Unreserved

Hip hop a family business for rapper Tristan Grant

At 19, Tristan Grant is already making waves on the Canadian hip-hop scene. He was nominated for an East Coast Music Award in the category of Aboriginal Artist of the Year. But for Tristan, a love of music runs as deep as blood — both his mom and uncle are also hip-hop artists.
Tristan Grant comes from a musical family. His mother performs under the name Red Suga and his uncle is known as MO3. (Facebook)

At 19, Tristan Grant is already making waves on the Canadian hip-hop scene.

He was nominated for an East Coast Music Award in the category of Aboriginal Artist of the Year.

But for Tristan, a love of music runs as deep as blood — both his mom and uncle are also hip-hop artists.

His mom, who performs as MO3, and his uncle, who performs as Red Suga, are a source of inspiration for Grant, and have also been nominated for ECMAs.

"When you're a kid, really, you have no other point of reference, so that becomes the norm, so I was just used to that kind of life," Grant said.

"To see them doing things like that from where we came from, Pabineau First Nation … it just made me know that if I really wanted to get into this, I could succeed."

As a kid, Grant was surrounded by hip hop, and remembers listening to Tupac and Jay-Z on the stereo.

"It seems a little unconventional at first, but I mean, I just fell in love with the genre," he said.

That love later became the way he expressed himself creatively.

"Hip hop can be about as metaphorical as you want, and as brash and to the point and crude as you can," Grant said.

"There's something about rhyming, something about being just really honest and open and playing with words, that I fell in love with."

Close to home

The creative family is always bouncing around ideas for songs, and will take any chance to record new tracks no matter where they are.

In fact, most of Grant's music was recorded in his grandmother's kitchen.

"We just set up our own speakers, our own microphones, our own mixers, and we make a beat," he said.

"We'll be up until 4, 5, 6 a.m. just blasting tunes and rapping out, and [my grandparents] just sleep through it. They don't mind. They're just like, 'Go ahead, be creative.'"

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