Cadence Weapon Interview

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Cadence Weapon (Roland Pemberton to his mom) lives life in the fast lane. “I don’t think I’ve ever been chill for a moment in my life,” he tells me over Zoom.

“You know, I’ve got this remix album, I’ve got a book coming out like and I’m also trying to be a human being, so yeah, it’s a lot!”

The remix album he’s talking about is a Deluxe Edition (out March 25 via MNRK Music) with reimagined versions of standouts from his acclaimed Polaris Music Prize-winning 2021 album, Parallel World. For the expansive project, Cadence handpicked a collection of friends, collaborators, and rising artists from across Canada and London, UK, who respectively forge their own sound to provide the remixes.

This eclectic blend of offerings pulls his music into new, curious shapes and continues the conversation that he started with Parallel World. There’s a Chicago acid house-inspired reprise from Martyn Bootyspoon (Montreal), a surreally off-kilter “Renoviction Refix” from Ciel (Toronto), an optimistically dystopian track from CFCF (Montreal), and left-field funk from Harrison (Toronto). As a nod to his affinity for UK grime and club culture, as well as his desire to showcase Black talent across the diaspora, Pemberton also enlisted the two London up-and-comers, grime MC Logan and experimental club producer, Loraine James

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do for one of my records,” he says. “And just with the success of the album, it just felt like a really good opportunity to have some alternate versions of the tracks, like bring in some other producers that really have inspired me, especially like Canadian artists, you know, like getting, you know, Martyn Bootyspoon, he produced a couple of tracks on the original album. I was like, I need you to do like a Chicago acid house version of Africville’s Revenge. So I’m really stoked on that. It would always be like that. It’d be like, I reached out to somebody and be like, you know, like Ciel I think you should do a trippy house version of like Skyline or, you know, in a way I was kind of like executive producing these remixes by just hitting people up and giving them ideas, but then they were like, take them and run and go in all these crazy directions.”

When it comes to choosing his collaborators, Cadence rarely chooses the names you might expect.

‘I’m always looking for people who are in their own world, like pushing boundaries or just doing things differently,” he says. “That was the thing with like Jacques Green, where it’s like, you know, we are friends and I got to know him just in the Montreal after-party scene. But then a lot of people on paper will be like, why would you guys make music together? But to me, it seems very obvious. That’s how I feel with everyone I was working with, like, I guess that’s my producer kind of mindset. I can always see how certain things would work before other people would, you know, like, I see you got Backxwash in the background there, but getting her on the record, that made a lot of sense to me, but the way we did it was maybe not what people would expect, you know? And it’s like, I actually really enjoy surprising the audience and, you know, I always loved to zig when other people would zag. It really comes quite naturally to me.”

During our chat, we talk about how the Polaris Prize affected his career, combining music with activism, how his dad’s DJing influenced his music taste and who he’d love to collaborate with.

Watch the full interview below:

Parallel World (Deluxe Edition) is out March 25 via MNRK Music

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