Toronto’s arts scenes come alive during the summer, but it’s likely the most frigid days of the year that are the most productive creatively. Redbird, the first solo release from Unbuttoned’s Casey MQ, is imbued with that “do anything you can that keeps you sane while you hibernate” mentality.
“For me, the song is a reflection on months that lead into a typical Toronto winter and how we find ways to cope with the colder season,” he says. “The days blur together through various vices while an overwhelming desire for sun and daylight permeates.”
You can hear the chilly vibes in the smooth and soulful production (helmed by Casey MQ and Mississauga MC Junia-T), built around a sample of the Brazilian ballad Via Láctea by Carlos Walker. It almost sounds like a sunny, golden age BBQ track until you listen more carefully to the S.A.D.-affected lyrics about mediated communication, dying plants and lack of sunlight. And the pitch-shifted vocals sound strange and alien, adding a trippy extra layer of fog.
Redbird is Casey MQ’s first solo release. He plays with the electro-pop band Unbuttoned, which runs the youth-focused open mic night Hummingbird in Regent Park, and has also co-produced with artists like Zaki Ibrahim, TiKA and Cadence Weapon.
As for how Casey MQ handles Toronto winters himself? He won’t – this year, at least. He moved to Brussels to finish his debut EP, which we can expect early next year.
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