Earlier this year Canadian rapper Jazz Cartier unveiled his debut mixtape Marauding In Paradise and he’s been labeled as Toronto’s next big thing ever since. Many describe him as Drake’s more grimy counterpart but his strong lyrics and distinct videos prove that he’s much more than just that. A couple of weeks ago the 22-year old performed in Belgium and thanks to the lovely people over at Chase and All Eyes On Hip Hop I had the chance to interview him. We discussed Marauding In Paradise, his love for Toronto, how the nickname Jaccuzi La Fleur came about and much more.
Read the Dutch version on Chase.
ITU: How did you get into rapping?
Jazz Cartier: “I’ve always been into music and about seven years ago I started getting into rap, just trying it out like a lot of kids because every kid wanted to be a rapper and I started to take it more serious about five, four years ago like right when I got out of high school because I wanted to do something with my life.”
What inspired you to become a rapper?
Jazz: “What personally drew me to rap was the storytelling aspect of hip hop and also the fact that every part of the world houses like a different part of rap.”
You moved around a lot when you were young. How did that experience influence your career?
Jazz: “It influenced me a lot. When you’re young and you travel a lot you have to learn a lot of new things and you get to know different cultures. You develop a different perspective on life. I went to thirteen schools and by doing that at such a young age, you build some sort of tough skin. You just learn how to manoeuvre better and learn how to talk to different people better. It’s a very good people building skill.”
You traveled a lot when you were young. How come you still feel so connected with Toronto?
Jazz: “I was born there and I always felt a heavy connection with my hometown. When I graduated from high school I made the move back because I felt like Toronto is where I belong. After about two years of living there I started to find myself and finding my identity which I needed to start making the music that I wanted to make. I needed to record my mixtape in Toronto, I could have not done it anywhere else.”
What’s the meaning behind the mixtape’s title Marauding In Paradise?
Jazz: “Marauding In Paradise is like my version of Toronto. Just like stories I got from going out at night whether it’s like clubbing, partying or just getting into random shit. My paradise is Toronto because when you’re young and coming up so much shit is going on and that’s the place where all that stuff happened for me.”
You’ve been described as the voice of Downtown Toronto. How would you describe Downtown Toronto?
Jazz: “It’s hectic and wild. Downtown Toronto is where everything happens. It doesn’t matter which part of the city you’re from, on the weekends that’s where you’ll be going to the parties, that’s where your friends will be at and that’s where all the big events are happening. There’s a lot of character to the city and you have to have some pretty tough skin to live in a place like Toronto.”
I read that you were quite the party animal a few years ago and that your album was going in a totally other direction and that there would be more club tracks and bangers on it. What made you change your ways and become more lyrical?
Jazz: “Once I started putting out music and started getting the reception from people and seeing how they would react to certain things, I realized I had the opportunity to make something special and not something that can just get tossed on the road. It started making me think about things a lot differently. I figured I could have gone one route and be that party guy or I could be like an actual artist and get respected for the art of it. I chose the latter.”
It took you about 3 years to get the mixtape finished. How come it took you so long?
Jazz: “We had four different versions of it but none of them just felt right. The version that’s out now came about the last six, seven months. I had a vision of how I wanted it and it just wasn’t there. I didn’t have the confidence that I have now.”
You wanted to put out the mixtape out before you turned 22. What’s the reason behind that choice?
Jazz: “I’ve always set out goals for myself and that was one of them. I feel like once you get a certain age the perception of it is like really off. When you’re 22 there’s still room for mistakes. Once you reach 24, 25 you got to get your shit together. Me putting out my mixtape now was perfect so now I can go back and mature more as an artist and as a person so people can watch me grow.”
How come there are no guest appearances on the mixtape?
Jazz: “I wanted the people just to listen to me. At the time there was nothing that I couldn’t do that other people could do better for me.”
Who would you like to collaborate with on your future projects?
Jazz: “There’s a couple I would love to work with. SZA is the number one artist I would like to work with but Earl Sweatshirt and Asap Rocky would be great collaborators too.”
Last question. Where does the moniker Jacuzzi La Fleur come from?
Jazz: “Jacuzzi Lafleur is a nickname I got from a good friend of mine DJ Amy Traphouse. It’s actually just a name that fits my character very well. She’s very big on flowers and she always said that one day I would blossom into my own so that’s were La Fleur came from. Jacuzzi is just a reflection of my laid-back personality.”
Stream Marauding In Paradise here.