Album Review: P.I.M.P (Poetry Is My Pleasure) – Lyrique

Newcomer LYRIQUE first came under my radar with 2020 neon trap joint, ‘Smoke Break’ – and he has firmly reminded there ever since. So when he released his debut full-length album, ‘PIMP’ late last year, I was very intrigued to give it a trial.

I expected the 12-track set to predominantly feature the mellowed-out vibes as featured in ‘Smoke Break’ – but ‘P.I.M.P’ offers a whole lot more as it encompasses array of sounds – from hazy vintage boom bap-inspired cuts, smooth afterhours samples (perhaps spanning from the late 80s/early 90s) to even swing hip-hop-esque tones (have a listen to ‘Casino Royal’) and uptempo 80’s-style/Pharrell Williams-esque soulful funk (Pimpin Wasn’t Easy) –  most of which were accompanied with soul-satisfying thumps of the bassline.

Arriving in Canada in 2014 from his native in the Philippines to work as a live-in nanny, Lyrique’s melodically chilled rhymes are a glimpse into his personal struggles as a temporary migrant worker. Now a permanent resident, Lyrique is now armed with uncompromised confidence and self-worth (have a listen to concluding track, ‘Dressing Room’).

So welcome to the world of Lyrique, a very creditable artist who’s patently striving to fulfil his ambitions as a musician. Check out P.I.M.P below:

Must Listens: Hunger, Drive Slow, Pimpin Wasn’t Easy, Hope Dealer

Lyrique Drops Video For Blazing Track, ‘Hunger’

Calgary rapper Lyrique has unveiled the video for his track, ‘Hunger,’ coming off his recently released debut full-length album, P.I.M.P. (Poetry Is My Pleasure). With wielding flashy future beats and a ravenous flow, the track’s message is simple: stay hungry.

Against a backdrop of contemporary landmarks and freshly painted murals (see: Jae Sterling’s homage to Black Albertans and an abstract work by artists Wilmer Aburto, Rosa Sana, Colin Menzies, and Harvey Nichol, who also appears in the video alongside Lyrique), the video is as much a love letter to the rapper’s vision of Calgary as it is a display of solidarity to other tenacious young artists striving for greatness.

Check out the video to Lyrique’s track ‘Hunger’ below…

Song of the Day: Why Did You – Zacarias

Filipino-Canadian neo-soul singer-songwriter and producer ZACARIAS‘ latest single, ‘Why Did You?’ is a moody ballad about trying to put the pieces of a broken relationship back together.

Unafraid to show his vulnerability on his sleeves, Zacarias’ downtrodden refrains and the track’s meditative pace work like the slow, circling thoughts of heartbreak.

“All of my songs deal with relationships and human interaction,” said Zacarias. “By sharing my own experiences of love and loss, I hope to give people moments to reflect on, feelings to go back to, and maybe inspire some sort of positive change in their lives.”

Getting to the sad core of various matters of the heart, Zacarias’ smooth grooves were born from the dark soul of Daniel Caesar and alternative R&B world of Frank Ocean.

The father of a one-year-old hasn’t let his new role or COVID-19 slow him down, over the past year he’s quietly released 18 singles on SoundCloud, culminating in two separate releases: 2019 debut LP, Manilaman, which hit the No. 1 spot on the CJSW chart; and 2020 EP, ISO, another collection of easy-on-the-ears, head-bobbing slow jams.

Also an emerging producer, Zacarias has collaborated with a number of Alberta artists, and a new project with hip hop act A.Y.E. is currently in the works.

Look for a string of new singles from Zacarias throughout 2020…for now, have a listen to ‘Why Did You?’…

Lyrique Shares New Video For Single ‘Smoke Break’

Philippines-born, Calgary-based hip hop act LYRIQUE‘s video for single, ‘Smoke Break’ is a narcotic-infused reflection on love and cannabis that swirls to a chill rap beat.

“When creating lyrics, I sometimes like to use objects as metaphors to dig into other topics,” says Lyrique. “In this case, I’m comparing the sensation of a drug-induced daze to the feelings of being in love.”

Shot in the Forest Lawn and Bridgeland neighbourhoods of Calgary, the hypnotic video features various area landmarks that serve as a shout out to the rapper’s adopted city. The video follows the release of a series of singles and mixtapes from the artist since 2016, which have drawn attention from COMPLEX, CBC’s Q, MTV Philippines, and more.

Arriving in Canada in 2014 to work as a live-in nanny, Lyrique’s rhymes often draw from his personal struggles as a temporary migrant worker. Now a permanent resident striving to fulfill his dreams, Lyrique’s story is one of many within Canada’s Filipino diaspora.

Lyrique’s debut full-length album will be announced later this summer…but for now, check out the video for ‘Smoke Break’ below…

 

Selci Shows Her Humorously Dark Side Through New Single, ‘For You’

Calgary alt-pop act SELCI dishes up another transcendent single, ‘For You,’ from her forthcoming EP, ‘A Soft Place’, out next Tuesday (28th July). Her brand new cut is a confessional song about unreciprocated love.

With a series of strange and dramatic looks, the accompanied video offers more of Selci’s signature surrealist vision. Lyrically, Selci turns a series of heartbreaking moments into a darkly humorous reflection on modern dating, calling herself out for her part in past rejections.

“It’s about wanting something to go my way and not being able to have it…romantically speaking,” Selci says, with a laugh. “At first, when I was writing the song, I was poking fun at myself for trying so hard to get someone to like me, even after getting rejected. After a while, the writing process ended up very emotionally charged! Thinking back to the poor communication with past lovers and how sometimes I felt taken advantage of got me pretty fired up. This track became a reminder to myself on how not to act with my future lovers.”

Check out the striking visuals to ‘For You’ below…