Introduce yourself Crews, affiliations, etc..
Hi. This be Odario Williams of Grand Analog. Reppin’ Peg City, Slo Coach Recordings, Urbnet and Mood Ruff.
You are the front man for the group Grand Analog. For those that don’t know could you shed some light on the others and their contributions to the group?
Grand Analog is partly a live concept. It’s also described as a project more so than a group. Members of this dirty little project are my brother Ofield as DJ, Wu Ataman as co-producer, DJ Catalist as co-producer, Damon Mitchell on guitar and both Joel Klavercamp and Warren Bray on bass.
How did the group get started and why was the name Grand Analog chosen?
Well… if you refer back to the liner notes of your old Mood Ruff CD’s it should read ‘look out for Odario’s solo project’. I have been plotting this for a few years. About 5 years ago I tried to start a rock band, but that failed simply because arranging rehearsals were impossible. 2 years later Mood Ruff’s ‘I Do My Own Stunts’ came out. It was then I worked up the courage to try some songs on my own. I’m deep rooted in old dub music recorded in run down studios on worn out analog tape. With these poor conditions the old reggae cats still made it happen, which became a sound of their own… so the name Grand Analog was a reflection of that.
How would you describe the Grand Analog sound?
Dirty dirty – in that order. Dubby Love is another one that comes to mind.
What can people expect when seeing Grand Analog live besides being completely entertained and a dope party?
Expect to leave the technical material world for 30min and get primitive with the Analog. You are encouraged to be free and be yourself. I bring the sonic dirt from the prairies everywhere I go. One thing I love about the prairies is we are not ashamed to be silly and embarrass ourselves like big city folk. It must be small town comfort; we really know how to get down after a couple shots of tequila.
How is this experience different from your experience in Mood Ruff?
I’ve got no one backing me up on stage!!! HAHA… We were each other’s hype-man. Now there’s a lot more room on stage for me to dance with myself.
Will there ever be another Mood Ruff record?
If A Tribe Called Quest and the Fugees get their acts together and do us all good with the albums they promised the world… then I may get the inspiration to gather up the troops and make a Mood Ruff record. I think ‘I Do My Own Stunts’ is the album we always wanted to make. It was well received and it is what it is. I’m proud of it. I can move on.
“I would say the Peg city scene changed but hasn’t grown”
You were an instrumental part of Winnipeg hip hop. How has the scene changed/grown over the years?
No one communicates the same anymore. The sense of community matured into a city of grown men. The pride is still there, thankfully. But people hide behind Facebook and MySpace and don’t come out and play. It makes things worse for closet producers that make albums in their bedroom and never release them. I would say the Peg city scene changed but hasn’t grown. It’s a great mystery to me. Change is necessary though; it creates room for new ideas to slowly mature.
You have been making music and performing for a long time. Has your motivation/goals changed from when you started with Mood Ruff to your current group Grand Analog?
No. I have the same energy and hunger as I did with Mood Ruff. I love making music the same. I’m no different. I’m just smarter and better looking. My smile has improved and the curl in my fro is just perfect. I’m willing to be more honest with myself, which most Canadian rappers cannot do. In other words I don’t care what others think and mumble under their breaths. Life is good. I’m not in high school anymore – literally and metaphysically – and that’s a good thing.
You have had many videos released and played on Much Music etc. How important are videos and how have they benefited you over the years?
Good question. The internet has changed the importance of music television. The people are now free to do and say what they want and post it up online and share it with their friends… this is where word of mouth comes in handy. If the project you made is interesting enough to the masses you can generate a decent buzz on your own terms. I think the music I make has a commercial viability to them worth spending resources toward videos. Mood Ruff was created on videos, it was all we had at the time. It showcased our sound and opened up the prairies for the whole nation to see. This was before the internet was huge, so it was more intense. If I make videos now it is less intense so I have to decide if making a video is something I can afford to do.
What is your favourite hip hop moment?
Putting on the Peg City Holla Festival and seeing a truck load of Saskatoon dudes show up at the front door wired from no sleep and ready to see a dope show. It lifted my spirits.
What is a typical day in the life of Odario like?
Thinking of the things I need to do more of. Girls, play basketball at the local community center, and write poetry. I could never get enough of those three things… they can consume my days and nights anytime.
I’ll continue to tour and spread the dirty dubby love. I’ve started writing for the new album titled ‘Metropolis Is Burning’. It will be out in the near future.
Any last words, stories, shoutouts etc?
I’m glad my new direction is being received well amongst the prairie cats. I was prepared to walk and dance alone. Even my pops thought I was crazy for cleaning up and starting over. Much love. Also look out for cool new projects from Nestor Wynrush, Len Bowen, and Voldis. Peace in the middle east.
For more info check out grandanalog.com