‘West End Reference Track’ by Cephas Munga aka Blac Hollywood hit us hard. There was seemingly no escape from listening to it on repeat, eyes wide open, jaw agape until the fluid surrounding our eyeballs dried, our jaws locked and the only effective part of our bodies still functioning was our ears, but even they weren’t really sure what we were listening to.
The only way to listen to it is loud – as loud as your body is able to take. Let that warped synth lead line take you down, and submit. Kick back on the slo-mo vocal and fly through the other side on the pick up. We enjoyed, so we back tracked and listened to ‘Kids with Crowns’ EP, and loved that too, especially Journey Pt 1 and Belgian Waffles.
Since then, Blac Hollywood has been busy building an appreciative fan base, winning people over with a droll humour, undeniable talent and a number of remixes. We’re delighted that he agreed to take part in our ‘Free Writing’ Feature. Normally we’d preface a submission by an artist with some background information – but then we read his submission and to be frank, there is nothing we could write that would be as eloquent, or as insightful. The stage is set.
The Seemingly Interesting Story of Mr. Boring
I would like to start by first stating that Legos are the fundamental building blocks to life. Whether you’re an aspiring musician, janitor or just the pizza guy who drinks Robotussin from the bottle because he’s too broke to afford codeine, Legos helped shape your future. At least for me it was the beginning of something great.
Since a young tike Legos and radio were instrumental for shaping the kind of artist I am today. I spent endless hours creating castles and street race cars with machine guns that often fired missiles because that’s just how my imagination works. Spending so much time alone created a sort of anti social behavior and an unbreakable attachment to a mother who would occasionally call me down for snacks. I loved snacks, especially ones on sticks. My father, on the other hand, was a man who worked endlessly so that he could have all the same opportunities as the families in my housing complex. I never understood why he worked so hard until I moved to Vancouver 2 years ago.
My antisocial Lego building hadn’t really stopped at this point, I just stopped building speed racers with pop out bazookas and starting building beats. My father’s relentless efforts to reach for the gold, however, had me thinking about my own aspirations and so I went out to make moves in the city. I did it the way every one else does, going out clubbing, spending disposable income and chasing immature girls with delectable assets but never feeling fully satisfied after returning home.
Soon I began asking myself why I, who had musical aspirations, couldn’t be the next guy with a banger playing in all these increasingly boring clubs I was going to and more importantly why it shouldn’t be me who indulged in nice lamb chop dinners over cheap candle light. Working a regular 9-5 wasn’t going to be the answer so I began making beats and writing lyrics tirelessly until 6 or 7 am. Constantly I would show up to work late or even sleep deprived from the night before. I didn’t care what anybody thought about my crankiness because I was planning my future and I didn’t care what anybody thought. A high point (or low point depending on your perspective) was when I went three days without sleep.
Soon enough though, despite the mania, I began getting recognition for my music. People kept telling me how much they enjoyed my sounds but with praise comes backlash. I was being bombarded with questions about my where abouts from friends and family. My only answer was, “I’m busy making music that you party to.” No longer was I Mr.Popular. In fact, my muse at the time had the audacity to question my sloth like attitude and tell me her ex boyfriend was more exciting than I was. I informed her that if her plans didn’t involve music or sex I couldn’t possibly get involved. Even on her birthday I found myself making beats on my iPod touch because the conversation her and her friends were having was even blander than the bowl of kettle chips she put out as snacks.
So in conclusion if you want to ask Cephas Munga what he’s going to be doing this weekend the answer will most definitely be “I can’t hangout today, I’m busy making music” As stubborn as it may sound my music has created opportunities I could of never imagined 5 years ago. If perseverance is the name of the game then Cephas Munga is the name of this lame.