In the past couple of decades, the world has witnessed the explosion of talent from up north, specifically our neighbors in Toronto, Canada, and many of which have all been ignored. With the release of five albums through the course of the group’s existence, the six-man team of Grand Analog may fall into that category. With a blend of R&B, Soul, Jazz, Hip-Hop, and even Rock & Reggae within the group’s sound, it’s a force to be reckoned with.
As a frontman, Odario Williams’ melodic delivery is soothing, fresh, and fly AF. The emcee recently released his solo debut E.P. in Good Morning Hunter which is soulful and inviting with an invigorating energy that’s unmatched so far. Today he shares “Peace” where he trades off verses with fellow emcee Len Bowen & singer Dawn Pemberton. In the video itself, director others are featured and it may not be what we all expect.
Of the song and the video, Odario offers:
I wanted the “Peace” video to reflect perseverance, celebration, and life after the adversity we recognize in 2020. It’s about finding that right light, in a whole heap of darkness. The song itself is a feel-good tune I wrote with the intention to ease my own mind and settle my tampered nerves. The song is produced by composer Todor Kobakov, featuring emcee Len Bowen and gospel vocalist Dawn Pemberton.
As director, I reached out to some of Toronto’s most interesting characters to fulfill the task of lead emcee. You’ll find Toronto born Kalmplex (He/Him/Sir) covering my verse. Kalmplex is a multimedia visual artist that has been documenting Toronto’s art & culture scene for two decades. I introduce you to Angelita SB, Toronto’s fiery new poet & emcee. She covers Len Bowen’s verse. Angelita currently resides in Toronto’s deep west end, near The Westway Village. Her community & peers refer to their ‘hood as ‘Ghost Town,’ due to the multiple cemeteries surrounding the area. Parts of the “Peace” video was shot at a housing complex & basketball court near Ghost Town. Other parts of the video were shot at Loveless Cafe (temporarily referred to as Love Us Cafe) near Brockton Village, my stomping grounds.
I specifically wanted the video to embrace the city’s vibrant dance culture (you’ll notice that in all my videos), and provide that exhilarating feeling we get from experiencing dance. A crew of Toronto’s aspiring dancers was assembled by long time choreographer Kwamé Mensah (DoDat Dancers / Sōl Kōd).
Also appearing is Rasta Rydah, the captain of ALPHA, an all-female riding club based in Toronto’s greater area. Rasta Rydah was born in Montreal, but her passion for bike culture developed while spending time in Hanover, Jamaica.
When shooting “Peace” I was crafting a raw look, nothing too flashy, but captures a slight peek into the lives of these beautiful faces. Cinematographer Lucas Joseph was my right-hand man as we hit the pavement. Together, we’re making it work!