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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Artist Of The Week - Absent Minded
Monday, March 17, 2008

Raised in a military family, by the age of 19 Absent Minded had already lived in 15 different cities in his home country of Canada. Since ’97 things have been a little less hectic as he’s been living between Toronto and Barrie (a city 45 minutes north of Toronto), following his musical goals. In 2006, after five years of recording and shopping demos, Absent Minded finally decided to live the D.I.Y. lifestyle and released his self-produced debut album, Master Plan, on his own independent record label, LOD Development. The album gave him a nice buzz in the underground and this week I caught up with him to find out his work, what the Hip-Hop scene in Canada is like and where he hopes to take it next.

Adam Bernard: As a native of Canada, break down the Hip-Hop scene there for me. Are there different sounds depending on what part of the country you’re in? Can you tell if an MC is from Quebec or Toronto just based on their music?
Absent Minded: Canada’s Hip Hop scene is definitely still in its growth period. I think if you asked the average Canadian to name off a Canadian rapper they probably would have no clue who to name. I’m not saying everyone, because undoubtedly we have a large demographic of people who are knowledgeable Hip Hop fanatics, but I’m saying successful Canadian rappers, like Kardinal Offishall for example, are still not household names. In terms of sound we have everything from the mainstream “Swagger” sound to the heavy duty “Underground” artists. I don’t think it makes a big difference where you’re from in Canada; I think it depends on the artists personal tastes. You would definitely be able to tell if an artist is from Quebec however, but that’s obvious, since most people from the province of Quebec speak French.

Adam Bernard: OK, so describe your sound. How did you develop it?
Absent Minded: I’m an avid fan of the classic Boom Bap and I try to keep my sound within those realms. I do, however, like to experiment to some extent and implement a variety of atmospheric sounds to my production. Someone once told me that my music sounds like it’s inspired sonically by Dr. Dre and that every note is in place, without a lot of filler or clutter. I like to make sure that my beats are rich, full and bangin. When it comes to the vocal side of things I like to think of myself as somewhat of a mischievous character with an intense amount of energy. I guess you could say I developed my sound through many years of musical training and by listening to tonnes and tonnes of music, lots of classic rock and lots of Hip-Hop.

Adam Bernard: Is there anything interesting you’d like to do with Hip-Hop that you feel hasn’t been done before?
Absent Minded: That’s what I’m planning right now. The new album, Stage Presence, is gonna be a prime example of “hasn’t been done before.” I got lots of surprises in store. Keep your eyes peeled for the record and the subsequent tour.

Adam Bernard: You sound like a very together individual, so I have to wonder how you ended up with the name Absent Minded. Are you always loosing your keys or something?
Absent Minded: In all honesty I can’t remember where I got the name!? Ha ha. On the real though, I tend to be a little selective of things I remember and the things I don’t. Being a guy that has met so many people, lived in so many places and seen so many things, every now and then a memory pops up that I had completely forgot about.

Adam Bernard: I hope this next question doesn’t qualify as a memory test, but I want to know where some of your local hotspots for Hip-Hop, either record store-wise or performance space-wise, are. What places do you frequent?
Absent Minded: We’ve got a few great record stores here in Toronto, Play De Record and Kops & Vortex are known for their vast selections. Up on Barrie, Drop the Needle is your DJ source. When I sample shop I usually go to an old bookstore that I don’t want to disclose the name of because it’s my secret find. They have thousands of old records that the owner is pretty much giving away. I usually just grab a bunch, negotiate a price and listen to them when I get to the studio. The Rivoli, El Mocambo and The Opera House are always good places to catch great Hip-Hop shows in Toronto. We have quite a few dedicated promoters running events on a regular basis. I’ve performed at each of those spots at one time or another and recently I had the chance to share the stage with Method Man at The Roxx Night Club in Barrie. Those who have been to The Roxx know how incredible the sound is. I consider that place to be one of the best hotspots outside of Toronto.

Adam Bernard: Is there any particular development you’d like to see happen in Canada’s Hip-Hop scene?
Absent Minded: On a personal level I’d like to see to see LOD Development grow to be the most successful independent rap movement in Canada. I’d like to see my music become renown in Canada’s Hip-Hop scene. On a community level I’d like to see more artists work together and succeed together. Of course a little healthy competition is always good, but by working together we can help take Canadian Hip-Hop to a level were we’ll be known on the international front and be able to live off of our craft and prosper by doing what we love to do. Oh yeah, and I like to see more money flowing into the game here in Canada.

Related Links

Website: absentminded.ca
MySpace: myspace.com/loddevelopment
UGHH: Absent Minded - Master Plan


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:50 AM  
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