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24 March 2010

Interview with Canadian grime MC Tré Mission

Check my interview Canada's hottest grime MC which was recently featured on MTV's 'The Wrap Up'.

1. Can you tell us a little bit about the Canadian/American grime scene...

Tre Mission: When I first started listening to grime a few years back I didn’t know anyone outside of my immediate circle that was into it, or had even heard of it. It stayed like that for a while until I went online and did some research and I found out about a few small promotion companies that had set up grime nights at local club venues in Toronto. I also found out that Montreal had its own grime scene even bigger than Toronto’s. After I saw SB.TV upload the promo for Intoccabile's EP's, I realized grime was bigger than what I thought. I believe dubstep is bigger in Canada than grime though. As for the U.S, I wouldn’t know about their scene, Americans are too caught up with Miley Cyrus and The Jonas Brothers right now anyway [Laughs].

2. I noticed you MC over both grime and dubstep beats, but which do you prefer?

TM: The thing about grime is that it’s a name which suits the sound more than any other urban genre. It sounds grime-y and that's part of what had drawn me towards it in the first place. The first time I ever heard grime music I was thinking this right here is different. Dubstep evoked the same emotion from me; the only difference is that it was purely instrumental. I instantly thought to myself, Imagine grime and dubstep combined. Shortly after, I started discover a lot of grime artists were doing just that, so I think I would say I like grime beats more than dubstep, but I like grime MCs better over dubstep beats.

3. You've had a good reception on the UK forums to your style of grime. How has it been over in Canada, especially by those not used to the beats and MCing style?

TM: I was really shocked at the amount of positive reception and support I got on the Grime Forum. I was expecting a lot more haters saying that I was “biting UK style,” but the grime fans are very open minded. I've already been doing hip-hop for a good while now, so when people in Canada hear my music they just say that I’m doing something different, they don’t know its grime specifically. However, I always get a good reception because I’m producing quality lyrics over quality music, so it’s undeniable. In Toronto, everyone’s next door neighbour is a rapper and they all seem to be doing the same thing, so I try to give people a breath of fresh air and it seems to have worked so far. Of course it will take people a bit of time to get used to the new style, but most people are tired of recycled music so they enjoy what I bring to the table.

4. You mentioned your musical background comes both from hip-hop as well as reggae. Which of these have a bigger influence in your musical output?

TM: I would say hip-hop is a bigger influence in my output, simply because I stopped listening to reggae for a couple of years now. They started coming out with all these dance songs and I just wasn’t into it anymore. Also, I’ve never been a reggae artist, but I’ve been doing hip-hop for many years so my those roots are naturally projected through my music. Some grime fans hear my grime stuff and say it sounds like hip-hop, but I think it's only because they need some time to get over the accent.

5. Considering the diversity of the scene which UK grime acts do you think would be most successful in North America?

TM: Right now I think Chipmunk, N-Dubz, and Tinie Tempah have the greatest chance of being successful in North America right now, mainly because their music tends to be more on the commercial side. I'm not one of those people that complain that artists are crossing over or "selling out" and I applaud any artist’s successful attempt at breaking into the mainstream. I believe Skepta also has a good chance, because he's a bit easier for North Americans to understand and his cross over tracks are quality as well as his grime stuff.

6. Have there been any UK grime artists like Wiley, Dizzee, or Tinchy Stryder that have made some noise in the mainstream/underground scenes in Canada?

TM: Dizzee Rascal was the first grime artist I ever heard before I even knew what grime was. There’s a program on Much Music (Canadian music channel) called "The New Music" and I saw his video ‘Fix Up Look Sharp’ on there and all I can remember thinking is, he's coming hard right now but I can’t understand what he's saying. He's huge in North America. I always hear Dizee Rascal's songs on the dance music radio stations, but not on the hip-hop channels. I heard Chipmunk's ‘Oopsy Daisy’ in FootLocker a couple months ago, as well as last summer I was in the Eaton's Center in downtown Toronto and I heard ‘Wearing My Rolex’ in a clothing store. Other than that you don’t really hear any British urban acts except for M.I.A.

7. Are there any plans with any UK artists? And who would be your dream collaboration?

TM: So far a few underground MCs and producers have reached out to me to collaborate but as of today not anyone that is really making any noise in the scene. As far as a dream collaboration I'd have to say either P Money or Skepta. That one wasn't hard at all.

8. What do you make of the recent beef between P Money and Ghetts clash?

TM: Before the clash I didn’t like Ghetts. I found him incredibly hard to understand to be honest and I thought he was way too hype, but I have always rated P Money ever since I heard ‘Wot Did He Say’. The clash really showed me what the hype about Ghetts was. It’s not just bars you can tell he really feels and believes in what he’s talking about. I started giving him a chance and I realized he really is one of the best in the scene, but I still think P Money won though. I want to see them clash live, that’s what I’m really looking forward to, some head to head combat. I heard P signed the contract already so we'll see.

9. You're part of a group called DSReligion. How many of you are involved and what can we expect to hear from them?

TM: DSReligion consists of me and my long time friend Rjaye aka Prince Protejaye. We also have a circle that we work with who are all heavily involved in DSReligion which includes Jason Packs, Seeza Benji, Youngin and our engineer and mentor Sunny Diamonds, as well as others. Right now Rjaye has an R&B single available on iTunes called ‘Poison’ which is getting its first spins on radio stations around America as we speak. We also have a DSReligion EP in the works as well as my own solo projects. In the next couple of months I will be releasing a free promo on the internet so look out for that on the as well as various other grime/music blogs. Videos are in the works as well so stay tuned!

Check out Tre Mission's freestlye over the S-X produced 'Woo Riddim':

Stay up to date with Tre Mission on Twitter -

As of today, some unnamed grime MC has sent for Tre saying he doesn't know shit about London or the grime scene. Right. I'm not gonna give the guy attention by posting the link but all I'll say is that when you got haters, you know you're doing something right! Look out for Tre's mixtape coming soon...

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