By Glenn Alderson and Jennie Orton
Tee Krispil is a young emcee/producer living and performing in Vancouver. When she’s not making music and waxing poetic on the mic with her eloquent flow, she can be found working for Wealth, Vancouver’s first fully licensed dispensary, writing for their blog and managing their store. Wealth aims to inspire positive change through the beneficial healing properties of cannabis, which is right in line with the creative and positive mindset Krispil employs in her musical endeavors. Performing both by herself and with her crew, The People North West, her latest single, “Let It Slide,” was produced by Moxsa (Chapel Sound) and she is currently working on a full-length solo album, One Way Ticket, due out sometime before the summer. In anticipation of 4/20, we caught up with the creative wordsmith for a candid conversation about music, weed and everything in between.
BeatRoute: How do you feel weed culture in Vancouver has grown up around the arts?
Tee Krispil: Cannabis is definitely a helpful tool when it comes to creativity. I’m a very high-strung person naturally and I sometimes overwhelm myself. When I smoke cannabis I’m transported to a clear, relaxed mind state where creativity is at an all-time high. I know many Vancouver musicians and artists who also use cannabis as a creative tool; I’m surely not an isolated case in that regard.
BR: What relationship does your day job have with your art?
TK: I work for Wealth as a store manager and in-house copywriter as well as part-time blogger for their online publication. People management is an important skill, no matter what field you’re in. It’s definitely taught me how to be a better communicator, which is essentially the goal of all art, right? To communicate. As far as the copywriting/blogging goes, it’s directly related to my art in that writing/researching/reading inevitably grows your vocabulary and ability to better reiterate information in new writing styles — keeping that writer muscle strong helps proliferate my ability to pump out songs.
BR: Your new single “Waste Away” has so many layers and just a ridiculous flow. What inspired the direction with that track?
TK: I was inspired by the excitement of actively pursuing what I love. It’s all about making the best of your days.
BR: What are your observations of the hip-hop scene in Vancouver these days?
TK: It’s really growing out here, at least from where I’m standing. Opportunities keep presenting themselves, there’s amazing music being made out of this city, the community is supportive, everything is moving organically and it’s great to be a part of it.
BR: What is the key to being prolific as an emcee in Vancouver?
TK: It’s a product of consistency. Being in Vancouver or elsewhere, it’s important to do things that inspire you and keep you held in a creative flow. Growth is hindered when desire to improve is void, so staying humble is key.
BR: What is happening in West Coast hip hop these days that you think is a unique flavour?
TK: What makes us so unique is definitely our diversity. Where everyone in Toronto sounds the same, no one in Vancouver sounds the same. We’re all super unique and bring our own flavours to the scene. There are so many musicians who I look up to out here, but I honestly can’t think of any two alike.
BR: What thematically drove your track “One Way Ticket”?
TK: The title “One Way Ticket” is a play on words in itself. It’s meant to display the importance and inseparability of each human to one another in our quests as individuals. In order to “get to where we’re going” we can’t escape oneness, we’re a part of each other, it’s the ONE WAY ticket. It can be interpreted a few ways, though: symbolic for constant pursuit and forward motion, or a story of leaving the old behind and seeking new perspectives. I guess you could say growth is the theme.
BR: The other single “Let it Slide” was produced by Moxsa. Tell us about working with him.
TK: Working with Moxsa is bomb. He’s become a good friend over this past year and his work ethic is so strong, it inspires me for reals. I’ll send him my vocals and the first draft is mixed within 24 hours; it makes for a really smooth creation process. His production style gets me excited about writing because it just fits.
BR: What is next?
TK: Heavy question. With music? Well, the whole album will be out end of spring. Doing lots of shows with The People North West. Designing some limited run TPNW merch that I’m super pumped to release. We have a few music videos and singles in the vault. Just going to keep creating and performing and see where this thang takes us.
For more info on Tee Krispil, find her online at www.teekrispil.com. For more on Wealth and to read their online publication, visit www.wealthblog.com4/20, marijuana, The People North West, wealth shop