Sixteen-year-old Canadian Rapper and Songwriter REZZI (Brandon Philip Reyes) has been electrifying and astounding audiences throughout his young career culminating annually at the highly acclaimed Youth Day Toronto Festival.
He has been compared in talent to fellow Canadian Hip-Hop artists like Drake, K’naan and Kardinal Offishall. However, with a unique voice, deep, poignant and the beyond-his-years insight in his lyrics, REZZI has a message for the world.
Rezzi’s first single, Home of The Brave, featuring popular artist DZA is quickly gaining mainstream momentum allowing a teaser of what he has planned in his upcoming full studio debut releasing later this year.
Today he sits down with us at The Levity Ball to discuss more:
How did you become interested in becoming a musician, and how old were you when you started?
I became interested in becoming a musician simply from the fact of watching artists who I have looked up to strive for everything they wanted, and have achieved. Growing through my younger years, music was defiantly something that impacted my lane of thinking. I could relate to the feel and lyric that came off the record when I was in need of it and if music helped me get through the lowest points of life that I have seen so far. Why couldn’t I be that voice that helped someone in the future? Being able to be that voice that could pick a person up off the ground and give them a reason to start again meant a lot to me. I started writing music recreationally when I was in my last few years of elementary school, which is around 11 to 12 years old. I began to take my craft seriously when I was around 14 which from that end on brought me to this point where I am right now.
Explain your music and the type of audience that you reach?
My music is much more than just music. I consider my work to be an avenue into a stronger state of being. From personal experience myself I have seen music to be a gateway, and when in that gateway, you learn to find yourself. I say this because music speaks; using that to express your emotion. Whether you listen to something for the concept or for the instrumental, you connect to it somehow. That bond is that something I’m trying to do, and work towards every day. My audience is anyone who can appreciate good music, even though it may be hard to come across those people now a days. Everything is what you think it is, if you enjoy the music as much as I enjoyed making it, then the music is yours.
Who are your biggest influences in music?
All of the hard workers that came through the music scene after the mid 1990’s. Jay-z, Nas, Eminem, Snoop Dogg and 50 Cent. They were actually the very first artists I listened to when I got into music. This doesn’t go without mentioning Biggie and 2pac.
What was it like working with DZA on your first single, Home of the Brave?
Working with DZA was a unique experience, considering we worked from 2 different sides of the Atlantic. DZA is someone you can count on to make a good record. Being able to connect with him on another level was the reason why Home Of The Brave came out the way it did.
If you had a chance to work with any other artist in the studio, who would it be & why?
If I had a chance to work with anyone it would have to be Drake. He’s a crazy artist to have the opportunity to collaborate with and has an awesome way of words with ability to bring ideas to life.
What are your goals in the industry and where do you see yourself in a year from now?
One of my goals right now is to spread my music across Canada and the U.S. I consider it more of a milestone because it’s a long shot, but anything can be done with dedication. I see myself much more successful and further then where I am. Seeing my music make a difference to others and let people live through my music.
How do you define hip-hop, and where do you feel you fit into that definition?
I think Hip Hop has become a grey area recently. There are too many different sounds, and feels to it which makes it hard to tell what you can consider hip-hop. I see myself fitting in to more of the purposeful side in Hip Hop; The storytellers and game changers.
How has Canada influenced your sound?
Canada for me is the centre of hip-hop. I have come across music from rappers just starting out to heroes in hip-hop that are from Toronto. All I can say is that most of them are completely underrated. I learned from each and every one of those I have listened to, they influenced my sound.
What tips would you give young artists coming up, or what do you wish someone would have told you when you first started out in the hip-hop industry?
One good tip is walk before you run. The road is longer then what you think in a world smaller then what you expect it to be. Having that concrete foundation is the most important part. I wish someone had told me exactly that. I always viewed it as being an easy ticket and if you do see it that way, then you’ll learn you are wrong very quickly.
Any last words for our Levity Ball readers?
You guys can hear much more of me by following me on twitter (@TheRealRezzi) if you want to keep up with everything that going on, also I would like to thank levity ball for their time and great interview.