Published on November 12th, 2016 | by Jameelah "Just Jay" Wilkerson0
Five Questions with Voyce*
“Born on the moon, raised on Mars, stuck on Earth, reaching for the Stars” tattooed on his chest, Voyce* (@), an award-winning Montreal based singer/songwriter/music producer, defines how he lives and more importantly the music he creates, by these words.
Winning a prestigious songwriting award, he officially embarked on his journey in 2008. Just two years later, he found himself signed to a Nashville based record label. His career, mimicking his life, has taken him through peaks and valleys, and led him to collaborate with worldly renowned musicians and achieve national radio play. Well respected in the music industry, his work has now reached over half a million views on VEVO.
Pain – in one word – he will tell you, is his greatest motivator. Through the valleys of suffering he’s experienced, he is relentless in finding himself, in becoming not only better than he was yesterday, but expanding way beyond who he is today. Driven by the simple belief that, even through darkness, there will always be hope, ultimately, Voyce*, wants to serve as a catalyst for who we, humanity, through our individual and collective suffering, choose to become.
Tell us about your current project and or single?
This is going to sound cliché, but I’m honestly always working on a project or something of the sort. I’d like to sit here and pretend that it’s solely due to my drive, but there’s a lot more to it. I just don’t know how to slow down, whenever I try to, my mind becomes a victim of itself. I over think and start to spiral into an unhealthy mental space and as such, I keep moving… But let me actually answer your question. Right now, I am working on two focal projects, not to say that there aren’t smaller things happening simultaneously, but these two are the “big ones.” The first is a collaborative album, entitled ‘First Born Last’, between myself and Jess Abran, a songstress from Montreal. Jess comes from a more trip hop / acoustic musical background, so what we’re doing is marrying both of our sounds to create something new. At this time, we are 4 songs deep. The second project is a Voyce* solo album, one that I’ve been working on, for the most part, in secret. I’m not ready to reveal the name just yet, but it closes a very important chapter in my life, a chapter that began in 2015 with the release of ‘Alone in a Crowd’.
Is there a joint from your body of work that you feel is the best introduction to you as an artist?
For the sake of this question, I’ll refer to the upcoming solo album and not the collaborative one. My three initial releases ‘Alone in a Crowd’, ‘Hidden in Plain Sight’ and ‘Lords of Gemini’ made up what I had considered ‘The Voyce* Trilogy’, a massive undertaking that was produced by Montreal producer, Sookz, and myself. Although that story arc was closed, I still felt that there were elements of myself that I hadn’t yet explored, and that is what this upcoming album allowed me to do. Funnily I’ve had a few close supporters get an early preview of the songs and they all felt that this project, while still highly emotional and signature to who I am, is also more radio friendly This tonal shift I think happened because I had in a way cleansed myself with the previous releases. I’m not even sure if that made sense LOL. Like the previous albums, some songs are produced by Sookz and some by me and features the likes of Jess Abran, Hanorah, Swift K.I.D and Frzy.
What is the music landscape in your neck of the woods?
I can’t speak for all of Canada, but I can speak for Montreal. Montreal is a city that breathes art, and not just music but multiple facades. You’ll find artists of all types, ways of life, cultural identities, etc, and that’s what I really love about living here. Exceptionally talented artists like Jess Abran, Sookz, Elle Ray, Swift K.I.D, Aiza, Hanorah, Leesa Mackey, Kelly Krow, etc, all call Montreal home. The artistic network is closely tied and connected. But it’s not all dandelions and rainbows, and I think this is true for most if not all cities. People only really support local talent once that local talent makes a name for himself/herself outside of their own city. It’s like we don’t appreciate what we have until other people start appreciate it first. It’s sad because that ends up deterring most great artists from truly pursuing their dreams and reaching amazing heights, that or they leave the city and pursue their craft elsewhere.
What’s on your horizon for 2017?
Music, music and more music. I want to keep growing as an artist and continue to reach goals I never thought possible. With the launch of the record label ‘Neo’s Odyssey’, a collaborative venture by Sookz, Jess Abran and myself, I want to continue to build autonomy and stability. This doesn’t mean that I am not open to working with other labels, I just want to really solidify my own footprint. I want to continue to forge collaborative alliances, as I have with international artists/producers like Dubtal3nt, Sarah Maxwell, etc. On top of that, music licensing is extremely key, as well as getting a tour in motion. Outside of music, acting has become a prominent part of my life and in 2017 I want to take that even further. I am currently working on some pretty awesome projects that I can’t talk about courtesy of NDAs ha ha. But most importantly, I want to be someone that I know my mum would have been proud of, that’s the most important thing to me, everything else is just icing on the cake.
The Hype Magazine wants to know: What’s been your CRAZIEST “Where they do that at?! Or “WTF?!” moment thus far in your career?
The most WTF moment in my career so far… How do I narrow it down? HA HA!!! I can’t believe I am going to talk about this, but I will anyway because REASONS. I had a producer reach out to and no I will not name names… even though I want to deep down……. Anyway he reached out asking for me to feature in one of his songs. When he was informed that financial compensation would need to be discussed, he responded that he doesn’t believe in paying for singers, singers should do it for free. That made my mouth drop. My mouth still drops just thinking about that. This is the same producer that would then charge singers / rappers who want to use his instrumentals. Basically he doesn’t believe in paying people to do things for him but he absolutely feels justified charging people that want him to do something for them… MAD WORLD.