Keeping with the theme of creating opportunities for growth, and introduction of new talent to new markets I sat down with the talented Toronto native and performing artist Sense where we got the chance to set the table about his career thus far and growth into the role of a music executive. Check out the exclusive below:
Jason Bourne: Sense lets start off the name – How did you settle on that as your stage name and break down any significance that it may have ?
Sense: The name Sense came from the way that I speak when I’m around people. I am a very analytical person so there is a lot of times people would ask what I think about something or I would volunteer my opinion on an issue. People would always say stuff like “You are mad smart” or “That makes sense”. I ended up hearing it so much that I decided to take it on as my rap name cause my previous one was horrible (gigges). I added the “Newkid” after my first arrest. I was lookin at some serious time and I promised God I would be different if I got a second chance and I did.
Jason Bourne: You are from Toronto correct, I remember a few years back it seemed as though Drake was all that T Dot had but in more recent times, we have witnessed more success come out of the city; talk about the climate musically and how inspirational the success of others has been on the next crop of performers :
Sense: Oh man Drake was definitely pivotal for the city. Up until that point nobody believed it was ever going to be possible to make it out Canada. No one was even looking over here. There were a few pioneers like Saukrates and Choclair who got quick looks from GillaHouse and BET but nothing that ever stuck. Over the past 7 years though the organization level of the artists in the city and the subject versatility has really exploded. Drake basically layed out the blueprint for what the industry likes to see as far as presentation, before him it was a lot of stairway videos and gun flashing. He opened a lane for the cats who wanted to say and do different things and made everyone including the street rappers step up their production level. There’s a wild energy flowing through the city this year though; people are really starting to feel like our wave is finally beginning to crest with new artists like Jazz and Tory Lanez poppin up. Plus the ones you haven’t heard yet bubbling in the background, myself included, its really an exciting atmosphere right now.
Jason Bourne: You have mentioned in other interviews that you are on a quest for discovery; describe what that is about :
Sense: I come from a very unique set of circumstances that made my journey as a man and an artist distinctly different from most. My family never had much money my dad worked alot but we always lived in a house because we stayed with my grandparents along with like 4 other families. Half my family was what you would describe as middle class and law abiding, the other half was from a third world country and teetered a little more on that line between wrong and right. I was home schooled until grade 5 and very sheltered, went wild when I hit 15. Basically there was never any clear map or example of which side I belong on. I started late socially which meant I had a lot of catching up to do. I made a lot of mistakes, got confused, taken advatage of, but I finally feel like I know who I am now and what my pupose on this earth is.
Jason Bourne: And how does vulnerability play into that ?
Sense: I believe in order to grow you have to be painfully honest with yourself. Almost to the point of being harsh. That is hard enough when you’re alone and the conversation is in your head. To then put those feelings or experiences into a song and hold it up in front of the world to be evaluated or ridiculed is something completely different. As artists we open ourselves up to attack and judgement. On the flip side, there is the opportunity for understanding and relatability. These, I believe, are the qualities that make us feel personally connected to an artist. When you can say “damn, I thought I was fucked up for thinking like that” or “I thought I was alone” it makes you have an appreciation for that artist more. It feels as thoughthey took something off of your shoulders and made you feel normal. My job is to be an example of strength through failure, honesty, and persistence. This is so the people listening can know no matter how far you fall you can always get back up.
Jason Bourne: You are at the head of your own imprint correct, Family Money Everything Ent- talk about juggling artist and executive responsibilities:
Sense: It is exciting and tiring. I literally have two different modes and its impossible for me to function in one capacity while operating under the other. Like, when I’m in business/marketing/network mode I can’t write for shit. But when I get into writing mode I don’t wanna see any type of business related activity whatsoever. I’ve learned how to surf back and forth in a way that keeps me relevant on both ends but it is definitely exhausting. As far as recording, marketing, promotion, engineering and graphic work its 100% all on me right now. I even edit my own videos for the most part so yeah, not easy.
Jason Bourne: Do you have any artists you are working with ?
Sense: My cousin Patron is an amazingly talented individual. Like, one of those people who had the glow his whole life and didn’t know it until a year ago when he first touched a mic. That type. I also work with an artist by the name of Lft Lne who is equally as amazing and inspiring. I only keep artists around me that make me want to work harder. They are currently dealing with real life situations and though I am always there for moral support I am way too busy to really push these guys to get to work the way they need to be working so its real relaxed with them right now. “When your ready to work I’m here” type situation but they’re family, so they know when I’m on they gone get their shot. They still will have to work and prove themselves but they won’t have to go through everything I did and currently still do.
Jason Bourne: You went out on the Painkillers Reloaded Tour how was that experience ?
Sense: It was interesting, standing next to Young MA you could have never ever guessed she would be who she is right now. We were just two regular ass rappers waiting for our turn to perform (she was definitely better known though lol) . But what that showed me is that in a year you can completely change your life and the lives of the people around you. It made me hungrier, more dedicated, more resilient.
Jason Bourne: Will we be getting your debut, The Full Story this year ?
Sense: My aim is to come through clutch late in the 4th quarter on some MJ shit, but I have some personal number requirements to achieve before I do. This is going to be my most personal, most unique body of work which is of course high quality. I will tell you – This is the one. I can’t just throw it out there without at least a steady listener base of 5,000 so I’m working my ass off to get there. I’m on pace. Took myself from a average of 100 plays per track to 700-1000 per track in just 2 months so universe willing I will have everything I need and more by the summer. Then its just marketing and videos to build anticipation for the release.
Jason Bourne: What can we expect sonically ?
Sense: Sonically you can expect this album to sound really well put together. My man @RobbinWisdom and partly myself will be responsible for most if not all of the production on this project. Expect every song to take you somewhere completely different; to sound completely different, yet somehow not out of place. Expect to want to cry, laugh, break shit, turn up, dance, love and do it all over again when you get to the end. Trust me, The Full Story is going to take everybody that hears it on a wild ride they aint never gone wanna step off.