Toronto based artist Spark Houston emerges from the underground industry with his eyes certainly on the prize. Back with his fourth single “Red”, which is taken from his forthcoming debut EP of the same name (the first of a series of three EPs), “Red” is out worldwide 13th September. Taking the hip-hop world by storm, Spark Houston has over 615,000 streams on Spotify alone – across three singles.
What’s your writing process like? Do you write the music or lyrics first?
I always need a beat first to set the mood. Music is a language that doesn’t speak in a definitional way. To me, perfect songwriting is a two-part process. The first part of that process is a blank canvas that is expressing some emotion. Anyone can hear a piece of music and know what it feels like. “This feels fun”. “This feels angry”. “This feels sad, or contemplative, or remorseful or bitter”. It’s my job to tell you why. And that’s what I try to do. This is why I’m sad. This is why I’m joyful. This is why I’m angry. The best songs ever written combine both to perfection. The music feels a way, and the performer tells you why. NAWMS (who produces the lions share of my work) is so good for that. His production is so expressive.
Do you prefer performing live or recording, and why?
Honestly, both are so different that it’s kind of an apples to oranges situation. Recording is very lightning in a bottle for me. I go to my studio, catch the mood and let the emotions take me where they want to. The studio is like a second home to me. I am very at peace there. The stage is more like a brawl. It’s like knowing I have a fight tonight that I’m going to win. I take both tremendously seriously. The stage is scarier – not in a bad way though. In a good way.
If you could collaborate with anyone dead or alive, who would it be?
Without a shadow of a doubt it would be Kanye West. Now, if I could pick anyone from any moment in time, it would be Bob Dylan in 1965. I swear, if he were a young man today he’d be rapping. But that’s beside the point. Kanye would be my choice in the here and now. What he gets out of artists is never short of phenomenal. I would love to bare witness to his creative process. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is the greatest album in the history of hip-hop, in my opinion. I can’t imagine what it would feel like to be involved in something like that.
What made you decide that music is the right path for you?
Honestly, it was never a decision. It was the only thing I could ever really pursue with passion and vigor. To make a career out of the arts, there can be nothing else in the world that you could do and be happy doing. Now, I have other joys and passions, some of which are financially advantageous, but none feed my soul like making music does. Truly, it is the time in which I feel most alive.
What’s in store for you for the rest of the year?
Oh, wow. Too much, honestly. I’m starting a weekly freestyle series for Youtube that I’m calling No Days Off. That’s gonna be a blast. I’m getting my monthly Hip Hop Showcase started again, The Hip Hop Market. I can’t wait to perform again in what is (hopefully) some semblance of a post Covid-19 world. I will be releasing two more EPs after Red. Blue comes out sometime in the middle of October, and Green sometime in the middle of November. That will be the culmination of this project, once all three facets of Polychrome are released. In the winter I’ll be releasing another EP called “Coldest Winter”. And then in Spring another EP which is still without a title. All of this, of course, will be happening whilst No Days Off is continuing. Some say I’m biting off more than I can chew, but I disagree. I have a lot to say. Thanks for taking the time to interview me!