Nanaimo rapper Sirreal was about to go on a 20-date album release tour when the COVID-19 pandemic struck, and now he’s finally making his return to the stage and he’s doing it with a little help from his friends.
On June 25, Sirreal, real name Matt Dunae, will take to the stage at Nanaimo’s Port Theatre. The concert will be live-streamed, but as B.C. has entered Step 2 of its reopening plan up to 50 ticket-buyers will be offered the opportunity to attend in-person. It’s the first time the theatre has been able to host an audience since November.
While Sirreal has played the venue before as part of other events, this is his first time presenting a concert of his own there.
“It’s very exciting,” he said. “Just performing is very exciting right now.”
The show is the second in the Port Theatre’s Discovery Series, which promotes emerging local artists. Since he’s already a known element, Sirreal took the opportunity to bring some other people into that spotlight.
“Nanaimo has discovered me a bit so I want them to discover everyone else that I work with that I think is talented. The next wave of superstars,” he said. “So I want them to be showcased as much as me, plus it’s a really good reason for me and a bunch of my friends to get together and do some music.”
Other musicians performing that night are collaborators Jona Kristinsson, Raymond Salgado, Revron, Bearclaw and Oktiv6, as well as his 12-year-old son Benjamin, who goes by the stage name Lower Case g.
“It’s just the greatest feeling in the world really knowing that one day he’ll take over and do his own thing,” Sirreal said of his son. “I’m not sure if that’s what he wants to do, but he seems to be into it. He’s got his own little fan base, signs autographs and stuff. He’s a pretty cool kid.”
At the show Sirreal will finally get the chance to perform new tracks from his latest record The Blue Album, since its original launch was interrupted due to COVID-19. He’ll also be dipping into his upcoming release The Red Album. Sirreal said the albums go together and represent both sides of his personality.
“Depending on your vibes of the day or how you want your day to go we all listen to different types of music depending on what kind of mood we’re in,” he said. “So The Blue Album’s more like a self-reflective, I-just-got-out-of-a-crazy-relationship album, and then The Red Album is more upbeat, like ‘I want to dance and have a good time and maybe clean my house a bit.’”
Sirreal hopes to release The Red Album in August and he’ll be unveiling new music videos in the weeks leading up to it. His most recent video, for the song Keep Moving, was released on June 11 and already has more than 10,000 views. Sirreal said he’ll be following up The Red Album a month later with an R&B-inspired record.
“Lots of things going on right now,” he said.
WHAT’S ON … Sirreal live-stream concert from the Port Theatre on June 25 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets $12 per household, includes 24-hour access to the performance, available here.