In a world where creativity and enigma intertwine, an elusive artist known as New Villan exists. Just four months ago, we embarked on a quest fueled by curiosity to unveil the person behind the mask. We were fortunate enough to gain a rare glimpse into his artistic evolution, inner world, and thought process.
Shall we start at the beginning?
I’m originally from Toronto. I grew up just outside of Toronto, in a small spot called Brampton. The section I grew up in was High Lake, and that’s where I got my start. It all began freestyling with the homies; it was an outlet for us. I originally started off with poems.
From there, I remember being at a party with some of my friends when I was younger. There was three guys from another school and three of us. Only two of my friends were going back and forth with them, battling. They knew I had stuff written. I just never really shared it with anyone but them. They were like, “Come on, I know you got stuff.” I spit a couple bars, and from everyone’s reaction, I thought, “I can do this.“
What artist did you mimic before you figured out your own style? What are some of your inspirations?
People won’t really hear it. But I say this a lot – if you really pay attention, you’ll hear Noreaga, RZA; well, actually, I pinpointed RZA. But I can honestly say anyone from Wu-Tang. RZA was my favorite at that time, so I’m incorporating all of them. At different points, I was stuck with different members.
I’ve been to Canada once, but I wasn’t able to experience the hip-hop scene. What’s it like? I imagine there’s a pretty solid scene?
There is, there is. I guess it’s known for the trappy Drake-type stuff. But the underground scene has a very rich history. I mean, the roots go back to Maestro Fresh Wes. Nowadays, you’ve got Asun Eastwood, Lord Juco, Daniel Son; these are just a few names off the top of my head. Raz Fresco as well. It’s bubbling. It’s getting its just due now, but it’s been real underground for a minute.
The “From the Villain with Love” series is solely produced by Enkay, with the first installment dating back to 2021. How did you and Enkay first link up?
I recall he had a post of some anime, but the beat was fire. So I’m pretty sure I hit him up. We always get the story confused; he’s like, “did I hit you up, or did you hit me up?” I can’t even remember.” But I’m pretty sure he put out one of his instrumentals, and I was feeling it, so I hit him up. I think he checked out my page, and from there, we just started talking. We were like, “You want to do a project?” He was like, “Bet.” So that was my first project with the mask. That was my first project as New Villain. Like I had projects before the mask. Like I said, I’ve been doing it for a while. So yeah, that was my first project with the mask. Trying something new aesthetically, not really lyrically. I’ve been rapping the same way for years. I think now, I know who I am, and I’m comfortable with who I am.
Funny you say that, that’s what drew me to your music. Obviously you’re skilled but the mask added a layer of mystique. What’s the significance of the mask if any?
So it’s a half and half. It was like I was led to it. I kind of just bumped into it, and it took on a life of its own. When I realized it was developing a life of its own, I played into it, and now it’s become a part of me. A little background, King Bondalero introduced me to the NOFACEKREW, which is Falcon Outlaw’s crew, and I’m blessed to be a part of it. Falcon’s whole thing is that he covers his face, whether it’s with his dreads or a mask; he’s like, “I’m into the music, but to be down, you gotta cover your face, you know?” So I ordered two masks. I already grew up watching Ghostface when he first came out with a mask, and obviously, Doom. I’m a big fan of Doom, so I thought, “Bet, I’m going to get these two masks.” I found one with skulls and roses. It stood out and spoke to me. After I started rocking it, I noticed people were intrigued by it and commenting on it, so I leaned into it. I thought, “If people are liking the mask, I’m keeping it.” I mean, I could have started switching masks; it didn’t have to be about one mask, but yeah, that’s my mask.
Is everyone in the NOFACEKREW on High Heat Records?
As a collective? Yes, any NOFACEKREW project would come out on High Heat Records. As far as solo projects, everyone has the freedom to do whatever they want.
Back to the project. Its interesting you were inspired by poetry, you say a lot of introspective things, Is that where you initially gained your confidence to be so open?
I guess it’s about knowing myself and being comfortable. I think I’ve always done it, but I used to do it half-heartedly. I would only give little bits and pieces of myself, just scratching the surface. I noticed that when I began speaking more in-depth about my life, it had a stronger impact. It was more about observing reactions, a bit of trial and error. So I decided to put it into a comic book form. It’s cool that it resonates with people. My biggest fear is always going too far out there, and people might not understand or grasp the depth of what I’m saying. So it’s reassuring to hear that people are reading between the lines and truly understanding what I’m trying to convey.
People connect to the truth. A line comes to mind where you say “my son making beats always bugging me to freestyle , asking about the Wu-Tang , reminds me of me now” – That some real shit. I can tell that scene really happened.
It blows my mind, my son was born 2011.
Oh shit, same as mine!
Word! He’s like a retro kid, all into that old ’90s wrestling. I remember he came and showed me a video of Michael Jackson, and he’s like, “Dad, you know who this is?” I just looked at him and said, “Yo, that’s Michael Jackson, I know who that is, hahah.” You know what I mean? He shows up with his Biggie shirt. Right now, he’s obsessed with the Wu-Tang Clan. I’ve noticed that when we’re in the car and I have Spotify on random play, a GZA or Ghostface song comes on, and I’ll see his eyes go to the screen to make a mental note of the song title. It’s pretty cool.
The apple don’t fall far from the tree! – Speaking of wrestling you have an intro called “Brian Pillman” on “Vol 2. For those who may not know – He was a ’90s wrestler. Who’s your favorite wrestler?
Are we talking all time or modern?
Hmmm. Let’s go with all time. I’m a Jimmy Superfly Snuka man myself.
That’s a good one. I got another one for you. If you could bring back only 1 legendary wrestler from the golden age, who would it be? I think I know what you’re going to say.
You think it would be Brett. But it would be Owen.
Ah! I for sure was expecting you to say Andre’ The Giant
Yeah, Andre’ the Giant is a dope one. But I’m going with Owen Hart.
So, you’re big on Comics and Anime?
What are some of your favorites?
Comic book or Anime, characters?
That’s right, you have a track on Volume I called Dr. Octavius.
Yeah. And on Volume 3 there’s a sequel called “Superior Doc Ock“. For those who don’t know there was a point where Dr. Ock got his brain transfused into Peter parkers body – they called him “Superior Spider Man“, but it was actually Dr. Ock.
Observatory window was another stand out to me. I took it as you were observing the world and pointing things out and telling the future of what’s going to come out of certain situations.
That’s exactly what it is—past, present, future—all based on the Watcher. Not sure if you’re familiar with him, but he’s a comic book character who sits and watches everything. He doesn’t do much, which might be the difference between him and me. But I watch and observe before I make my moves. I was probably watching something, but the inspiration came from the Watcher. It’s just me watching, being very calculated, and super villains have to be.
You had a limited tape run for Villian with love Volume 2, are there any left?
I think last Enkay and I spoke there was only a handful left. So grab it while you can.
So once they are gone, no chance for anymore?
I don’t want to prematurely confirm, but we’ve been discussing the possibility of doing a limited tape run for Volume 3. Maybe even a tape for Volume 1. We never did a tape for Volume 1, so this would give people the opportunity to buy the trilogy together or individually if they already have the others.
You”ve been cranking these EP’S out left and right. Is this a potential build up to a full fledge album, or is the focus right now just to flood the streets?
I haven’t started on a full-fledged album yet, but it’s been on my mind. Now that I’m on a run, I need to set a goal. I’m thinking that maybe next year, I’ll start locking in with a few producers and create an official album. As of now, I feel like I’m just getting started. Again, being the “watcher” type, I’ve observed that if it’s not consistently dope, people tend to lose their stride. Remember, I mentioned that before I turned to the mask, I was doing my thing. I never had the reception I have now, so for me, it’s a second chance. Most people don’t get second chances, which is why I’m adamant about producing as much quality music as I can.
Right now, my regimen is two projects a month, whether they’re EPs or full-lengths. It’s been going really well, so I’m hoping I can maintain this workload and not burn myself out. My goal is to stay on this run until the full-length album is here.
You’re speaking like this is a whole new life. A rebirth per se.
It is, It’s definitely a rebirth. I’m not taking it for granted either. Again, like I said before, the reception wasn’t there, not to say it was bad, but it wasn’t at the level it is now. I never really made a dime of music before the mask. To see where I am now, not saying I’m rich or making money hand over fist, but just to see phone alerts of sales rolling in, is something new to me. Especially seeing the style of music I grew up on, the style that I hold near and dear to my heart, being successful is a blessing.
Will the fans in the States get a chance to see you soon?
Definitely. I’m working on that. When I was younger I got into some trouble so I can’t cross borders as of now. Europe I’m good to go anywhere, and of course Canada , But as for as the United States, because of the little trouble I got into when I was younger , of course I was young and ignorant, so the stuff you hear in the music is authentic. I’m older and calm now
The floor is yours. For the people who may read this, what would you like them to know?
I just want people to know that New Villain is here, and he means business! I’m trying to take over the globe, one city at a time! On a serious note, I’m very humbled by the reception. I’m happy everyone is enjoying the music. There’s a whole lot of new music on the way. This is just the beginning.