2018 was a very fruitful year for me. I feel like this year really pushed me further outside of my comfort zone, while also providing me with experiences that have better informed my creative processes. Not only did I create and work on a lot of music this year – but I was also behind a lot of other projects as well including videos, artwork, writing, education and more. Unlike previous years, I’ve also begun to share my knowledge in music production and audio engineering with others – which has led to me connecting with many new people who I’m looking forward to building with over the long term.
As I have done in the past – I wanted to take some time to summarize my year and the standout projects that I contributed to throughout my travels.
I worked on a lot of stuff this year – too much to properly address in this blog – so I’ve decided to keep this focused solely on projects I’ve directly produced on, as well as the visual projects I’ve created throughout the year.
My year of releases started off early with the lovely Staasia Daniels dropping her first song of the year “Crew Watch“, produced by yours truly and SLWJMZ. Ironically – this was the first song the 3 of us ever conceived together back in 2015. I was happy to see it come out on January 1st, kicking off the new year right with some motivational anthems.
Staasia wasn’t letting her foot off the gas though – she dropped a new EP “Mood Roulette” at the end of January which also featured some production from myself such as “Nowhere” & “Wait Fore Me” (both with SLWJMZ & Xpress aka DJXP), and “Autumn Fine” (with SLWJMZ). I also mastered the whole project (with the exception of Peanut Butter).
Gudini follows up his 2017 “Back 4 Blood” EP with a new single offering – “My City” featuring J.O Mairs produced by yours truly and SLWJMZ. This record was also recorded, mixed and mastered by myself. Similar to “Crew Watch” – this record was the first one SLWJMZ and I ever did with Gudini (and J.O) back in 2015. This year has been about seeing things through it seems like.
Something I’ve done more as of last year is work with artists outside of Toronto. I’ve been fortunate to build relationships and friendships with people in places like Atlanta, New York, and Louisiana to name a few. Awhile back I connected with a Chicago artist named Matt Muse who was in town performing alongside my artists Staasia Daniels and EverythingOShauN. We ended up hitting it off – and created some new music as a result of this connection. What came next is this record “NegroSaiyan” featuring fellow Chicago spitter Femdot, produced by yours truly.
July was also an important month for myself – as I dropped my own single featuring EverythingOShauN & Gudini called “Somethin Outta Nothin“. This was my first release as a producer-artist, and we documented the creation process and packaged it up as a neat video (The Making of Somethin’ Outta Nothin’) for your enjoyment. I also recorded, mixed and mastered the whole thing with some funding from FACTOR.
Something you may or may not know about me is that I love Marvel. I was never a comic book guy per say, but I grew up watching the Batman and Spiderman animated series (among others). I remember watching Spiderman and being introduced to Venom, one of the most bad-ass characters in the series. When I found out they were making a movie featuring Tom Hardy – I decided to watch clips from it and use them as inspiration to create a beat, while filming the whole thing with my homie Ashley Harris. Thus – 5PiECE Makes A Beat Inspired by Venom was born.
October was a pretty important month for Canadians – we became the first G7 country to legalize recreational cannabis. This event was monumental – we’ve always been a fairly progressive nation and this move is one that the entire world is (still) watching to see how it unfolds. To celebrate this incredible moment in our history, I decided to document and create a new beat “Coordination” – which was spooky enough that it could also serve as a beat for Halloween.
October also saw me making a cameo in the video for Gudini’s Back 4 Blood single “They Know“, produced by myself and Hurricane Jamal. This hilarious video features Gudini on the prowl, essentially fucking shit up. My particular scene happens at 1:43 where I’m sparking up a joint and Gudini decides its time to swoop in and steal it.
After months of meticulous production, recording, mixing, mastering, and just about everything else in between, EverythingOShauN drops his anticipated “Everything Over Everything Else” EP featuring production from 5PiECE & SLWJMZ on the standout “W.C.W“, and 5PiECE mixing/mastering on the entire project. A lot of time and energy was poured into this project – arguably more than anything I’ve worked on prior to it. Proud to have been a part of this and excited to show you what we have in store for 2019.
Continuing with the trend of dropping my own music as well – I put together a quick little video with the help of Ashley Harris once again for a new beat “MY WORLD“. This one is a fun, hard banger complete with an intro from the OG !llmind (who’s having a hell of a year himself!)
This month was low key for releases but an important one for me. I held my first ever Producer Mixing Workshop with much success and a sold-out audience. I shared my knowledge with a great group of artists/producers/engineers and was able to give insight into an industry that’s allowed me to live life on my terms.
Building on that – I dropped a more personal video for myself and my art called “WAYS“. “WAYS” differs from my past offerings as it shows you where I’m from – the beautiful city of Toronto. I grew up going to the Lakeshore with my family – located on the southwest side of the city where Lake Ontario sits. This is a great place to escape to and explore and I wanted to properly show it in this footage while showing you the creative process behind one of my smoothest beats to date.
And that’s all folks. I definitely missed some stuff here – special shout-out to AD1B and Cajflow for the records I’ve mixed/mastered for them this year. I’m super proud of them and the music I’ve contributed to as well.
I’m very blessed and thankful to do what I do for a living and am beyond excited to see what I do in 2019. I will also be sharing more wisdom and insight into making a living in the music business in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, let me know your favourite record that I’ve produced this year in the comments below. Have a safe and happy new year!