INTERVIEW: Raz

Can you talk to us more about your latest single ‘My World’? Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

 I wanted to write something that could connect with anyone going through a struggle or hard times and hopefully bring comfort. While writing I started to realize that I was assuming that I knew how to comfort or help someone without ever truly understanding their struggle in the first place – then the song took form as I realized that it was egotistical of me to assume I knew what someone was going through without ever walking a day in their shoes, and if I really wanted to help, I should start by saying “I hear you, and I’m here to help however you need.”

How was the recording and writing process?

The writing came fairly easy for this one after I realized what I was writing about. It did go through multiple changes over the 5-6 years it’s been in the making but the core of the lyrics has remained the same. The recording was smooth for me but getting Isam’s vocals was a mission to say the least. We booked a studio in Toronto on Boxing day when he was in town for the RIS conference and they messed up the booking…we rescheduled and after multiple transportation issues finally got there. Isam performed for about 20 thousand ppl the  stood and recorded for 4 hours straight with me in the studio and absolutely killed the session – when he landed in Toronto the day before the airline had lost his luggage and he had nothing, no toothbrush no change of clothes…after the session he flew out the next morning really early. My car also broke down at the end of the night after the studio session…it was an adventure for sure. I’ll never forget the effort and passion Isam showed that night for an amateur artist like me at the time – taught me a lot about success and mastering your craft.

What else is happening in Raz’s world?

The video for My World drops in June. Then another single in July, video in August and my debut EP “One Time for Your Mind” in the fall. This is the year I finally get the music I’ve been working on for years out to the world.

Who is your musical inspiration?

I take different things from different artists. Anyone from John Mayer, Coldplay, Bob Dylan, Bob Marley to J Cole, Lauryn Hill, Lupe Fiasco even Kanye and Imagine Dragons. I go to different genres and artists and writing or production styles for various inspirations.

Any plans to hit the road?

We’re hoping to be on the road across North America in the Fall right after the EP drops. I’ll definitely keep you guys posted when things are set in stone!

If you could collaborate with anyone who would it be and why?

There’s a few, but the first to come to mind is Damian Marley. In my opinion he is the modern-day Bob. He’s one of the few artists that absolutely blow me away with their lyricism and ability to say something powerful on every track in a new and creative way, never mind his flow and vocal strength.

What do you like about the music scene in Canada?

It’s growing and its pumping out world class artists from every walk of life and genre. It has no boundaries because we’re such a culturally diverse place and it makes for some beautiful fusions and creativity in telling our individual stories while still being a part of something bigger. Take me for instance; my background is West Indian (Trinidad and Guyana) but I was born and raised in Brampton Ontario, went to Western University, I’m Muslim and I’ve lived in Hamilton and now Toronto.

What differences do you find in the music scene between Canada and UK?

I do think the UK has a more established music scene and history of acclaimed and globally recognized artists. After touring through and living in Germany for a while I met more artists from the UK and the support for indie and niche genre artists is amazing. I think Canada is on its way there but maybe it’s just younger as an industry – which is super exciting.

Does the new track mean we can expect new material in 2019?

Yes. Lots. My focus for 2019 is to give you as much music as physically possible – I’m already starting my second EP 😊

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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