's what we think. Yeah.
We always I think there's a really great I think Kumail Nanjiani said this like if people are always looking at Pakistan in this particular way, but you just try to biriyani and you just love.
Yes. And it's so true. Like food just brings us all together. Absolutely amazing.
I mean, I'm sure you also keeping tabs of the politics, because I'm sure you must have been shocked last year when I was shocked and not shocked by how that's been taken out twice. And the courts have said that, you know why we're taking all your power away. And like I leave it.
Yeah, that's right. I'm right here.
It's crazy how this is happening. It's a family affair, Steve. That's right. Well, look, it's not it's not your politics, but. Oh, no, not even David. I agree. I sure. Look, you know, they live in India, Sri Lanka. None of us can do the same.
It's none of us can. I agree with you just lightheartedly.
Yes, it was. You don't want to. You know what's weird at the festival? Hmm. There's this I'm realizing I thought of figuring out the playlist for, like, the set list to perform for this tour in my head.
I'm just like, you know what? I'm going to I'm going to have these, like, you know, uptempo, happy songs that usually I do for live shows and they work well. And then in between, all kind of sticking some, like, hard shit that I just like performing. I'm just like, this is shit that I love doing.
But I realize, yo, you guys are all fucking with the hard shit. I'm just like, yeah, that's because there's this like this is rage right now. The that's going through the country. And when I. Yeah. Did this song called Savage at the festival and I'm just like I'm like, this is what you all fucking with.
I'm like I love this because we are the everyone is just angry and it's like just like temper. Yeah. High. Yeah. Yeah.
So it's, it's yeah. It's terrible for like politics and like community but for art like some of the best art comes from that tension.
Yeah. Right. There's one last one just before we go. I love you have what is with the sexy sexy eyes face. He does, he does that.
Look at what time I have an angry look to know you got rest.
You know how. Like a resting bitch face, like wrestling, you sexy face.
That's right. I mean, hey, hey, hey. Workspace that got us this far.
Salutations, welcome, brothers, sisters, distant enemies, strangers, and to see you've seen the bastard orphans of captivity at any given that you've got a place here because nobody innocent, if we ever decided to take a peek at the scene. So they're safe, but I can't remember what don't take my halo. And they cast on the trip as they turbit's when they got face to face to fuck them, but they put their petty shit behind. It would just go on to takes a look at your fucking light up and please no mercy on my soul.
I don't need it. I don't need it. So please let them go. I proceeded. I seen it written on the face of every child with nothing more than just a dream up in their pockets holding their you praise the Lord, save me from the madness I and bring them to go to school faded into Sabbath day and oh let me up. But I hope that you also get your children. I we've been drinking that bunch up underneath the sun and wonder if we ever come from the comfort of the thundercloud made one to help open that.
Maybe it's open now big enough to drown but I can't speak up more because the home is bound to hold us down. This is the part we participate in. This is the puppy part. So we broke the fucking hurts. And I got to tell you, so I hit the ball with the ball that I'll be back on top. But for now, just for her, but not fuck them all the nasty down by the pack to Bible up for me and set to never second guess the truth.
Then Mama pack a pistol up for me and set to never second guess to use it because it's the type of shit to get you shot up. Cannon asked me my better truth to lie upon. It made it fucking legend diachronic.
OK, thank you so much for being on the show. Thank you me. That was also. Thank you. Yeah, thanks so much for listening to Made in India and thank you to St Vincent de Paul and Johnson for coming on the show. Thank you to Batra for making this happen. And if you like the show, please do send us some love on the podcast above your choice. Also, check us out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates.
Its ad made in India. That's Medy. Later on this month, as part of our independent special, We're Bringing You Music from India's Neighbours. Come back here for more. Same time, same place.