ONE-ON-ONE with JAIR DYNAST
Canadian Hip Hop artist Jair Dynast released his new single “AT RISK” earlier this month. “AT RISK” is pulled from the headlines & tackles the failings of societies choices as well as those of the artist. The multi-talented artist is known for making statements with his music. Dynast has earned an Album of the Year nod from RapReviews.com and his single “Can’t Wait” became the theme song for a 13-part Miniseries “Make Some Noise” on CBC.
After the successful release of Dynast’s last single, “Profiling” following the death of George Floyd, the artist, songwriter & producer decided to take “AT RISK” deeper and make it raw & personal. “AT RISK” speaks to the life & death of a young black man who has passed on & the agonizing apology to his mother for not returning home. “AT RISK” speaks to the mistakes and responsibilities of society…. and his own.
ONETEN MAG: Please introduce yourselves to the readers: What’s good ONETEN fam! This is Jair Dynast (Jah-Air Die-Nast), coming at you from the 6ix side. Specifically, Scarborough on the east end of Toronto.
ONETEN MAG: At what age did you guys start writing and making music? I started writing songs and creating beats late in life. I would say around the age of 21 years old.
ONETEN MAG: Who inspired you to make music? The idea to start creating music came from a suggestion by my mom. At the time, I had just returned home from Texas after being on a basketball scholarship. I was devastated because I had just found out that I had to give up my scholarship and playing at that level because I had a heart condition called Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. If I continued to play it could cause me to collapse and die on the court. At that point, my whole life was basketball. I was depressed struggling to figure out what I was going to do with my life. So, my mom asked “Well can you rap? You’re always listen to that rap music”. I had never rapped before but a friend of mine did, so I reached out to him, we formed a group and my career in music started there.
ONETEN MAG: What Separates you from other artists? I think the musical compositions I use for my songs sets me apart. I compose and produce all the beats I use for my songs and I can create a range of sounds. I am not tied to one sub-genre within Hip Hop.
ONETEN MAG: How would you describe the music that you typically create? Lyrically, I saw what I create describe as conscious or “woke” rap but honestly, I am not tied to that either because I write chill songs, party records, love songs all sort of music.
ONETEN MAG: If you could go open a show for any artist who would it be? I think opening for J Cole or Kendrick Lamar would be a good fit considering my catalogue of music.
ONETEN MAG: Now you had one of your songs “Can’t Wait” the theme song for a 13-part miniseries called “Make Some Noise” on CBC. How was that experience? It was cool. The producers of the show were looking for a song that was specifically on message with the theme of the series. I wrote to that topic and they loved what I came up with. The concept of the show was to engage people who were apathic to voting especially young people. I just spoke to that truth.
ONETEN MAG: You released a song called “Profiling” following the death of George Floyd along with a video. What made you want to speak out on that subject? I originally wrote that song speaking on one of my own experiences with police brutality and systemic racism 10 years ago. It was heart breaking watching George pass away like that and I felt I had to get “Profiling” out there to help amplify the voice of social justice from our community. These are not isolated occurrences. People from our community lose their lives like this far too often and we have got to put a stop to it.
ONETEN MAG: Do you think we will ever be able to over come racism in the world? I think we can overcome racism in the world. It will take a collective and sustained effort from people of all ethnicities to overcome racism and likely more than our generation.
ONETEN MAG: What is an average day like for you? An average day for me is busy right now. I have two young kids, age 5 and 7, who are currently in virtual school. My wife and I both work from home due to COVID-19. We are trying our best to keep up with having to attend to them. While I am doing that I am handling various aspects of my music career and my career as a technical director of basketball. They involve anything from like social media management, graphic design, video editing, shooting video, speaking to the press and creating music. For the TD side of things, responding to emails, crafting program and practice plans, keeping up to date with constantly changing COVID restrictions, running practices, etc. I do not sleep much lol.
ONETEN MAG: What is the biggest problem you’ve had to overcome so far? The biggest challenge is always breaking through the “noise”. Today’s music landscape is so vast. It is easy to be forgotten when there is so much great music to be consumed. So, interviews and opportunities like this are key and I really appreciate it.
ONETEN MAG: What is your top five favorite albums of all time to date? I’m a classic type of guy so I am going to give you some old albums. Jay-Z Reasonable Doubt, Nas Illmatic, OutKast Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, Maxwell Urban Hang Suite, Mary J Blige My Life.
ONETEN MAG: What is the best advice you have been given? Life is a lifelong learning process. Never stop learning.
ONETEN MAG: If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be? Perhaps, I would change how long it takes to understand how to navigate the industry. Knowledge is key.
ONETEN MAG: You just dropped new track “AT RISK” What was the inspiration behind creating that song?
In Toronto and other “urban” communities around the world there is and has been a lot of violence for a long time. Furthermore, systemic racism governs these communities and society in general perpetuating this violence. Lastly, we as a black community play our own part in a lot of these violent outcomes. I felt like I needed to make a song that addressed all of this in very impactful way. I named the song “At Risk” because they label our youth “At Risk Youth”. Well lets explore why we are constantly “At Risk”.
ONETEN MAG: With the impact of the world’s health pandemic with CONVID-19, how are you keeping yourself busy and sane? I have been very fortunate, as I mentioned earlier I have been busy as of late. However, during the lockdown I was extremely fortunate to have my wife and kids with me. We really used it as an opportunity to spend a lot of time together doing a lot of family related things. Going bike riding, hiking, getting out in nature and just spending time with each other. Under normal circumstances I would be gone most afternoons and evenings 7 days a week and I would not have had the opportunity to be around so much.
ONETEN MAG: Any one you would like to give a shoutout to? Yes, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to share my music and life’s passion with your readers. I would like to Shout out my wife Tanya for being so supportive of my choice to venture back into the music business and I cannot forget my two little ones, Yesenia and Keir. They are my whole life. Lastly, anyone that is checking for my music I want to thank you it is much appreciated!
Photographers Credit: Maya Washington
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