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Interview With Eternia – Canada – By Rush


7 November 2003 No Comment

She’s Canadian, and yes, she does rock mics. The name Eternia may not ring bells to your eardums, but if you got it tuned in fine you would have taken notice to Eternia (and not just her looks). I just got a promo copy from Ms. Eternia and was impressed by this emcee’s skill. Check out the interview Rush recently did with her.

Female emcees seem to be a dime a dozen these days, and the only ones that are making a name for themselves seem to be wearing less and less clothing. Here is an emcee, yes I said emcee, that can take anybody on: male or female. She garnered respect from her peers all around her block and you might find her ciphering with cats stateside. Check this site within the coming months for more information on Eternia and her releases I heard she been doing her thing for over eight years now, tightening her skills in studios around Canada, the U.S. and most recently Australia, dropping in on whatever street cipher she can throw her voice in… check what she has to say.

Who is this woman called Eternia? I know she from up north, can u tell me who u are?

I’m a lyricist, I’m a performer, I’m a musician… I’m an EMCEE to put it plainly (encompasses all those things). Not sure what else I can say, I hope my music speaks for itself.

I just listened to this promo copy you sent me: impressive real impressive. How did you get into this hip hop shit, ‘cause most woman would rather concentrate on looking fly and rather be groupies at shows?

Well… I am not sure if that last comment is a statement or a question. I’m in disagreement with that statement, which is why I am asking. ‘Cause I don’t believe that ‘most women’ are tryin’ to be groupies or only focused on looks. I believe women like that do exist, for sure, but they don’t constitute the majority in my opinion. But it’s easy to think they’re the majority since its easier to take notice of them over the women behind the scenes that are either not choosing to go to club venues, or not vying for attention, or not playing the groupie game, etc. etc….

I know mad women who are involved in Hip Hop culture on an active level, and puttin’ in work just as hard as their male counterparts. That stereotype of the ‘hip hop groupie’ is just that: a stereotype. It exists, no doubt, but in no way is it the whole picture. 

So how did I get into this? My bro brought N.W.A. and P.E. home when I was the ripe age of eight. That was my first major introduction. Its been love ever since.

You seem to be making moves, when u last hit me up you were in Australia right? What’s up with you and taking this music shit to another level when you will be able to just survive off it and not have to do any other shit?

I’m not there yet. Can’t wait to get there, trust me. This obviously ain’t no ‘hobby’ for me… this is something I pursue like law students pursue law school and legal firms. I mean, I take this music career of mine extremely seriously and I’m puttin’ in 110% work to make it happen. My firm belief is that if I am not ‘successful’ (my definition of success, not others) than I only have myself to blame. Noone else. I take full responsibility for my destiny. 

So what that means is I’m doin’ a lot more than writing tracks. In fact lately, its hard to find the time and creative energy to write joints, since I get swamped with administrative and business shit to attend to (pertaining to my career). I’m very lucky to have Fuzion Ent., my management company, on my side and helping me out every step of the way. 

I definitely think Australia was a step in that direction. I came over there as a professional artist, conducted myself accordingly, got gigs, recorded, got press coverage in major magazines, got the video on national TV there, and then returned home… I hope and plan to do that in many other countries as well.
So wsup with a gig in South Africa?! *wink*

We know hip hop has been male dominated. You don’t seem to let that shit offend you… any other female emcees you feel is bringing the realness to the mic?

Most definitely!! First name that comes to mind is Helixx C. Armegeddon, from NYC outta the Anomalies crew. Its hard to find material on her, but she’s on the Lyricist Lounge or Fat Beats compilations I think… she’s killin’ it to me, and I can’t wait to collab with her (I been sayin this for way too long now).
Of course Invincible is holdin’ it down, my girl Ndidi from my crew is holdin’ it down (check www.nextra.ca, Masia here in Toronto is holdin it down www.masiaone.com… there’s almost to many to list here.
On a global scale, I’m feelin’ A-Love’s work in Australia, also Macromantics is witty beyond belief… And finally, ‘mainstream’ females I’m feelin? Always Lauryn of course, Rah Digga is dope to me, and I’ll always have love for Bahamadee…. So yea that’s just the beginning of my list.

Ok sorry for all that shit I caused otherwise you would never have created that track called “Sorrow Song” for me. What was the creative inspiration that caused you to vent off like that on me?

Haha – if it was about you you’d already know the answer to that question, huh?
You got jokes. :-p
Alright – I’m not sure if the general listener is aware of this, but there’s often major time gaps between when an artist writes a track, to when they record the track, to when they actually drop the track. Sorrow Song is one of these stories.

By the time it dropped, I no longer had those strong feelings, I no longer was in that head space anymore… so sometimes when I’m asked for the inspiration for that its hard to remind myself where I was at!! *laugh*
But nah…. I mean it’s pretty self explanatory I think. I was in a serious long-term relationship, and that song basically lists everything that hurt me (after it was over), every bad thing that happened that I could get down on paper. It was a song I originally wrote as therapy for myself, to vent. So it’s a pretty sad, or negative joint… the man in question really isn’t that bad J

Tell me about Honey Jam: what is the event all about and what was the reception towards you from the Canadian audience?

Aight! Well Honey Jam is an all female ‘urban’ showcase that goes on once a year in Toronto. Its been goin’ on for almost 10 years strong I think, and each year the audiences have grown in size and the venues have changed to compensate for that… I mean its a big deal now in Canada, and recognized nationally. Ebonnie Rowe founded Phem Phat Productions www.phemphat.com and the Honey Jam showcase, and it’s basically an opportunity for women to get on stage and get exposure, especially exposed to industry heads in Canada. There’s a video download on my website as well www.Eternia.ca that shows a lil more about that, in the press page. But I mean, the reception is usually overwhelmingly strong and positive. I don’t remember ever having a bad audience, at least in the last five years, that I can recall right now… last time I rocked Honey Jam they had around 1000 people in the crowd… and all I felt was love.  Its definitely an amazing opportunity and incredible experience.

You opened up shows for Blackalicious, Mr Lif, Common, J-5, Company Flow, shit I can’t even mention all the names… what’s it been like sharing the stage with them cats, you learned anything valuable from them?

I suppose I learn a lot of little things at each show I rock, including ones without the ‘notable’ names. But I mean…. Yea I watch the veterans and learn how they do things better than me (cause of course often times they will) and I log that information in my head… usually to do with audio and mic control and crowd control techniques, etc etc….

Heads like Common travel with their own sound man, and that is something that is integral to any good show. Without a sound man you’re really at the mercy of whoever’s in the club and their knowledge (which is often little to none when it comes to Hip Hop music). 

Mr. Lif knows how to project on the mic, to where even if the sound is bad every one of his syllables is clear… very good mic control.

I mean… I could go through the list but its not that exciting… for the D-12 show we locked our instruments in the changeroom, and didn’t get the door open until after our set…. So that was learning the hard way! J

I was mad excited to open for Pharoahe Monch in August, and then his DJ got caught at the border and didn’t make it, so he didn’t perform… I was looking forward to adding that to the list, since he’s one of my all time faves.

Ok, can you tell me what’s your sentiments on battling? Do you feel it’s compulsory for cats that call themselves emcees to battle?

My first response would be: no, its not compulsory. But that’s my gut response only because I do not battle , straight up. And there’s a lot of emcees I know that don’t. It’s almost a personality thing. I’m not that competitive… I’m fairly humble… if someone’s like “you suck!” half the time they ain’t even worth your breath… more than half the time.  But, I mean, that bein’ said I understand why some people feel it is necessary to be able to battle. Its how emceein’ began, to a certain extent… freestyling… makin fun of each other…
I know even here in T.O. if you don’t freestyle or battle people question your ‘legitimacy’…. Your right to be in this thing. But its gotten to the point, for me, where I’m real honest and straight up about it… I don’t front like I’m a battle emcee, or a freestyle emcee. I’m a lyricist… I’m a writer…. I’m a performer… those are my strengths.  But I really respect those that kill a cipher, or a battle… I’ve seen a lot of battles in my day, and have a lot of respect for those emcees.

What’s in the pipeline for Eternia in the coming year, or you hanging up the mic anytime soon?

Hell No! Never!! Seriously, I’m a Taurus… and if you know anything about that bullshit, taureans are extremely dedicated, committed, stubborn, steadfast… which means I don’t give up ANYTHING I start (let alone this music I love the most).

I have so many lines in my raps about that…. Like “whether or not I pop off or get dropped… still drop thoughts from my knot cause I can’t stop” and “at seventy, I’ll still rock the masses with my grey hair and wheelchair… rhymin’ for the angels when I get there… (now that’s heaven)”.

Yea… so this comin year?
We just dropped the website in October, I’m mad excited about that cause it was a lot of work: www.Eternia.ca.  I’m workin on recording an independent E.P. , with a number of bangin’ producers from Canada and a few select guest appearances.  I just got the roughcut of my 2nd music video yesterday, that we’re workin on…. The track is called “Understand If I” (ft. Freestyle of the Arsonists) and I’m really lovin the vibe of the track and the video…. We got plans for that to be the first single next spring or summer.
So yea.. lots in the works, just mostly behind the scenes productivity right now though.

If you can pack one us with one rhyme which one would it be and why?

That’s a TOUGH question.
My favourites change all the time, depending on the life mood I am in at that time… but ummm…
so right now its just the last joint I wrote. And why? Because that’s how I’m feelin these days. I’ll give u an excerpt its too long to write the whole thing:

“… yo, I don’t care no more / I don’t care whether I simplify, advertise, rehearse and tour… / I don’t care whether cats like my attitude, / whether I’m stubborn or not, / whether I listen to you… / I’m caught in this perpetual / state of indifference. / Sometimes I feel my eyes swell, I get rid of it. / People always sayin’ that I’m negative / I’m tryin’ to change the bad to the good, but on the good days I’m still sad… / Sad that I’m feelin’ it, / prisoner of sentiment, / thinking of tomorrow, cause that feelin’? I’ll be missin it. / Everything is sacred and I cherish it. / But I know that nothing lasts forever, endeavors are lost and wasted… so / What am I s’posed to do? / What is this song to you? / But just anotha rapper tryin’ to spit a line or two. / I know my days are few. / And in my mind its true: / Hold that Moment, Cause in a Moment it’s Thru. “

So yea, that’s where I’m at right now. Real reflective…

Thanks for all the helpfulness, I’m still gonna hit you up after you completed that album cos I don’t give up easy, k, anyway hit us up with your final sentiments before u run off to the studio?

Ha! Well I actually am in the studio tomorrow, so almost right J
Man… I just wanna thank you for doin your homework PROPER and discovering a woman on the other side of the globe… that means you’re doing your job right. We finally got this interview down, right?! I can’t wait to finally get out to South Africa to rock the mic… now that would be my life comin’ full circle… I await that day.

Hit up www.Eternia.ca for music and video downloads, pictures, and more information on Eternia and her endeavors!

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