Missing from my Representing the T-Dot/Toronto's Bad Rap article from March was one of the many multi-talented globetrotting artists still unknown in Canada. One in particular is named Graph Nobel, and she's the epitome of Toronto creative diversity, determination and depth.
She's been shining in the background for well over a decade now, and if you paid attention to the smaller details of things, you might have seen Graph's name/face out there before.
From providing backup vocals for The Roots, Sam Roberts, Cody Chesnutt and others; to recording with Jully Black, Esthero and Keisha Chante; to headlining concerts with Doc of Esthero notoriety. Graph has been doing it well for a while, but just has remained too ahead of her time to be recognized by all.
That is soon about to change.
And after relocating to Los Angeles a few years ago to spread her worldly wings, she's now part of Idle Warship, the eclectic trio consisting of Blackstar's Talib Kweli, Philadelphia soul sensation Res, and Graph. They came up to York University last week for a free concert (which you should have been at!) and tore a chunk out of the building.
You may know the success of Cadence Weapon. You may know the success of A-Trak. You may know the success of Thunderheist. You may even know the success of Scratch Bastid. But get hip to one of the future superstars of modern music, the one and only Graph Nobel. I briefly spoke to her to assess the state of our latest Canadian infiltration in the sonic cross-border takeover that we are unwittingly undertaking.
What's the difference between living in Los Angeles doing music and living in Toronto doing music?
Toronto is like a comfy recliner chair, you can kick back and relax in it. Los Angeles is a carnival of good and evil, it feeds my creativity.
What do you miss most about Canada?
I miss reading the Toronto Star, watching The Hour with George Stromboloupolous, real West Indian food and Swiss Chalet.
What do you enjoy most about America?
I enjoy American culture, its history, its entertainment, its people and their democratic nominee for this year's presidential election, Barack Obama.
What projects can we anticipate hearing from you in the future, Graph?
Hopefully we won't have to wait too long for the Idle Warship release "Party Robot", we're just about finished. Then maybe a solo release, I write a lot for others, so much of Graph will be out there in the form of other artists.
Any final thoughts or shoutouts?
Shout out Shawn Hewitt and his 'Spare Hearts'.
Fall Back (video):