Nanaimo rapper Sirreal debuts new CD ‘In the Nick of Time’ at the Queen’s

Sunrise Records contest and $25K Kickstarter effort helped fund new album and tour

Nanaimo rapper Matt Dunae, a.k.a. Sirreal, pictured here with his nine-year-old son Benjamin, a.k.a. Lowercase G, performs at the Queen’s on Friday, April 20. (Photo courtesy Pam Dawson)

On the day after Halloween Matt Dunae got word that he won a Sunrise Records contest in which the record store chain would print and stock its national shelves with 500 vinyl and 500 CD copies of his next album. But there was a catch: he needed to submit a demo within 24 hours.

The Nanaimo rapper, who goes by the stage name Sirreal, immediately called his producer, Rob the Viking of Swollen Members.

“I said, ‘Man, I need to get this record done by tomorrow,’ and he goes, ‘Sorry man, I’m booked tomorrow … but what about right now?’” Dunae said, looking back.

“And I was like, ‘What do you mean right now?’ And he’s like, ‘Right this second.’”

So Dunae ran over to Rob’s Nanaimo studio, The Chamber, armed with a year’s worth of material in his head. He emerged 16 hours later with a nine-track demo for his album, In the Nick of Time.

After getting the OK from Sunrise, Dunae continued with the album, and he said the recording sessions have been “magical.” The record is named after Dunae’s brother Nick, who died by suicide, and his guitarist is playing Nick’s guitar on the album.

“I brought my vocal coach in, two of my really close friends, a couple other collaborators and my bass player and my guitarist and we just went in there and just created this, what I consider to be a timeless album,” Dunae said.

“And that’s not a play on words.”

With Sunrise taking care of distribution, Dunae began a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to help cover other expenses. He started with a $5,000 goal but finished with more than $25,000 raised.

“It was insane. I can’t believe the amount of support that not only the community of Nanaimo, but B.C. in general has given me,” he said.

That support will help Dunae take his band on a 19-date cross-Canada tour. The third stop on that journey is the Queen’s on Friday, April 20. He will be performing directly above the studio where In the Nick of Time was recorded.

“It will definitely be meaningful because, first of all it’s in the city where I live, it’s always going to be dedicated to my brother, but here I have all the players that are on the album and I get to play with them all here,” he said.

WHAT’S ON … Sirreal’s In the Nick of Time CD release concert at the Queen’s on Friday, April 20. Doors at 10:30, show at 11 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATED: Young deckhands backed out of fatal Arctic Fox II trip just before fishboat departed

Inexperienced twin brothers had ‘gut feeling’ and bailed before going to open ocean

Nanaimo’s Stone Soup association ordered to stop its backyard recycling

Wisteria association uses money raised to support its charity that feeds people on Wesley Street

Beefs & Bouquets, Aug. 12

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail

Nanaimo Art Gallery summer campers explore private, public spaces in new show

Dazzle Camouflage participants to unveil painting and video projects online next week

‘Unstoppable’ Nanaimo nurse recognized for work caring for survivors of assault

Island Health’s Aimee Falkenberg receives Canadian Forensic Nurses Association’s Visionary Award

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Horvat scores 2 as Vancouver Canucks beat Blues 5-2 in NHL playoff opener

Game 2 in best-of-seven series goes Friday night

Old-growth forest defenders in Campbell River call for B.C. forest minister’s resignation

Protestors outside North Island MLA’s office ask government to stop old-growth logging

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

High-volume littering at Cape Scott draws ire from hiking groups

Popular Vancouver Island hiking spot not closing, but frustration about crowding grows

SFU to drop ‘Clan’ varsity team name

The ‘Clan’ name is shortened from ‘Clansmen,’ and was introduced roughly 55 years ago

New Tory leader must build a strong team in Commons and for the campaign: Scheer

Scheer marked his final day in the House of Commons today as leader of the Opposition

B.C. to hire 500 more COVID-19 contact tracers ahead of fall

Contract tracers add an ‘extra layer’ in the fight against the novel coronavirus

More than $800,000 in suspected cocaine seized from ship near Victoria

RCMP Dive Team suspects more narcotics had been stored below ship’s waterline

Most Read