It’s that time again. As we approach a brand new month, we think of all the potential that lie in front of us over the next 31 days.
Welcome to the latest installment of Chasing Content. This feature allows us to look back and see where Silent Cacophony was last year at this time. You can read all of the posts from last August or you can browse through these old favourites. There is no reason these posts should get buried in the archives (maybe the last two could though)
Brother Ali is Phenomenal – This guy is definitely one of my favourite rappers. I can’t believe I went from blogging about him to actually getting to interview him earlier this year. What a trip!
Summer’s Gone – This song always hurts to hear. It’s a painful reminder that the summer has flown by too quickly. I’m not looking forward to the summer coming to a close but it’s pretty much inevitable. This is a great song from an amazing band though.
I’m extremely lucky to be doing what I am doing. I never thought that my blog would open up so many doors for me. I started it primarily to be a platform to get my name known so that I could eventually get some of my fiction published. That was the original goal for this blog.
Recently, I’ve been fortunate enough to interview some pretty amazing individuals. That started off innocently enough as well. My friend, Gamma Krush, is a DJ for DOPEfm, a radio show on 93.3 CFMU that broadcasts from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario each and every Saturday night. I’d been listening to the show and was a fan long before I became a member of the production team.
I didn’t know at the time how involved I’d become with the show. Gamma Krush simply asked me to help him conduct an interview one day. He had done one himself the month before and wasn’t really happy with how it had turned out. Since I had experience conducting interviews for both the university paper and community television several years prior, I was really excited to have the opportunity to do so again.
Wow! I’m blown away by that number and the sheer talent of the people I’ve been able to meet.
The first interview I did with DOPEfm, is available as a podcast. After that, I decided that I wanted to see the interviews on my blog as well. So I started transcribing the interviews so that you can read them too.
When I interviewed Olympic Ice Dance Champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, I was asked to write an article and not just a Q&A like all of my transcripts have been. I really enjoyed writing that article. It reminded me of the few I’d written back for the university paper. That article was published in The Londoner Newspaper. I’m really excited about that.
I worked all of the interviews I did with the Olympic Athletes into full articles instead of transcripts. It really has me wondering what is better, a transcript or an article? What are your takes on this? Have you enjoyed my transcripts or my articles more? Or is there room for both?
I transcribed the interview I did with hip-hop artist Eternia but I wrote several articles around the one I did with D-sisive. I am quite proud of both of these projects. I found that I didn’t really save any time writing the articles. Transcribing or writing interviews takes quite a bit of time. They also seem to take up about the same amount of space in type. Both of these interviews were presented over several blog posts.
It was amazing to watch Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir during the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. They were just breath-taking on the ice. They captured the hearts of Canadians and viewers across the world while they also took home Gold Medals.
I still can’t believe that I had the opportunity to meet and interview these two World Champions. It was such an honour.
Not only do I have the newspaper article to remind me of the event, but I was also able to get their autographs. Pretty cool, eh?
You can learn a lot from fiction, even a comic book.
The panels below are from Y: The Last Man. This brief conversation made me pause and consider something that I’d never thought about before. Good fiction can always do that.
Here’s a bit of a set-up for you. Yorick wants to buy a ring for his girlfriend. The salesman starts to spin a story about a ring that makes it sound mystical. He then illustrates something about the whole act of proposing marriage that simply blew my mind.
Mr. T: “Do you see how this ring glistens like gold in one light and silver in the next. This represents the male and female sides which all of us possess.
Many cultures believe that men and women are reversed at the moment of proposal. The young lady’s finger is transformed into a symbolic phallus, while the gentleman presenting the ring-“
At this point Yorick cuts him off. The exchange is hilarious but it really made me stop and consider the act of proposal and what it really means.
I find this reversal to be absolutely poetic and beautiful. I can’t believe I’d never heard of this before. I even asked a few friends and they hadn’t heard of it either.
You see, comics can teach you something. I never would have researched proposals on my own. This really blew my mind. It’s so simple a symbol that this should have been obvious to all of us. It makes me wonder how many other things we do without ever really knowing the deeper meaning behind our actions.
Say it ain’t so. Our time with Eternia is nearly up. Don’t fret boys and girls, you can download the interview for free so you can listen to it whenever you want. We had a great discussion and played some amazing music as well. So without further ado, let’s conclude this interview transcript.
Chase: “Who are you listening to right now? If we raided your MP3 player or your car deck, what would we find?”
Eternia: “You would find a lot of 90’s R&B. Shout out to Shai, SWV, H-town, Jodeci, Aayliah, a lot of 90s R&B, and a lot of 90s dancehall. I listen to TOK and I used to listen to a lot of Capleton and Buju. I’m just doing a trip down memory lane for me.
Newer cats, sometimes I try to not get my mind filled with other people’s music, not because it’s not good but because I don’t want it to affect mine. But I’m a Royce the 5’9’ fan. I’m checking for J Cole. Obviously Reef the Lost Cauze, I’ve always been a fan of. My peers too.
But it’s mostly non-hip-hop stuff. I really like Sia from 07. I really like Zacky Ibraheem. I’m really checking for my sister’s stuff, Jessica Kaia. She’s working with Tanika Charles, who you should be familiar with and if you’re not, you will be soon. She’s working with Rich Kidd, she’s working with Slackah the BeatChild. She’s working with Richie Hennessey. My sister is killing the game. She’s on my album.
So, yeah, a lot of stuff I’m listening to is not hip-hop and that’s not because I don’t love hip-hop. You know when it’s your business, especially when you’re recording. If you’re listening to a lot of someone when you’re recording, all of a sudden you start sounding like that person. So sometimes, I’m a little weird about what and how I listen to rap.”
Chase: “Your sister was on your first video wasn’t she?”
Eternia: “Not my first video but we have a music video together called ‘Love,’ big tune. Then she did a song ‘On Blast’ and I did a verse on that. And now she has a track on my album, she sings in the hook called ‘Played Out.’ So it’s an ongoing trend.”
Chase: “So is music in the family?”
Eternia: “Absolutely. You name a genre of music, we have someone actively doing it in my family. And I mean touring, making CDs. I have an industrial musician brother, Adversary. I have another brother in a band and they’re recording right now. It’s like classic rock or rock. I have a sister and another brother that play hand drums. My father was producing techno music, don’t ask. My mother plays classical piano. So everybody in my family, yes, definitely.”
Chase: “Who came out first? Did you come out first? Was it like a competition like, ‘Oh Eternia’s got a record out.’”
Eternia: “I think I probably started doing my craft professionally first, only because I was 15 and I was really young. But my mother and my father came before me.”
Chase: “It has been a pleasure talking with you.”
Eternia: “Thanks for stopping by my release party. We’re live at The Opera House right now and that’s, like, ridiculous. So thank you guys for coming for my ‘At Last’ record release party. DOPEfm, you guys have been holding me down for years. Shout out to Daddy J!”
Chase: “Yeah, we gotta get him to spin some of your cool tunes right now because you’ve got a lot of stuff we didn’t play in between the talking.”
Eternia: “And I’ve got new stuff. Don’t forget to run the new stuff. You gotta run the new stuff too. BBQ, It’s Funny, At Last, Day in the Life, they’re all out even before the album.”
Chase: “I saw those all leak but I didn’t download any of them because I want the album. I’m like an album kind of dude. I got the BBQ track because I wanted to spin that for this but I’m waiting for that album. I’m gonna be lining up Tuesday to pick it up for sure.”
Eternia: “I wish you could come to New York and cop it at Fat Beats but you’re going to have to go to Play De Record or wherever it is you go.”
Chase: “Alright, cool. This is awesome. Can’t wait to see you on stage in a few minutes and just tearing down the place.”
Eternia: “Definitely, thank you for having me.”
And that’s a wrap. Boo!
I so could’ve talked to her all night long. She was such an amazing person and I’m glad I finally got to meet her and conduct this interview. Her album with producer MoSS is now out, ‘At Last.’ Go buy a copy and don’t just download it on the sly. We should support good hip-hop and this album is definitely that. It’s been on heavy rotation since I bought my copy. It’s a great album.
Download this interview for free. I finished the show with a mixset featuring some new and old music from her as well including a few songs we talked about but never played. Check it out.
You can also check out all the interviews I’ve done by clicking on the “Artist Interview” tab at the top of this page. There is also a handy player in the sidebar for you to stream the interviews as well.
Remember that DOPEfm is live every Saturday night on 93.3 CFMU from the McMaster University campus in Hamilton, Ontario. And if you can’t receive our signal where you’re at, you can stream us at http://cfmu.msumcmaster.ca/ or check for our podcasts at http://dopefm.ca
A special thanks to Thom Payson of Total Productions for the great photography you have seen here all week. The above photo shows Eternia with fellow MC Reef The Lost Cauze.
Chase: “Okay, we’re back with Eternia and we just heard The BBQ. Nice track there. So. you’ve been pretty busy lately. You’ve been all over the place this week.”
Eternia: “This week? This week? My whole life! I’ve been all over the place my whole life. Ya know what’s funny? When I blank out I’ll say, ‘Oh. man it’s been a long week,’ but then I’ll be like, ‘I mean month, I mean year, I mean life.’ It’s been a long life what can I say.”
Chase: “You’ve been doing a lot of shows.”
Eternia: “Yeah, we’ve been doing a lot of one-offs. We’re about to hit Europe in July. We’re doing four shows in Toronto in a period of two weeks, which to me isn’t a lot. I like to do a show every night, ya know what I mean? But in between that we’re doing press and we’re doing a music video shoot and I’m visiting family and doing a whole bunch of other stuff, so yeah, it gets busy.”
Chase: “I follow you on Twitter and I saw that you were really excited about having your first 12” out.”
Eternia: “Oh my goodness! Yes, it’s with me right now. I’m really excited! I’ve had a 7” out of Australia with ‘Evidence’ and ‘Bang’ on it. It’s an exclusive collectors edition of Evidence / Bang.”
Chase: “Yeah too bad I don’t have that. I wish I had that.”
Eternia: “All I have is numbers 0 to 10. They’re numbered all of them. There were 250 made and I have zero to ten and they’re mine. One day they will be worth something magical.”
Chase: “I’m sure they will.”
Eternia: “We’re doing a double album on record as well, on wax. Fat Beats is the place to go, It’s fits our sound to a T and they cater to our audience and so I’m really honoured and really blessed to be on that label.”
Chase: “You have a ton of releases. I was looking at your discography-”
Eternia: “And I guarantee you that’s not even an updated discography because I personally put that up on the web and I have not updated it for a year or two. So I promise you , there is way more than that.”
Chase: “Yeah, I got that off your Sonic Bids.”
Eternia: “Yeah, that’s not even updated. There’s been at least 10 or 20 more since then.”
Chase: “You’ve worked with a lot of different people. The SoulStice tracks I really love. You’ve also done some work with Wordsworth, EMC.”
Eternia: “A couple times, before he was EMC and was Punch and Words.”
Chase: “I love EMC! I think they performed here, at this venue.”
Eternia: “They were. They’ve done Opera House more than once and they kill a show. They’re inspirational to me when it comes to what they do live. Really, I can see EMC five times and I never get sick of seeing them live. They are one of the best acts live. I can’t say that enough.”
Chase: “Yeah, I remember seeing them too. They traded off so smoothly. There was a Masta Ace song, there was a Punch and Words song, there was an EMC song with all four of them, and it was just seamless. It was amazing.”
Eternia: “Yeah, I can’t promise my set’s like that but that’s because there’s not four of me.”
Chase: “So when does the new album drop?”
Eternia: “Tuesday June 29th. We’re doing an in-store at Fat Beats that day. Whatever happens, happens. I’m just gonna breathe a sigh of relief and say, ‘At Last.’ when June 29th comes”
Chase: “We will air this before then but it won’t be on my blog till it’s already out. So anyone reading this or listening to this in July, you need to go to the store and support.”
Eternia: “And you know what? It’s an independent release so you go to your mom-and-pop-shop and if they don’t have it, you ask them to order it. It’s that simple. If it’s not somewhere that just means the store decided not to pick it up .so you go in and tell them, ‘I want you to order this record.’”
Chase: “That’s cool because I don’t think too many people would actually do that.”
Eternia: “Yeah, you need to know that because oftentimes stores, especially when they’re independent stores, they might not know but their fans do and they want to cater to the people that are coming in and buying music.”
Chase: “I wanted to talk to you about your name. How did you get that moniker?”
Eternia: “Honestly. It’s from He-man in the 80’s. It was the planet, centre of the universe. And obviously I was very full of myself when I was a teenager and I thought I was the centre of the universe so I called myself Eternia. That’s the story.”
Chase: “Too bad there’s another Eternia on Twitter.”
Chase: “So you have two full-length albums and recently you’ve put out a mixtape.”
Eternia: “Technically, there have been four releases all together. It’s debatable what were full-length albums and what were mixtapes. There has been ‘The Collection’, ‘Its Called Life’, ‘The Set-Up’, and then ‘Get Caught Up.’ Those were all previous to ‘At Last.’ I view them all as albums but no, not all of them had barcodes. They were all albums in my eyes because they all had original content on them.”
Chase: “One of my favourite songs that you’ve done is off of Classified’s album with DL Incognito and Maestro. There’s a dope video to that one too.”
Eternia: “That was really good. That was the first time I jumped on a track with Maestro Fresh Wes. He was in my music video for ‘Sorrow Song’ way before that but then we actually recorded together for the Classified record. I love DL, I love Class, I think we all look up to Maestro. Maestro is so humble and doing the video for that was kind of like icing on the cake and I think it’s one of the most memorable tracks in Canadian hip-hop.”
Chase; “Definitely. We gotta play that one right now.”
Eternia: “Let’s do it. So, it’s myself, Classified, DL Incognito, Maestro Fresh Wes, if you don’t know who Maestro Fresh Wes is, you should not be listening to this radio show. Just turn around, look yourself in the mirror, and slap yourself in he face, now listen to this song.”
Chase: “Alright, we’re back with Eternia. I love that track right there. You start it off and just kill it with how fast you’re going and all the multi-syllables. You’ve got some great videos and YouTube stuff where you are just killing it. If anybody sees those and is not instantly a fan, there’s something wrong with them, I think.”
Eternia: “I think when look at me and talk to me, they get confused because I’m super-smiley and they see me rap and they’re like, ‘I don’t understand.’ But ya know? we all have different sides to us and I think the side you’re referring to is my work-out-some-aggression side, that’s what that is.”
Chase: “I’m an elementary school teacher and when you’re in front of the class, it’s like you’re on stage. And when you’re on stage, you’re a little bit different and maybe when I even on radio or my blog, I’m a little bit different that I would be in real life too. So, it’s not a unique things or weird that you’re like that or anything.”
Eternia: “It’s showmanship. Absolutely. When I was raised, rapping in the 90’s, it was really about coming in and standing out in a cypher. In order to stand out, you had to have a strong voice, strong delivery, strong presence. You had to be intense and you had to be confident, otherwise you just get sideswiped.”
Chase: “That’s what captures people. I remember seeing The Fugees before they got big and they looked a bit nervous or sacred on the stage. Like Pras was looking at his feet all the time instead of engaging the crowd. Lauryn Hill really shined in that show but the two guys looked like they didn’t have that stage presence. But that was early on in their careers. I don’t wan’t to bash The Fugees.”
Eternia: “But it tells a lot. In terms of talent, let’s just say this, the people who were nervous and they people who were not had a reason to be. That’s all I’m going to say about The Fugees.”
Chase: “Where is Lauryn Hill these days?”
Eternia: “Lauryn Hill is about to jump on Rock the Bells. They were getting complaints that they didn’t have any female MCs on their tour so they went and booked the best female MC of all time. That was the best response ever. Now they can book me, but they did book Lauryn Hill which is a big deal.”
Chase: “She needs to start rapping again.”
Eternia: “Everyone says that. But if you just listen to what she’s dropped, you know she’s ridiculous. It’s not about quantity to be, it’s about quality and she’s superceded that time and time again.”
Chase: “Do you have any other favourite female MCs?”
Eternia: “I never listen to people based on their gender. It’s just if I can rock out to the record. But some of them who happen to be women; I love Latifah. I was really young when Salt N Pepa came out and I love them but I kind of feel funny saying that now but in my day and age, they were amazing. MC Lyte, of course, Bahamadia, Rah Digga, Rage. And there is newer ladies post 2000 killing the game, Anomalies, Invincable. There are a lot of women I work with so I get in trouble when people as me this question but these are people I’m fans of for sure.”
Chase: “I know Shad says in his new lyric that there is not enough women in hip-hop. I feel the same way and when I hear a new name that sounds feminine, I want to check it a little bit more just to see what it’s like.”
Eternia: “I feel like you’re the minority. Like most people wouldn’t want to check it if they think it’s a chick.”
Chase: “That’s weird to me. I don’t understand that mentality at all. I want to hear the other side. Like Shad says, we’re only hear half the story and we’re not hearing the better half.”
Eternia: “I should sample that. Shad, I might sample that line. That’s really dope.”
Chase: “We need to hear more female MCs. That’s my thing right there.”
Eternia: “I don’t want my gender to not be acknowledged at all, because my stories are going to be different being that I am a woman because my life experiences are different.
But I look forward to the day where it doesn’t have to be about female and male MCs, where we are literally viewed based on our abilities. I compare that to a corporate workplace and I understand that there is still gender discrimination but not generally as much as there is in hip-hop. So when you interview someone to hire them for a position, you’re not saying, ‘Well, she’s alright for a chick,’ or hopefully it’s not ‘Well, we need more women in the office.’ Hopefully it’s about who’s the best candidate for the job.
I hope one day we’re rated the same way. When it comes to booking cross-country tours, when it comes to press, when it comes to record labels picking up artists, all that, it won’t be a matter of gender. It’ll just be, ‘Man, this is some really good music.’ I think hip-hop is a couple years behind, like 20 years behind when it comes to that mentality. Other areas of business, other areas of occupation are a little more forward thinking, ya know?”
Chase: “Wouldn’t it be awesome if people start saying their Top 10 rappers and there’s a female in there.”
Eternia: “Absolutely because we get compared to other girls. I’d loved to be compared to my favourite male MCs even if they say I’m not as good as them. Like they can say. ‘Yo, she does this like this person’ because I actually do learn from a lot of dudes that rap so I might sound like some dudes out there, probably more than girls because I knew a lot more male rappers growing up.
But people just don’t do that. They’ve got their Top 5 or Top 10 MCs off all time and they’ve got their favourite female rapper. And by the way, you can only have one. It’s like they can only pick one. It’s like only Jean Gray or Eternia. But why not both for different reasons? Just like human beings.”
Chase: “But that’s a problem for society it general. I mean, why do we have actor and actress when the –or suffix means ‘one who.’ We should just all be actors.”
Eternia: “Right, just like I’m an MC. I’m a rapper. I happen to be a woman, get over it.”
Chase: “I pulled this off your website. It’s quoted, ‘Perhaps for a moment, you can do as all of Eternia’s peers have done and put aside race, gender, nationality, close you eyes and just listen. We guarantee you’ll believe.’”
Eternia: “I wrote that, probably shouldn’t say that but I did.”
Chase: “No, you should. That’s beautiful!”
Eternia: “I went to school for journalism. I have to write my own bio sometimes. What that basically means is that the music is the most important thing. Good music is music that makes you feel and I think that no matter what race, what country, what gender, we can all make music that touches someone else, even if they don’t understand our language let alone if they’re not a woman and I’m a woman, ya know? So music that makes you feel is what I’d describe as dope music and so I just want people to listen and if they don’t feel anything, then move on. But if you feel something, than I did my job.”
Chase: “I think we should close on that note because that’s a perfect ending. I’d love to talk to you some more and there’s a couple other things I’d like to ask you but, man, that wraps it up nicely right there, doesn’t it?”
Eternia: “I’m not mad at that. Sometimes those just come out. I don’t know how it happens. They just come out of my mouth.”
I tell ya, it was so awesome meeting and talking with Eternia. I loved her before but I love her even more now. She was such a cool down-to-earth person. Go out there are support the great music she makes. “At Last” is in stores now and is a great album. I picked it up and I encourage you to do the same, You won’t be disappointed.
You can download the interview or stream it with the player below because I didn’t stop the interview here. I wanted to continue talking with her so I did. I hope you have enjoyed this coverage. I know I sure enjoyed bringing it to you. We’ll rap this all up tomorrow with the conclusion of this transcript. See you then!
Thanks to Thom Payson of Total Productions for the great photography you’ve seen here all week. MusicPlaylist at MixPod.com
So Eternia, you actually documented your road to success and you had a whole documentary video series leading up to you getting signed. That was really cool to see. When you started that, you didn’t know what was gonna happen either, did you?”
Eternia: “Not at all. We actually faced a lot of resistance initially with that whole concept. People were like, ‘We don’t know what’s happening with this record, we don’t know when we’re dropping it, we don’t know what label we’re dropping it on, we shouldn’t be doing any press.’
Most people in the business will suggest that if you have a project and you don’t have a label, you hold onto it tight, you don’t let anybody hear it, and you wait until you have the perfect situation to drop it. I was like, ‘Listen, nobody knows who I am,’ that’s not true, stateside a lot of people didn’t know who I was. And so, I’m not gonna sit here and wait for things to fall in my lap. I’m gonna create a demand.
DJ Sav-One from The Underground Come Up, he came up with the Road to Release idea. But it was really just, ‘Let’s create awareness! Let’s create a buzz. Let’s create a reason for a label to want to sign us. And it worked. Arguable, I don’t know if we’d be with Fat Beats without those videos so that’s a big deal.
It was a risk. A lot of people were against it, straight up because people don’t want you to promote a product when you don’t know when you’re releasing it or if it’s coming out. They get really nervous about that but we were doing it anyways. It’s fate.”
Chase: “It’s kind of like ‘fake it till you make it.’”
Eternia: “But we were honest. We were like, ‘We don’t have a label deal but we got this awesome album, what’s good?’ We were very honest, ya know?”
Chase: “Totally. It’s like know what you want and making it happen. That’s pretty cool. How did you link up with MoSS anyway because he is a super-producer? I’ve met him, he’s a really cool guy too.”
Eternia: “Yeah, yeah. He should be here later tonight. It’s our release party tonight! How we met is a cool story. A promoter in Winnipeg, Bear, shout out to Bear, booked me for a one-off. I flew from New York City to Winnipeg to do a show, my own show, and for the next day to open for EMC, Marco Polo, Mr. Addict, Torae, and MoSS.
We met each other at sound check, we were already fans of each other’s work. And then I got on stage and I performed for him and ten other people because the place was empty. Literally it was just him and ten other people. And this shows why it’s important to rock a house no matter how many people are there. So it’s him and ten other people, boom, I rock the house and after I got off stage he was pretty much like, ‘I heard a whole album in my head.’ He was very excited, very excited.
I didn’t know if he meant it or it was just being said at the moment because one thing that I find happens a lot with me is people will get really excited when they see me live and they’ll be like, ‘I wanna work with you,’ and they’ll be big names and then I just never hear from them again. Kind of like they just talk sh*t, but he didn’t. He was a man of his word. That was summer of ’07 and in November of ’07, we recorded the first song for the album.”
Chase: “I’d like to play one of your songs right now. Do you have any preference? What should we spin?”
Eternia: “Ah, man. Do you want to go back or do you want to do something current? It depends on what you wanna do.”
Chase: “Actually, there’s a couple songs that I want to play. I want to play the one song you did with SoulStice.”
Eternia: “Oh yeah, ‘No Place Like It.’ I think no place like home where we represent our different countries. I love that verse. That’s all about Canada. So definitely, run that track. Shout out to SoulStice.”
Chase: “Alright, so we’ll spin that track and we’ll be back with more Eternia. Stay tuned.”
Chase: “I love how you celebrate Canada in that song we just heard. You talk about how absence makes the heart grow fonder because you actually had to leave to pursue your career, right?”
Eternia: “I celebrate Canada is a lot of my music. I don’t know if people always hear it but I celebrate Canada a lot. Like the track ‘The Mega’ that M-phase produced is all about Toronto. Yeah, definitely, it always comes up in my music. There are a few themes that come up in my music a lot, and Canada is one of them.”
Chase: “Another thing I want to talk about is ‘My Favourite Rapper Wears a Skirt.’”
Eternia: “Yeah, and I’m not wearing it right now, what’s up with that?”
Chase: “Can you tell us what that’s all about?”
Eternia: “Yeah, that’s a t-shirt that I have that’s grown very popular with the women and the men. It’s really just something somebody said to me once. I was at a show and they literally came up to me and opened their arms real wide and said, ‘My favourite rapper wears a skirt,’ and they were being stupid. But a bell went off, ding-ding-ding, and the rest is history.”
That was in the summer of 2008. We went on tour, the ‘We Be Girl Tour’ with Bhamadia, Roxanne Shante, Invincable, DJ Shorty, and obviously the t-shirt did really well there.
I don’t know if people really know this but the first time it was revealed was with A Tribe Called Quest at the Toronto Rock The Bells concert. Literally, Jerobi did the whole headlining show wearing ‘My favourite rapper wears a skirt’ which I think is a big deal considering he’s on stage with Q-tip.”
Chase: “A Tribe Called Quest is one my favourite groups of all time and Gamma Krush who spins on the show is a huge Tribe fan.”
Eternia: “That was a big deal. Actually, that’s why I rushed the production of those shirts. He said, ‘You get me one in time and I’ll rock it.’”
Chase: “Very cool. I was talking to Rochester at the Stylus Awards-”
Eternia: “You talk to everybody. This guy interviews everybody!”
Chase: “That’s what I do. I actually take the time to transcribe it and put it up my blog too.”
Chase: “So there’s tons of content there. Anyway, he was telling us about the 411 initiative and ‘What’s the 411’ and I was doing some research and see that you are involved in that as well.”
Eternia: “Yeah, me and Juice aka Rochester toured a lot together, he’s like a brother. All with ‘What’s the 411?’ and sometimes with other organizations as well like Plan Canada in conjunction with ‘What’s the 411?’ So we do tours in high schools, different themes but mostly AIDS awareness and I did girls’ rights as well.
Obviously girls’ rights is near and dear to my heart and it’s really just about gender equality issues. I talked to girls about how this impacts them and how view themselves and their future and their gender roles and their family. I never knew that I defied a lot of these gender roles until I started doing this gender equity tours.
I do kind of represent the abnormal when it comes to gender roles because I rap and I’m a chick. It was pretty cool.
My favourite story with that whole tour was, we were supposed to ask kids what they learned from the presentation and usually it’s facts and stats. And so, this little twelve year old kid put up his hand and he’s all excited. I think it was at CW Marshawn in Toronto and he put up his hand and said, ‘I learned that some girls rap better than boys.’ And I was like, ‘Yes!’ I was like, ‘That is the cutest thing to learn’ and that wasn’t what we were teaching them, but ya know that might be my next shirt, ‘Some girls rap better than boys.’
Chase: “That is cool. It also sounds like a real worthwhile thing being able to touch with the community there and actually have that voice and that conversation.”
Eternia: “It’s actually the work that I enjoy doing the most. People always ask, ‘Oh, you’ve met this person or worked with that person or who’s your favourite star that you met?’ And honestly, the favourite people that I meet are not the name-brand people. The favourite people that I meet are like those kids in Grade 5 or the kids in a street mission that I’m performing for. Like, those people really impact me. They really touch me and they leave me feeling inspired. So they give me energy whereas opening for major label people is just tiring. It’s damn tiring. Ego everywhere.”
Chase: “You’re pretty active online. You’re on Twitter. I’m following you on there. Do you make a lot of connections with fans on Twitter as well?”
Eternia: “Sav, who’s behind me now, told me not to go on Twitter.”
Chase: “What’s wrong with Twitter, Sav?”
Eternia: “It doesn’t statistically equate to sales. That’s why he doesn’t like Twitter. If you do a graph based on the amount people tweet versus their sales, it actually decreases your sales.”
Sav One: “Unless you’re on 24:7.”
Eternia: “Right, but I don’t get on it like that. I’m not crazy with it. But I do like to connect with people and let them know what’s happening. I’m pretty sociable.”
Well, that ends Part 2 of this interview. Please come back tomorrow to read more. I so loved meeting and talking with Eternia. She is a really cool person to know, a fierce MC when it comes to shows, and an amazing musician when it comes to her songs. So go to Twitter. follow her, pick up her CDs, download this interview, and leave a comment below. See you here tomorrow for Part 3 of the Eternia interview.
Thanks to Thom Payson of Total Productions for the great photography you will see here all week.