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Scarborough, Ontario, Canada

Scarborough, Ontario, Canada
Band Hip Hop R&B


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"Go Here: Fineprint CD Release Party"

Hip-hop artists can be known for mining beats with more rabid dedication than an archaeologist digs for artifacts. Take eclectic, Toronto-based, hip-hop trio, Fineprint. When their beat-maker DJ Stutter isn’t digging through the crates like a devoted turntablist should, he’s excavating material off of Puerto Rican airline sample CDs. But, hey, it’s all in the name of crafting a killer beat.

“During one of my thrift-store digs, I came across this interesting looking Puerto Rican record that was supposedly given out on their airlines in the ‘70s,” said Stutter, who, along with fellow bandmates Astonish (vocals) and San Miguel (guitar, bass) sat down for a recent interview. “It was a compilation of Spanish songs and amongst them was this amazing progressive jazz track that had numerous interesting and loopable breakdowns. After constructing some short sequences, Astonish added his dope lyrics and San Miguel rearranged and mixed the track and added a dope bassline to finish it off. Our final product was a track that incorporated the raw sound of this obscure airline record as well as our interpretation and concept.”

The song in question is “Puerto Rico,” a whirlwind ode to traditional salsa vibes with an unconventional take on a Friday night almost gone wrong. It’s one of the eclectic offerings from the group’s self-titled debut LP, and, if at first listen you’re left in awe and wondering exactly when hip-hop fully embraced world vibes as much as the world has embrace it, the LP doesn’t disappoint. It extends its reach to include tracks that flirt with frenetic classical piano loops (“What The”) and soulful ‘70s basslines (“Wicked”). It’s a varied style that well lives up to Astonish’s assertion that “hip-hop is the bastard child of music.”

“Our message is that hip-hop is so broad,” says San Miguel of the groups layered sound. “It's a genre built on other genres and time periods.”

“It can be diverse, unexpected and different,” adds Astonish. “There’s more to hip-hop than just mainstream radio and television. Our album makes the statement: ‘Seek and you shall find.’”

The group first found each other in 2002 during a regular jam session at San Miguel’s place, an affair that usually finds different Toronto artists coming together, but on this particular day, found the three melody makers on their own.

“We ended up freestyling with myself on the turntables, San Miguel on guitar and Astonish on the mic and before we knew it, we created our first track,” says Stutter. “It was at that point we realized that we had a different sound and that there was potential for us to make dope music.”

That session would result in the band recording 10 tracks in less than a month. Over the next four years, they refined that style and tested it out on audiences, some receptive and some not so receptive, at first.

“During a performance at a downtown lounge early last year, an unknown person from the crowd kept coming up to me and mumbling stuff while I was saying my rhymes,” recounts Astonish about an incident at a Toronto gig. “He was clearly drunk and was all in my grill. But, I just kinda spit my rhymes directly at him, not letting it phase me. It actually calmed him down and he seemed to be in awe as to what I was doing.”

While tackling the Toronto scene is something that the band is poised and ready for, it isn’t the only market that they want their music to hit. For Fineprint, the goal is to go as broad as their musical style.

“The T.O. music scene is competitive because there are a lot of talented musicians out there trying to make it,” says Stutter. “At times, it seems the T.O. scene supports international artists and ignores homegrown talent, which is why we inked a distribution deal in Japan set for release this summer. There is limited opportunity in T.O. for the countless artists in T.O. The scene is tough but it makes the musicians stronger in the long run.”

Fineprint performs at their official CD release party at The Rivoli (334 Queen St. W.) on April 28. Doors open at 10 p.m., free.

For more info visit


New self titled album
(Distribution deal in Japan)
Two week tour in Japan, September


Feeling a bit camera shy


Established in 2002, the band known as Fineprint presents a blend of Hip Hop music with touches of Jazz, Funk, Ska, Punk and almost everything in between. The 3-man-crew from Toronto, Canada includes Astonish (vocals), San Miguel (guitar, bass) and DJ Stutter (turntables) whom together creates a distinct sound filled with raw lyrics, fresh beats and intricate scratches. Their self-titled debut LP (2007) epitomizes the dynamic vibe of this team: edge, excitement, energy, attitude, authenticity and integrity. With tight production and various rhyme styles, crowds are now taking notice to what’s under the radar. Speculation aside, don’t make up your mind yet if you haven’t read Fineprint.

Band Members