After returning from a hiatus from music, Nanaimo-based hip-hop artist and activist Alexander Reyes’s newest single is making waves on social media.
All Good, a collaboration with Madchild, a member of the Juno-award winning hip-hop group Swollen Members, has gained more than 20,000 Spotify streams, and has been featured on the ‘Northern Bars’ Spotify playlist since its release on Feb. 28.
After a motor vehicle incident left Reyes unable to perform, he took a four-year break, feeling unmotivated to make music.
“My numbers dropped almost to zero after the accident,” he said. “All year I’ve been preparing for this release, now everything is coming true, just how we imagined it.”
The song came about when Reyes met with Madchild at the Chamber Studio in Nanaimo. Feeling “starstruck at first,” he realized they had lots in common, especially wanting to “promote values like resilience, dedication, and hope” in their music.
As an ex-UN youth ambassador who’s worked in Tanzania and Nicaragua, Reyes has tried to use his music to raise awareness for socio-political issues, from local homelessness to the Iraq war. He said he hopes to continue “using music as a passageway to help others” through fundraisers, community events and witty, politically conscious lyrics.
B.C. hip-hop has been gaining popularity over the past several years, Reyes said, mentioning ‘bbno$’ and Lolo Lanski as examples. Bbno$ has more than nine million monthly listeners on Spotify and Lanski’s controversial 2019 single Dedman has reached more than 300,000 plays on Soundcloud.
“Looking back to 2013, Merkules and Madchild were killing it,” said Reyes. “There was a lot of noise, the community was moving. I think we’re coming back to that era.”
Reyes is set to release an album this year with “an amazing line of features,” including the popular U.S. rapper Hopsin.
All Good is available to stream on Spotify, Apple Music and Soundcloud.Follow @Baileyseymour02