One of the music groups that is making noise in Canada is a group from Toronto called Southeast Cartel. According to them, Their name is a combination of their roots – the Philippines being located in South East Asia, and the group’s business mentality in the sense that as a cartel looks to push ‘dope’ (drugs), so does the group look to push out ‘dope’ (good) music to the people. They have been making music for 8 years now and has opened up for popular Pinoy artists/groups such as Parokya ni Edgar, Bamboo, Gloc 9, Abra, Loonie, Retrospect and Siakol.
I had an opportunity to ask them questions and this is what they have to say:
Tell me about Southeast Cartel’s background, where you all grew up and how the group got together?
All the members of Southeast Cartel spent their childhood in the Philippines and moved to Canada afterwards. Going through each member might take too long, but initially, we all got into hip hop hearing either English or Tagalog Rap music at a young age.
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Southeast Cartel was started by Franchizze years ago. He wanted to put together a group that would take the best of the local artists and create music that fellow Filipinos could be proud of. In 2010 The rest of the groups joined – Vzn and Raygee (Sundaloz), Biggz, Check One, JG, Keith Skillz (EazyGoing Musik), Pipoy (Puntoz Blanko), Rydeen (solo artist).
What is the biggest obstacle Southeast Cartel had to face as a group and how are you trying to overcome it or how did you overcome it?
Early in the group’s history, the hardest obstacle was working as a team. We were all from smaller groups and had our own styles and systems in place when it came to making music.
Due to each group and artist having different styles, it was very challenging to create music that sounded cohesive and solid. It took us years to not only work with each other but work with each other well.
What is the philosophy behind your music?
One of our group’s philosophies when it comes to making music is to create music that stands the test of time.
We always put 100% into our craft, with the mindset that we are aiming to create timeless works of art.
Share with me something the group has been working on improving
When it comes to music, we believe we have it down pat. Meaning, making dope music is something that comes easy to us and something we highly enjoy. One thing that we are striving to improve on is the marketing and branding of our group. The creation of music is 50% of an artist/group’s career, the other half is how well they market and promote themselves.
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Every year, we strive to climb higher and higher. The recent event (Sakop) was an unbelievable experience! Thank you to all the artists that came through to perform, and all that came to watch and perform! Our Filipino community here in North America just keeps getting stronger!!
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Once we can master the marketing and branding side, we hope to be able to reach and expose more of our music to the masses.
What is Southeast Cartel’s Big Picture vision?
To be able to create timeless music that people can relate and be proud of!
Where can fans find you?
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Raphael Tigno is the Founder and Creative Director of the magazine website vibeant.com. VIBEANT is an online magazine bridging global culture in fashion, art, music, culinary, subcultures, and lifestyles across the world. Pronounced as "VIBE" + "ANT", a literal translation of "ANTS ENERGY" a reference to "BAYANIHAN" virtue of Filipinos.