On a roadtrip to New York City with Prevail from Swollen Members, the aspiring MC/actor/poet was compelled to lengthen his stay in hip hop’s Mecca. Studying theatre at HB Studios in Greenwich Village, hitting monthly rap battles anywhere in NYC and participating in poetry slams at the Nuyorican Poetry Cafe, the young artist was learning amongst the most reputed craftsman and developing his trade amongst them. Winning a poetry slam with a controversial spoken word piece “Hate,” Kyprios headed back to his hometown of North Vancouver to transfer his education into practice. Kyprios released the independent EP “Mic Tease” that would be the catalyst to get him performing numerous club shows and begin to host a weekly open mic poetry series dubbed “Come With It” in Vancouver.
During this period, Kyprios was also a founding member of the two time Juno-nominated Sweatshop Union. While working within the group, Kyp maintained his solo identity and continued to write and record his own material. This output included three tracks featured on the Local 604 album, which was released by BattleAxe Records. BattleAxe also selected Kyp’s song “Master” for inclusion on their Lyrics Of Fury compilation.
Kyprios’ solo work caught the attention of Sony Music Canada when he sent the company a package containing some tracks and a video of the slam winning, spoken word piece “Hate.” Kyp signed with the label and began a tumultuous period trying to do the impossible: make commercially viable underground music satisfying a record label and his core fans. He also offered outside help on Sweatshop Union’s juno nominated “Natural Progression” from Toronto at this time. His solo effort resulted in the two time, Juno nominated “Say Something,” featuring production from Saukrates (Kardinal Offishall, Method Man), Billy Mann (Pink, Kelly Rowland), Rob The Viking (Swollen Members) and good friend Tawgs (Lights, K’Naan). With the unfortunate timing of the industry’s changing climate, Sony Canada was merged into BMG and Kyprios’ solo record was shelved but his career was not.
Kyprios moved back to Vancouver, re-joined Sweatshop Union to begin a rigorous touring schedule and put out the Juno nominated “United We Fall,” and the critically acclaimed “Water Street” albums. He recently released a new solo offering entitled “12:12? which propelled him into a radio competition for one hundred thousand dollars in Vancouver, through the Peak radio station called the Peak Performance Project. Kyprios eventually went on to win this prestigious competition and recognizes this experience as the most informative/beneficial of his career.
Kyprios has toured all over North America solo and as part of Sweatshop Union with the likes of The Black Eyed Peas, Busta Rhymes, Wyclef Jean, The Roots, Rakim, Living Legends, Swollen Members and Jurassic Five to name a few. He has made numerous appearances in television and film and is one of the voices for Michael Jordan’s website jumpman23.com. Kyp has won a Jesse for his musical work in a play called “Cranked”, has licensed music to MTV’s “The Buried Life” and continues to write for/with many artists. He still writes poetry and is eagerly anticipating the release of his next major project “The Midnight Sun.” He is currently working on the music for a new play with Greenthumb entitled “Ash Rizin.’”
Kyprios’s The Lap Dog EP: album stream and Q&A
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Vancouver MC Kyprios ?bursts out of his association with Sweatshop Union? for The Lap Dog EP, which ...Vancouver MC Kyprios ?bursts out of his association with Sweatshop Union? for The Lap Dog EP, which is out Nov. 13 and streaming here until Nov. 20.
The only constant in life is change — a basic truism that Kyprios knows all too well. And with a new single, a new EP and a new full project due in 2013, the North Vancouver artist and former Sweatshop Union comrade notes that he’s in full evolution mode.
“I’ll go back and listen to old songs and it will make my penis soft. My approach now is different,” Kyprios says. “As a young man I was, you know, somewhat rebellious and a lot of my inspirations were worn on my sleeve. I think that I've come into my own a little bit more. I've [been] a bit more open — being 18 or 19 you haven't had a whole lot of life behind you.”
Life for the artist recently has been about hustling hard in the studio with his band the Chaperones, busy working on a new full-length project. The Lap Dog EP, released this week, is intended as an aural appetizer designed to prime fans for the full album release. Life after Juno-nominated Sweatshop is all love and simply a part of his ongoing growth as an artist, he adds.
“I’m not recording with them, just kind of taking a leave. There's no bridges burned. They are beasts and animals from a touring perspective and it was wearing me down,” explains Kyprios. “It really came down to the road. It had nothing to do with politics. Those guys are my brothers and I still got the tattoo on the wrist. It's all love.”
It was something he felt needed to do, particularly as his musical mindset and overall sensibilities shifted as he got married and matured as an artist.
“Some people like Nas can drop an Illmatic at 18, 19 and he's seen and lived a lot," says Kyprios. "But for me and my expression and art form it took a longer time to discuss what my story is — who I am and what I've been through.”
These days, Kyprios notes he’s not particularly beholden to a rigid “16 bars before the hook”-type structure, more content to explore personal themes musically and with live instrumentation. That said, the five-track The Lap Dog EP represents where Kyprios is in life, as a man and as an artist, warts and all.
“As a musician, hip-hop is a lot about braggadocio and often isn’t really talking about vulnerability. And part of my art and my cleansing is to be able to talk about things that I'm not really strong at or [about] things that I've messed up on,” he offers. “Now that I've been through the hurdles and lived life, I understand those emotions because I've felt and gone through them. I’m not afraid to say that I have days where it's difficult or that I'm not [always] 100 per cent confident. I think that I'm more at peace with the man that I am today. And as an artist, I feel that I've got more tools to be able to express that.”
With the new EP now out, expect upcoming videos, additional singles and a potential tour, all paving the way for the anticipated full-length.
“In defining success, I’m looking for some affirmation to keep continuing," says Kyprios. "I guess that comes from a critical response — if people are feeling it and think that it's worthwhile. And I think the measure of success in being an independent artist is in what they can do touring wise. So for me, success is to have people like [Lap Dog], listen to it and want to see it live.”
See Kyprios live throughout B.C. in the coming weeks.
Kyprios Delivers 'The Lapdog' EP, Stream It Now at Exclaim.ca
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By Gregory Adams It's a big day for Vancouver rapper Kyprios. This morning (November 13) marks the ...By Gregory Adams
It's a big day for Vancouver rapper Kyprios. This morning (November 13) marks the release of his brand new freebie EP The Lapdog, and the BC hip-hop figure has announced a run of tour dates to support the quickie effort.
The five-song effort features production from the likes of Pigeon Hole, Rob the Viking, Shawn Cole and Doug Naugler, but also has Kyprios rubbing shoulders with live musicians. According to the rapper, the title track, which you can sample along with the rest of the set at the bottom of the page, is a "synthesis of [his] creative past and present" and "an introduction to [his] sonic future."
The Sweatshop Union vet will be taking these songs and more out on the road around B.C., as well as a portion of the U.S. You can check the details of his tour schedule below as well.
11/29 Kamloops, BC - Cactus Jacks
11/30 Golden, BC - Rockwater
12/5 Moscow, ID - John's Alley
12/10 Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge
12/14 Park City, UT - StarBar
12/15 Bozeman, MT - Zebra Lounge
12/27 Vancouver, BC - Joe's Apartment
12/28 Revelstoke, BC - River City
12/29 Nelson, BC - Spirit Bar
Musical theatre gets a good rap
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Ash Rizin' rocks the mic with a message Published February 2, 2012 by James Wilt in Theatre DE...Ash Rizin' rocks the mic with a message
Published February 2, 2012 by James Wilt in Theatre
Ash Rizin' - Enbridge playRites Festival presented by AT
Martha Cohen Theatre
Wednesday, February 1 - Sunday, March 4
More in: Theatre
Hip-hop haters step aside — those crazy kids and their rap music have won: The Roots are Jimmy Fallon’s house band; GZA lectured at Harvard University; and Ice Cube has morphed from “AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted” to the star of family-friendly cinema.
But while “hip-hop” and “musical” seem like an obvious conceptual partnership, the arrival of Ash Rizin’ as part of this year’s playRites Festival is fairly significant. After all, our daily papers swoon over the ordination of Paul Brandt as the Stampede’s Grandstand Show headliner, while artists like Infinite P, Deezus and Cam the Wizzard are more likely to be associated with cartoon characters than emcees by many in the city. So will local theatregoers be open to hip-hop’s normalization?
“I don’t know if it’ll be accessible,” admits David Coles, the writer of Ash Rizin’s rap-focused music (he’s also a former member of the group Sweatshop Union). “In Canada, hip-hop seeped through. The gradual amount of time has hopefully readied the play for Western Canada, because as far as I know, Western Canada hasn’t seen anything like this before.”
Coles and playwright Michael Northey have been working in Vancouver for two-and-a-half years to make the production as accessible as possible, while maintaining hip-hop’s undying commitment to “authenticity.” It’s been a gruelling process, especially for Coles — Ash Rizin’ marks only the second theatre project he’s been involved with.
“I’ve never worked on anything as much in my career,” he says. “There’s never been one album that’s taken this many hours. The story as an organism has shifted and changed directions so many times, and those shifts and direction changes have obvious intricate impacts on what I do. Songs get changed and tossed out and new characters introduced and taken out.”
Speaking of which, Ash Rizin’ tells the tale of a graffiti artist named Ash. Coles describes the character — whose songs are modelled on the self-deprecating rhymes of Slug and Eminem — as being “ostracized by the community and, to a large extent, himself.” Gangs enter the picture. Tensions arise as Ash is torn between the pursuit of his passion and his need to be a part of something.
Although much of the plot was inspired by gang warfare in Vancouver, Northey stresses that the play isn’t a cleverly disguised public service announcement.
“We’re telling one very specific story about a particular young adult who gets kind of coaxed into gang violence,” he says. “We can’t tell every single story of every youth who’s been involved in a gang. You just try to follow the paths of the characters and not worry about what message we’re sending, necessarily.”
Such a philosophy is a deviation — but not a clean break — from the previous production that Coles and Northey collaborated on. Cranked, which premièred in 2007, was a one-man-play commissioned by Vancouver’s Green Thumb Theatre that explored the crystal meth epidemic. It was shown in high schools across the country as a way of creating a dialogue about drug abuse, and essentially served as the aforementioned PSA. It also impressed playRites Festival programmer Vicki Stroich.
She chose Ash Rizin’ for this year’s festival partially based on its predecessor’s success, as well as for the current production’s relevant plot and the storytelling mechanisms that rap offers.
“The range of experiences that you can offer an audience are as broad as the range of experiences that are being written by Canadian playwrights,” she says. “Having this hip-hop musical in the middle of a festival that also includes a docudrama about oil and agriculture in Southern Alberta, and a thoughtful, lyrical piece from Quebec about one woman’s rediscovery of Tiananmen Square, is just another colour in the palette that’s happening in Canadian theatre.”
Kyprios Wins $100,500 in Vancouver's Peak Performance Project
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By Alex Hudson Battle of the bands competitions don't get much bigger than the Peak Performance Pro...By Alex Hudson
Battle of the bands competitions don't get much bigger than the Peak Performance Project. Hosted by Vancouver's Peak 100.5 FM, the contest has lasted for six months, resulting in buzz-worthy collaborations and prolific songwriting retreats. Last night (November 18), the finals took place at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, with rapper Kyprios claiming first prize.
The MC, known as a member of Sweatshop Union, won a staggering $100,500, beating out the second place Said the Whale (who won $75,000) and the third place Vince Vaccaro (who won $50,000).
The atmosphere in the Commodore was buzzing, and all three artists earned massive crowd reactions.
Vince Vacarro began the night with a selection of poppy reggae rock tunes, throwing in a cover of the R&B classic "Stand By Me." Next up, Said the Whale played a set of upbeat pop rock, bringing up dozens of fellow Peak Performance Project participants on stage for the jokey "We Are the Music: Musicians for (Spare) Change." Kyprios wrapped up the night with his funky hip-hop stylings, and he was backed by a massive live band that included horn players and a DJ.
Following the performance, massive novelty cheques were handed out to the winners as the stage and audience were showered in confetti.
This was the second year of the annual Peak Performance Project. Last year, Kelowna-based prog pop outfit We Are the City took home top honours, beating out runners-up the Left and Bend Sinister.
Featured artist: Kyprios
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He’s a North Vancouver kid named David Coles but as a highschooler dreaming of a life in hip-hop he ...He’s a North Vancouver kid named David Coles but as a highschooler dreaming of a life in hip-hop he knew he needed a catchier handle than that. Coming into religion class one day at St. Thomas Aquinas Secondary, the teacher had written the word “kyprios” on the board and young David asked what it meant. The teacher answered, “Lord of the Manor.” Good enough, thought young David.
As a last name he’s also taken on “Bayday,” which has nothing to do with the fact there is free delivery on all mattress sets at the Bay right now and you do not pay for 24 months. As the youngest in a large blended family, a sibling had trouble pronouncing Baby David and shortened it to Bayday. It stuck, and for a long time.
For Kyprios Bayday, the fast rising and articulate hip-hopper who has shared stages with such luminaries as Wyclef Jean, Busta Rhymes and Naughty By Nature, 2011 is looking pretty good. For one thing he’s getting married this year, which is always propitious.
For another, he recently won himself $100,500 and a massively intensive course in navigating the treacherous byways of today’s music business. In an inspired stroke for young B.C. musicians, the wildly eclectic Vancouver radio station The Peak 100.5 joined with Music BC industry Association in 2009 to mount the Peak Performance Project, a search for the best solo artists and bands around.
Against the odds, Kyprios, the only hip-hopper in a cast of nearly 500 entrants, took top prize last November in the second Peak Performance Project. Just prior to that, as one of the 20 finalists, he was also invited along to the RockRidge Canyon resort in Princeton for a boot camp drilling in the many vagaries of making a living in music.
“I learned more in six months than I did in the 10 years previous,” says Kyprios. “And I don’t think that I’m the only artist to say that. I’m a guy now who’s been in the game for a long time and at a young age had a lot of help, had management, had publicists, had accountant. I would just put my head down and say I’m the artist, you guys handle the business. To look at all the things you need to do to be a successful artist was a mountain, an avalanche I would just run away from.
“The Peak Performance Project really broke down each section and brought in a specialist, someone who talked about licensing, social networking, your publishing, breaking down techniques to make your live show better. Legal aspects. Everything was broken down to make it way easier to digest.”
Through the contest process Kyprios kept in touch with the various industry consultants, and with good reason. From the time a decade ago when he drove down to New York City, the undisputed Oz of hip-hop, and learned he needed to up his game both in his work and adopting that New York energy level, his career had been on an upward arc until he got signed to Sony Records.
Through various corporate machinations and one label absorbing another — these things happen with depressing regularity in the moonscape that is today’s music business — he got left by the wayside. Now armed with a lot of knowledge and a very nice wad of cash, Kyprios is ready to steer his own boat.
This week’s featured free download, available at www.theprovince.com/playlist, is Kyprios’ “Sadder Days.”
“I call it the feel-bad hit of the summer,” he says. “It’s kinda got a summery vibe to it. Sometimes when I’m in a good mood I write depressing things and sometimes when I’m really depressed I write positive things. With this one I definitely was going through very difficult times, I was struggling a lot. I really like it when we get to the Chaka Khan reference at the end when I say, ‘Tell me something good, tell me that you love me.’ I love that song, I love what it means.”
© Copyright (c) The Province
Live at Squamish 2011: Kyprios
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As he was about to venture up the Grouse Grind with family visiting from out of town, I had a chat w...As he was about to venture up the Grouse Grind with family visiting from out of town, I had a chat with Vancouver’s own Kyprios this morning. The Juno-nominated artist, who inadvertently wrote what became an anthem for Canucks fans this season, will be hitting the stage at Live at Squamish this August.
“It has been a big year but there’s still work to do,” said Kyprios who was the 2010 Peak Performance Project winner. “I have to finish my album and I’m still working on a musical that I’ve been working on for two years.”
His single “How the West Was Won” was released during the Canucks playoff run in April and quickly found momentum getting local radio and television airplay. “The highest expectations we had was for it to be played on the local sports station…. …for it to have been as anthemic as it was and for us getting to play Game One of the Stanley Cup Finals was nothing that we’d ever expected.”
The talented MC, who has paid his dues from coast to coast, has also been touring most of the spring through to June and is finally taking some time off during which he’ll be getting married. His schedule will ramp up again toward the end of summer, with an album to prepare for release, and he’ll head to the second annual Live at Squamish. “Being able to have access to that many people and that diverse a crowd is really great,” he said with regards to the festival format. “People know that they’re there for a couple days or an entire day so beyond getting their money’s worth they want to get the experience.”
Kyprios will be joined by a 10-piece band, The Chaperones. “I’ve never claimed to be the best musician in the city but I do make claims of playing with them.” Fans and festival goers can expect a high-energy set from this impressive collaboration. “We work our asses off when we play,” Kyprios added. “You can physically tell that something’s happened from the time we begin a show to the time it’s ended.”
On top of all of the amazing local and international acts, Live at Squamish will also have vendors, food, beer gardens, camping (sold out), a silent disco (where you dance with one of 200 wireless headsets), Rich Hope’s Barber Shop, and the Virgin Mobile Cafe.
Tickets are still available for one day or full weekend access. If you didn’t get the chance to book a campsite, hotel packages can be found and there will once again be a shuttle from downtown Squamish to the festival.
Catch Kyprios August 20th (day one) on the Stawamus Stage with the stunning Stawamus Chief in the background. Stars, John Butler Trio, Girl Talk, Hey Ocean, and Metric will also perform August 20th with Weezer, The Dudes, Major Lazer (ft Diplo), Bend Sinister and more performing August 21st. Follow @Kyprios12 and @LiveAtSquamish on Twitter for updates and info.
Miss604.com is proud to sponsor Live at Squamish 2011.
Kyprios salutes Vancouver Canucks greats in song
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By Gregory Adams, April 14, 2011 With the Vancouver Canucks heading into the playoffs heavily favou...By Gregory Adams, April 14, 2011
With the Vancouver Canucks heading into the playoffs heavily favoured as Stanley Cup champs, it’s high time fans have a proper rallying cry for their hometown heroes. Enter Kyprios, who just dropped the celebratory “How the West Was One”. The Sweatshop Union member got together with his brother Kevin Coles and Swollen Members’ DJ Rob the Viking to produce a spaghetti western–infused boom-bap tune about the ’Nucks.
The track tacks Mexicana horns and Ennio Morricone–issue guitar twang atop a deep beat as Kyprios waxes about 40 years of the team’s history, saluting Tiger Williams while quipping about “Burrows, lookin’ like Bure.” Despite his breadth of knowledge about the team, a few classic Canucks didn’t make the cut.
“There are just too many dudes I grew up loving that I couldn’t fit into the song,” the MC said in a call to the Straight. “Tony Tanti died on the editing room floor; I had a line about how you can never be as tantalizing as Tony Tanti.”
Ash Rizin’ By Michael P. Northey and Kyprios-Epcore Centre Calgary
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What is Ash Rizin’ ? This is a hip-hop musical about graffiti artist, Ash Rizin’, who is pulled fro...What is Ash Rizin’ ?
This is a hip-hop musical about graffiti artist, Ash Rizin’, who is pulled from the shadows and shoved into the hip hop spotlight, only to be discovered by old friends who are part of a gang. Played as part of Enbridge playRites Festival, this play is by Michael P. Northey and Kyprios in association with Green Thumb Theatre.
When is Ash Rizin’ ?
3,8,11,16,18,19,23, 24, 28 & March 3 – 7:30 PM
February 18 & 19 – 2:00 PM
* Verify for any change in timings from website
How much is the Admission/ Tickets to Ash Rizin’ ?
Adult $38.75 – $59.75
Senior $38.75 – $59.75
Student $38.75 – $59.75
Ticket purchase options
One can buy a subscriptions for seeing a set of plays by Alberta Theatre Projects, which is at a discounted rate. See for more details -
Students in Calgary can purchase $20 and under, last-minute tickets to Calgary arts events including music, theatre, dance and visual arts.
Purchase Tickets - HERE or Calling (403) 294-7402.
Where is the Play?
Martha Cohen Theatre in the Epcor Centre.
See for more details on Epcor Centre including directions and parking