The Chronicles
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The Chronicles

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The best kept secret in music


"East coast vibe is alive - The Chronicles, Classified, and Signal Hill bring a little east-coast flavor to the SuperSUB"

By: Katie Fahey

The Maritime spirit was high at Acadia this past Monday as the University hosted a concert in honor of Frosh Week. Each of the bands who played had members who grew up in Halifax or elsewhere in Nova Scotia, which made for a nice welcome-to-the-east-coast vibe.

The evening began not at all according to schedule, but relatively at par with usual concert-style tardiness. In spite the vast crowd of eager frosh growing outside the SUB (there were apparently some audio and lighting issues) the band members managed to make the best of the situation. The Chronicles’ drummer, Ashley, snacked on some fries which were conveniently balanced on his base drum. Billy Bobs? Meal hall? What wonders Wolfville’s cuisine has to offer its traveling musicians! The band stayed relaxed, swigged on Stellas and were joking around pre-performance.

The Chronicles, whose genre is described ambiguously as “indie” started off the evening’s festivities and began to play around 10:15 pm. Bands of Frosh formed a good size crowd. Right before he started singing, the front-man for the Chronicles was jumping up and down basketball-player-warm-up style and petting his dreads. They were hyped. Suleyman, brother of Nhuri, one of the vocalists, said of the band, “they would like to get signed but they want to start something for themselves.” They oozed the vibe of a young band that was truly together for the love of the music and still enjoyed just playing off each other’s creative urges.

The Chronicles played a good set - the kind where you can’t help bobbing your head or putting one arm in the air and let your body jangle to the beat. Their music is an original blend of singing and rapping, guitars, a keyboard and drums, and possesses a relaxed style that obviously draws inspiration from a couple of the band members’ Bermudian roots. However, it was difficult for them to maintain the interests of the primarily Frosh crowd who obviously must have had lots on their minds (yes, I saw you collared-shirt-boy and tube-top-girl).

All of the members are associated to Dalhousie and a couple of them are still students there. The only complaint I had was that the percussion was at times too loud to hear the soft (and obviously sentimental, judging by the facial expressions) parts of their songs.

Classified played the next set which was well received. The crowd by then had become a hybrid of students of all years.

“Those guys love telling people they’re from the east coast,” one (jealous) anonymous patron commented. “The music was alright. The food was good.” What food, we wonder?

Either way, the east coast sound was totally felt by a significant crowd of dedicated fans who knew the lyrics and rapped along. The friendly, down-to-earth eastern atmosphere continued as the bands hung around afterwards and greeted fans, axe staff, and, in a few cases shared reunions with old friends. It’s always nice to see when musicians are out to have as great a time as you are.

I had the chance to catch up with them after the show. Classified and friends were very open and honest and we discussed things like how some of the members were having trouble getting time off from their day jobs to go on tour and how touring is actually really hard. Passion can’t pay for everything. Before they started freestyling, we also determined that Old School and Dumb and Dumber were among their favorite films.

Classified’s new release “Hitch hikin’ music” is 17 songs long and set to be out September 12, 2006. They are also scheduled to begin a cross-Canada tour September 20, 2006. You can watch out for Classified affiliates Martin Finch and Knucklehead in their upcoming roles in the Trailer Park Boys movie, “The Big Derty” and for Finch a.k.a. Garnet Estabrooks in the new Danny Glover film, “Poor Boy’s Game.”

The night’s festivities came to a conclusion after cover band Silent Hill’s performance who didn’t see much of a crowd with their renditions of tunes like Sweet Caroline. However, this effect could also be attributed to the subconscious routine engrained within drunken Acadia students to either heading to another party or home at 1 am. The small group of mainly upper-year student who stuck around were in the mood for some solid dancing and sang along to most songs.

What resulted was a successful evening of Nova Scotian-ess, but this Nova Scotian-ess was a nice turn from the traditional, and very Canadian, Trews or Sloan for frosh week at Acadia. The Chronicles and Classified made for a sound that was more urban and experimental, that I would say is underappreciated at Acadia, at least in comparison with a city venue. Good thing they are hitting up SMU and Dalhousie in the next few days to continue their Atlantic University circuit.

That aside, it seemed that the evening at the SUB had something to offer everyone. Whether you were a frosh figuring out who your new friends are and what this place is about or an upper yea - The Athenaeum (Sept. 7th 2006)

"The New Music Issue"

The Chronicles

Internationally flavoured hip-hoppers look outside the local box

Guitarist and pianist Dave Dalley—of hip-hop collective The Chronicles—carries strict convictions when it comes to exposing his genre beyond the confines of Atlantic Canada.

"We can sit here and name thousands of reasons why it hasn't happened," he says of why the scene has yet to break nationally. "The fact is, a group of dangerous acts have to be assimilated and thrown beyond the borders. Instead of doing what's already been done, artists need to have their own creative voice, act with professionalism and get behind one another."

The group, whose song "Strugglin'" garnered a 2005 ECMA nomination for Urban Single Track Recording of the Year, is committing itself to doing just that. The Chronicles' infrequent, but collaboration-intensive performances are developed to be spectacles as opposed to the same old thing. Permanent members of the group—including Dalley, vocalists Jarreau Hayward and Nhuri Bashir, guitarist Kevin Salter (formerly of Sketch Cab) and drummer Ashley Chalmers—invite as many as five extra musicians on stage at any given time. Live instruments are another way The Chronicles try to steer away from convention.

"Traditionally and typically, beats that rappers rap over come from samples," Dalley says. "If we need a flutist, we can get one. If we want a violinist, we'll get one. The feel of a live instrumentalist there for real doing it creates a vibe that is hard to capture when you're using MIDI clips from someone else's song."

Like their progressive contemporaries in the hip-hop genre from other parts of Canada, K-OS and K'Naan, The Chronicles mix an international flavour with Dalley and Chalmers, who are Newfoundlanders, and Salter who hails from Ontario. Hayward and Bashir founded the group in their home in Bermuda before seeking additional members.

"The group started in 2003," he says. "Jarreau at the time was rapping over mix tapes Nhuri would make. They were introduced to myself through mutual friends."

The quintet's demo was released for the sole purpose of attaining an ECMA nod, but will be followed by a full-length effort in spring 2006. A tour is currently being finalized for shortly after Christmas.

"This whole time we've been saving our pennies," says Dalley, "so this album can be properly distributed and marketed."

—Chris McCluskey

- The Coast-Halifax's Weekly

"The Chronicles Lead the ECMA Rap Race"

Dalhousie hip-hop group enjoying success, CBC airtime

Natalie Pendergast
Arts Editor

Halifax’s best-kept secret has finally come out of hiding.

For the last two years, while the Goods released LP after LP, Classified ripped through battle after battle and Kaleb Simmons was trilled his way to the Canadian Idol finals, local hip-hop trio the Chronicles remained locked up in a bedroom, tirelessly piecing together melodies, rhymes, and harmonies.

Then, the impossible happened: they group was discovered. Enter Dennis Field, long time producer and engineer, owner of Denmark Productions recording studio, and a previous Going Coastal/Much News Juno and MIANS song-writing competition judge. In August 2004, he lent an ear to Chronicles Dave Dalley, Jah Jarreau Hayward, and Nhuri Bashir. The group experimented with some riffs and raps—and pounced on the chance to record them. With the ECMAs in mind, Field advised the threesome to work for the necessary components needed for an artist to be eligible for an award.

“Dennis sat us down and said, ‘look guys, you have something here; you just have to cut a six-song album and you’ll get a nomination,’” Jarreau Hayward said.

Field’s encouragement was completely an unexpected for the three Dalhousie students, who formed the Chronicles a few years ago from common musical interest.

And they’re an unlikely group: Dalley is a Newfoundland Rock & Roll enthusiast, Bashir is a Bermudan DJ and an active member of Dal societies—and not only does Jah Jarreau Hayward write and rap all the lyrics for the group, he is a talented athlete to boot.

“I moved here for high school when I got a sport scholarship to go to Halifax Grammar School,” he says, nonchalantly. “I now play on the Dal soccer team.”

The two Bermudans agree that Nova Scotia was a good move for them, but there is one thing they miss from home.

“The high schools used to have mini battles in Bermuda and we used to write funny lyrics about each other,” Hayward says. After catching a whiff of the battle scene here, the Chronicles didn’t feel they fit in to the exclusive Halifax hip-hop club. “We don’t really pay much attention to; there’s a lot of gossip and drama,” Dalley says. “But it may hurt us because no one has ever heard of us.”

Instead of trying to live up to the cliquish network, the Chronicles kept a low profile and jammed every so often just for the fun and love of music. “We used to have freestyle Fridays where we all got together to make a lot of noise,” Nhuri says, laughing. “It got me kicked out of Quinpool towers.”
But all those loud sessions were not for nothing. “We had been making songs for a long time in my bedroom or in his bedroom,” says Nhuri. “It was only recently though that we actually decided to put some money into it—pocket money.”

The boys have more ideas and lyrics than they have time to record. “Black Thought from the Roots has always been a big influence for me. I want to develop my own style so I’m an individual, and so that I’m not just a carbon copy of everybody else,” says Hayward.

“I had a fear about my lyrics that I write too negatively for what I feel, but I always write about what’s real. A lot of my lyrics deal with social challenges and different ideologies about life, but lots of times it’s just my random thoughts from when I’m walking on the street or catching the bus or in the shower. And then I put them all into a song.”

“Angel Eyez,” a moving ballad on the Chronicles’ LP, was written about Hayward’s mother, who died in 1998. The song is accented by the soft, soulful harmonies of featured Dartmouth songstress Kyla Tingley. “The rap verse is about one day when I foolishly riding my motorbike and I pretty much almost died,” Jarreau Hayward says. “I felt like my guardian angel was looking out for me so ‘Angel Eyez’ is my mom. And Kyla really made the song beautiful.”

Although the Chronicles don’t perform their own percussion on the album, they sought a way around using electronic rhythm to garnish the melodies. “We brought in the drummer from the Jimmy Swift Band and he did all the drumming,” says Dalley. “We would just use electronic drums to record it then give it to the drummer so that he could write his own percussion for the album. It’s very important to us that there’s no computerized music on the album.”

Currently on the best sellers list at CD Plus, the trio has sold more than 200 copies of Strugglin’ since its release in October 2004. What’s the reason for its popularity?

“We’re extremely eclectic. Nhuri and I have a reggae and hip-hop background, and Dalley loves rap,” Says Jarreau Hayward. “My grandma has a CD and it is definitely and easy listening album for all people, all generations and belonging to all genres.”

Nominated for the “Urban Single Track Recording of the Year” award at the ECMA’s, The Chronicles album, Strugglin’, is among four others up for the win, including two each from Dion - Dalhousie Gazette (February 10, 2005)


The Chronicles - self titled EP (2003) *sold out*

!!!New Album Soon!!!


Feeling a bit camera shy


The Chronicles You could say hip-hop band, but throw out the preconception. No Pretense No Bull This collective of individuals collaborate to make songs based on what they know. their lives Good/Bad/Happy/Sad. The Bass, Drums, Keys, Guitars, Raps, and Melodies paint pictures of diversity with each member coming from different spaces (geographically and mentally). Check out for past and current events and achievements including: 2 ECMA nominations, East Coast Universities battle of the bands winners, winner of a free COCA showcase spot in Edmonton, Alberta 2006, and a MIANS award nomination. Currently touring across Canada (from Halifax to Vancouver).