Up Close and Personal With Quake Matthews
by Chikako ⋅ December 1, 2017
Quake Matthews recently won the East Coast Music Award for rap/hip-hop Recording of the year for his new album, Rap Music, after years of persistence and a love for hip-hop that started in Fairview, Nova Scotia.
Quake fell in love with rap around age seven, when he would sneak into the bedroom of his babysitters’ teenaged sons and listen to their extensive hip-hop tape and CD collection. After his mom noticed he was interested in creating his own music when he was eleven, he started recording tapes and freestyles on a karaoke machine she gave him for Christmas one year.
Quake started getting recognized when he was fifteen and sixteen, arriving at battle rap events with signed parental consent forms he needed to be allowed entry. Since then, he’s put out four solo albums over the last six years.
Quake has worked with Canadian music legends including Classified and Heather Rankin; he has been featured in The Source magazine, and he recently spoke with the TNT team about his career.
How did it feel to win your first ECMA?
It felt great to finally get acknowledged. I’m 27 now, so it’s been over ten years that I’ve been taking this seriously, putting in hard work. After ten years, to stick with something and finally be acknowledged on a level like that, it’s just amazing.
What Challenges have you overcome while making it as a musician on the East Coast?
There’s tons of challenges – there’s more challenges than rewards, you know? Not being able to get a record deal, or not being able to get any play on the radio.
There’s tons of obstacles, and the odds are stacked against you as an East Coast hip-hop artist, but we’ve seen Classified do it and that’s been in the back of my mind all these years. If someone has done it before, it is possible.
What words of inspiration do you have for youth on the East Coast?
Right now, we’re in an era where everything is so instantaneous. Everything is just so instant and at our fingertips that a lot of the times, I even find myself getting lazy and not wanting to do the work.
So I would say: Try to get out of that mentality. Take a break from the phone every once in a while, maybe just for a couple hours a day. Just work towards your goals without any distractions. Dedicate a couple hours to putting some hard work into it, and you’ll get there.