It’s been a couple years since the debut of the Lytics’ self-titled EP, but the wait is almost over. The popular Winnipeg hip-hop group will soon be following up with their full sophomore album, They Told Me, which will be released this October.
The Lytics—comprised of brothers Andrew, Alex, and Anthony Sannie, along with cousin Mungala Londe and “new” brother, DJ Lonny Ce—have long been at the forefront of Winnipeg’s local music scene. They have performed for various events and venues around the city and gained attention across North America.
In 2011 alone, they performed at two large-scale music festivals: the South by Southwest (SXSW) Festival in Austin, Texas, and the Canadian Music Festival in Toronto. Yet with all their success, the guys remain grounded and are committed to continue making music for the masses – music that the general public can relate to.
“A lot of hip hop musicians, they talk about unrealistic things, you know? Things that most of the world don’t have to deal with,” says Andrew. “A lot of us don’t have like ten cars to choose from. A lot of us don’t have the major issues that all of the major hip hop artists are talking about. We’re just making music for real people.”
“We’re not really trying to make escapist music,” adds Alex. “Not that [the stuff that major hip hop artists talk about] isn’t real, it’s pretty real to them. But that’s not what we want to be talking about. You can escape reality if you want, but that’s only for so long.”
It’s not just the context of the songs that separates them from other hip hop acts. The Lytics draw their inspiration from many different musical genres, including but not limited to 90’s hip hop, afrobeat, 60’s R&B, electro, and funk.
If you try comparing their latest single, “Stay Calm”, to any of their previous works, you’d only barely be able to recognize that it’s from the same group. It’s as if each song that the Lytics make has its own distinct signature.
“I feel like, us being able to have so many different styles in one record, or even in one song, it separates us from other people. And I don’t even think that we did it on purpose, I think it’s the way it came out. That’s something that I’m really proud of, it’s something that sets us aside,” says Andrew.
The creative process of the second album was different than that of their first – and definitely a lot more challenging the second time around. Whereas The Lytics EP was a little bit more of a spontaneous project, They Told Me started off much more structured. However, they all agreed that the end result was well worth the trials.
“[They Told Me] totally exceeded my expectations,” Alex notes. “[We’re] finished with it and [we’re] still happy, even more happy because now everybody else on the planet has the ability to enjoy it with [us]. And the more people that can enjoy something that you’re proud of, the better.”
The Lytics will be performing on Sept. 6 at the University of Manitoba. Their new album, They Told Me, is scheduled for release on Oct. 16.