Eternia: The Canadian connection
Canada is a hard scene to crack, heavily influenced by the US musically as much of the world is a lot of talented people get overlooked for their blingin counterparts south of the border. MC Eternia is trying to help change all of that. I got a chance to speak with this fiery femcee after she arrived home from her Australian Tour.
B: For the uninitiated, and all those who slept on the shows you did here in AUS, tell us a bit about yourself.
E:Aight – well I’m an emcee outta Toronto, Canada who just spent 5 months in Sydney, although through shows I got out to Brisbane, Byron Bay, Blue Mountains, and Melbourne. Wish I coulda hit Perth and I heard Adelaide’s crowd is live!! By far Melbourne had the hypest crowd, not to diss the other cities as I was blessed to rock ‘em all, but Melbourne was HYPE. Revolver show (with Rachael Berry and A-Love, Delta, and yourself!) was the most fun I’ve had on stage in a loooong time. Back home in Canada I’m just bubblin’ under the surface, but most heads know the name… I released a music video for “Sorrow Song” nationally across Canada in 2002 and that received a lot of love on the airwaves, its still in rotation. I am almost done an album with Collizhun, of Nefarius, on all production and he’s a well respected producer out here in Canada. And lots more.
B: Female MC’s are a huge minority with quality even fewer; does this stigma make it difficult for you to do what you love?
E: Nah – I only think it would make it difficult if I let it. Well, lets see, I gotta be careful. Its a precarious topic, you know? Really I think my gender has only aided in getting me noticed (unfairly, of course). I do think females in the hip hop industry face uphill battles when it comes the the production and distribution of product (which in turn usually requires financial support from an outside source), then we actually face on stage or from our fans… you get me? Like we don’t have the networks in place yet to rival males on a business level… there is definitely systematic barriers there… BUT on a level of bein respected, rockin’ crowds, convincing people we got skills?! Nah – I personally don’t find my gender affects me in that area at all. nuff said.
B: You’ve been linked to Apathy and some of that crew, what’s the story with that?
E: Long story with that (smiles). Basically I was rolling with Demigodz before anybody outside of Connecticut knew who Demigodz were, and before Apathy had ever dropped a record. I am proud to see what he is doin now. To make a long story short, I was “wifey” when we were teenagers… we still keep in contact regularly… I love his family, and him, and wish him the best. I’m sure there will be a collabo in the future.
B: Canadian Hip-Hop is largerly disregarded in a similar way as Australian Hip-Hop, why do you think that is?
E: Well… (sighs)… where do I begin? I think both Canadian and Australian hip hop cultures are younger and more unrefined (perhaps more pure, who knows) than the U.S. market. So we are a little behind when it comes to creative ideas and business methods… but I think there are pros to being a younger scene as well. We are learning. Like, from living in Australia, I can definitely say Canadian artists are in more of a ‘hustle’ or ‘rat race’ mentality than Australian artists are… but is that necessarily a good thing? Who knows, I am not here to define that. I just think, to be honest, we ain’t as green-stricken (money hungry) as most Americans, and therefore we havn’t actively pursued the dollar and platinum sales as much as American artists, which therefore means less exposure and notoriety. Plain and simple. But thats changing.
B: What did you make of the Australian scene whilst you were here?
E: Hip Hop culture in Australia is one of the few things I truly loved and appreciated while being in Australia.. Ok that sounds dismal (laughs). What I mean to say is, it was Hip Hop in Oz that kept me going everyday, especially when I was homesick or hating Sydney (smiles). People in the scene in Oz are MAD kind, open, giving, good people… it sounds cliché, but I think it’s true. I think Australian Hip Hop heads are real straight up, no bullshit, no facade type people… and I love that. They don’t take bullshit (fake shit) from other artists as well… so it was a compliment that they heard and respected where I was coming from.
B: Any favorites?
E: In Oz or in general? I gotta say this, I was REAL impressed by all the moves female artists were makin in Oz. Like in every city there was at least one female emcee, if not more, that was actively promoting, touring, and releasing full lengths… now THATS dope.. And that DOES NOT happen in Canada (yet). Names that come to mind for that are Macromantics, A-Love, Maya, Trey, Lioness, and more that I know I am forgetting. Ok – I have a terrible memory so when this fave q comes up I always get in trouble. Let’s just say I love Donny Hathaway and R.I.P. to Nina Simone. Ok?
B: What projects have you got in the pipes at the moment?
E: Ok – well the Tough Dumplin album (with Collizhun of Nefarious) is almost done, and its on the label when they decide to drop that… In the meantime I am independently releasing a 12inch, either late this year or early 2004, that is “Understand If I” feat. Freestyle of the Arsonists and “Bang” (people who came to the shows in Oz know what BANG is about! This past month I was shooting the video with Freestyle for that single, its also gonna be coming out on his solo album as well. Then the single follows the E.P. I’m hoping to drop summer 2004, either independently or we’ll see who bites. But I don’t wanna talk of things that haven’t happened yet. In Oz? I know that I should be on this Warner hip hop compilation JosieStyles is putting out, featured on a track with A-Love that Plutonic Lab produced. I am real excited about that track, and the fact that Warner is picking it up. I also recorded with some other incredible artists in Oz, but it should remain a secret until they choose to drop it I will say Nuff Said has some jewels (smiles)
B: Anything else you want to speak on?
E: www.eternia.ca is my baby in the works as I write this. It launches mid September 2003, and it will have a LOT of information for any Eternia enthusiast, also a lot of media downloads… so check that out if ever you wondering whatsup with me. I really hope to get back to oz and do some touring, either for this Warner compilation or for my EP next summer… touring Oz is fuuuuun. And Brand you gonna hold it down on the decks when I do?
For more info on Eternia check out her website, www.eternia.ca.