HHV Artist Feature: Aspire

Aspire is a well known name in the Vancouver hip-hop community, working with Imaginations Treetrunk and helping found Household Records over the last decade he’s made music with artists like Masta Ace, Wordsworth, and Scratch Bastid. After a brief hiatus in Toronto, he has returned to Vancouver to continue his work bringing us the unique style and content he is known for.

Q: What new music is in the works for Aspire, and what can fans expect from this release that is different from your other projects?

A: I am currently just finishing up my first solo album called “Two Sides”. It is a concept album that represents the two sides of me. One side that wants to be conceptual and change the world, and another side that wants the finer things in life.

I think this album is going to really show people who I am on a deeper level. People can expect the most personal and moving material that I have ever done.

I also experiment with different styles, beats, and cadences then I have before, and I think anyone that has been a fan of me in the past, will be pleasantly surprised at the changes.

Q: You’ve been a large part of the developing Vancouver battle rap community, how do you feel it’s evolved since you started?

A: I feel like the scene has come along way from where it was when I started. The footage, venues, talent, and turn outs have all drastically improved on every level. Its amazing to see what LaSparka has done here in the last couple of years. KOTD went from throwing battles in the park, to doing PPV sold out events at fortune, and things are only getting better.

Q: Would you ever consider stepping into the ring once again? Why or why not?

A: There would have to be a lot of money involved haha. I would rather focus on making music that really moves people. In the height of my career I battled some of the best rappers in north america and I am proud of what I accomplished. It would be hard to top that at this point.

Q: What are some of the major differences you noticed between the hiphop scene in Toronto vs the community here?

A: It seems like the Toronto hip hop community is leaps and bounds ahead of us. There is so much talent here, but everyone is working against each other. If we all came together, we would create a really inspiring movement.

It would be nice to see Vancouver have a festival like Manifesto and throw free shows that bring in big names and showcase local emcees. With that being said, I think Vancouver has a lot more unique artists, rather then a bunch of rappers who are trying to sound like Drake haha.

We have the potential to have something really big here, but there is still a lot of room for growth.

Q: Why did you move away? What motivated you to continue your career in Vancouver?

A: I moved away for personal reasons. My mother wasn’t in the best shape at the time, so I went to my hometown of Brockville to be closer to her. After living there for a few months, it started to get to me, so I decided to move to a city that was still close enough that I could visit and make sure she was alright.

Once things got better and my work there was done, I decided to move back to BC. Vancouver is the best city in Canada in my opinion, and there is nowhere else that I would rather live in the world. I came back because this is where I spent the best eight years of my life, and I have the right support group here to help take me to the next level.

Q: What music influences you right now? Is there anyone making hiphop locally that you really feel?

A: The older I get, the more I find myself being inspired by different genres other then hip hop. It could be anything really, from Sam Cooke to Sade, just people who made timeless music.
As for local emcees, I am most inspired by Shad. I think he is the best rapper in Canada. His word play is extremely sharp and his words are moving. I wish more emcees would take note and focus on making uplifting music, rather then just trying to just copy the latest trend.

Q: Are you doing any more work with Imaginations Tree Trunk or Household Records?

A: I am still homies with everyone from Imaginations Tree Trunk. As far as I know, they are not really a label anymore. I’m proud of the records we put out, and I wish all of them the best. I actually live with Azrael and we are working on some new Tap Water tracks. Chadio and I plan to get in the studio soon as well.

As for Household, that’s my fam for life and I’m about to drop my album with them. I was also just featured on a track off the NWD Rap Better Party Harder project. Household is a force to be reckoned with, and its an honour to be a part of it.

Q: Where should fans of Aspire look to see you live? Are you doing any shows or festivals this summer?

A: I was on a bit of a hiatus making this record, and I am just getting back into the swing of booking shows. June is going to be a busy month for me though. You can catch me opening for Kyprios and the Chaperones at the Anza Club on June 4th.

I will also be opening up for G.O.O.D MUSIC artist Cyhi Da Prynce at fortune sound club on Sat June 7th. After that I will be doing a fundraiser for Aprons and Gloves at the Fox on June 26th. Fans can also expect an album/video release party this summer as well, but as of now the date is yet to be announced.


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