ETERNIA album and video release party at Sugar Club (57 Duncan), Wednesday (September 21), 7 pm. $5. 416-597-0202. Rating: NNNNN
Beyond still holding it down as Canada's dopest female emcee, Eternia has an ability that's rare among musicians regardless of genre, gender, race or creed. She can strum the crowd's pain with her fingers -- kill them softly with her songs, as she did during showcases at this year's SXSW and NXNE festivals (in Austin and Toronto respectively) as well as on the Warped Tour. I guess that would technically be killing them extremely loudly then. But you get the idea.
"A lot of people come up to me after shows and say, 'You literally took my story and wrote it and put it in a song,'" the Toronto-based hiphop hellraiser relays over the phone during a lunch break from her day job. "And that's kind of what I try to do."
But Eternia's ability to convey her personality and experiences fluidly through her rhymes (in addition to the ease with which she can annihilate people lyrically, as she's proved since her days with that sick Connecticut clan DemiGodz) has kept the heads who know what's up checking for her over the last 10 years.
During that time she's dropped a number of one-offs on a range of labels, from BattleAxe to Warner Music Australia. But Wednesday marks a momentous occasion for Eternia. She hopes it'll be the biggest night of her life, she says. After independently releasing Where I Been: The Collection, she's only now dropping her first album, It's Called Life.
It comes as a shock even to her pals.
"Most of my friends assume that I've had more than one record out already," she says. "I have a big catalogue of musical features and things I've done -- so it's really about time. Now that I have an album wrapped, packaged and about to go in stores, my job is done."
Is that a relief or nerve-wracking? The question makes her sigh.
"I think that every single time you conquer one mountain, there's another taller one to climb."
Regardless, as expected, the debut is fresher than mountain air -- but way smarter. On It's Called Life, Eternia kicks it on a spectrum of life and interpersonal relationships with an arsenal of poignant concepts and very smart phrases over some true-rap beats.
Tragically, among these hearty, carefully crafted pearls, there are zero tracks about shinin' jewellery and grindin' in da clubs.
"There's only one track I missed on this record, and that's the party track," she laughs. "We definitely have tracks that DJs will like spinning, but when it comes to the get-down-and-shake-your-ass track... ," it'll have to wait for the next mountain.