Chase: “I’m back with Eternia. Thanks for tuning in. Remember you can download this interview for free.
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.”
Please download the interview or stream it with the player below to hear this awesome song.
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.
Eternia Interview Part 2