Interview: Toronto’s own Crossword Talks Music, Image and more

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With new hit single “She’ It,” Canadian rapper Crossword has been shocking the north with his witty lyrics and bomb punch lines time and time over and is here to share a little about himself with his listeners. He is more than just a rapper and is passionate about his wordplay and message he sends out to hip-hop fans today. Crossword truly sets himself a part by being a genuine artist and giving people something to really listen to touching on subjects, such as politics, swag, sports and more that will have you pressing replay over and over again.

Why the name Crossword?

Crossword: So the name Crossword is really just reflective of my style lyrically, my writing style. I’m really a big fan of double entendres, wordplay, puns, and really kind of making a listener dig a little bit; think while they’re listening. Not just nodding off to the beat ,which is totally fine if they want to do that. But at the same time I feel like I got the mic, I wrote these words I want them to have some content and subtext. That’s why the name Crossword because it’s not always the most literal stuff, but its definitely got a lot of depth to it.

Have you made any major turns in your music career like and if so what were they? Or something that’s changed you or your style?

Crossword: While listening to music, I feel like every big moment has been an affirmation of what I’m doing or an eye opening moment. I think really and eye opening moment to make turns is from being on the road. Being inspired. That’s stuff that really will get you to shift perspective. A lot of the times I was on the road. I toured Canada; it’s a big country, I ended up in Yukon close to Alaska. Eye opening moments like that, Like I just came back from Atlanta for “AC3” festival and that was a huge eye opening moment. It was just being around so many people who want to put in work, who wanna come to Canada, and who wanna return the favor wherever they are at in the world. That was really cool.

You know what it was way before I started pursuing music the turn in my life was when I was 13; I am Middle Eastern. I am Persian.  I had a pretty traumatic moment when I was thirteen. It was after 9/11 and I was arrested for what the police called ‘threatening death’.

I was an emotional thirteen-year old Middle Eastern kid dealing with the reality that 9/11 just happened and quite literally eyes were turned to the region that my parents are from and my family still lives, my grandparents still live, and I was being looked at as a potential war target.  So you know I said some things that obviously in hindsight, I regret but those words were turned against me and it just really showed me the reality of the society that we live in. It really showed me the limitations of free speech, what is free speech? That’s really the first major bitch slap from reality. To be like you know what you may be born here, you may be living in this society where you speak English, you eat Lunchables and cheese strings and all that shit, but you’re not the same.

That really like changed me, not only as a person but as an artist too because I was writing before then. I was always making music but I stopped kind of joking around and I started being really serious with everything I wrote. I used to write kinda jokey stuff you know like a stupid kid just playing around, we would take Backstreet Boys songs and make them funny you know stuff like that or take Offspring songs and make funny versions of them and I stopped doing all that together. I didn’t write another funny song until after I started taking music seriously; I just didn’t have time for it. I still like, love to turn up I love to have fun, but I also have this real appreciation for real music and real lyricism especially. That was a turning point for me.

Who would you say you compare yourself too? I can hear a little bit of R&B mixed with Hip-Hop in your music it sounds pretty dope.

Crossword: What I’m trying do is I want to change the world and have fun doing it. I don’t want to be a mono-cultural, I don’t want to be a mono style person, so some artists that are doing that are your Kendrick Lamars  [or] your  J.Coles, those types of artists like Vick Mensa for sure. I’m not saying that I would necessarily compare myself stylistically to them, but as far as the message goes, yeah. Stylistically I love to be influenced by a whole wide range of stuff. My R&B repertoire really isn’t that insane or that amazing. I do love some really good R&B like John Legend. Some of my favorite artists  are Stevie Wonder, Miguel, Alicia Keys. It goes on, but I pretty much stopped picking from like R&B classics from all over. I grew up listening a lot more to Rock than to R&B, so I don’t know if the Deftones’ System Of A Down have an influence on my music, but I definitely do try to sing a little bit where I can and that’s probably where I get it from.

Who would you like to collab with right now if you had the choice? And who are you listening to?

Crossword: For a rapper, I would say Danny Brown.  Producer wise, I would definitely love to collaborate with Kaytranada. Recently I heard some new beats from the lead singer Dave Sitek from TV on the Radio and man I would love to work with him. Even not on like a rapping tip, I think if I were to get in the studio with somebody like him, I would try to make something more in his vein. Then you would really hear me singing, I’d just be composing you know what I’m saying.  I wouldn’t even be rapping on that. Other than that some artists I would like to collaborate with are Kanye West, of course, cause he’s a god.  For some reason my white girl Crush is PJ Harvey, for some reason I’ve always liked her style, her sound so if I could collaborate with PJ Harvey on a track, that’d be dope. Radio Head too would be a sick collaboration.

What would you like your listeners or those of who are just hearing about you to know about you that they may already not know?

Crossword: I am huge basketball fan, Raptors Fan. They might kind of get a hint if they listen to my music because I’ve got a song called the “DeMar DeRozan” about the Raptors basketball player and I’ve got a song called “Zach Randolph” about the basketball player. I’m a huge fan, but I can’t play if my life depended on it. I do run ball sometimes, but I’m no good [laughs]. I’m Persian, that’s one thing you might not know by looking at me [laughs]. Oh and I love coffee, if you were to take one drink away from me, like choose between coffee and beer, I’ll take coffee. Even if it was coffee and water… I’ll still take coffee [laughs].”

What do you have coming up in the future? Do you have any event projects or performances we can look forward to seeing here in the US?

Crossword: Yeah, in the immediate future, I have a brand new video coming out soon for the track “Loonies” I dropped earlier this year. So we dropped “Loonies” actually as a b-side single to the song ‘She’ It”. I was in New Orleans on tour and we just decided hey we’ll shoot a music video out here and it was the song that we needed to shoot a video for at the time so yea we dropped it as a b-side, but actually going to put a video out for it. Other than that its almost winter time, we don’t live in igloos, but it’s cold in Canada, so I’m going to be hibernating a little bit. I’m going to be working on the next two singles. I’m not sure if I’m going to put out a full album or EP next time, because I put out a full album last time and obviously it’s a lot of work, a lot of energy.  I kind of want to keep people posted with fresh music, but maybe not put out a full album so I can focus on touring. Next year you might see an EP, six to eight songs and then catch me on tour like if you want to see me in your city let me know I will travel and I grind like that. That’s all I want to do in 2016 is traveling, more touring and new music, you’re gonna hear it.

To learn more check him and his new music out on

Interview: The Man Behind the Music, Seth Lael

LIM FBTalented San Francisco singer-songwriter Seth Lael has dropped new highly anticipated full-length album, Bird Strings. Through his 12-songs he brings Americana, Jazz, Folk, Pop and Indie Rock to life with his impressive talent on the guitar, mandolin, banjo and his modern vocals.  Seth shares with us what inspired him on this album and some very cool techniques that he learned while creating it, as well as some of his current passions in life.

What drew you to playing strings like the banjo, guitar, and mandolin? When did you start playing them or even realize that you could?

Seth: Well, my first guitar was a nylon guitar that I got from my older brother who I think broke up with his girlfriend and he didn’t play that anymore, so I started playing that.  And then, I got a banjo because my other brother was going to get married, and got this free banjo, and they didn’t get married so I got that banjo. Then I just bought a mandolin this year, just kinda’ filling parts on the record. All happenstance kinda’ got lucky.

Who’s the producer?

Seth: McKay Garner. He was in LA and had a studio there for a while, he has done some TV. I know he wrote  the music to when a girl gets kicked off Americas Next Top Model. He’s done some mix in with some other bands.
Who inspired you? Who are you listening to now?

Seth: When I was working at a bakery, a friend introduced me to Greg Brown and I thought his songs were really cool. When I was waiting tables, another friend introduced me to John Harper. He’s a really good picker, kind of an older dude. I’m also really into EMOR. I heard him from KEXP radio; I think I just heard him on the radio when I was living in Seattle. But I go through music and artists listening to them like candy bars or ice cream. I like to listen to a bunch of stuff. I like to listen to a lot of rock and modern things.

What’s your favorite song out of the 12 from Bird Strings, like which one was your favorite to work on that you would call your lead song?

Seth: “Big Country” was fun because that only took about fifteen minutes, but “All Hours,” I think I rewrote that song with McKay, probably twenty-five times. I really like how it came out. I like playing it live. It’s a little bit challenging to play. It came alive with what McKay did with the drums and he used kind of the snare sound from tapping on a keyboard like an old apple keyboard. I like how we finally finished that one up; it came out really cool.”

For those who are just reading about you for the first time what would you like them to know about you? Do you have a message for you listeners?

Seth: I would say if your into songs, musicianship and a little bit of humor you might want to put me in your CD player. (Laughs).  Or you could look at my naked pictures online if you want, whatever; I usually put pictures on Instagram with like swim suits and stuff. I actually just photoshopped my face on Selena Gomez’s body to try to sell more records. I think its still on Instagram…it is (Laughs).

Do you have any other hobbies besides music?

Seth: I do a lot of baking. I been making breakfast. I love cooking for friends. Yea, I think I am trying to be more of a community-focused artist, so if I can have people over and cook for them and also play some music for them that sounds like a good night for me. Food and music are two things you shouldn’t live without.

Whats next? Are there any events projects, live performances we can look forward too? If so where and when?

Seth: I [just finished] a  tour in the beginning of [November]. One of the songs on the record is called “Jimmy’s Dream” and it’s about my friend who was telling me about his situation. He bought this house and it started falling a part right away and he saved up a bunch of money to pay for it and realized his house needed a lot more work than he though. So we have this music video that’s out now for [the single]. It’s pretty political, which I don’t think too many people do, but it looks good and was good doing it. A music video about the housing occurrences, there’s definitely a crisis going on.  I just dropped Bird Strings on the October 1st. I am also in another band called The Wyatt act and we are playing at the Oddville festival on Nov 13th in Oakland, California, there will be about five thousand people there it’s a big festival. I’ll also have another video coming out after “Jimmy’s Dream” in the beginning of November for the track “On the Road,” that’s also on the album. Switching up from music to video.

To learn more about Seth visit his website: and follow him Instagram @sethlael and add him on Facebook.

10 R&B Songs About to Blow

Once again, Limerence  Magazine scours the internet to find the soon-to-be hits that you should be listening to right now. This time we tackle the ever changing genre that is R&B. A genre that has transformed itself from the smooth sounds of Motown, to the Atlanta sound of the mid- to late-1990s, and now a mix every genre possible to create something new and intriguing. We managed to wind down our list to 10 songs that you should be listening to right now.

1. Ambré – Nintendo Shawty
Ambré is an artist hailing from New Orleans that is about to blow up after the recent release of her track “Nintendo $hawty”. The track puts you into a trance within the first seconds of the song. The artist has used experiences and influences from her life in New Orleans to make interesting music with a tangible voice.

2. Devvon Terrell – TYO
The Brooklyn native Devvon Terrell has been putting out some new variations on what we think as R&B on his Soundcloud page. An example of this varying contrast in his approach to R&B is the song “TYO (Tell You Off)” featuring Witt Lowry. The rap and R&B combination in this song goes together better than peanut butter and chocolate. The soulful singing of Devvon is simpatico with the rhymes Witt Lowry lays down in this climactic song.

3. Jojo- Say Love
Attention fans of the mid-2000s; JoJo is back and better than ever. JoJo has not made anything that has garnered the same attention that first made her a household name until now. Her latest project shows the growth she has made as an artist and as a person. The song “Say Love” is the biggest standout on her latest project. It should be interesting to see how she progresses with a new image and new music this could be the long awaited comeback to the top for JoJo.

4. Jessica Jarrell- Getting Right
The young Californian singer, Jessica Jarrell has changed a lot since being the opener for Justin Bieber just five years ago. She has matured into her own voice and the song “Getting Right” is a testament to that. This song is a soft and sultry ballad that slows down your heart rate into a melodic, hypnotic state. There are few tracks on her Soundcloud page but this one tops them all. Cannot wait to see what more this young artist has in store for us.

5. Tiffany Evans- T.M.I
Tiffany Evans is making some of the most classically up-to-date R&B right now. The Bronx singer has been taking over the internet with her EP All Me, which was recently released on October 30. The song that is about to blow on this list of hits is the song “T.M.I.” The song is your classic R&B song that shows the range of vocal talent that Evans demonstrates all over the project.

6. Kiiara- Feels
Kiiara is one the biggest breakout singers of this past year. Her story starts off as just a 20-year-old singer working as a hardware store clerk in Illinois with an amazing talent. She has garnered attention with her debut track “Gold” and the follow up “Tennessee”. She does it again with the slowed down, emotionally charged song “Feels.” Many people want to put labels on what genre she is shooting for but in actuality she is transcending the traditional genres. She is the genesis of what R&B and Pop music is heading. Get hip to her now because she will be around for some time to come.

7. Keke Palmer- I Don’t Belong to You
KeKe Palmer is the second child star to grace this list with her single, “I Don’t Belong to You.” The child star of TV and the big screen is all grown up and has released new music. This is not her first attempt at music but has been since 2007 she has put out anything into the airwaves. This song is a great re-introduction of KeKe Palmer the singer not the actress. Her talented voice ranges well in this song and utterly blows you away. Should be interesting to see what is next to come in her career as a singer.

8. Dev09 – You Made Me
One would never think the state of Indiana and A$AP Mob in the same sentence but the South Bend singer dev09 does just that. The 18-year-old has teamed up with Stelios Phili, a favorite producer for the Mob who helped produced the latest project from A$AP Ferg, to create spellbinding songs that blur the lines of musical genres. Her song “You Made Me” lets the listeners know that she is an independent person with her own mind and style. Her voice is a mesh of soft notes with an authoritarian undertone that is unique only to her and plays off the ambient beat created by Stelios. Check out her song below.

9. Tinashe ft. Chris Brown – Player
Tinashe has become quite the household name in R&B in the past year with several hits songs that are either her own or feature her creative voice. She has done it again with her recently released song “Player” with a feature from Chris Brown. The beat of the song is toned down just enough to let Tinashe’s voice being the major sound you hear. This catchy song is due to take over the airwaves for the remainder of 2015.

10. Kelela – Rewind
Kelela is among the new wave of R&B that has taken over the internet. Her song “Rewind,” is an addictive song that pulls you in within seconds of listening to the catchy chorus. The song sounds simplistic but it’s not. Produced by Kingdom, Nugget, and herself are the dream team of collaboration after producing this song and other of Kelela. This song about desire will surely make you have some feels, probably even to desire more tracks from Kelela. And you are in luck since this is just the lead single off her EP Hallucinogen.

Get To Know Stalley with “The Laughing Introvert”


Stalley has recently come out with his latest project, The Laughing Introvert. This mixtape is a follow up to his most recent work, his full length album, Ohio. The Laughing Introvert picks up where Ohio left off with the same Stalley his fans have grown to love, but with a different twist from the usual.

Ohio was just simply a beginning introduction to Stalley, the artist, where The Laughing Introvert introduces us to the person that goes by the name of Stalley. This  mixtape gives us the ability to look into Stalley’s head to see what is making him tick and making him want to strive for greatness in the music industry.

The Maybach Music Group signed rapper has come a long way in his trials and tribulations of finding his identity through his sound. Before he was signed he was known for the throwback artistic style he carried in his rhymes with beats that matched. After the signing to the label that is home to heavy bass rappers of Rick Ross and Meek Mill, Stalley had to change up his style. This created a weird rap Frankenstein’s monster that led to some songs that simply fell flat. But it appeared that the marriage between MMG and Stalley started to come together on his first full length album Ohio. The song selection and variance on this album gave the average fan a notion of what kind of style Stalley’s music falls under. The playing off the old and new school beats, which created a bridge of rap  fandom that little to no rappers can make today. This style continues on The Laughing Introvert.

Stalley goes within the deepest depths of his soul and puts it to a beat. He gives the listeners a poetic diary of his life from his past, present, and future. He has the ability, with this mixtape, to connect with an aspect of life everyone from varying demographics can relate. The seven-track mixtape is short, sweet and to the point. The mixtape has features from PJK and Chris Turner who lend their voices on songs “Nissan Skyline” and “Stop Signs”. The mixtape also includes some great producing by Thelonious Martin on “Nissan Skyline,” “Glass Garages” and “Stop Signs” and the talented producer Black Diamond put his style on “All I Know,” “Voila,” and “Playa Way.”

The song that caught me by surprise the most was Nissan Skyline. This song brought West coast style mixed with the Midwest flow, something on paper does not sound like it would work. PJK plays Nate Dogg to Stalley as he gives a smooth chorus to the outline of Stalley’s life. The great yin-yang moments are stride across this mixtape like in the song “Voila”. This track has soft, seductive sound that allows Stalley to be aggressive in his rhymes that makes for a great combination.

This mixtape is a great follow-up to Stalley’s album giving the state of Ohio another favorite son that is not an athlete. The only problem is that The Laughing Introvert has to hold us over until the next project Stalley decides to grace us with.


Teyana Taylor’s “The Cassette Tape 1994″ could be the best R&B mixtape


Teyana Taylor has come a long way since being known for the girl who had a skateboard themed birthday on “My Super Sweet Sixteen”.  During the filming for that episode, she was signed to Pharrell’s label, Star Trak. Since the airing of her episode on the show, Teyana has been busy honing her craft. She has grown up in the past years after asking to be released from Star Trak, her music has shifted tone. Now signed with Kanye’s G.O.O.D Music and The Island Def Jam Music Group since 2012 she is looking to make her mark in music.

While working perilously on her music, Teyana has still managed to stay in the public eye with her boyfriend, Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard, Iman Shumpert. Iman has been known for his rhyming skills during the last seasons playoff run by the Cavs where Iman or “Shump” as fans know him, rolled out some turn up ambitious tracks. His rhyming skills are also featured on Teyana’s recently released mixtape The Cassette Tape 1994.

This tape picks up on the heavy R&B vibes she left on her previous project This Misunderstanding of Teyana Taylor. The previous project gave a great nod to previous R&B great to come before her and the The Cassette Tape 1994 is just a brilliant continuation of this style. She combines the classic Hip-Hop, R&B combination of the 1990s with the modern flavor that is sure to give you the feels. This mixtape, which is a collection of five sultry songs, takes you through the journey of yearning to be with one’s love interest and the process that comes with that.

The first track to being the mixtape is titled, “Your Wish,” where Teyana lays out to be the genie her partner always asked for. Nothing is off the table in this song or even the entirety of this mixtape. You see her muse, Iman, lending his rhyming talents on the track “Who’s Going to Make it Home”. This bridges the storyline of a night knockin’ boots to the climax of the actual act. The next songs “Undercover” and “Touch Me” gives completely different scenario after what is believed to be two people about to have sex. These two songs give you the back up story to the entire situation. 

Touch Me,” is exactly what you think it is about. The beat of this track is created in classic slow jam fashion. It is a quick interlude into the next song but it creates a great transition into the last song off this mixtape.

“Undercover” is about how she is the undercover lover to her man and she does not mind that one bit.  “Undercover” is commentary from her friends and loved ones telling to stay away and just get over the man that is keeping her as an undercover lover.The 1990s is all over this mixtape and can even be seen in one of the songs. The beginning beat to Bel Biv Devoe’s trackPoison”  is sampled as the opener for “Undercover”. This song closes out this mixtape, leaving you with lingering feelings you never thought you had before. Teyana is all grown up and it should be interesting when her full album drops what to expect next.

Stream The Cassette Tape 1994 on here: