After checking out a stellar show from The Girls Can Hear Us! this past Saturday at Club Absinthe in Hamilton, frontman Will Steep was generous enough to give me an interview for the MvM readers.
Check out our interview below:
I read that you grew up in Bracebridge, Ontario. How was that for an aspiring white rapper?
Iâ€™m not sure it was an aspiration the whole time I was there. [laughs] It was probably very similar to how youâ€™d expect it to be. While I was in high school I didnâ€™t spread around my music very much. I would show my friends and stuff but I didnâ€™t try and do shows too often. The first time I was in front of a crowd I was around 16 and it was one song at our school assembly. It was well received, but I wasnâ€™t too comfortable spreading it around in that environment. I went to school in Ottawa and then I moved to London 3 years ago and did a one year media program at Fanshawe and now Iâ€™m a Western student. It was around the time I moved to London was the time I started to be more pro-active.
So this is pretty new then.
Ya, specifically The Girls Can Hear Us! Is 2 years old in January
You offer pretty honest accounts of your dealings with girls. Do you think this helps you with the ladies? or hinders your efforts?
Probably does both, it depends on whose ears it hitting. Part of the approach is pretty deliberate and I guess thatâ€™s obvious. If people donâ€™t like what Iâ€™m doing or saying then thatâ€™s fine. I mean people tend to dislike artists, thatâ€™s just the way it is, but I figured I can at least make it that no one could say Iâ€™m a liar and full of shit.
How involved are you in the process of making your music? Do you lay down all the tracks and everything?
Ya. Beginning to end. With the exceptions of a couple of songs I credit some other producers who have come in and worked with me, but since June itâ€™s pretty much just me from beginning to end â€“ production, recording, mastering, writing â€“ everything.
Is it true youâ€™re studying Social Justice and Sexuality in school?
Iâ€™m a double major in Womenâ€™s studies and Sexuality studies.
Do you plan on using your platform to help the cause?
I like the grassroots aspect of that sort of thing. I mean, I know Iâ€™m probably not the best advocate for womenâ€™s rights, but at the same time, I donâ€™t think there is much of a conflict that would appear on the surface between my lyrics and the kind of stuff that I would stand for especially when it come to sexuality studies. I think access to sexual freedom and the fact that men are called pimps and women are called sluts is more than just an annoying little thing to me. I think the fact that talking about sexual escapades rings to people as me objectifying girls, speaks more to the fact that people see it that way – that the girls shouldnâ€™t have sexual agency or that werenâ€™t knowing parties. I never say that Iâ€™m fooling anybody or that these girls are stupid â€“ in most cases theyâ€™re probably smarter than me. I mean I donâ€™t consider my music to be advocacy for things like Prop 8 but I do intend â€“ even if things go well for me in the future â€“ to teach at a college and teach programs related to my undergrad.
Do you have any new releases coming out?
Iâ€™m going to have a mix tape coming out by New Years, its gonna be called The After Party. The first one was The Predrink and I couldnâ€™t think of any name like The Bar or The Club [laughs] weâ€™ll just go home from here. That will be out by New Years, weâ€™re shooting 2 music videos over the next 3 months.
I actually have some news I was gonna share in another interview later tonight, but weâ€™ll be starting a label called Fashionably Laid Records and its The Girls Can Hear Us, Edâ€™s solo project Overworked, Conway, MDMK and also a guy that goes by Andyâ€™s Ill who is from London, but getting a lot of rep in Australia right now. Weâ€™ve decided we wanted to combine efforts so we made a label and weâ€™ve officially announced it this week.
So things are really picking up for you. Mike was telling me that youâ€™re playing The Viper Room in L.A this week.
Weâ€™re playing The Viper Room Friday and then weâ€™re in Salt Lake City on Saturday and then weâ€™re gonna stay in L.A for a couple days and shoot a video. Starting in September things have really picked up and theyâ€™re just getting better from there.
Toe Jam Specials:
Cats or dogs?
Both, I like both
Drive-in or theatre?
Theatres. I grew up in Muskoka so I have this trauma from mosquito bites in my youth and I donâ€™t like outside spaces in the evening.
Finish this sentence: Never underestimate the power ofâ€¦.
[laughs] Iâ€™m not good at this sort of this thingâ€¦never underestimate the power of shutting the fuck up.
Were you scared of monsters under the bed when you were a kid?
No, I actually almost always liked the monsters. I thought the monsters were so much cooler than the good guys.
Every Day – The Girls Can Hear Us!
A big thanks to Will and crew for a great show last weekend and for the awesome interview. We wish you the best of luck on all your new ventures and we’ll keep our ear to the pavement for your newest release.
Click here to grab The Girls Can Hear Us! album on iTunes.