Spek Won isn’t new to this. While he dropped his debut album Sofa King Amazing earlier this year, Spek Won has been making progressive sounds as part of Toronto’s creative music community for several years now, building up his reputation in collectives like 88 Days of Fortune. So while his album features some organic instrumentation and approaches, it also explores some vividly futuristic directions that much like his production alter ego Marty McFligh, take things back to the future. MNFSTO.COM caught up with Spek Won to discuss his music and approach within Toronto’s burgeoning reputation as a progressive sonic hub. – Del F. Cowie
Spek Won will be appearing as part of Manifesto at Future Sounds on Friday, September 18th with Adria Kain, a l l i e, Clairmont the Second, City Fidelia and Birthday Boy.
9pm – 2am
Daniels Spectrum (Ada Slaight Hall), 585 Dundas St. E.
$20 Advance Tickets
Follow Spek Won on Twitter at @spekwon
On Sofa King Amazing your production alter ego and one side of the album refers to a Back to the Future character [Marty McFligh]. Do you feel like there’s a futuristic approach to what you’re doing?
I feel like there’s definitely a progressive thought process that goes into the writing and the concepts. I do my best to try to mould and put together. I come up on hip hop and music during a time when you didn’t have the influx of music through social media and what not so it was almost like you had to stand out. Me, personally when people tell me my music sounds new or futuristic, I feel like it’s more that it sounds different because I still hold on to the mentality that I have to do my best to sound like me, which is different than a lot of the paths people take. Because I feel like there’s the dominant culture that’s in Toronto right now which is I guess you can call it the OVO Sound, that it’s like it’s heavy it’s like a machine, concrete and steel. The majority of artists from Toronto in Canada and worldwide are adopting that OVO Sound, whereas there are many of us in Toronto and worldwide that are adding to what I like to call counterculture. And pretty much it’s just the culture that doesn’t oppose the popular sound but it is at the other end of the spectrum of what the popular sound is right now. So I guess I’d rather call my music counter-culture to whatever’s popular as opposed to futuristic. I guess if you call it futuristic, OK, I guess it’s futuristic.
What are some of the things that you feel have been happening for a while in Toronto. You were a part of 88 Days of Fortune collective for example.
I feel like 88 Days of Fortune definitely added to the artistic state of what Toronto has become and has been becoming because it was an alternative to the straight-forward, ‘just get on the stage with the MC and a beat [approach]. It was, like, ceremonial when you came to one of our shows and we had so many aspects to it , we even had so many types of shows we hosted parties, we hosted shows we hosted all kinds of things. 88 Days of Fortune definitely did their part for that. I feel like there was also a certain moment of time where Toronto producers were just killing it. And I mean we still are but there was a certain moment in hip-hop where every beat you may have heard it may have been someone from Toronto whether it was 40, whether it was Boi-1da, whether it was Rich Kidd, whether it was T-Minus, whether it was LordQuest. I feel like that also added to the progression to this ‘future’ sound that we have coming out of Toronto. There was a producer era where a lot of producers were just going heavy.