Why Montreal Hip-Hop Beast, Yosh, is So Unique
24Our Music had the opportunity to interview Yosh, a Montreal-based rapper among whose accomplishments are headlining for Rap-Up, a growing online fan base, and recording the official Virgin Radio Habs song for 2013: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-1JPydmk5g). Adding to Yosh’s already formidable repertoire is his ability to dynamically shift from one genre to another. He writes lyrically astounding and heartfelt songs, like “Grandpa Called” and “Rainbows,” then transitions into jazzy and up-beat tracks like “While I was Playing Fair.” During the interview, one of Montreal’s most noteworthy emerging artists gave us insight into his creative process, jokester personality, and the unconventional way that his family supports him.
Who are you as an artist and what should readers know about you?
My name is Yosh, I’m 23 years old and I’ve been making music seriously since I was 17. I enjoy long walks on the beach and have seen The Notebook more times than any man should.
How would you describe your sound, and what artists and genres have contributed to developing it?
I would describe my sound as recognizable and ever-changing. Soulja Boy, Chief Keef and Young Thug. Just kidding. Over the years I’ve been influenced by quite a few artists like Jay-Z, Nas, Eminem and J. Cole but would say the most interesting influence was Charles Aznavour, a French singer that my grandmother listens to. He has an incredible way with words and was one of the people who got me wanting to start writing seriously.
Can you give 24Our Music some insight into your writing process? Do you find yourself writing lyrics primarily when inspiration comes to you, or do you hold yourself to a fixed writing schedule?
The great thing about inspiration is it can come anytime, any place. I always make sure I have something with me, usually my phone, to write notes when ideas hit me. At the same time, when I write a track, most, if not all of it, will come when I have the beat on.
Hip-hop often has as a recurring theme representing one’s city. In what way has Montreal shaped you as an artist, and is there anything about it that you’d like to see changed?
The cool thing about Montreal is that you can’t really group artists by one kind of sound or theme. I think the fact that we don’t have a distinct sound allowed me to find my own voice and style. I’d like the hip hop scene to become more important to Montreal hip hop heads . . . there are a lot of great artists in this city but not a great amount of support.
Speaking of Montreal, are there any local artists who have helped you along the way? Any shout-outs?
My family and friends are always the voice in the background letting me know if things are sounding good or not. I was working with a producer named Shaun Miller and he was a positive influence in shaping my sound. Last but definitely not least, The Patriot, and my younger brother and mom (I swear) are making the majority of the beats I’m currently using, and they’re gonna be with me for good.
Last but not least, mind telling us a little bit about projects you’re currently working on?
I’m working on many projects at once, the main ones being one with The Patriot and the other with my mom and bro. Two very different kinds of projects. You can watch videos for two of the tracks with The Patriot, Last One Left and STG.
Get nostalgic and philosophical with “Grandpa Called.” (Warning: You may want to have tissues handy): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-nYa6GNrbE
Add some sleek swagger to your day with “Last One Left”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gX391-fxKsQ
Photo by Grant Cabrales
The Hayden Roth Company