- Category: Music
- Written by Adele Ambrose
|You may have seen him as the featured MC for the Toronto Urban music festival this summer or perhaps caught one of his performances as Strawberry Luv at Yuk Yuk''s. But for those of you who still don't know who I am describing, his name is Subliminal.
Subliminal is defined as “a message existing below the threshold of consciousness, able to evoke a response.” Sean Mauricette a.k.a Subliminal is just such an entertainer, a jack of all trades who has crept into our consciousness with his brand of feel Hip-Hop evoking good vibrations, literally with his comedic antics.
His mission he explains “is simply to bring out laughter when you least expect it.”
Subliminal is candid about his life and his work, illuminating on everything, from his disqualification for using a walkman in a DJ competition to his love for the cartoon Transformers, to his job at the CBC as an interpretive sound producer describing it as “painting with words.”
Photo courtesy of SugarcainEntertainment.com
I was first connected to Subliminal’s work as a Beat-boxer (using your mouth as a musical instrument), an art form integral to Hip-Hop, but not as popular as the other elements of the culture like DJing or rapping.
So how did Sean Mauricette become interested in beat-boxing as a career?
“With Beat-boxing it was just the instant gratification, the ability to do it right away and just rock a crowd,” he admits.
“I have a degree in architecture and financially, for me to afford university, I couldn’t keep up with all the records the other DJs were buying. I also didn’t like the music that was coming out, Hip-Hop started to change and I couldn’t justify spending my hard earned money on records I didn’t like and wouldn’t last for more than a month. Beat-boxing was something I could do that wouldn’t cost me much, I didn’t have to buy equipment, all I needed was a microphone and a stage.”
DJ/rapper/comedian and producer are the many hats this Toronto native also wears proudly. Why so many? “The industry is very difficult, I have the ability to do all these different things, I consciously do it because I have to, I have to be stirring all these pots to make it,” he explains. “The style of Hip-Hop I like is very feel good , not a lot of profanity, over smooth type beats, I can’t find producers who do that and when I do, I can’t afford them.”
Undeterred he has gone to produce his own album. And from touring with Infinite to his stint as an actor/DJ/MC on "After Hours with Kenny Robinson", he has made a name for himself as a hard-working entertainer.
Subliminal has won talent shows south of the border, and credits Toronto’s training ground for his success, since he has been tested in arguably one of the toughest cities to make it.
“When you innovate and create you never have to worry about keeping up with the times, rather the times have to keep up with you,” he says confidently.
This philosophy emerges as characteristic of his various career paths; it reflects a constant need to stay original, one he seems to fulfill superbly.
One may question whether or not his style fits in the current Canadian Hip-Hop landscape, but he does not seem to worry about such things.
“I never create with the intention that I’m going to represent Canadian Hip-Hop because I come from a musical family, my father was a musician he was never interested in making music that came from Grenada, he was interested in making good music,” he admits.
So who are his influences?
“I’m a firm believer in creating your own identity, I can’t be passionate about anything when I’m copying somebody else, but I would say the person who influenced me the most was Ready Rock C, he was the beat boxer for Fresh Prince, what attracted me to him and his style was that his beats sounded very much like a real drum-set.”
And what keeps him original? “It sounds really corny but it’s the reaction that I get from people when I do my work. It’s really making feel good music, as I get older I have become more passionate because I am beginning to find my own niche. What I’m producing now is what I call the Subliminal Vibe, the ability to beat-box on stage and then go into a spoken word track and just pull people into my vibe.”
In addition to his art, Subliminal is also a mentor for troubled teens and a certified Architect, whose ambition is to someday own his own firm. For now his plans are clear.
“I am focused on getting my album out. Many people don’t know that I’m actually producing and rhyming on it because they are so used to seeing me beat-boxing, and before beat-boxing they got used to seeing me DJ. I want to give people a product that’s Subliminal; I am driven to put out what I call feel good Hip-Hop.”
this week-end as part of the Soul'd Comedy Festival at @ The Dragon Fly (1279 Queen St. West); for ticket info call, 416.703.7530. For more on Subliminal, check out his website at: www.akasubliminal.com.
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