Introducing Spark Houston and his breathtaking new EP ‘Red’

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Toronto based artist Spark Houston emerges from the underground industry with his eyes certainly on the prize. Back with his fourth single “Red”, which is taken from his forthcoming debut EP of the same name (the first of a series of three EPs), “Red” showcases his often troublesome relationship with confrontation, competition and ambition. Taking the hip-hop world by storm, Spark Houston has over 615,000 streams on Spotify alone – across three singles.

Introduce yourself in less than ten words

A multifaceted hip-hop artist that navigates bravado and emotional vulnerability.

How do you transfer that onstage energy to the studio?

Interestingly enough, I think of this question normally in reverse. My biggest concern is how do I accurately convey my in studio energy to the stage? Sometimes people, especially in rap, have a propensity to “over perform”. It’s rare that a rapper translates accurately his studio performance to the stage. So I try my absolute best to do that.

What’s the writing process?

I live for a bit, then get into the studio and let it fly. I love hearing production over huge studio monitors. More often than not I leave with something I’m happy with.

If you could change anything about the industry what would it be?

I think if anything, I’d want musicians and consumers to understand that it’s an industry. The problem with music as I see it is it appears as if it all happens completely organically, sort of like magic. That couldn’t be further from the truth. There’s a reason we all know Doja Cat. Justin Bieber. Drake. Now that has, of course, a ton to do with their undeniable talent. But there’s more to it than that. The business end of the industry is a huge component. And most musicians don’t try to become musicians thinking anything at all about trying to navigate the music business. Most consumers as well are sold the idea of discovery.

What was the last track you played on Spotify?

Mariota by Westside Gunn ft. Stove God Cooks.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given.

My Dad once told me that 99% of it is hard work. The other 1%, unfortunately, is talent. I’d like to think I’m operating at 100% efficiency.

How did lock down affect the music scene where you’re from?

It was really hard. A lot of staple small venues had to shut down. In Canada we’ve had some of the harshest and longest lockdown rules in the world. So it’s been difficult. We’re all very excited to be back performing again, even if it’s at limited capacity.

What would be on your rider?

Coffee, lettuce wrapped burgers, a lychee ice allo disposeable vape pen, lots of water. I don’t drink or get high, so I think I’d be low maintenance haha.

What other bands do we have to be checking out right now?

First off, I have to shout out my producer NAWMS. His solo work is unreal. Another hometown hero, Kataem – we have a track together that’s on my third EP, Green, coming in November. DillanPonders is another local guy I have to shout out. He’s making a ton of noise. As far as the scene at large, no one is making music that is as dope as everyone in the Griselda camp right now. Westside Gunn is phenomenal. Conway The Machine, Benny The Butcher, all of them are so dope. Boldy James. Another one of my favourites is Dave out of the UK. He’s phenomenal.

What’s in store for you when all of this is over?

Making up for lost time. Shows, shows, shows. More shows. More releases. I’m really taking this year to immerse myself with music. Luckily the pandemic provided me with an opportunity to get ahead financially, which I’m so blessed for. So many weren’t so fortunate. I want the next year to be a career-defining year for me. I think it will be. Thanks for taking the time to interview me!

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