This month, we decided to feature two Toronto artists rather than one for our Iscream Interview. You may know them as rapper Clairmont the Second, and The OBGMs drummer Cola, but to their friends and family, they are known as Clairmont Humphrey and Colanthony Humphrey. With the well-deserved success of the OBGMs and the recent rise of Clairmont the Second, we decided to interview both brothers together in order to learn about their relationship, their thoughts on the music world, and the direction they are taking with their careers. Shoutout to our photographer James Jordan of xxist forever and art director Gregory Charles of Kadlife.
The raw uncensored and unedited version of this interview is available via audio on Soundcloud: http://bit.ly/1UYEcTr
Del: Cola, tell me about the This Is Not A Love Song Festival.
Cola: We were going to France for another festival and it just came up, there is some big names on that show as well, I’m assuming that the whole This Is Not A Love Song theme means that there is harder bands than people who do soft stuff, but it’s pretty exciting. France, we’re coming. Last time we were there we didn’t get a chance to play because of the shooting at the Eagle of Death Metal and the bombing at the soccer game.
Del: How else do you express yourself musically besides being a drummer?
Cola: Besides being a drummer, I rap. I don’t even like saying that because it feels like everyone raps. It feels like it was the same vibe as it was 10 years ago when mediocre became ok. We were like well everyone and their mom is rapping then the quality is going down and people are getting signed for one song deals, then why are we even doing this? That’s how the OBGMs were born, I still rap, and when the OBGMs started blowing up I kind of put it to the side even though I knew I could get some attention with it. The band, we been working on for a lot longer. I play piano and I produce too, I produced on that Spek Won record, also dropped a verse on that Spek Won record, also dropped a verse on that Clairmont record.
Clairmont: Kind of like Andre 3000, how he just drops a verse on someone’s record once a year.
The only difference between Andre 3000 and me is that I’m impeccable and he’s aight.
Clairmont bursts out laughing*
Del: How do you see your music career evolving in the next 10 years?
Cola: I’ve been in this shit for like 10 years officially and this is gonna come across bad but I’ve grown real bitter towards the industry, based on a number of things. Based on how it’s operating, how I’m treated, how our band is treated, on what makes it and what doesn’t make it. I said it off the record and I’ll say it again, Spek Won has one of the best hip hop albums ever to come out of Toronto, and it still isn’t getting enough play. So I don’t know how things are gonna go in the next 10 years, things are going well for the band and Clairmont right now, but I am about to make some SERIOUS MOVES on my own and I hope it goes well.
Del: How often do you mess up behind the drums and people don’t notice?
Cola: Funny story, at our last show, we played for this festival in Quebec city and this one guy in the crowd noticed and he just shook his head like ‘what a big fuck up’, so what I did immediately, and my other band mates hate me for this, after I fuck up I just do an explosive roll, like something that will just impress everybody. Yo we killed that night, we been killin a lot of fucking shows. That’s what our band does.
Del: Clairmont in the last little while you dropped some fire tracks and been working with artists in the city and you have more experience under your belt since the last time we spoke, do you notice a difference in how you carry yourself as an artist?
Clairmont: Since the summer my next album has been in the works but I’ve had time to work with other artists and I’ve changed a lot. I’ve dropped the mixtape in September and the industry has changed the way I act and carry myself and the way I approach things. Now I have a lot more eyes on what I’m doing and have to watch what I say and do. I been low-key for a bit really trying to bang it out and haven’t been showing face. I look kind of scruffy.
Cola: Where is the game at it’s not showin’….
Del: hahaha, I’ve actually noticed from our first interview that you have become quieter, I think even your track titles were longer then they are now. Artists get anxiety about continuity when they first start out because they are their own brand. How do you deal with that anxiety and that pressure of making sure things are consistent but new with every release.
Clairmont: I’ve been paying a lot of attention to the responses I’ve gotten from tracks like comments and whose not sharing and stuff like that, and that was a big problem for me cause I feel like I am one of the best rappers in the city and I don’t understand why my stuff is not moving around like it should be. I started to get quieter after the Teen Backpack Cypher and that was big for me cause I use to watch that on YouTube.
Cola: You had a good verse on that.
Clairmont: Yeah thank you man I appreciate it, so doing that cypher they put a clip on Facebook and I already knew hate was gonna come cause that’s just the Internet. I wanted my track to move around faster, and when I made Eyes On Me I was like yo this is for the city, this is going to go around and everyone’s gonna sing the hook and it’s gonna be super sick and it didn’t do that right away. So then I shut down from the Internet and I started to feel better about myself and worked primarily on the music.
Del: How do you guys work with each other musically?
Clairmont: We don’t. I don’t work with any of these guys. I think they are all trash.
Cola: That bullshit. That bullshit. It’s actually a lot better then how it used to be when I was teaching him productions cause he would always want me to produce with him and I was like no.
Clairmont: And that is the reason why he’s not on my first 2 albums he just does stuff to make me mad. I’m just like i’ma do this album myself and I might grab a beat from you, and on Project II I didn’t take a beat from this guy and with the mixtape I was like whatever let me just put him on he’s begging to be on so.
Cola: Begging really you ASKED ME. Anyway back when we used to go to church, the music wouldn’t be live unless we were there, our vibes were much different than anyone else’s. He doesn’t like my criticism sometimes and sometimes I don’t like his, that makes the music better because you hear an objective point of view and you either take it or you leave it.
Del: Besides showing up on time for interviews, what advice do you have for Clairmont moving forward?
Cola: Talk about going dark. One piece of advice, and this is going to sound so contrary to what it is or what I mean by it, but when I say don’t take anything too seriously, I don’t mean don’t take things seriously. Understand that it takes a lot of shots for most people. Very few people put out three songs or 5 songs and get a call from puff daddy.
Del: And Clairmont what advice do you have for Cola?
Clairmont: Do what you want to do cause at the end of the day I feel like you don’t do what you want to do entirely. It’s always you put something else before hand.
If you want more, you can listen to the full interview on our Soundcloud page at: http://bit.ly/1UYEcTr
All photography by: Jordan Andrews of Xxist Forever
Art Direction Gregory Charles of Kadlife