ARTIST: SEAN LEON
SONG: 81 PREQUEL
PRODUCER: AMIR BIJAN
Sean Leon’s been working. Since hearing his debut body of work, Narcissus, The Drowning of Ego, I’ve kept steady tabs on the risks he’s taken and growth he’s shown as an artist. A chronological listen through his Soundcloud will have you admiring his creative range, too. We bumped into each other on the set of Native Other’s up-coming music video for their recent single, Palms.
I haven’t seen the guy out and about much, and for a Toronto musician that’s not the norm. Many artists make a point of being integral to the scene in the city- showing face to stay relevant. This guy though, I don’t claim to know him, but I know that he’s got his head down and he is working to stay relevant by maintaining momentum. Nine months ago he said it himself on one of my favourite tracks, Europe Freestyle/I made it/ Debt & Vendettas,
“I been doing me for real,
So it seems.
Like I sew my jeans for real,
Working on me for real.”
A whole year ago we heard a trappy single, 81 from the then already-auspicious Maui Slim. It wasn’t really a track that stuck with me, but rather just another piece added to the body of work which demonstrates the versatility of Sean Leon. Fast forward to a month ago when he dropped I THINK YOU’VE GONE MAD, Part 1 of the long-awaited Black Sheep Nirvana trilogy. I didn’t fully take in the song 81 Prequel until about a week ago when he released it as a single on Soundcloud, but it’s got me hooked.
This beat is produced by Bijan Amir but it seems he’s chopped and screwed Eestbound’s production on “81” for a slower, slimier and grimier version of the track that bleeds smoothly into “81”. His cadence—and particularly his unique lilt—pull me in and keep me engaged throughout the short but gripping song. I’m not particularly encapsulated or enamoured by the lyricism here (compared to Maui’s other works), but his airy Kendrick-esk intonation is contrasted and complimented by the sudden-stops and pops inflected. This song is a good one to play as you take your last shot of Jameson and call an Uber to the party. Short, hype and easy to rap along to; make Sean Leon’s 81 prequel your next predrink exit tune.
A SHOUT OUT TO THE PRODUCER
I also just wanna mention that Bijan’s contribution to ITYGM has not slid under the radar. I immediately redirected myself to Bijan Amir’s Soundcloud & clicked follow. His production is something different, especially coming out of Mississauga. If you appreciate local underrated talent, thank me later.