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Brampton, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | SELF

Brampton, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2010
Solo Hip Hop




"Noisey: Noyz at Canadian Music Week"

Brampton, Ontario has emerged as a hotbed in the Greater Toronto Area’s still-nascent rap scene, most likely owing to a population that’s defined by its vibrant immigrant communities. PARTYNEXTDOOR and Roy Woods claim the municipality as their own, along with countless other emerging artists. Comparatively, all-Sikh hip-hop group Movin’ Cool, active in some form or another since even before So Far Gone was released, might as well be Brampton OGs.

The group, made up of rappers Noyz and B Magic, along with producer/DJ Dusty Loops, played Adelaide Hall to the sparse but polite kind of crowd that always shows up at Toronto venues before 11 PM on a weekday. However, as soon as Noyz declared “we represent Brampton!” and the chopped piano and clacking drums of “Gray Matter” dropped, heads in the crowd were bobbing along anyways. Though Movin’ Cool’s set was a scant half-an-hour, years of live experience—they played SXSW this year, too—seemed to give them a natural, easygoing confidence that many unsigned rappers who pursue a more “lyrical” direction just can’t get a grip on.

Of the two MCs, Noyz was more indebted to classic New York boom-bap; both with his slightly mush-mouthed delivery and a taste for flipping soulful, Dilla-esque loops in the beats he produces. Though this style is what dominated his 2012 solo tape Degrees of Freedom and doesn’t stray too far from the typical idea of a conscious rapper, Noyz frequently engaged in more aggressive flows throughout the night. B Magic’s more pronounced, melodic boom acted as Noyz’s constant foil. Their chemistry resulted in an old-school-modelled presence that managed to transport the previously unmotivated crowd from the bar onto the floor. The duo prowled the stage as one unit, reading each other as they nonchalantly traded bars and emphasized the other’s punchlines even on their own solo material. It was a block party, Brampton-style.

It wasn’t all mid-90s, though. Movin’ Cool’s group work leaned toward more contemporary, club-ready beats. It’s tough to get more 2010s than a riotous trap banger called “Sonic” featuring the repeated hook “got gold rings like I’m Sonic”, punctuated by the appropriate sound effect (“shouts to the Sega Genesis heads” said B Magic shortly before launching into the song). However, the group also unleashed the grime-influenced “Waste” (natch), a set piece for their often nimble, technically-focused pure rapping. “Waste”’s anthemic hook had a few people in the crowd singing along by the second go-around, despite no widely-circulated MP3 version of the song existing online. In true Canadian fashion, the crowd seemed to be on Movin’ Cool’s side and wanted them to do well, even if their small numbers didn’t exactly translate to a fanatically supportive following.

Admittedly, my concern before the show was that it’d be another awkward, poorly-attended local rap set. I was proven wrong about midway through. The rappers asked the crowd to create a beat with only synchronized handclaps while Noyz did a quick verse. It’s an old trick, one that always works, but Noyz’s spitfire freestyle spoke to the experience of living as the children of immigrants in the xenophobic, post-Paris-attacks Western world. “So they frame another enemy/prey upon that energy“, rapped Noyz.

Upon the freestyle’s conclusion, B Magic referred to Noyz as “the God MC”, same as Rakim, as the crowd applauded enthusiastically. Earlier in the night, Noyz also rapped “we have to humanize people of colour/because they see us as an other”. This viewpoint, of the diaspora who sometimes feel unaccepted and feared in their own home country, is rarely explored in hip-hop. It’s just another kind of struggle, another example of making music to escape a trying situation and give voice to others who’ve gone through the same thing.

In a perfect world, Movin’ Cool’s relatable lyrics and occasionally retro sensibilities would give them the same kind of success as, say, J. Cole. Unfortunately, the continued apathy from the Canadian music industry toward establishing a rap infrastructure is hurting them and probably accounts for their still-ongoing grind towards a breakthrough. But, as one line of theirs goes, they’re “off the immigrant hustle and living comfortable”, so maybe Noyz, B Magic, and Dusty Loops just have to keep their heads up and they’ll find the acclaim they deserve. - Noisey

"The Bramptonist: Why Brampton Hip Hop Artist Noyz is More Important Now Than Ever"

Amrit Singh, better known as Noyz, is a producer, MC, spoken word artist, medical professional, political critic, and all around educator to many. Born in Malton and having grown up in Heartlake, Noyz is fully habituated in the South Asian subculture that has become characteristic of the Greater Toronto Area.

Growing up in the era of Tupac, Nas, and Biggie, Noyz also has an affinity for conscious boom bap – an affinity which is fully represented in his music (peep Degrees of Freedom below). When you fuse the first-generation experience found in places like Brampton with lyrical hip hop, you create something unique. Take your musical concoction and further delve into themes of existential and emotional anguish and you get something you can fittingly call ‘Noyz’.

Noyz is far from your typical rapper, even among the lyricists. I recently attended a workshop led by the MC called ‘Hip Hop and Mental Health’ where he taught the therapeutic elements of writing, speaking of his own struggle with depression and how mental health is addressed in hip hop. Citing songs such as ‘Changes’ by Tupac, Noyz tells us how the genre generally frames the discussion of mental health: identifying the feelings of anguish and despair, detailing the horrors and hopelessness, but concluding with solutions or an opportunity for optimism.

He instructed the room to begin writing with the words ‘I’m at war with…’. He went around the room asking volunteers to rap what they wrote. The next line was ‘I always wanted to tell you…’. Similarly, volunteers offered their lyrics. Lastly, Noyz instructed us to write about our resilience – how are we confronting our anguish? It was easy to recognize our own strength within our writings.

Words are infinite and human beings are storytelling animals – that’s why we pack words with so much meaning. A wandering mind is usually an unhappy one, but when we are forced to focus our thoughts onto paper, clarity becomes attainable. Storytelling is part of our evolution as human beings. It is what lends meaning to culture, shared histories, and languages. Perhaps it’s the emphasis on telling stories that gives hip hop most appeal. This is what Noyz taught me.

Recently, Noyz participated in a Teambackpack cypher with Pryde, Tremayne, and Derin Falana. When the cypher hit social media, Noyz’ verse instantly became viral, currently sitting at nearly 900,000 views worldwide. Obviously Noyz’ fans in the GTA were blown away by the verse, but the unanticipated effect it had on the world was even more astounding. What I have come to realize is diversity is taken for granted at times in the Toronto area, especially in Brampton, and that’s actually a good thing. When we see a mix of cultures interacting and, in the case of Teambackpack, sharing a mic, it’s not surprising. In fact, it’s quite normal.

But what is easy to forget is how abnormal the sight is to people outside of the country. Look at the Facebook comments and note the sheer astonishment people had at Brampton’s diversity. Admissions of Noyz having ‘killed’ the cypher, that they’ve never seen a guy with a turban rap before flooded the comments section. People wanted more of his music and saluted the MC for speaking about some of the most pertinent social issues today.

This is what Noyz had to say about his Teambackpack verse:

“As an emcee, I always try to say something of substance with my words. I guess it’s just part of being raised on Pac. When I was writing my verse for the cypher, Donald Trump’s campaign was in full swing and gaining momentum as he made Muslims, Mexicans, Natives, and women frequent targets of his. The rise in violence and hate crimes in recent weeks since the election didn’t start with Trump, but I feel he has emboldened those who have long held those views and helped create an environment where these people feel safe coming out of the dark. Being in Canada doesn’t make us immune to what’s going on south of the border as we’ve seen much of the same bigotry being spewed here as well. As a person of colour and as a child of immigrants, I chose to use my pen and platform to call out the fear mongering, and speak on the humanity of immigrants and refugees at a time when it is being denied (“the irony of colonizers denying migrants”). Through divisive ‘us versus them’ rhetoric, empathy is lost and we fail to see them as people fleeing war and/or economic hardship. We need action behind our words now more than ever in order to unite and shape a better world when times feel darkest. Let’s not be divided and lose our humanity when it matters most.”

And therein lies his importance. Why? Because the defining struggle of our time is a cultural cataclysm. The rise of Donald Trump can be attributed to the disenfranchisement of Middle America from cosmopolitan cities. Whether one believes it’s ignorance or massive miscommunication, a divide in values exists.

With all his experiences of intersectionality, his nuanced perspective of the first-generation MC, his membership in a demographic likely antagonized by the ilk of Trump, Noyz is here to remind us that music, especially hip hop, is inherently rebellious. In many ways, Noyz is in the vanguard of hip hop’s rebellious reawakening. Without speaking about issues such as the migrant crisis and the hostilities towards vulnerable communities, hip hop may remain culturally irrelevant.

In other words, Noyz’ message is the most culturally relevant message in hip hop today. No matter how political. No matter how aggressive. No matter how uncomfortable.

When celebrities like Kanye West admit to not voting, people like Noyz are hip hop’s last chance at the real rebellion – at being once again the voice for the voiceless it always intended to be.

Whether it’s about mental illness or standing up for vulnerable communities, Noyz is a conscientious storyteller. His recent publicity on Teambackpack has made him the recipient of new supporters and collaborators.

Already, we see Noyz making movements with other like-minded artists. Bay area hip hop duo Zoetic Minds just hit up Brampton’s underground kingping for a track called ‘The Vanguard’, the first single off of their newest project ‘Persona Non Grata’, a poignant title considering the recent policy proposals from Trump. Zoetic Minds is comprised of Ziggid and Skepsys and they have a sound that can be described as quintessentially boom-bap – a throwback to 90s lyricism.

If there is one good thing I anticipate with a Trump presidency, it’s really, really great music. - The Bramptonist

"CBC Music: Noyz is an artist you need to hear right now"

This Brampton MC is considered one of Canada’s lyrically blessed, catching the attention of the highly regarded hip-hop site TeamBackpack. Taking hip-hop back to its boom-bap days, Noyz has performed everywhere from Canadian Music Week to South by Southwest. - CBC Music

"Vice: The Essential Guide to West Toronto Rap"

Occupying a more traditional hip-hop musical space than many of his peers, Noyz actually predates the current wave by a few years, making his continued presence all the more remarkable. Writing clearly and passionately about identity and community, Noyz is surprisingly one of the few musicians of any prominence who speaks directly to the experiences of the South Asian diaspora that makes up nearly half of Brampton's population.

Proudly Sikh, Noyz's lyrical themes of xenophobia and racial prejudice have only gained added resonance in a time when the western world turns to far-right political figureheads over the misguided fear of South Asians and Middle Eastern people. His music isn't all heaviness, though, as the allegiance with his fellow Sikh artists in the group Movin' Cool results in as many flex-heavy party tracks as it does serious social examinations. - Vice

"Exclaim: Noyz at Canadian Music Week"

Though he was billed by CMW as a solo act, Brampton MC Noyz brought his Movin' Cool crewmates B Magic and Dusty Loops onstage to treat the crowd to hip-hop styles both old and new. While the set verged on predictable at points, their music and stage presence resulted in one of the more energetic showings from the crowd that the night had to offer.

As frequent collaborators in the studio, Noyz and B Magic demonstrated undeniable chemistry in flipping between roles as MC and hype man, synchronized when required and never overpowering one another in delivering verses. From the outset, their material was decidedly rooted in hip-hop's Golden Era, commanding the crowd to throw their hands up and bounce for Dusty Loops "on the ones and twos, aka an iPod," as B Magic joked.

In moving towards more modern sounds, the two didn't sound out of place in rapping through the usual double cup and Backwoods tropes, though Noyz led with a disclaimer about he doesn't partake. They split the crowd in half to chant back the lyrics "what you want" and "what you need" for another verbal takedown of lavish rap lifestyles, while an energetic ode to "the wastemans in your life" saw some audience members jump onstage to mob out to a last bit of machinegun snares and bass bombs.

"A lot of these songs aren't even out yet," Noyz remarked at one point later in the set. "To see all of you out here singing along — that's the power of music." - Exclaim


The Shadow Gallery (2010)

Beat Reel Volume 1 (2011)

In The Face of No Agreement (2011)

Believe Me Music Mixtape (2011)

Degrees of Freedom (2012)

Zoo Babies (2012)

Dead Beats Society Volume 1 (2014)

BeLonging (2015)

Dead Beats Society Volume 2 (2015)

Brampton Underdogs (2017)

Lo Fi Glory (2017)



Noyz represents the diversity at the heart of the Greater Toronto Area. Born in Brampton to immigrant parents, his lyrics explore themes of self-discovery and growth. Noyz's sound is the best of both worlds, equally representing the fun and energy of hip-hop park jams, as well as the socio-political commentary the genre was born out of, with his lyrics being cited in multiple academic journals and textbooks relating to identity and multiculturalism.

In addition to headlining shows in the United States and UK, Noyz has performed at some of the biggest music festivals in North America including SXSW, Canadian Music Week, MNFSTO, DesiFest, and Sound of Music Festival. His music has been featured on notable platforms such as Complex, Vice/Noisey, GQ, CBC Music, Huffington Post, BBC Radio, and Major League Soccer. 

Noyz also stays active in his community by facilitating hip hop and mental health workshops where he engages with youth through the healing and transformational powers of music and songwriting.

Band Members