For years now, Toronto and Montreal have had a very unusual rivalry, always competing for the ‘best City of Canada’. Both cities are very different culturally, one being more of a European-like city, and the other having more of an American style. Aside from cold winters (Montreal’s tend to be frigid, just sayin’!), there is something that these two cities do have in common; they’re home to some of music’s talented breakout artists!
Rapper CJ Flemings is Montreal’s most promising new artist currently making waves in the music scene. Just this past year, his name created a buzz when he opened up for Travis Scott in Ottawa and when he joined Schoolboy Q in his hometown to kick off the city’s Mural Festival. CJ has been acknowledged by some of hip-hop’s biggest names, like OVO’s Boi-1da, recording artist King Mez, and Montreal-based DJ, Lunice. He’s determined to bring the rap scene to Montreal, much like its neighbouring Toronto, and even dedicated his first EP “Next One to Enjoy” to the city he calls home. Since its release, Flemings has been putting his work and his name out there; word on the street is that this 21 year-old is definitely on the rise to stardom.
CJ has expressed his love for music and even admits to being a ‘musical geek’. He started making music at the age of 13, and credits the musical styles of Atlanta rappers Young Dro and T.I. for his song writing. While he’s trying to become a local success in Montreal’s hip-hop scene, he’s already caught the attention of notable producers Kaytranada and A-Trak. He would also like to further his career beyond his city; say for instance in Toronto, where artists here are slowly expanding due to the so-called “Drake effect”. Nonetheless, he’s well on his way. His track “Status” from his first EP, had over 13,000 plays on Soundcloud last year, making it the project’s most played song.
In 2016, he released yet another crowd-pleaser, more of a pop/dance jam, titled “Pleasure”. Although the title and art cover for this song suggests some sort of ‘sexual’ pleasure, CJ explains that it’s more about the idea of pleasure and finding what makes you happy (like music is for him). The way he sees it is that in the end, the pleasure of doing something could potentially lead to your success. Another favorite is his latest called “Highlight“, produced by fellow Montrealer, Sorena. The song is catchy, with its up-tempo beat and dancehall vibe, that would definitely get people on the dance-floor in no time.
This year has been quite overwhelming for the young rapper and 2017 will no doubt be twice as hectic. CJ is already in the studio working on his album, which should be on its way real soon. Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if he hit the stage with a string of shows for his fans, in the hopes that he stops by Toronto for myself to attend as well.