This isn’t the first time that the magazine has had the chance to sit down with the Nova Scotian born rapper “Classified”. Back in the summer we concentrated on his new album “Handshakes and Middle Fingers.” This time around I wanted to learn about his likes and dislikes as well as his views on arena shows versus club shows.
I got the chance to sit down with Classified backstage at the Bell Center on March 12th before he hit the stage to open for Hedley.
CONFRONT: How are you?
CLASSIFIED: I’m good! How are you?
CONFRONT: I’m great thanks. How’s the tour been so far?
CLASSIFIED: It’s been good! We just had a week off. We had to cancel a few dates along the East coast so I got to go home and re-charge and start again. I’m feeling good.
CONFRONT: Have you had a favorite stop on the tour so far?
CLASSIFIED: Peterborough was really good. London was also good. Estevan was good. It’s been consistent. We’re playing arenas so I find it’s harder to judge. I’m used to playing clubs where you see everybody and everyone’s there. Here it’s more about us enjoying each other because you can’t really get that one on one connection when there’s 10,000 people you know? It’s hard to judge but as I said it’s all been pretty consistent with every crowd and arena. The worst show was Windsor. Let’s do that.
CLASSIFIED: Yup! Not because of the crowd. Our mics were cutting out the whole time and there were just a lot of sound problems. The people still seemed to enjoy it and they fought through it with us.
CONFRONT: Do you have a preference between arena shows versus club shows?
CLASSIFIED: Clubs all the way. Way more fun. This is cool too though because this 10,000 people get to see you whereas in a club there might be 1000. There’s definitely an advantage to it but there’s more of a connection and a vibe when you’re in a club.
CONFRONT: At least you get some great exposure on these types of tours.
CLASSIFIED: Oh yeah. I’m not complaining about it. Even this side of it, the nice dressing room, shower part is great. When you’re in a bar it’s some grimy and stinky bar that you have to hang out in all day. I don’t miss that part at all.
CONFRONT: How did you become a part of this tour? Your sound is fairly different from anything else on stage.
CLASSIFIED: I don’t know. Someone told me that Hedley picked me to do it. I’ve never heard that 100%. I know their manager talked to my manager and asked if we’d be interested. There were a couple of other people who were trying to get on this tour. They ended up just asking us to do it.
CONFRONT: What’s it been like working with all these bands?
CLASSIFIED: Good! It’s different. All the guys are cool and easy to get along with. It’s just a different crowd. At our shows everyone knows all the songs. Here some people know it but for a lot of people it’s their first time here.
CONFRONT: You’re definitely getting a lot of new fans through this.
CLASSIFIED: Oh yeah definitely. Even on Twitter people are hitting us up saying “I’ve never seen you before but I saw you at the Kingston show with Hedley”. It seems to be doing what we were hoping.
CONFRONT: You’ve been coming out on stage for “Invincible” as well right?
CLASSIFIED: Yup! Getting my little rap on.
CONFRONT: So the magazine actually sat down with you back in the late summer so I won’t ask you anything about your new album since that was what we concentrated on last time.
CONFRONT: If someone wanted to listen to your music for the first time which song would you recommend they listen to first?
CLASSIFIED: Oh wow I can’t do that. It would depend on the type of person. If I found out it was someone who would like something more raw and contemporary I’d say a song like “All About You.” If I found out it was more of a hip hop I might say “Unusual” or “That Ain’t Classy”.
CONFRONT: Okay so it’s dependant on that person.
CLASSIFIED: Yeah. It’s hard to do that.
CONFRONT: How would you describe your live shows?
CLASSIFIED: Interactive. We try to have a good time and try to get the crowd involved. Especially shows like this. We try to put a show together where, even if you don’t know the music, you can still get something out of it and be entertained by it.
CLASSIFIED: I don’t think anything specific. I think just life. Just living, daily stuff like walking down the road and seeing something that you’ll put down in your phone. It’s not one specific thing. My kids are one thing but it’s not normally that. It’s a lot of just living life.
CONFRONT: I’ve seen that you’ve collaborated with a lot of artists. Is there anyone you’d still love to work with?
CLASSIFIED: A lot of different artists but not anyone specific. I just like working with artists because you get to see how they work. It gives you different ideas on how you can work on your own stuff. I work with different artists every other week. I usually have people in the studio all the time doing different things.
CONFRONT: Is there anywhere that you would love to play a show that you haven’t yet had the chance to visit?
CONFRONT: Really? Everybody says Japan!
CLASSIFIED: Really? I thought I was being original *laughs*I’ve always been fascinated by martial arts and all that type of stuff. That’s made me always want to visit Japan.
CONFRONT: I’ve seen that you’re on a lot of different social networks. How important is it for you to reach out to your fans through Twitter, Facebook etc?
CLASSIFIED: I think it’s important because now-a-days you can interact with an artist through these sites. It’s almost like doing a live show. Doing live shows is important for an artist because you’re out there touring a lot and meeting fans and getting to talk to them. Twitter is the same thing. You can be interactive with fans but from anywhere in the world at any time. It builds a connection with your fans. It lets them know what you’re like more as a person too which can be a good thing or a bad thing! *laughs* It depends.
CONFRONT: Is there one thing fans might not know about you?
CLASSIFIED: Probably not. I try to put it out there. When I think of it I go “Oh let me put this on!” Usually when it’s embarrassing it’s even better. People relate to it more. Once I think of something it would be put out there. I can’t think of anything right now.
CONFRONT: What was the first concert you ever attended and your most recent?
CLASSIFIED: First one I remember was Bon Jovi in Halifax. The last one was Hedley because I’ve been here every night. One we went to was Wiz Khalifa.
CONFRONT: What was the first album you ever bought and your most recent?
CLASSIFIED: First one I ever bought would be Naughty By Nature’s first album. The last one I bought was Commons album.
CONFRONT: Finish the sentence. I would never…
CLASSIFIED: Finish the sentence! *laughs* No I would never… say never.
CONFRONT: What’s something you would love to do if you got the chance?
CLASSIFIED: I would love to bungee jump or parachute.
CLASSIFIED: I just don’t think I’d have the guts to do it.
CONFRONT: Are you afraid of heights?
CLASSIFIED: No I’m not afraid of heights, I just hate flying. I think it’d be crazy. Once you’re off the plane and the parachute opens. I think it’d be crazy.
CONFRONT: Yeah I can only imagine that adrenaline rush.
CLASSIFIED: I just couldn’t be on a plane and go “I’m going to jump out”.
CONFRONT: Where do you hope to see yourself 10-15 years down the road.
CLASSIFIED: Just doing something I still enjoy doing. Being comfortable and happy.
CONFRONT: What are your upcoming plans?
CLASSIFIED: Finish this tour and probably go back to the studio and write more songs. I have a lot of ideas and beats written down.
CONFRONT: Do you have any shows coming up in the summer?
CLASSIFIED: Yeah! I’m doing a lot of festivals and stuff. We’re doing Osheaga. We just got booked for that. I’m excited. A lot of festival stuff and a Maritimes tour coming up.
To learn more about Classified click on the links below: