Ambition is a dope Canadian MC & DJ hailing from Halifax, Nova Scotia.
He was named Halifax’s Best MC by The Coast in 2013.
Ambition has just released his third project since then …
The highly anticipated “My Giants” with Timbuktu & Uncle Fester.
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Ambition’s skills are polished and he has coffee and cats on his Instagram …
In summation …
I’m a fan!
You can find Ambition on Twitter, Soundcloud, Bandcamp and iTunes!
Check out our interview below …
OG: So, what have you been up to lately?
Right now, pushing the latest project My Giants w/ my homies Uncle Fes and Timbuktu (Backburner!) that just came out on Droppin’ Science. It was a long road to actually releasing the thing (hard drives getting stolen, our own individual projects, Tim having to rewrite parts of his verse because I would record and then rerecord and forget to tell him etc. etc.) but it’s out there in the world for public consumption & we’re all pretty happy with it.
Beyond that, just doing beats and writing rhymes for my own projects and for others. Also, thinking about putting out an instrumental project before the end of the year plus a new solo record as well.
OG: General inspirations for how you live your life?
Wow. Lately my biggest inspiration has been records. Digging for records. There’s so much amazing stuff out there. So many bands and artists that were forgotten about over time. So yeah, just listening to a lot of different kinds of music, getting inspired off the artwork and then throwing it in the sampler & getting busy.
OG: How much time per day do you spend on music?
Lately I’ve been trying to do a beat a day. Sometimes if I’m feeling good, I’ll do everything from start to finish. From going through records to making a beat and writing a song to it. Other days I just listen to records for 15 minutes, get distracted by Twitter and end up being completely useless. But probably two hours on music, plus whatever emails and extra stuff needs to get done.
OG: Can you tell us about your artistic process please. Pot? Patting cats? Pacing?
Coffee. That’s really the only necessary thing for me when I’m working. The occasional charcoal filter. But I don’t drink when I’m trying to create. I actually find I do my best work completely sober. Unless you consider caffeine a drug in which case I’m wasted all the time. Right now even.
Beyond that, just going through records, chopping things up in the MPC, sequencing it out and writing to it. Keeping it simple since ’88.
OG: Any advice for someone who would like to do something creative for a living?
Spend as much time on your craft as you possibly can. Make a point of understanding the industry and who you’re trying to appeal to with your art. Have a plan. Figure out how you’re going to actually make $$ from doing this. Be prepared for this thing you’re passionate about to not be fun for long periods of time. Keep positive, creative people around you. Work as much as you can because (speaking from my own experience) 75% of what you create won’t be any good, the other 25% can become great if you follow through. And drink a lot of coffee.
OG: What are three things you would like to be known for?
Oh man. Music for sure. That’s really all I have wanted to be recognized for, I guess. Anything else comes second to that. Just being known for making classic joints.
OG: How do you feel about Cannabis?
Cannabis is cool with me. We used to have a great relationship, I don’t really see her so often anymore. It’s worked out better for both of us.
OG: Favourite spots to smoke pot?
Somewhere nice where there’s no mosquitoes. Nah, I’m not really sure. You would have to ask Fester that one haha.
OG: How much coffee is too much coffee?
There is no too much coffee. I’m on round number two right now. I usually start working on music around 9, 10 in the evening. I make coffee then. But for the average person? I guess once you start shaking, that’s too much?
OG: What hip hop tracks come to mind when you think about drugs?
Doobie Ashtray – Devin the Dude (I first heard this track on some Skratch Bastid mix from mad years ago. Before everything was readily available online, I searched for months trying to figure out what it was. Go Bastid!)
Nag Champa – Common. This might seem like a strange choice since the song has nothing to do with drugs at all. But it’s not a strange choice when you listen to it and realize it is the greatest song ever.
The Next Episode for very obvious & cliché reasons.
OG: What do you think the secrets to happiness are?
Do what you love doing. Don’t let the fear of not having any money deter you from doing something meaningful with your life. If you work a 9-5, work it enough to keep the lights on and the fridge halfway full and you’ll be good. Try not to regret decisions you’ve made, try to make good decisions in the first place. Call your folks once and a while, if they’re still around. Be creative in some way. Listen to Jay Dee.
OG: What song(s) always make you dance?
1nce Again by A Tribe Called Quest. It has the most perfect-est snare in a rap song. Ever.
OG: How important are beauty, money and fashion?
They are as important or unimportant as you want them to be. Sorry if that seems a little cliché. But they can be as high or low on your list of priorities as you want them to be.
OG: Anyone you’d love to work on a project with?
I have been trying to keep much of the creative process within my own crew lately but there are definitely a few guys out there right now I would be down to do a joint or two with. I’ll give you one producer and a few MCs.
For beats, I would say Elaquent from the HW&W crew. His stuff always knocks. Like he’s one of the guys that I actually study and listen to what he’s doing every four bars and where he programs his kicks and that kind of stuff. Rap nerd stuff. For rappers, I think Tona is really dope. The whole NBS crew (him, Adam Bomb and Rich) those guys are all ill. I’d like to do a joint with them.
OG: Women you think are amazing?
Women that are comfortable being themselves are amazing. Women that wear a size 6.5 in boys sneakers. Women that listen to Raphael Saadiq are usually pretty amazing. Women that are always down for the coffee date, they’re awesome. Women that are self-aware, women that are putting in work and making a changes against some of the bullshit society has dealt them. They’re amazing. Women that are creative are most often amazing.
I think I just wrote the new Drake single w that paragraph. Word up.
OG: What advice would you give to your 19-year-old self?
Stop buying all these sneakers. Quit spending so much time around people that are only distracting you from what’s actually important. Read more often. Invest in Apple.
OG: Where should stoners visit in Halifax?
For record digging purposes, Taz Records and Black Buffalo are both worth checking out. BBR has the gems, some stuff you won’t find at other spots. Taz is just great, they cater to the average person and the record heads.
If you’re in the North End, Java Blend and Alter Egos are the spots for coffee. If you’re not in the North End, they’re still worth venturing to.
OG: What is your favourite thing about living in Halifax?
The people here are some of the nicest I’ve met. I’m convinced the arts community is the biggest per capita in the whole country. Everybody is a musician or artist of some sort. Living next to the water has always been a huge plus for me. It’s pretty beautiful out here. I still plan on moving around a little bit before I settle down but Halifax is definitely the spot to raise a family. Oh and donairs. Word.
OG: What do you want in return for dedicating your life to music?
I don’t really want anything out of it. I mean, I do it because it’s fun and when I’m not around anymore, I will have (hopefully) left behind a catalog of great music. I’ve never expected much out of it, it’s something I did for years without making any money, without people really responding to it. Even though the $$ and the appreciation has slowly grown, it’s still a grind. But it’s fun so who cares. What I get in return for it is whatever the universe decides to break me off with.
OG: What’s next for you all?
Keep pushing the new Giants record with Timbuktu and Uncle Fes, keep digging for records and making these beats. Keep writing songs and playing shows with my homies. Keep making these joints and have fun doing it. Keep on raising my son and making him the best little human that I can. And hopefully keep doing interviews that are as much fun as this one was. Yeah!
Thanks very much for your time Ambition! Stay dope!
Toke it easy,