Grand Analog is a Canadian group known for their alternative hip-hop rhythm. The band is comprised of musicians from Toronto and Manitoba. The band form in the mid-2000’s by lead vocalist Odario Williams. Grand Analog includes other members such as bassist Warren Bray, producer Alister Johnson, DJ & producer Ofield Williams, Aubrey Johnson on saxophone, as well as drummer and singer TJ Garcia. The music produced by the group is a combination of R&B, jazz, reggae, and rock. Williams describes their music as “a beautiful mess of Rap’n’Roll, Dub and Soul.”
The band first leaped into the hip-hop scene in 2007 when they released their debut album Calligraffiti, which was a combination of Dub and Funk Rock. With a growing popularity, in 2009 they decided to release their second album titled Metropolis Is Burning. This album went on to win a Canadian Music Award for Best Rap/Hip-Hop Recording in 2010. Fast-forward to 2013, the band released their third album, Modern Thunder, which is personally my favourite album. The band finds a wide range of hip-hop styles from heavy drumming, to electronically composed beats, all complemented by mixed vocal choruses. Grand Analog is a courageous group of musicians as they are not afraid to try new things and push their abilities further and further with each album.
I first discovered the band when I attended a smaller music festival called Riverfest. It was a music festival designed to express Canadian-only music and Grand Analog was one of few hip-hop bands attending. When they came to the stage I was in shock as there seemed to be a lot of members in the band, as well as musical instruments – not your traditional hip-hop group. When the band played their show they seemed to have just as much fun as their fans. William’s stage presence and interaction with the crowd is what made their performance so memorable. Williams’ introduced the band followed by a freestyle solo from each member, allowing the musicians to showcase their talent. Overall the show was one I will never forget, and no disrespect to their albums at all, but watching them perform live was more admirable.
The group recently played at an event in Toronto called String Fling. They will be in Toronto on March 18th playing at The Drake Underground. Do your best to make it to the show as it’s unclear when they’ll be back. To get tickets now!