Tre Mission

Toronto emcee has one foot on either side of the Atlantic, and a ton of ground he still wants to conquer


Tre Mission’s favourite performance ever was a co-headlined show with fellow Torontonian TFHouse at Wrongbar (capacity 300) last August.

“The energy was like nothing I’ve ever seen before in all my years of going out,” he recalls over beers at a Queen and Broadview pub.

That says a lot about the artist, who opened for seven-time Grammy nominee Kendrick Lamar at a much larger, sold-out Sound Academy (capacity 3,000) that same month.

It also bodes well for tonight’s Tattoo show with Top Dawg Entertainment sensation Isaiah Rashad, which will be much closer in scale to the Wrongbar gig.

“The intimate thing is fun, especially when I’m at home,” he says.

When he’s not home, Tre is usually in England – home to his label, Big Dada (with which he has a three-album deal), and also his hip-hop/drum ‘n’ bass/electro-blurring genre, grime.

The London scene embraced the Canadian producer/emcee’s lightning raps and off-kilter, jungle-fied beats when he was still a teenager, and he’s been going back and forth ever since. His free album Malmaison, released last June, made waves both here and across the pond.

Currently he’s working on the follow-up, Stigmata, for which he’s already shot two large-scale videos in Los Angeles with director Andrew Hines, who’s also worked with A$AP Rocky, A$AP Ferg and Party Next Door.

“I wasn’t trying to think about Malmaison too much when I made this, cuz I knew that would just be setting myself up. So I thought, ‘Let me make all the songs I didn’t get to make on Malmaison,'” says Tre, who sounds a lot like Jay Z except with a whisper of London lilt.

Beyond his current project and the white jeep with a tan interior he hopes to procure sooner rather than later, Tre has a lot on his to-do list: more remixes like Walk Away, the one he produced for PBR&B singer JMSN a whole album full of instrumental beats and the opportunity to develop other artists, most notably his good friend and London grime-scener Prowla. (“If I was to beat Justin Bieber on the Billboard charts and make a million dollars, he’s the first artist I would work with.”)

Whatever he does, he’ll be on the move.

“The world is so big. Life is so short and you’re only one person. And you’re going to stay in one place? I don’t understand how that’s even the norm.

“At 22, you can fit your stories into maybe two albums. So I need to grow and go have more experiences and see some crazy shit.”

julial@nowtoronto.com | @julialeconte

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