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Artist interview

New single from Killian is a leap of faith

The new single “Energy” from Vancouver-based rapper and producer Killian channels pandemic frustration into something meaningful.

After relocating from Alberta to British Columbia during the pandemic, 19-year old producer and rapper Killian has found success in his leap of faith.
Listen here.

That lacklustre lockdown feeling

The title of the song speaks for itself. Like most artists during lockdowns, Killian found himself lacking the motivation necessary to pursue his dream of making it in the music industry.

It was hard enough to make a name as an artist before the pandemic. Throw in not being able to perform live and you’re bound to lose some hope. Killian did what musicians do best: channel frustration into art. Cue the release of “Energy”.

If you have lots to say, just say it

The song is laden with multiple meanings, which could potentially complicate how the listeners receive the message. But if you find yourself with more than one thing to say, why not save yourself the time and fit more things into one song?

When you’ve been through a giant move like Killian has, this process makes a lot more sense.

“The song isn’t trying to achieve one thing in particular,” he shared. The reason behind this? People don’t just feel one emotion when they’re frustrated; you can feel overcome by a flurry of emotions when you’re on the verge of throwing in the towel.

He shared the emotions he channeled while making this song in greater detail:

“There are lines about not being able to forgive. At that time I had people in my life that weren’t making my life any easier. It snowballed and […] left me feeling drained, which is why the song is called ‘Energy’. I felt like I didn’t have any left.” 

The pandemic and crappy friends weren’t the only obstacles he had to face. He also had to navigate a lack of resources, which is something many creatives would be familiar with.

Finding the right creative environment

Killian has often struggled to find industry role models in his city. Toronto has Drake, Montreal has Kaytranada, and Vancouver has Mariana’s Trench. But who does Calgary have to look up to, and what creative outlets are available to emerging artists?

Despite all the cowboy-hat wearing cops and conservative politics, Killian enjoyed the peace and quiet that came with the city.
“Out of all the cities I’ve lived in, Calgary was by far my favourite,” he said.

At the same time, peace and quiet can be antithetical to career growth. “The way the city is, it’s kind of like a wasteland. It’s very blue-collar. Creative arts never seemed like a primary concern […] which was upsetting because I would see all of these talented kids with few of places to grow,” he shared. This realization sparked the decision to move to Vancouver with his girlfriend. 

Toronto has Drake, Montreal has Kaytranada, and Vancouver has Mariana’s Trench. But who does Calgary have to look up to, and what creative outlets are available to emerging artists?

“Energy” may have more than one story to tell, but Killian wants to remind everyone about the overarching theme of the track, which is to commit.

“If I have goals that I’ve set for myself, the only way I’m going to accomplish them is if I prioritize action over emotions. Even when I feel like I can’t put any more energy into my passion, I know that I need to keep going,” he said. Well, as Nike likes to say, sometimes you have to just do it.

Make sure to follow Killian on Instagram (@yo_killian) to witness his journey.

By Emerson Marshall

Emerson Marshall–also known as Emerson Ettore–works in radio and is currently an on-air personality at Vancouver Co-Op Radio. He loves introducing people to new Canadian and local talent.