Meet the Noise: Five Questions for Dalton Higgins
Dalton Higgins is a Toronto-based writer, broadcaster, music promoter and journalist. He also happens to be one of the country’s foremost hip hop theorists, and his extensive writings on the history and development of the hip hop genre in Canada and around the world have earned him praises and accolades from scholars and musicians alike.
On September 20th, Dalton will be stopping by the Malvern Library to share his new book Far From Over: The Music & Life of Drake and to discuss the musical and cultural conditions in Toronto that helped create the Drake phenomenon. In the meantime, he’s taken a moment to answer a few questions for the Make Some Noise crew”.
What do you find the most exciting
about the Toronto Music community?
The present day Toronto music scene is made up of all of these lovely little bottom-up countercultural clusters of genre’s like hip hop and reggae scratching and clawing their way to be heard by their own, and by the dominant culture, with some success.
What’s your most memorable Toronto
Big Daddy Kane at the Concert Hall (aka The Masonic Temple aka CTV / MTV HQ) way back when, in the early 90’s I believe. People who are now into Jay-Z might not know that it was Big Daddy Kane who used to let Jay-Z open up for him, and that Jay-Z was heavily influenced by Big Daddy Kane’s style, swagger, lyrical mastery. You have to always respect the architects!
What Greater Toronto Area
musician/band’s album do you think everyone should be listening to?
I’m waiting for the music collective Freedom Writers to release their debut full length any day now. Sure, I can swag out with the best of them, but there needs to be some profound messages and proper beats in the music I put on repeat.
What advice would you give an
aspiring artist trying to break into the Toronto Music Scene?
Develop and nurture your own scene, because it’s all about Power To The People. Exploit your social media connections – that’s your potential hardcore fan base – and don’t sit back and wait around to be “discovered” by some out-of-touch music industry gatekeeper. That is sooo 90’s.
Seeing as this is the library and
all, what books would you recommend to someone who wanted to find out more
about Canadian Hip Hop?
Well, the reason I’m oftentimes referred to as Canada’s foremost expert in hip hop is because I’m that guy that’s been documenting the culture in book form dating back to 2001 when I wrote my first book, Much Master T: A VJ’s Journey (ECW Press), so I’d say to start with that. There’s a lot of history in there because there was a time when the only time you would get to see rap music on TV was on Much Music – this was before BET was available in Canada – or when ex-VJ Master T played it. The book also works as a great mini comprehensive history of Much Music.
Remember to stop by and meet Dalton this week at the Malvern Library!
Northern Touch: Drake and the Rise of Canadian Hip Hop
Malvern Library (30 Sewells Road)
Thursday September 20th 7:00 - 8:30 PM