Harvest Profile – Wolf Castle
By Adam Bowie
At this point, it might be safe to say Tristan Grant is one of the most exciting and interesting hip hop voices to emerge from Canada’s East Coast.
Grant, a Mi’kmaq rapper, producer, and radio host from Pabineau First Nation who takes the stage under the name Wolf Castle, has been steadily building his audience in recent years, thanks to catchy tracks like “Get Lit,” “Believe It,” and “Awaken.”
Beyond the impressive flow and super-catchy soundscapes, Grant has a very likeable personality. I don’t know if you’ve heard him on the radio, co-hosting CBC’s Information Morning or steering the ship solo on the CBC’s Indigenous radio show Reclaimed, but he comes across as intelligent, engaging and comfortable.
For his coming performance at Harvest, Grant will join forces once again with Fredericton favourites, The Olympic Symphonium. The two acts will find ways to meld elements of hip hop, jazz and indie-folk.
If you haven’t seen this rising star live yet, or if you’re new to live hip hop, this might be an interesting way to check him out.
For now, let’s get to know a little bit more about the man behind Wolf Castle.
AB: What song are you currently obsessed with?
WC: Obsessed with “Fire and Brimstone,” by Indigenous guitarist Link Wray – super influential guitarist from the 50s onward. Highly recommend this one.
AB: What three things are always in your fridge?
WC: Ice cold grapefruit sparkling water, tupperware containers with leftovers and ketchup. You can never have enough ketchup. Lol.
AB: Name a book, or any other piece of writing, that’s important in your life.
WC: The poem contained within Kendrick Lamar’s album, “To Pimp A Butterfly,” is one of the most powerful things you can read, and explains the whole album clearly. It’s amazing.
AB: When you think about the music you heard as a child, who was choosing the song or selecting the radio station, and what kinds of stuff were they picking?
WC: Mom was always picking the music, and her taste was impeccable. From 2pac to Soft Cell, Don Henley to Backstreet Boys, I listened to everything.
AB: What’s more important – talent or work ethic? Why?
WC: Work Ethic. 100%. Talent is about 10% of it. You really need to work hard to make things happen and last in this business.
AB: If you had to cook for someone, what are you making and will they be complimenting you afterwards?
WC: Currently obsessed with pork tenderloin with maple chipotle spice on top. I love cooking and I’d do my best to prepare a delish’ meal for ya!
AB: What’s a TV show or movie that you’ve watched a dozen times?
WC: One of my comfort shows (which I’ve seen over and over) would be Community, which ran from 2009-2015.
AB: Is there an artist that you think deserves more recognition for the inspiring work that they do?
WC: In the hip-hop world Future is popular, but I don’t think people understand how much his style influenced rap music of the past decade.
AB: If you could thank someone for a helping hand they offered or a piece of advice they delivered when you needed it, who would it be, and how did they help?
WC: David Myles has never steered me wrong! Mentored me in my final year of university and pointed me in the right direction of flipping my mindset towards a music career and longevity.
AB: Is there an example of what you’d consider a perfect song? For example, I might suggest George Jones’ “She Thinks I Still Care,” or Lauryn Hill’s “X-Factor” are perfect songs.
WC: “The Wind Cries Mary,” by Jimi Henrix is a perfect song. Definite contender for my all-time favourite.
AB: What’s a goal that you have for yourself in this business? Maybe you want to make an album at a certain studio, or with a certain producer. Maybe you have a venue in mind that you’d like to sell out, or a festival you want to play. Maybe there’s an artist you want to work with. Anything like that?
WC: My main goal is to always grow my reach, make better music and have as many people as possible listen to it!
Wolf Castle will perform a special collaboration with The Olympic Symphonium in the Ginger Agency Barracks Tent at 8:45 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets are available here.