We connected with Calgary based rap artist Lyrique for an exclusive interview to discuss his DOPE new single “PRESSURE”, as well as to find out how his Filipino culture is reflected in his music. We also got a chance to ask Lyrique about the hip-hop scene in Calgary, his upcoming EP “Saints in the Summer”, and much more.
After reading our Q&A with Lyrique, be sure to connect with him on his social media, and listen to more of his music on Spotify!
Salute to you on the release of your dope new single "Pressure". What inspired you to write it and what led you to select the Lucas Depetti instrumental?
I really like the timbre of the beat. Lucas has done nice creating that Drake Toronto sound with this beat. And I was never the biggest Drake fan until recent and I see how he raps and his metaphors and unique flow so I tried to incorporate that as well.
I was just mad this one afternoon. I am very competitive you see and I was just triggered by this one local rapper one afternoon. So I was just gonna freestyle to this beat and then the song came about.
You are based in Calgary but originally from the Philippines. How would you say that your Filipino culture is reflected in your music?
I migrated to Canada on my own five years ago. I was born in Baguio City, it’s a small town in the northern part of the Philippines. I can say that I represent my culture to the fullest when I can. I have seen and the world has seen rappers of different backgrounds kill it but never Asians/Filipinos until recent.
I identify as one of the top Asian artists in my city and I respectfully claim that as I rep constantly the story of how I’m an immigrant in Canada. Be it through interviews, my songs or how I respond to my Filipino followers.
Can we expect "PRESSURE" to be featured on your upcoming project "Saints in the Summer"? What can you tell us about this upcoming release?
“PRESSURE” is not part of “Saints in the Summer”; I finished recording the EP before this song came about. I wrote “PRESSURE” to release the pressure or negative energy I have inside and to also prove a point to anyone specially the new generation who acts and claims reckless things. It’s my “becoming a bully” track so to speak. I have been too nice but I think it’s time to call people out and put some people in check while continuously supporting those who I genuinely support in this game.
As for the EP there is no set release date yet; however, we are in the process of shooting a video to go along with the EP as I release it.
Describe the hip-hop scene in Calgary right now for emerging artists. Are there a lot of venues for artists to perform and are locals supportive of homegrown talent?
The hip-hop scene in Calgary is continuously growing. It has come a long was from where it was back when I started. There are a bunch of heavy hitters in the scene who I think have a lot of potential. We have a hip-hop platform here in the presence of “10 AT 10 Calgary” and festivals such as “SLED ISLAND” who in my opinion are great avenues to get noticed. We have also recently had a big signing of local talent such as female hip-hop duo CARTEL MADRAS who recently got signed to Sub-Pop Records.
If I may shout out the dope local talent brewing in this city I have much props to artists such as JAE STERLING, K-RIZ, MAYOWA, PROFIT, NATE LESCO, HALFCUT, SARAFIN, DA KID T, SINZERE and JACKIE ART to name a few. as well as local producers AMAURHI, J.SOUL, FATROK and RAJAH beats. There is enormous amount of talent in this city. Not to mention the amazing DJs we have in this city. However I feel that more avenues need to be formed and the city needs to support this genre more as it is also the top genre in our world today.
You've been featured on MTV Asia, CBC and Complex, and performed on several festival stages; what would you say has been your biggest musical accomplishment thus far?
Man being featured on COMPLEX was a huge highlight for me. Even my parents knew what Complex was and how it was a big deal. And performing in front of thousands at the recent K-Days Music Festival has given me more energy to achieve bigger stages like that now more than ever.
With 2019 winding down, what are some of your goals for the next few months heading into 2020?
I wanna be more of an artist in development. A lot of people think I only rap. But before rap I was trained in bass guitar for 4 years and I play multiple instruments such as guitar and keys. I want people to see me as a producer as well as I have produced beats for artists in the past. Not to mention being a graphic artist. Most of my releases I created the graphic art for. So these are avenues I really wanna grow my market on besides my own projects.