HHV Artist Feature: Heatwave

Interview By: By: @CopaseticSoulz
Bio taken from HeatwavesWorld.com

Discovered by Red1 from the legendary Rascalz crew, HeatWave is a natural performer. He is also is the fifth member and lead emcee in Vancouver indie band, Vandettas. As the founder of the annual charity basketball tournament The HeatWave Classic he also makes it his goal to engage his communities – from his birth place in Africa
to home city of Vancouver.

HeatWave recently perfomed at SXSW 2014, headlined and performed in Uganda,
Africa and has toured Australia for SupaFest with Chris Brown, Lupe Fiasco,
Ludacris, Kelly Rowland and Big Sean and has also shared the stage with many
talented musicians such as Dom Kennedy, Tech N9NE, Fred Da Goson, Gunplay,
Damien Marley, Nas, Akon, Rihanna, RZA, Ice Cube, Talib Kweli, KRS-One, Slim Thug
and Nacho Picasso.

Heatwave at Venue
Heatwave at Venue

You’ve got a mixtape out called LFA: Live from Africa, what is the theme behind this release and what can people expect from it

LFA dropped as off the 8th of March and is available on datpiff.com – http://www.datpiff.com/HeatWave-Lfa-Live-From-Africa-mixtape.589131.html. The theme of this mixtape is me getting back in touch with my African roots. What my fans can expect from this project are collaborations with artists from different African countries and music videos that were shot there in the homeland as well. What they can also expect is new topics and material that I touch upon in reference to my African culture, experiences, and surroundings from my native soil. They also can expect of course a touch of Vancouver on the project as well through features and also videos that were shot here in the city.

Moving in another direction from your solo emcee set, you are also a part of a local hiphop indie band ‘Vandettas’. What was the motivation behind applying your talents to such a distinctly different style of music?

Well I’ve always been such a student of hip-hop that I felt almost like my knowledge for other genres was insufficient. This realization occurred back in 2010 when I was recording at Green House studios in East Vancouver. Spending lots of time there made me start interacting with bands and artists from other genres. This then started sparking my interest in other forms of music to which I felt I could learn. Being in this environment, I instantly started connecting and networking with other talented individuals and one of them happened to be Eric J Breitenbach (my current drummer/producer). From then on we started jamming, which eventually led us to start recording our material and eventually performing. The rest is history.

You recently dropped a new music video for the track “Relatives” and shot it in Uganda, what was that experience like?

It was deep. The outfit I was wearing in the video was given to me by my father. The area in which I shot the video was where my parents grew up as kids. So it was extremely eye opening, humbling, and inspiring.

Can you tell us about the work you’ve been doing overseas?

When I traveled back to Africa, I had this idea and desire to give back. I did this by renting a portable studio from Long and McQuade. I packed it all up with me so I could go there and set up anywhere to record people that had never had the privilege or opportunity to do so. I then took this equipment to downtown Kampala in Uganda where I met with community leaders. They happily gave me a space and their blessing to run a two day recording workshop all day long. I recording over 30 people in just one day, about 40 in total. Now a few of those people whom I had the pleasure of working with (such as Slim Emcee, Justine Nakkazi and DJ Colors) are now breakout artists in their market, are making noise, and playing big festivals over there. Aside from creating the LFA project itself over there my time was spent with the locals working on their own music. That is the most recent work I’ve done oversees.

Speaking of outreach, what can you tell us about your annual charity event, the ‘Heatwave Classic’ for underprivileged youth in the DTES.

Heatwave Classic
Heatwave Classic

The Heatwave Classic was a great function which ran 5 years in a row with my team but now I will be touring and doing other work abroad. However, I will still always give back. I have youth whom I consult on their future and whom I also employ as part of my team. I’ve also been sending music equipment back to Africa as well among other things to continue my support of the ever growing talent that I discovered there.

Who are some of your favourite Vancouver artists and how has this city shaped your approach to your music?

Some of my other favourite Vancouver artists are of course my homie Red1, Tony Mason, Fizal Stars, Yoge (Arami The Corrector), J Dennis, Madchild, T Jones, Snak The Ripper, Merkules, Neph, Joose, and of course my band mates Eric J Breitenbach (Drugz n Dreamz), Dwight Abell, and K-Rec. This city for a while, had me in this laid back vibe which in turn made me create laid back, smooth music. Vancity will always be one of my main stomping grounds.

What is in the works for the future of Heatwave?

Well a lot is going on right now, I’m about to drop my album Hi-Heat (which I spent the better part of the last year working on), I am also working on a mix tape set to be released before the summer. I have singles that I am working on to be released throughout the summer. I have tours I will be on very soon here throughout the United States and Canada not to mention shows I will be performing at with major headliners such as Bun B (April 30th @ Fortune). Plus a lot more that I can not mention as of yet.

Looking forward to it, thanks for talking with us!

Leave a Comment