The Happy Unfortunate
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The Happy Unfortunate

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada | INDIE

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada | INDIE
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This duo consists of childhood friends, Malcolm-Jay(Malcolm Jamal Wilson) and DJ Envoy(Daniel Caneda), hails from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and they provide the sound waves with some smooth lyrics and some really enjoyable instrumentals.

There is no doubt that this group has a distinctive taste in music and are inspired by the late 80's and early 90's state of the Hip Hop era. Never shy of experimenting is what makes this group really enjoyable. They pen down words that find their way into listeners hearts, with their sentimental yet relate-able subject manner.

Picture riding around in 88' with your 80' Mercedes-Benz 560SL listening to the year old Paid In Full by Eric B. & Rakim. This is the type of vibe that this Canadian group instills in their music. Cool, Calm and Collective.

Besides everything already mentioned, this group possess substance and that's what makes them easily a great group.

Their new album, No Time To Sleep, is now available for download. I recently contacted the group and they supplied me with an advanced digital copy of the album. I've been listening to it ever since I synced it to my iPod. It easily made its my way to my daily playlist.(Keep your ears open for Running Back)
- From Toronto, With Love


This duo consists of childhood friends, Malcolm-Jay(Malcolm Jamal Wilson) and DJ Envoy(Daniel Caneda), hails from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and they provide the sound waves with some smooth lyrics and some really enjoyable instrumentals.

There is no doubt that this group has a distinctive taste in music and are inspired by the late 80's and early 90's state of the Hip Hop era. Never shy of experimenting is what makes this group really enjoyable. They pen down words that find their way into listeners hearts, with their sentimental yet relate-able subject manner.

Picture riding around in 88' with your 80' Mercedes-Benz 560SL listening to the year old Paid In Full by Eric B. & Rakim. This is the type of vibe that this Canadian group instills in their music. Cool, Calm and Collective.

Besides everything already mentioned, this group possess substance and that's what makes them easily a great group.

Their new album, No Time To Sleep, is now available for download. I recently contacted the group and they supplied me with an advanced digital copy of the album. I've been listening to it ever since I synced it to my iPod. It easily made its my way to my daily playlist.(Keep your ears open for Running Back)
- From Toronto, With Love


The Happy Unfortunate just dropped their second album today and will be made available for download at a fan set price – meaning you can pay any amount you wish, including nothing. Titled ‘No Time to Sleep’ the album comes complete with 13 tracks of smooth easy to listen to beats inspired by artists such as Nujabes, J.Dilla, Tribe Called Quest and 9th Wonder. I think the title is a good representation of how hard they worked on this project and a sign that they are not going stop any time soon. It is also something anyone who is out there grinding can relate to. With songs like Heart Matters, Pocket Full of Dreams feat. Jo Well of The Antidotes, and New Generation, No Time to Sleep is a great listen all the way through and makes it very difficult to pick a favorite track. In fact I don’t think there was one song on this album I couldn’t vibe out to. It’s smooth, relaxing and very refreshing, which sets it apart from a lot of ‘Hip Hop’ out there. In their lyrics they talk about real life and leave you with stories of their aspirations ambitions and setbacks. Go support them and purchase their album here. - Stay Ambitious


The Happy Unfortunate just dropped their second album today and will be made available for download at a fan set price – meaning you can pay any amount you wish, including nothing. Titled ‘No Time to Sleep’ the album comes complete with 13 tracks of smooth easy to listen to beats inspired by artists such as Nujabes, J.Dilla, Tribe Called Quest and 9th Wonder. I think the title is a good representation of how hard they worked on this project and a sign that they are not going stop any time soon. It is also something anyone who is out there grinding can relate to. With songs like Heart Matters, Pocket Full of Dreams feat. Jo Well of The Antidotes, and New Generation, No Time to Sleep is a great listen all the way through and makes it very difficult to pick a favorite track. In fact I don’t think there was one song on this album I couldn’t vibe out to. It’s smooth, relaxing and very refreshing, which sets it apart from a lot of ‘Hip Hop’ out there. In their lyrics they talk about real life and leave you with stories of their aspirations ambitions and setbacks. Go support them and purchase their album here. - Stay Ambitious


Winnipeg represent. The Happy Unfortunate’s debut album No Time To Sleep is nominated for a 2011 Western Canadian Music Award in the rap/hip hop recording of the year category.

The local hip hop duo — comprised of Daniel Caneda (aka DJ Envoy) and Malcolm-Jamal Wilson (aka Malcolm-Jay) — will vie for the prize alongside established artists Evil Ebenezer, Pigeon Hole, Son Real and Sweatshop Union.

"I’m surprised it even got nominated because we recorded it in our basement," says Wilson, 21. "We got our friends to mix it, I mastered it myself, we did all the promotional stuff for it and now it’s competing with guys who have record labels and big budgets."

Released in February, No Time To Sleep climbed to No. 3 on the CHARTattack and Earshot campus radio hip hop charts by the spring. Happy events for a twosome that started in the most unfortunate of circumstances.

"We started as a group back in 2007," Wilson says. "We’ve always been close family friends growing up. I’ve known Daniel since he was eight. The name The Happy Unfortunate came out of the fact that both our dads passed away around the same time?— like two days apart. We got together shortly after that and started making music together."

Wilson and Caneda’s pas would be proud. In fact, it’s a given that Wilson’s father would have loved No Time To Sleep — especially its opening track The Tribe Taught Me.

"Growing up I remember my dad listening to A Tribe Called Quest and I learned how to rap off that," Wilson says. "We don’t want to copy old school music but we want to incorporate it in to our own distinct sound. In the hip hop music industry a lot of people sound the same and we’re trying to find our own niche."

Can they kick it? Muneshine seems to think so. The Toronto-based MC appears on No Time To Sleep’s third track, The World is Mine.

"It was a real amateur approach," says Caneda, 17. "I just told him I was a fan of his music through MySpace and a month later he messaged me back saying he was taking a vacation in Winnipeg because his sister lives here."

The World is Mine was released in Japan through Tokyo-based label Goon Trax and has received over 30,000 plays on The Happy Unfortunate’s website (thehappyunfortunate.tumblr.com).

"For promotion we focused on the kids, who don’t tend to have a lot of money," Wilson says. "It’s a free download but you can donate if you want, you have the option. We also sell the CD online and we have contests where we’ll send them out for free if people blog it, helps us get the word out."

The Happy Unfortunate opens for Saint Kris at The Academy on Aug. 20. Look out for an upcoming fundraising show to send the band to the WCMAs which will be held on Oct. 23 in Whitehorse. - Uptown Magazine


Winnipeg represent. The Happy Unfortunate’s debut album No Time To Sleep is nominated for a 2011 Western Canadian Music Award in the rap/hip hop recording of the year category.

The local hip hop duo — comprised of Daniel Caneda (aka DJ Envoy) and Malcolm-Jamal Wilson (aka Malcolm-Jay) — will vie for the prize alongside established artists Evil Ebenezer, Pigeon Hole, Son Real and Sweatshop Union.

"I’m surprised it even got nominated because we recorded it in our basement," says Wilson, 21. "We got our friends to mix it, I mastered it myself, we did all the promotional stuff for it and now it’s competing with guys who have record labels and big budgets."

Released in February, No Time To Sleep climbed to No. 3 on the CHARTattack and Earshot campus radio hip hop charts by the spring. Happy events for a twosome that started in the most unfortunate of circumstances.

"We started as a group back in 2007," Wilson says. "We’ve always been close family friends growing up. I’ve known Daniel since he was eight. The name The Happy Unfortunate came out of the fact that both our dads passed away around the same time?— like two days apart. We got together shortly after that and started making music together."

Wilson and Caneda’s pas would be proud. In fact, it’s a given that Wilson’s father would have loved No Time To Sleep — especially its opening track The Tribe Taught Me.

"Growing up I remember my dad listening to A Tribe Called Quest and I learned how to rap off that," Wilson says. "We don’t want to copy old school music but we want to incorporate it in to our own distinct sound. In the hip hop music industry a lot of people sound the same and we’re trying to find our own niche."

Can they kick it? Muneshine seems to think so. The Toronto-based MC appears on No Time To Sleep’s third track, The World is Mine.

"It was a real amateur approach," says Caneda, 17. "I just told him I was a fan of his music through MySpace and a month later he messaged me back saying he was taking a vacation in Winnipeg because his sister lives here."

The World is Mine was released in Japan through Tokyo-based label Goon Trax and has received over 30,000 plays on The Happy Unfortunate’s website (thehappyunfortunate.tumblr.com).

"For promotion we focused on the kids, who don’t tend to have a lot of money," Wilson says. "It’s a free download but you can donate if you want, you have the option. We also sell the CD online and we have contests where we’ll send them out for free if people blog it, helps us get the word out."

The Happy Unfortunate opens for Saint Kris at The Academy on Aug. 20. Look out for an upcoming fundraising show to send the band to the WCMAs which will be held on Oct. 23 in Whitehorse. - Uptown Magazine


Reviews:: The Happy Unfortunate – No Time To Sleep

Considering the direction hip hop has taken – going from a place where “being a biter” was the most heinous of crimes, to a climate now where anyone who makes an impact at all will likely have an army of internet-mixtape wielding clones overnight – there’s certainly no shame in overtly acknowledging your influences, as Edmonton Winnipeg duo The Happy Unfortunate have done with the lead track on their new album. No Time To Sleep opens with The Tribe Taught Me, and although the quickest of listens to the album will make it clear that Malcolm-Jay and DJ Envoy aren’t trying to ape ATCQ’s sound, it’s such an enjoyable listen that I wish more of today’s hip hop outfits were able to channel their influences in the way that The Happy Unfortunate have here.

As one might expect (or rather hope) from a group that name-checks Tribe and has another song called 89 Vibin (“I was born in ’89? Really? Jebus, I’m ancient), The Happy Unfortunate inject a warm, jazzy vibe into their production throughout this album. Considering the second song on the album is the drum & keys instrumental Just Listen, I’m guessing how they present themselves sonically is important to the duo, and on that front they nail it. From top to bottom each song finds a groove that makes the album perfect for pumping through headphones and getting lost in its laid back horns and basslines.

Not-so-coincidentally, the music also suits the lyrical approach of the group (I’m assuming Malcolm-Jay handles most of the vocal duties, but I don’t know for sure) down to the ground. As I mentioned earlier, the guys are fairly young, and the lyrical content focuses on dealing with their day to day and on making music, but they do it earnestly & honestly, and so a song like the bubbly Independent, which finds them pledging allegiance to doing music they believe in, is not only a great listen, but feels completely heartfelt.

There’s plenty of other great listens to be had on No Time to Sleep as well, like The World is Mine, which had been released previously on an EP, features some smooth guitar licks and a welcome guest verse from Muneshine. The piano stabs, sweeping strings and addictive chorus of New Generation make it my current favorite “song to bump on a sunny day” song. The combination of the familiar drums and twinkly chimes of Heart Matters make it a striking backdrop for the introspective tune, and both Independent and Running Back prove that sped-up chipmunk-sounding samples still sound good.

If you’re looking for some mellow, soul-filled hip hop to add to your upcoming summer soundtrack, swing over to The Happy Unfortunate’s bandcamp and grab No Time To Sleep. It is currently a free download, wisely set at an internet-age-savy 13 songs, and I’m going to play the bejebus out of it this summer, so go check it out. - Hero Hill


Reviews:: The Happy Unfortunate – No Time To Sleep

Considering the direction hip hop has taken – going from a place where “being a biter” was the most heinous of crimes, to a climate now where anyone who makes an impact at all will likely have an army of internet-mixtape wielding clones overnight – there’s certainly no shame in overtly acknowledging your influences, as Edmonton Winnipeg duo The Happy Unfortunate have done with the lead track on their new album. No Time To Sleep opens with The Tribe Taught Me, and although the quickest of listens to the album will make it clear that Malcolm-Jay and DJ Envoy aren’t trying to ape ATCQ’s sound, it’s such an enjoyable listen that I wish more of today’s hip hop outfits were able to channel their influences in the way that The Happy Unfortunate have here.

As one might expect (or rather hope) from a group that name-checks Tribe and has another song called 89 Vibin (“I was born in ’89? Really? Jebus, I’m ancient), The Happy Unfortunate inject a warm, jazzy vibe into their production throughout this album. Considering the second song on the album is the drum & keys instrumental Just Listen, I’m guessing how they present themselves sonically is important to the duo, and on that front they nail it. From top to bottom each song finds a groove that makes the album perfect for pumping through headphones and getting lost in its laid back horns and basslines.

Not-so-coincidentally, the music also suits the lyrical approach of the group (I’m assuming Malcolm-Jay handles most of the vocal duties, but I don’t know for sure) down to the ground. As I mentioned earlier, the guys are fairly young, and the lyrical content focuses on dealing with their day to day and on making music, but they do it earnestly & honestly, and so a song like the bubbly Independent, which finds them pledging allegiance to doing music they believe in, is not only a great listen, but feels completely heartfelt.

There’s plenty of other great listens to be had on No Time to Sleep as well, like The World is Mine, which had been released previously on an EP, features some smooth guitar licks and a welcome guest verse from Muneshine. The piano stabs, sweeping strings and addictive chorus of New Generation make it my current favorite “song to bump on a sunny day” song. The combination of the familiar drums and twinkly chimes of Heart Matters make it a striking backdrop for the introspective tune, and both Independent and Running Back prove that sped-up chipmunk-sounding samples still sound good.

If you’re looking for some mellow, soul-filled hip hop to add to your upcoming summer soundtrack, swing over to The Happy Unfortunate’s bandcamp and grab No Time To Sleep. It is currently a free download, wisely set at an internet-age-savy 13 songs, and I’m going to play the bejebus out of it this summer, so go check it out. - Hero Hill


Discography

July Never Dies
Release: July 15, 2012
Currently charting on Canadian Campus Charts
Reached #1 on UMFM's top 30
Reached Top 50 Nationwide

No Time To Sleep
Released: February 3rd, 2011
Nominated for a 2011 Western Canadian Music Award: Rap/Hip Hop Recording of the Year
Charted to #3 on Canadian Campus Hip Hop Charts: Chartattack/Earshot
Remained on top 10 for 6 weeks

Photos

Bio

With their laid back jazz samples and golden age lyrcism The Happy Unfortunate are a live hip hop band fronted by the producer/emcee combination of Malcolm-Jamal Wilson (Malcolm-Jay) and Daniel Caneda (DJ Envoy). Over the past two years the group has made significant strides in Canada's hip hop industry. In 2011 their debut full length release reached top ten on Canadian campus radio charts and lead them to a Western Canadian Music Award Nomination for Rap Recording of the Year. 2012 presented their sophmore release "July Never Dies" which is currently charting on campus charts and reached the top 50 for all genres in December. With the introduction of three new members (George Diaz - DJ, Earl Estorninos - MPC/Keys & Matt Wilson - Drums) and a re-invented live presence, it will only be a matter of time before that momentum carries them to success in 2013.

Band Members