Above Top Secret (ATS) is a Toronto based experimental, rap-electro-dub-hop feminist trio.
Ayo Leilani + Tee Fergus + Sunsun = ATS
“Members of the Toronto based collective 88 Days Of Fortune, ATS describes their third album as aggressive yet therapeutic. A release, a way to process, as well as a method of self care. Their album ‘Above Top Secret’ is due out summer 2015.”
Check out the dope video for the first single off ATS’ self-titled album …
👻 “Ghost” 👻
[Directed by @FRO]
You can find ATS on Soundcloud, Twitter, Facebook, Bandcamp and Tumblr!
Check out my wicked and inspiring interview with (ATS) below!
OG: If a five-year-old asked what you do for a living, what would you say?
We make art and sing songs for money.
OG: So, what has Above Top Secret been up to lately?
We took a year long break last year after one of our bandmates left the group. Changed our name from ‘Abstract Random’ to ATS. Added a new member (Tee Fergus), started working on new music and developing our album to be released this summer. We dropped our first single ‘Ghost’ with a video in March and are hoping to do another Euro tour in the fall.
OG: How do you feel about Cannabis?
We love it. We use it everyday. It helps us with creativity. It is medicine. It is magical. It is one step closer to GOD/Spirit. It is ritual. It is relaxing …
aka Canada needs to hurry the fuck up and make it Legal for those over the legal drinking age.
OG: Favorite spots to smoke pot?
In our backyard lounging in the sun … in our rooms … on the beach relaxing …… down the allies in Toronto … in Gorlitzer Park in Berlin (where if you need weed, just look for the group of dudes standing awkwardly by the trees – just make sure you know how to speak either French or German or they will try to rip you off also be careful because it’s illegal, and German cops are fucking scary) … also … everywhere because the “Favourite” for us isn’t the spots, but the smoke itself.
OG: Favorite strains? Favorite ways to smoke?
We fuck with Indica, anything purple – kush in a blunt or organic raw papers … bongs and glass pipes … more recently weed oil in vape pens have been fun.
OG: How do you feel about edibles?
Sunsun: I don’t really like edibles because they make me yawn a lot. But one time on this video shoot we had weed lollipops that tasted like butterscotch and that was the best!
Ayo Leilani: I fuck with edibles, I don’t drink alcohol so I feel like weed candies make me feel drunk – but safe drunk haha – also I really like sweets so it’s hard not to like edibles. Also I have to vouch for those weed lollipops, BEST HIGH EVER IN LIFE.
Tee: I don’t mind edibles, but I much rather smoking. It’s not for all the time, special occasions only.
OG: How much coffee is too much coffee?
A half a cup, ahahaha. We like Green Tea, Fresh Mint Tea, or Chai.
OG: What do you think the best and worst drugs in the world are?
BEST : Weed, Shrooms and anything that grows naturally from the Earth.
WORST : Crack / Cocaine / Chemical Prescriptions – we don’t fuck with that.
*** Ayo Leilani’s Hippie answer: Best drug would be Love and worst would be Power.
OG: Can you tell us about your writing process please. Pot? Patting cats? Pacing?
Sunsun makes the beats and then we usually just hang out in the basement and blaze with music blasting, whatever we hear in our heads, we repeat out loud until we feel like we have a few words/sentences we can work with then we just write together. Bouncing ideas off of each other.
OG: Do you have advice for anyone who would like to make music?
Find a program/instrument that works for you and then play around. Fuck the rules, do what feels right for you. Experiment. Get weird.
OG: Can you touch on something you had to overcome in order to get to where you are now?
Fear of performing in front of people. Fear of hearing our own voices recorded. Fear of sharing our truth. It took a lot of local shows and rehearsals to get over it – but look at us now! Touring Europe and North America, 3 albums in and countless videos.
OG: How do you feel about feminism?
We consider ourselves feminists, so when people ask how we feel about it, we usually respond with – how do you feel about breathing? You don’t think about it … you don’t feel about it … you just do it, because you have to in order to live.
OG: How important are beauty, money and fashion?
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Fashion is your exterior armour – it carries an energy that you want to project.
Money helps, but in the big picture it’s a side note.
OG: Three artists you think everyone should see or hear?
Sunsun: Jimmy Johnson, Joey BadA$$, LK47
Ayo Leilani: L.atasha A.lcindor, Akoko, Loaf Muzik
Tee: Jelly TooFly, Big Krit, Adria Kane
OG: Women you think are amazing?
Our mothers and our sisters
Rozina from LAL
Kim Katrin Milan
Liza Paul + Bahia
Watson Maiko Watson
Coco + Breezy
Faith Angle Blackshear
…….. there are so many more names that we are blanking on right now … cuz well … stoners hahah … but pretty much we know and are inspired by so many really amazing women!
OG: How many cats are too many cats, for one person to own?
Ayo Leilani: 1 (I’m allergic to Cats)
OG: What excites you the most about your future?
Travel. Growth. Sustainability. Spreading our art throughout the world. New Friends.
OG: Where should stoners visit in Toronto?
Hot Box Cafe
Allen Gardens Green House
OG: Out of all the places you’ve been — where do you think Stoner Heaven is?
Seattle – because it’s legal there and you can smoke wherever — plus their edibles are on point.
Jamaica – because you can get 2 grams of kush for 50 cents, the weather is perfect, the ocean so beautiful, and the fresh fruits/food is cheap + delicious.
Amsterdam – because, well … it’s fun to order weed in a cafe off of a menu at 9am while sipping fresh mint tea, eating ginger cookies and listening to music.
OG: What song(s) always make you dance?
Kaytranada ‘IF’ Remix …
We Dem Bois …
6 God …
OG: What hip hop tracks remind you of drugs?
Get Lit – A$AP Rocky …
Any and every song by Wiz Kalifah …
Smoke Break by Jarv Dee #MoorGang …
OG: What do you think the secrets to happiness are?
Following your excitement. Appreciating what’s around you. Going with the flow. Being present. Eating local, organic, in season foods. Meditation and exercise.
OG: Anyone you’d love to work on a project with?
Sunsun: Jimmy Johnson, MIA, Chynna, Drake, Party Next Door, Kendrick Lamar
Ayo Leilani: Tracey Chapman, 9th Wonder, Exile, Erykah Badu, Shabazz Palaces, TheeSatisfaction, Missy Elliot, Zaki Ibrahim, Big Sean
Tee: Wiz Kalifah, Willow Smith, Solange, Kendrick Lamar, SZA, Erykah Badu
OG: What are you most proud of? It can be anything!
Ayo Leilani: I’m most proud of my 13 year old son, Darshan.
SunSun: I’m proud of opening up for Shabazz Palaces in New York as a totally indie, DIY, underdog band – give thanks to MOCADA and Ryann Holmes for the opportunity.
Tee: I’m most proud of my solo art exhibit in New York last year at Studio301NYC.
OG: What do you want in return for dedicating your life to music?
Health, Happiness, Recognition, and Unlimited Resources.
OG: What’s next for you?
Up next? We’re dropping our second single “Fake” in April along with another video by the amazingly talented Fro Casso.
Keep an ear/eye out for it.
Can’t wait to see the video for “Fake”!
Thank you so much for your time and for being totally dope ATS!
Toke it easy,