Toronto hip-hop outfit Grand Analog was signed to Brooklyn-based indie Feel Up Records in late 2013––the first band signed to the fledgling label. But they've been kicking it since 2006 and released two records with another indie label, URBNET Records, which was distributed by Universal before this deal came together.
Feel Up was launched by producer Jillionaire, one-third of electronic music project Major Laser. Having a manager who was observant of the industry played a substantial role in Grand Analog’s linking with the new label. “Part of our management team was in touch with Jillionaire,” Odario Williams, vocalist with the band, explains. “He was planting seeds that he was about to start a new label. It was one of those right-place-at-the-right-time things. It wasn’t the old-school way where he heard our demo and decided to invest in it. We had already completed the record. We were looking for a home for it. The connection just happened.
“We were looking for a home for it. The connection
To aspiring hip-hop artists, Williams advises that they be brave. “Don’t be afraid to be yourself,” he asserts. “I see a lot of artists that feel they have to sit under a certain category in order to be heard or to sell records. Those things are all untrue. People can read right through you if you’re not honest. So don’t be afraid to be yourself.”
Grand Analog’s Modern Thunder dropped in the U.S. on April 22 and in Europe on April 25. The band kicked off a European tour in Paris on April 12 and aims to tackle America once Europe has been explored. – Rob Putnam