If you’re an avid reader of the « Mixtape Addict » website, you know we like to showcase the realest MC’s from all over the world. This time let’s take a flight to the city of Toronto in Canada to sit down with lyricist Fortunato. As a veteran rapper, he has worked with legendary artists like Sean Price, Smif N Wessun, Merkules and Fredro Starr. He is a two time East Coast Music Award Nominee with over 10 albums and has toured across Europe and North America with Onyx, The Beatnuts and Apollo Brown. Check out the new video, and interview below :
- Who is your all time favorite DJ ?
My favourite DJ would be DJ Premier. His scratch hooks are legendary, his beats are so uniquely his, and he’s made so many classic tracks. Skills, longevity, originality, no one can compare to Primo.
- When you hear the word « mixtape » what comes to your mind in first ?
I started collecting mixtapes back in the 90’s. I used to go to a spot in Toronto called Apple’s House Of Hip Hop and buy tapes from DJ S&S, DJ Clue, & Tony Touch. Tony Touch’s Tape 50 Power Cypha is the epitome of what a mixtape should be. A collection of exclusive tracks blended and curated by a DJ with his signature style creating the vibe.
- How do you see the future of hip-hop in the next 5 years ?
I think we’ll see a return to the Golden era of Hip Hop. Conscious raps with an emphasis on lyricism is on the rise and skills are becoming more valued. Sampling in production and deep grooves with baselines seems to be emerging so maybe less of a party vibe is on the horizon. It would make sense with the current state we’re living in to bring back a darker grimy vibe but we shall see.
- You were born and raised in Toronto… How is the rap scene in Toronto and all over Canada ?
Toronto was coined the screwface capital because of the lack of love heads in the scene show for each other. Coming up here is very difficult, there’s no support for new artists trying to make a mark, and because of our history, the bar is set very high. Toronto is also the Hip Hop capital of Canada. We had the first Hip Hop record label with Beat Factory and some of the most legendary MC’s like Michie Mee, Maestro Fresh Wes, Ghetto Concept etc. It seems like no one will respect you here until you blow up internationally. As for the rest of Canada, we are a vast land and it’s hard to tour and stay connected because of the distance between cities and provinces. So you’ll find artists are very secluded in their own communities and unaware of opportunities in other parts of the country.
- What was your relationship with Sean Price ?
Sean and I toured Canada together in 2013. I was the tour manager and also performing at the shows. During the tour we developed a business relationship that later became a friendship. We had some hilarious moments, like when I was told not to give him his money from a show by his label and he told me « Fortunato you bout to get hurt, you better gimme my money » lol. I guess that was both hilarious and terrifying. After the tour wrapped up we stayed in touch and when I was working on the Blue Collar EP I asked him if he wanted to do a song together and to my surprise he said yes. Next thing you know I was flying to New York to shoot the video and the rest is history. He died a month later and I always tell myself that if I would have hesitated or delayed it would’ve never happened, so I guess the lesson is don’t wait till it’s too late.
- If you could stay a weekend in the studio to get a EP done with one producer, who would you pick ?
I would say Harry Fraud or Apollo Brown. I toured with The Left back in the day and I was trying to sell beats for Apollo in Canada but people were sleeping. Well they aint sleeping now and I always regret not copping some beats myself. Harry Fraud just has such a dope cinematic quality to his beats, it would be dope to see if I could do his beats justice.
- If you had 3 words to define your music, what would you say ?
Heartfelt, inspirational, and lyrical.
- What are you working on right now ?
I have an album coming out this year called Moonwater with the homies Lxvndr and Scrimige that will be available on vinyl from Black Buffalo Records. I also got a collab with a Pop artist from the UK name Hunny B dropping soon
- Do you have any advice for the upcoming artists ?
Always try to do something everyday to further your career. It may be as small as sending out an email. Just do one thing everyday to keep you moving forward.
- Where can people purchase your music and show support ?
You can buy music at Iamfortunato.bandcamp.com or Apple/Amazon Music, follow me on Spotify, IG, FB, and if you like what you hear then tell a friend, nothing beats word of mouth.