Getting up close and personal with the Montreal Rapper
Homegrown in Montreal, Speng Squire is a 21 year old emerging artist who can ‘‘rap more than he can tell you’’. He’s new to the music scene but that hasn’t stopped him from performing with big name artists like Travis Scott and Schoolboy Q – who he’s opened for in the past year. Having played at Club Soda in April and recently at Mural Festival, Speng Squire is definitely marking his ground amidst the Montreal rap scene.
Speng dropped by the Hennessy Lounge at the Mural Festival where he disclosed more about the man behind the beats.
Here’s a track you can listen to while reading this feature story.
How the flame took form
His passion started with a deep love for rap and ‘‘the whole art of poetry and writing.’’
Lil Wayne was a huge influence to him.
‘‘That’s when I started listening to music. The Carter 2, that’s the first album that I sat down and listened to.’’
But don’t be misled, when he started rapping, Speng Squire envisaged music as being nothing more than a path leading him to fun and games.
‘‘I was rapping over beats I shouldn’t be rapping over. I was rapping over a lot of free Youtube beats and forcing myself and i was trying to copy a bit of everything that I was hearing. ’’
He wrote and recorded out of pure pleasure, until he came into contact with DRTWRK who is currently his manager. This meeting was a turning point, as it helped him realize the potential that he had within his hands, pushing him to pursue this passe-temps as more than a side-thing.
‘‘At the end of 2015, going into 2016, I met up with DRTWRK and started working from scratch beats, writing. That’s when I find my game elevated. ’’
*Speng Squire and DRTWRK, his Manager/Producer, at the Mural x Hennessy Lounge
This collaboration marked a beginning for him. A key moment in his life when he started realizing the power of his own voice on others.
‘‘Not long ago I was a consumer myself and a listener. To be on the other side of things is still new to me. I love all the support and I find it amazing that people relate to me. It’s an indescribable feeling.’’
Here is more about Speng Squire, a man well versed in the art of the chase.
He’s in the process of finding his sound
Describing this chapter of his life in one word: ‘‘Development’’. Saying that he is yet in search of his sound and trying to grasp who he wants to be. Then again, it’s to be kept in mind that he is indeed only 21 and is nonetheless in a pretty outstanding line of work. The important part is that he is pushing himself, purposely stepping outside of his comfort zone, trying to explore new ground that will lift him as an artist.
‘‘Not just with music but with everything in life I’m pushing myself to be more open minded & with that, i feel like it’s showing in my new material. ’’
It’s off of the basis of exploration that he creates content for his music. He’s the type of person that is inspired by his environment: It’s the little moments that instigate his moments of ‘‘spark’’ and ‘‘the rest just happens naturally’’ he says.
For Speng, consistency is key
Piercing through the rap scene in Montreal is not something that is considered to be easy, but Speng wears determination on his shoulders.
‘‘I feel like I want to pump to music. If I can drop 4 projects, 5 projects in a year, I want to do it. ’’
Overall, it’s being persistent within a city that he feels is at a lack off. Most importantly, he’s trying avoid not being seen enough.
‘‘We’re aware that I’m young so I have time on my side but we also know that music consumers are very hungry and constantly want new music and new material, so we dedicate ourselves to always be 5 steps ahead so we always have material ready to be put out.’’
Timing is everything
And it seems that the stars are aligned for Squire. There appears to be no better time to be breaking through in the Montreal music scene. With the recent fame of artists like Kaytranada, who has become a key reference for music in Montreal, a light is shining on the city’s creative potential. As revealed in an interview with FADER:
‘‘I really feel like there’s no better time for an up-and-coming artists from Montreal.‘There’s a wide open lane for us, and my goal with Expressions Of Now is to fill a void of original music. In order to stand out I stuck with what I know best: straight bars, and a catchy hook that my people can relate to.”
His first album Expressions Of Now is out now.
Stay tuned for his new project dropping soon.