ARISTO
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"Aristo's Interview"

Can you give a brief summary for our CONNECTiD readers who dont know who Aristo is?

Aristo is an artist but before that he’s a business man. I was born in Guyana, South America and arrived in canada in the late 80’s. I started taking music serious 1999 after I released my first demo tape. After the response I got from it I continued to record more music and put out more mixtapes. My most successful cd to date is “Trials of a Hustler” which has sold over 25,000 units worldwide. I followed that up with my group mixtape called “The Offense” which did very good also. Since then I’ve signed a deal with an Indie label called “HeyWorld” and Im getting ready to release my debut album summer 2007 with features from sizzla, jae millz and a few other surprises. Aside from music I run my own businesses that I have created as a back up plan if all fails with music. I run “BlockWork Marketing Group” and
“You Could Be A Star Charitable Foundation”.


You sound like you do it all, how do you deal with all of the day to day business and still manage to put out bangers?

I would have to say its my drive to be successful that keeps me going. Plus my love for the music and competition brings the best out of me.

I have “Player for life” on heavy rotation in my ride can you tell me how that came about and how did you get the hottest rnb singer in T.O. (Voyce) on the track?

Its actually funny how it came about to be honest. I was in the studio recording some other songs and as the session was coming to an end I told the engineer to put on the beat so I could see what I could do with it.Before I started listening to the beat I had already drank like four heinekens so I banged the verses out in 20 minutes and reached out to voyce and the rest ws history.

It sounds like you and him make a good team is there anyone else in Toronto or Canada for that matter you would like to do a colabo with and if so why?

There isnt alot of artists but I would like to work with K-os. I think I could come up with something special with K-os because he is an artist that’s versatile and comfortable with his style.

You always seem to get beats that are way above average how do you choose the beats you write to as well where do you get all these dope ass producers are they Canadian?

There isnt any better explanation for this question but that I got a good ear. I find most of the producers I work with on the internet so they come from all over the world

Can we expect a video for Player for life and if so what can we expect from it.

Right Now we’re still deciding if we are going to go ahead and shoot the video. We had a casting call for it already so it just depends on how well the single does on the radio. But so far the single has been getting alot of love and spins worldwide so it’s looking like we’ll be shooting it very soon.

Yeah I’m hearing it on the radio out here, good job. Ok before we sign out would you like to give any shoutouts and also where else can people get a hold of you and hear more of Aristo?

Yeah!!! First and foremost shout out to Connectid Interactive magazine for giving me the opportunity, HeyWorld, The Offense,The Offense Djs, BlockWork Marketing Group, You Could Be A Star Foundation, Sharpshooter, Passion Magazine, Magic, Mblock, Fuerte, Veterano, Rich Kidd, Soundsmith and everyone else that was apart of the album. Also shout out to all the people that has been supporting me from the beginning, too many to mention but they know who they are.

Peace

- connectid.net


"Feature Intervie with Aristo"

Toronto, ON - It was this time last year when HipHopCanada.com first introduced you to the South American born, West end Toronto emcee, Aristo. At the time he had just dropped his critically acclaimed mixtape, Westend Ryderz Compilation: Volume 1, featuring the West end of Toronto's most talented emcees. With countless other mixtape contributions, radio appearances and live performances, Aristo secured a spot as one of Toronto's Top contenders.

Our viewers will also remember Aristo from the Canadian Choice Cuts. In 2005, he landed a few spots on the Cuts, making the biggest impact with the Boi-1da produced banger, Right Now [Listen to "Right Now"]. Right Now is featured on Aristo's latest release for the streets - Trials of a Hustler w/ DJ Lynx "Da Navigator" under his own label Freeborn Records and HeyWorld Music (Read on to find out more about HeyWorld Music).

Aristo has been honing his craft tightly and it's very apparent that he has dedicated a significant amount of time to the business behind his music. In other words, Aristo has been making some serious movements and the projects he will be executing in 2006 are sure to move him into in a higher weight class. Aristo has recently appeared on various street DVDs and also plays a significant role in the upcoming Burga Fat release Take A Trip. You can expect to see a ton of new mixtapes, DVDs and apparel from the Freeborn Record's CEO real soon so keep your eyes open.

HHC: Aristo, it's been almost a full year since HipHopCanada has had you in the hot seat so let's get it cracking. Let's start with a little recap: When last spoke with you, one of the projects you had just released was the Westend Ryderz Compilation. How did it do in terms of sales and recognition? Did you get where you wanted to get with it?
The Westend Ryderz Compilation did fairly well with both sales and recognition. The project sold over a 1,000 units and we were able to create a buzz and a following, which was the ultimate goal. Now, Westend Ryderz Volume 2 is a work in progress due to the fact that a lot of artists that appeared on the first one are currently recording their own projects.

HHC: Ok… So after that, you released the Trials of a Hustler Mixtape. What was the idea behind that one? What was your favourite track off the mixtape?
The idea behind Trials of a Hustler was simple, rap about the situations I go through everyday and introduce the Enhanced Mixtape. My favorite song off the CD has to be "Right Now" produced by. Boi-1da.

HHC: Where did the demographics fall in terms of mixtape sales?
Teenagers between the ages of 13-18 were my main consumers but the CD ended up being a favorite amongst the older folks too.

HHC: Are you currently working with any of the artists featured on Westend Ryderz? Is there going to be a Volume 2 to that?
Yeah, Calibur (Freeborn), C. Leon, and Choice are the only artists featured on Volume 1 that I'm currently working with, but I'm always open for collabos.

HHC: You have a new project in the works called Block Exchange. Tell me more about it. How long have you been working on it? Any features? Who is producing/hosting it?
The Block Exchange is going to be another interactive CD with music, videos, interviews, a photo gallery, and the Trials of a Hustler mixtape, for those who weren't able to get their hands on it the first time around. There will be appearances by Calibur, Littles, Kasual Evans, Tenisha, Choice, C. Leon and one or two U.S artists. It is definitely going to be a good buy like Trials of a Hustler. With me working on my album and other business opportunities, I've only had the chance to sit down with it seriously for a month but the main producers on it are going to be Rich Kidd and Y-not of Soundsmith.

HHC: What do you plan to accomplish with it?
The ultimate goal for The Block Exchange is to generate a bigger buzz and to brand Aristo as an artist and an individual.

HHC: Last time we spoke with you, you had two official projects in the works; an album called Absolute Power and a DVD called Welcome to the Hood. What's the word on both those projects?
Welcome to the Hood is a project I abandoned because I felt like I wasn't going to be able to put a 1000% into it. The title Absolute Power for my album is still up in the air but regardless of the name it's definitely going to be released.

HHC: What are your views on the advantages of being a Canadian artist in hip-hop? And why?
The advantages we have, as Canadian hip-hop artists, are government grants like Factor and Video Fact. We also have the toughest crowd to please, which I think prepares the artists for the worst.

HHC: Disadvantages?
Countless.

HHC: Why do you think Canadian artists haven't yet reached that international success that a lot of artists from the states are able to achieve?In my opinion it all boils down to business. If the artists' business approach isn't on point then he or she won't be taken serious and no one will support it.

HHC: Anyone in Canada that you would like to work with, but haven't had a chance to yet?
Yeah, I could list a few... Saukrates, Divine Brown, Agile and Tone Mason.

HHC: On the topic of having business straight, let's talk more about you as an entrepreneur. You just signed a deal with a company called HeyWorld Music… speak on that.
Yes, I just signed a deal with HeyWorld Corp. (http://www.heyworldmusic.com) all I'm going to say is I'm very happy with the deal and look out for the single and album.

HHC: I heard you're featured on a mixtape sponsored by the Russell Simmons Music Group, Pepsi, Reebok, T-Mobile, and LRG and that they have distributed 200,000 CD's across the U.S. Is that true? If so how did that happen and tell us more about it?
Yes, this is true and it was all possible because of DJ Tayrock of Atlanta and T.Webb, the CEO of HeyWorld.

HHC: What are some other artists featured on the mixtape?
Regular artists that you usually see featured on mixtapes like Ludacris, 50 Cent, Young Jeezy etc… I was the only Canadian artist featured on this project.

HHC: Is it dropped out here in Canada?
No, that mixtape wasn't released in Canada, just the U.S.

HHC: Ok and I also heard you are working on a customized hat with Nexlyne.com? What's the deal with that? What kind of customized hats?
Yes, the custom hats are in the works and will be in all major retail stores if everything goes as planned. There will be an official Aristo hat for merchandising purposes and another one that I won't speak about until everything is set in stone.

HHC: How did the deal come about? Who came up with the idea?
The idea came to me when I met Shawn Kurz, the CEO of Nexlyne at the photo shoot for his award winning website last year.

HHC: Tell us about the artist's you are working with from the other side of the border…
There are a few artists I would love to collaborate with from across the border. For example Papoose, Stack Bundles, Styles P and Rell but for now I'm going to be working with Gravy and Kool G Rap.

HHC: How did you link with Gravy and Kool G Rap? How did the collaborations go down?
Well, I met both parties through mutual friends and all I'm going to say is just look out for one on the album and one on the "Block Exchange" mixtape coming soon... Both joints were produced by Y-Not of Soundsmith.

HHC: Are you doing any traveling?
Yes, for the last couple of months I've been traveling to a lot of different cities inside and outside of Ontario. I recently did a show with Too Short in Vancouver and Juelz Santana in Halifax. After I cover all of Canada I'm heading to Atlanta, New York, LA and Miami.

HHC: Do you think you will ever move to the States, or do you think you will be able to hit the level of success you are aiming for by remaining in Canada?
I always thought about moving to the States to live but I've decided to reside in Canada and go back and forth to conduct business.

HHC: How far are you from having Absolute Power?
"Absolute Power" is a masterpiece in the making, so until I feel like I've put my all into it and I could sleep at night knowing I put out my best work, it'll be a work in progress.

HHC: Anything else you would like to add?
Just look out for the re-release of Trials of a Hustler, The Block Exchange, Aristo/Kasual Evans/Tenisha: Mixtape, Aristo/DJ Ritz RNB mixtapes, Calibur's Mix tape and me riding clean on them 20's with the screens in the back.

HHC: Any shout outs?
HipHopCanada, HeyWorld Corp., Calibur, Menace, The Committee, Littles and the Triple Threat Family, Dj Lynx "Da Navigator" and Pun (Who Duz That), Burgafat.com (http://www.burgafat.com), Soundsmith, Kasual Evans, Tenisha, P (Elitesquad) Rich Kidd, Shawn Kurz (Nexlyne), Project Bounce, http://mixtapemenace.com, Sean Getti, Ghettosoul Jeans, Watts, Unorthodox, Brampton (B-Town) and everyone that's been supporting Aristo. "Whenever you're trying hard you're never failing, the only failure is failing to try"

HHC: Thank you for your time Aristo. Good luck with all your projects and future endeavours.
You're welcome and it's been my pleasure.
- hiphopcanada.com


"On The Come Up"

The artist better known as ARISTO definitely lives up to the derived definition representing him. This 24-year-old urban artist can confidently be stated as the “future of Hip-Hop”. Born in South America, and raised in the West end of Toronto, Aristo has incorporated his cultural, family, and life struggles into his pursuit in music since the age of 12. The artist has made his mark in the underground hip-hop scene for over 8 years, which through this time his love and contribution to music has encouraged him to reach the masses. Aristo has created a unique reflection of his personality on to his lyrical skills, which is partly due to his appreciation for various genres of music. During the past 4 years, he has been interviewed and his music has been played on various urban music stations throughout Canada, U.S.A and Europe. IndieStreet recently caught up with Aristo for some Q & A…

The industry is always changing and looking for the next big thing. How will you maintain longevity?
Maintaining longevity in this industry comes with being creative, innovative and driven with a true love for the music. These are all qualities that I as an artist posses so that’s how I will last long in this game. Also, being more than an artist helps a lot, for example being involved in the business side of things opens a lot of doors for opportunity and gives you something to fall back on.

You adapted your name from the word aristocrat and you are said to posses the qualities of that definition. How important is it to you to remain true to those qualities and why?
Remaining true to whatever it is you stand for is very important, whether it be your name or beliefs because those are the things that show people that you are true to yourself and everyone else around you.

What qualities as an artist would you say makes you unique?
I’m a business man before I’m an artist so that makes me able to perform as an artist and conduct business as a CEO. Most artists could only rap or sing which leaves them blinded by politricks in the industry.

What have you learned, being an independent artist that inspires you to continue to move forward in your career?
I’ve learned that I could still make something out of myself in this industry without the help of a major label. I also learned that having creative control over my music and the direction I want to take it is priceless.


You have performed alongside some of the industries most recognizable faces such as Juelz Santana and Too Short…what have you taken away from those experiences?
When I performed with these artists I learned that as an artist you have to be able to entertain the crowd because after all performing and selling merchandise on tour is how most artists generate revenues.

Coming from the West End of Toronto by way of South America….how do you think your music fits into the idealism of today’s hip hop listeners?
Right now people are fascinated with reality and that’s exactly what I’m going to give them. I’m going to let my music speaks for itself so it’s either you love it or you hate it.

Tell me about “Absolute Power”, what can we expect from your debut album release?
You can expect the truth from “Absolute Power” You could also expect a lot songs that have substance, concepts and stories that explain me as a person. The album is set for release spring 2007 and will have music for the streets, the clubs and real hip hop fans with features from artists like Sizzla and more.

Will you continue to push mixtapes in between your commercial albums, being that the mixtapes are what helped to formulate your buzz?
A Mix tape in my opinion is one of the greatest promotional tools ever invented, so yes I will definitely continue to push them as long as the fans want them.

Now, you are not only doing music you are working on a charitable foundation “You Could Be A Star”. Why did you choose start this project and why is important to you?
I always wanted to do something that gave back to the people who are less fortunate so I started the foundation because I felt like it was the best way to go about doing so. Our mission is to help students from low income families reach their maximum potential by providing incentives and rewards as long as they have an 80% grade average at the end of each semester.

Any closing comments?
Well first of all I would like thank IndieStreet for giving me the opportunity to do this interview. I would also like all the readers to keep their eyes and ears open for Freeborn Records, HeyWorld Music, The Offense and Nexlyne.com. Also look out for “The Block Exchange” Street Album Nov 18th 2006” “You Could Be A Star Foundation, “BlockWork Marketing” and the album spring 2007. Peace and shout out Rich Kidd and Veterano.
- Indie Street Magazine


Discography

Blcokwork Vol. 1 June. 2003 Mixtape

Blocwork Vol. 2 May. 2004 Mixtape

West End Ryders August. 2004 Mixtape

Trials Of A Hustler August. 2005 Mixtape

The Pepsi/
Russell Simmon
Mixtape Sept. 2005 Mixtape

So Seductive
Vol. 1 April. 2006 Mixtape

Take Control
Vol. 1 May. 2006 Mixtape

So Seductive
Vol. 2 Sept. 2006 Mixtape

Take Control
Vol.2 March. 2007 Mixtape

Playa 4 Life/
Cup On Full
(Single) May. 2007 Double Single

The Offense August. 2007 Mixtape

The Block
Exchange August. 2007 Mixtape

Top Of The World
Online Version August. 2007 Album

Top Of The World
In Store Version October. 2007 Album

Photos

Bio

BIO

Aristocrat: a-ris-to-crat (noun)

A person with tastes, manners and beliefs of the upper class; a nobleman;
distinguished

Heyworld recording artist Aristo definitely embodies the derived definition representing him. Born in South America and raised in the west end of Toronto, Aristo’s musical pursuit began at the age of 12. Over the years, he began to incorporate his appreciation for various musical genres; however, it was hip hop mavericks EPMD, Big Daddy Kane, Tupac and Nas that would leave a lasting impression on the budding musician. Over the past eight years, Aristo has been busy bringing his music to the public. In 1999 he recorded his first demo tape and began to make a name for himself in the underground hip hop scene. As Aristo started to gain a strong fan base, it became evident that it was time to solidify his name in the world of underground hip hop through the release of various mix tapes:

• Blockwork: Vol. 1 & 2
• West End Ryderz: Vol. 1
• So Seductive: Vol. 1 & 2
• Trials of a Hustler (Interactive CD)
• The Offense: The Playbook 1st Quarter
• Take Control: Vol. 1 & 2

His mix tapes went on to sell over 65, 000 copies worldwide. The success from his mix tapes caught the attention of some top rated hip hop magazines across the world. Aristo was featured in Indie Street, Yo Raps and Kingsize magazine as the next big thing. In addition to large venue performances with Juelz Santana, 112 and Too Short, it was clear to audiences that unlike many hip hop artists, Aristo’s rhymes challenge current clichés of today’s hip hop industry. Backed by freshly crafted beats, his lyrical content takes listeners through a world wind experience as he speaks on his cultural, family and day-to-day struggles into his music.

In 2006, Aristo was approached to do a photo shoot for the popular hip hop inspired clothing label Nexlyne/ Universal. The photos would be used on Nexlyne’s web site, however, Aristo gain more exposure as one of the photos was featured on the official NBA web site. Nexlyne proved to be very beneficial for Aristo, as the clothing label features exclusive music from Aristo on its web site. In efforts to further promote Aristo, Heyworld had Aristo featured on a mixtape sponsored by the Russell Simmons Music Group, Pepsi, Reebok, T-Mobile, and LRG, resulting in the mixtape distributing 200,000 CD's across the U.S. In the spring of 2007 Heyworld launched www.aristo-online.com, in addition to his popular myspace
page (www.myspace.com /aristoworld). This Toronto native has made hip hop critics and fans alike stand up and take notice of his talents. Aristo’s witty lyricism, relentless determination for music and desire to inspire today’s youth to aim for the best truly embodies a man with sophisticated taste, distinction, and pride.

“Whenever you’re trying hard you’re never failing, the only failure is failing to try”
Aristo