At this point, Gee Wunder has had a great career in the Toronto Hip-Hop scene; one might even say that he’s officially reached that coveted “OG” status alongside others such as Kardinal Offishall, Choclair, Saukrates and Maestro Fresh Wes. I was excited to talk to Gee Wunder because of the extent that he has been involved in the music industry and for how long as well. The titles of rapper, producer, record label owner, and many more are some that can be listed under his extensive resume. Gee Wunder recently released a joint LP with fellow rapper Set2 called Livication which is now available for purchase at his website geewunder.com.
So I think I named all of your job titles in the music industry, did I leave any out? Also, how did you first get started in the music business?
Haha. Yah I have many jobs in the industry. One of the MAIN ones you left out is my job as Senior Music Video Programmer at Bell Media. I am the programmer for Much, M3, MuchVibe, MuchLoud, PunchMuch and MuchRetro television and digital channels. I’ve also been known to do voice-over work as well.
You’ve put out a lot of projects over the years, what made you decide to go with a joint LP?
Yes I have put out many full length albums. “Livication” LP would be my 17th full-length project since 2008 to be exact. This is not the first collaborative album that I’ve done because collaborating is one of my favourite things to do in the industry. I’ve also done joint-albums with Cory Lee as the group The City (“Disco Nights: Vol. 1” LP (2011)), Abaddon (“Culture Rap” LP (2010)) and two CDs with Motive Music producer/DJ T. Major (“Original Heads” LP (2010) and “The Way We Live” LP (2014).
How has your sound changed from your very first project to now, if at all? And what has contributed to that?
Well I’ve been self-produced since my first CD “Street Knowledge” in 2008. My sound has progressed and evolved with collaborations with upcoming and established artists and producers.
You’re an artist with your own label, is it hard to start up something like that on your own? What components do you need?
It’s not really difficult for a business-minded artist to start his/her own label. Luckily I started out on URBNET Records in 2008 so I had a mentor in Darryl Rodway, the label’s owner. He put me on to information here and there that I needed to know…but it was mostly trial and error. I was inspired by label owners south of the border like Master P, Cash Money Records, Gucci Mane, Puff Daddy and other label moguls.
Your label is small but a powerful, well-oiled machine. Are you looking to expand in the future with more artists? What kind of artist would catch your eyes and ears?
Thanks for the compliment! Yes I am always looking to sign new artist and producers. Our latest signee is Mezziah, an artist from Mississauga. I’m looking to sign Artists & Labels (to sub distribution deals) that are self-contained, consistent and have lots of product already being released.
Who’s your top artist in the game right now and why?
My top artist and CEO in this game right now would be Gucci Mane. I say this because he is super consistent with his releases, which is highly motivational, has SOOOO many releases and is always responsible for breaking/introducing new talent out of Atlanta. In the past four years or so I’ve patterned my label structure completely after what he’s done. Except for the ice cream face tattoo and the stints in jail of course. Haha.
You’ve done a lot of collaboration throughout your career with some other notable Canadian artists such as JD Era, Cory Lee and Rochester, who have been your favorite artist to work with so far?
My favourite artist to collaborate with would be Cory Lee and my signed artist Set2. I find that creating records with those two is very enjoyable, organic and always a learning experience for me.
You have quite a legacy in the Toronto Hip-Hop scene; what type of advice would you give to any upcoming young rappers and RnB singers who want to do the same?
Thank you for the compliment. I would say the most important piece of advice would be to learn the music business and have your own recording set-up to keep a consistent pace of records coming out. Also make use of social media and keep it professional if you are representing yourself as an artist or a business.
Finally, what else is in store for you and your label in 2016?
My label Motive Music Canada (ig: motivemusiccanada) has LOTS in store for 2016 and beyond. So far this year we’ve released “Livication” LP – Gee Wunder x Set2, Gee Wunder Produced “2016 Future Beats Industry CD” and new producer CY On The Beats “2016 Industry CD”. Upcoming releases for the year are; “Jesus Christ Superstar” Instrumental Mixtape by Producer Notestradamus, “10,000 Hours” LP by Set2, “TBA” EP by Mezziah, “Trap Prince” Instrumental LP by CY On The Beat, “Diversity” LP by Gee Wunder, “High Volume” LP by Gee Wunder, “Future Beats: Vol. 1” Instrumental LP by Gee Wunder. Also in 2017 look out for my first published book “Industry Tips”. Check us out at Motive Music Canada on FB and @MotiveCanada on Twitter to keep up with our latest releases.
Well there you have it folks. It seems that the key to success isn’t any fancy magic trick or gimmick; it’s all about hard work and consistency! As you see, Gee Wunder has done a tremendous amount of work and knows the ins and outs of the game; personally, I cannot wait for “Industry Tips” to come out so I can rise to the top like he has! I’m very glad that Gee Wunder took the time out to talk to us.