Home » Biographies

Saukrates Biography

Tags: ,

27 October 2011 No Comment

Born in Toronto, Saukrates started as a child music prodigy, beginning with the violin at six years old. By the time he was eight, “Soxx” was playing in the All City orchestra. By ten, he was playing in a 100-piece symphony orchestra, one desk behind the Concert Master. “The band camp stories from American Pie, I have those stories as well,” Saukrates jokes. He would eventually turn to rap and later become one of the architects ofCanada’s hip-hop scene.

At 16 he began making music, rhyming over his own homegrown production, pressing CDs independently and scraping money together for studio time. 1994’s “Still Caught Up” was the result, the slick-keyed introductory track that would be the catalyst in sparking Saukrates’ rap career. Two years later, the song was nominated for a Juno Award for Best Rap Recording, the same year Saukrates signed with Warner Bros. Records. 1997’s Brick House EP showed a burgeoning young wordsmith, while his debut LP, The Underground Tapes (Capitol Hill Music) in ’99 made him a force in Canadian hip-hop. Inspired by the production of Pete Rock and versatility of Erick Sermon, Saukrates coincidentally joined forces with Sermon’s former college roommate, Redman.

“We hit it off from our first meeting at the Def Jam building in 2000,” says Saukrates of his friendship with Redman. “Over time, we became like cousins more than artists just getting together to work.” That bond carried over into music, as Soxx signed to Redman’s Gilla House Records/Def Jam. That same year (2000), he received another Juno nomination for “Money Or Love”.

The next years of Saukrates’ career involved building his buzz through his peers’ projects. He produced “Uh Huh” off Redman’s Malpractice (2001), collaborated with Red on the cut “Enjoy Da Ride” and appeared on the track “Fine Line” for the How High soundtrack. He even toured with Redman & Method Man for the European leg of their 2005 How High Tour. Production-wise, Soxx produced on Choclair’s Ice Cold with Kardinal Offishall and co-produced “Heaven” off Nas’ God’s Son. In the midst of all of that, he squeezed in his own Bad Addiction project.

However, 2006 marked a turning point in Saukrates’ career. Fellow Canadian Nelly Furtado dropped her career-changing album Loose and brought Saukrates on tour. He spent three years touring with Furtado – 30 cities in Europe, 10 inCanada, and 20 in theUnited States. In addition, Soxx doubled as the opening act and member of Nelly’s ensemble where he played percussion, remixed songs, sang backup, rapped and performed Timbaland’s ad libs. “As soon I’d get off the stage, I’d have ten minutes to wipe off the sweat, get changed and go back out as part of her band,” he fondly recalls. “It helped a lot with perspective when I got back into the studio to finish off what I started,” he states. That year, Soxx also dropped the Heavens Caught On Fire collaborative project with Big Black Lincoln, showing the range of five rappers who don’t even rap until the very end of the work.

Toward the close of the tour, he brought along a young Drake, who was beginning a music career of his own. Saukrates was even instrumental in the friendship between Drake and producer Noah “40” Shebib. “He needed somewhere to record and I had been recording with ‘40’,” says Soxx. “I got introduced to Boi-1da, Drake and D10 and brought them all in.”

With new blood in Canadian hip-hop, Saukrates has reignited his passion, delivering Season One (Frostbyte/eOne). The album will arrive in three parts, beginning with an EP at the close of 2011 and complete with the full album come 2012. The already successful “Drop It Down” featuring Redman is making its way over the airwaves. The project will feature production from Rich Kidd and of course Soxx himself. “I met a lot of talent and have kept them close to me, and they’re pretty much on all of my production these days,” he explains.

As Canada breeds new talent, Saukrates helps them gain leverage and cultivate their sound through writing hooks, arranging and co-producing for artists like the aforementioned Rich Kidd, OB O’Brien, Andreena Mill and other new acts, many of whom appear on Season One. “I really wanted to do that to not only help them out, but also show that I’m integrated with what’s young and new coming out,” Soxx explains. “We’re kind of helping each other.”

Saukrates even utilized Rich Kidd for his track “Say I”, which was used in the Nike 24/7 campaign for Montreal Canadians’ P.K. Subban’s segment.

Few musicians can boast consistently remaining busy in their art for close to two decades, but Saukrates is one of them. He’s weathered every season of hip-hop, and brings it all back with Season One. “I’m really blessed to still be doing this,” he explains. “All of it.”


Submitted by: