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Sean Leon

Sean Leon is the shapeshifting Toronto artist you need to watch

The rapper and director has something to say. Listen up.

By AMANI BIN SHIKHAN

November 29, 2017

To say that Toronto's music scene is bubbling would be an epic understatement. But among the unending clamor of new artists emerging from the city is the rapper and director Sean Leon, whose artistic range and clear-eyed vision sets him apart. His music is neither the moody, pop&b that’s come to characterize Toronto sound, nor the 808-and-adlib-heavy style that’s come to be the de facto sound of popular rap elsewhere. Leon’s style changes all the time. It’s how he can release two completely different tracks — like the slick-barred song “Hollywood Tarantino Flow” and the distorted, bouncy “Gold” — back-to-back without breaking his stride.

Since independently releasing I Think You’ve Gone Mad (Or the Sins of the Father) last February, Leon’s been adjusting: to fatherhood, his broadening fan base, and grappling with a local music scene that simply doesn’t know how to adequately support its talent. It’s hard to make it anywhere as an artist, but in Toronto, where an arts infrastructure barely exists, staying independent is a particular struggle. It’s a city burgeoning with creative energy, but many artists here rely on government-issued grants to fund their projects. (Leon often addresses that reality, most cheekily across the projected screens at a headlining show this past summer.)

I recently chopped it up with him to talk about his career, past, present, and future. A new audiovisual project, CCWMTT, is out today, and a full-length album is due out at the top of 2018. He's one to keep an eye on. Trust me.

[Read the full interview here]

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