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Exclusive Interview With Emerging Rapper El Cappo

The Canadian rapper from Toronto, is known for his songwriter skills and versatile. El Cappo released his latest singles titled “7/30” and “New day’.” Both tracks dropped with compelling music videos driving the artist’s creations to the top.

We caught the rare opportunity to chat with the talented artist about his background, past projects and upcoming hits.

1: Tell us about your background getting to where you are today?

I was born in Toronto, Canada, with a background in Guyana and Jamaica through my parents. I spent my early years in Canada and ended up moving to Bermuda by the age of seven in 2007. I managed to visit Canada now and again through any school breaks but finally moved back permanently in the year 2017. From there I enrolled in Brock University as an undergrad in Media Communications, having stayed in the Niagara region for four years of University, I then moved back to Toronto to continue my ventures.

2: Where are you from?

I was born in Toronto, Canada but spent most of my earlier years in Bermuda.

3: How did you get into music?

It seems that music has always been around me, from my father making music to the majority of my uncles making music as well. I had recorded my first song at the age of seven in my uncle’s studio `Crazy Mental Productions”, this was inspired by the fact that I had always rapped along to other artists’ songs and at that moment I was encouraged to try my own. The beat was made by my uncle and the song was titled “Faster than Motion ”, it was a very cool experience at such a young age. However, there was a break in which I did not continue to make music until the age of 11 when I entered middle school. As I started to learn more and grasp an understanding of what I thought music was, I got into poetry, spoken word, and writing my music. For years I had experienced losing many handwritten songs as well as notes which were stored on my phone, but I didn’t let that stop me. Once high school came along, I still had not put anything out since the song from when I was seven, however, I started to get into freestyling with a couple of guys and I would say that is what pushed me and gave me the confidence to start thinking about music from a different perspective. I used to get so much great feedback and energy, (individuals would ask, where can I find your stuff)- being that at that moment I didn’t have anything out. Those moments gave me even more of a push to where I started to look towards dropping music and making it a habit. By the time 2017 came and I had entered Brock University, I moved forward with recording more music and creating as much as I could. I ended up meeting an individual (EastCoastCoco), he had seen what I was capable of and he decided to help me out whenever he is able. This then led me to drop (Mission) as my first official release, even though I had others I could have chosen, I felt that Mission is how I wanted to make my first impression, on those that didn’t know I made music. 

4: What is the most challenging thing you have overcome in your life?

I’d have to say the most challenging thing I’ve overcome would have to be self-judgment and fear, it’s a mental battle. I feel that if I continued to have the same mindset I did all these previous years I would have never put any music out into the public. There have been instances in the past where individuals know I make music and they also know I haven’t put anything out, but then still proceed to tell me to release the songs. Instances like those also helped me realize to just create and if I like how it sounds then that’s all that should matter. I’ve been writing music for so long and realistically should have released way more after my initial “Faster than Motion ” track. When I had decided to release (Mission) I had realized that there’s always going to be something that is not perfect, always a different perspective, so I accepted that and mainly decided to stop being my biggest critic.

5: Are you currently signed or independent?

Currently, I am an independent artist.

6: Who inspires you the most musically?

My inspirations for music vary but my mother and father are two who inspire me to continue to stay true to myself and be able to incorporate it into my craft. In terms of other music artists, I gain inspiration from artists like (KRS-ONE, Apollo Brown, Rass Kass, Eminem, Wiz Khalifa, and some locals as well, some of the guys I make music with now, like (Camo Neptune and Funkboiii DC) give me a boost in the right direction and motivation to keep going on.

7: What do you want people to take away after listening to your music?

For those who listen to my music, I want them to be able to listen to the beat as well as the lyrics, but actually, hear what I am saying. I like to make music that can make you think, to the point where each time you listen, you may pick up something new. Each song I make has similarities in terms of the general message I am trying to push, (which is Knowledge) and I feel that you can get something different out of each one of them, the main idea here is that you listen to my music, you can either relate, enjoy and learn or all three at the same time!

8: What is your greatest achievement as a musician?

For my last two releases (7/30 & New Day) I recorded them and edited them myself before putting them into the public. Beforehand, I did not know to know what to do so that was a limitation in itself. However once I managed to learn, this made the creation of music that much easier at the time. I do not know exactly how to categorize these achievements, but from the time I released (Project Trap) another single, I received cosigns from artists like Fat Joe & Cassidy, this gave me a big boost of confidence and I continued to create and in my eyes evolve over the time and find my sound.

9: Do you produce your music? If not, who do you work with?

Although I have done my last two recent releases, I work with (EastCoastCoco) and have been working with him for some time now. I get instrumentals from him now and again and even record with him. Another individual that I receive instrumentals from is a producer who goes by Teo and he has helped me a great deal as well. Aside from that, I have also been collaborating with local (Camo Neptune) and I have written to his beats as well as got him on one of my future releases.

10: Who is one artist you wish you could work with?

One artist I would want to work with would be Rass Kass, I’ve listened to his music for some time now and I believe we would be able to make something great. The wordplay and flow are too crazy, I know I could keep up.

11: Tell us about any new music you have coming out? When is it coming out? What is it about?

Since New Day, I have not put anything out, however, I have been working like crazy, there are so many things to come. Most recently I released the cover art for the single (GUERRA). Guerra ( meaning war in Spanish) is about the contrast in my former handle Almighty J from when I used to Deejay as well as Cappo, the title I took on after transitioning from Deejaying to rapping. Guerra is supposed to be the bridge leading into the Yahshua Lumen Tape. The name translates to (Yahshua the light) I had released art for the Yahshua Lumen tape on social media, however, I experienced some delays but in turn, ended up working out in my favor. The Lumen Tape cover art features a statue of myself with Kemetic influence, crafted by my father. The tape will take you through the various aspects of (El Cappo (me)) but also looks to bring light, knowledge, and enjoyment to its audience.

12: What does a day inside your shoes look like?

Well, it all starts pretty calmly. I tend to the garden/yard in the early part of my day and then I look towards the rest of the day which is usually filled with creating more content. Most recently I have been pretty busy as I am taking on more and more work, but I still find the time to take a breath and remember that you must have balance. When I am not making music, I am either gaming or trying to expand my brain with a book!

13: Anything else you want the audience to know about you?

 It has been a wild ride, but I am very grateful for where this path has taken me and where it will continue to take me. For all of those who have been keeping up with my music, I love and appreciate all of you! I try to interact through my social media with whoever gives me feedback or maybe just wants some advice on music. I have so much on the way and am excited for all to see what’s coming. 

I am on every streaming platform! Go tap in!

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Natalie is a journalism major with a focus on Entertainment and Music who aspires to become a Content Creator For Honk Magazine. Eventually, she wants to be the Publisher or Editor-in-Chief of a major Publishing House. She loves helping people find their voice and passion for writing and journalism, and she can always be found with coffee in hand, editing another article.