Over the years, Toronto’s music scene has become one of Hip-Hop’s marquee locales, but there are some cormers of the city that remain unknown. Hailing from Rexdale, new Def Jam artist Pvrx (pronounced “Py’Rex”) aims to get his part of town on the map with his music, which blends his knack for soaking raps in melody with his firsthand accounts of the tough times the streets dealt him during his formative years. “Had I not been through the harsh realities” he says. “I would not be here now.”
The child of a single Jamaican mother and the youngest of three, Pvrx was raised in the Rexdale housing projects. Though his mom often kept dancehall music bumping in their apartment back then. Rappers like the Lox, Jay Z, Eminem and 50 Cent soundtracked his life as a young hustler.
When he was a teen, Rexdale was known as a hotbed for gang violence and poverty, (and still is), A place where residents only dream of his lifestyle and with that came risks with law enforcement or mortality. “That was my childhood growing up,” Pyrx says. “Same niggaz I used to play da block with everyday and placed in juvenile detention center at the age of 15. “I was a misguided youth,: he says. From then on, reality for him continued getting harsher and harder which lead Pyrx to use music as a tool for therapy. “As a yougin I came outside to the homies kickin raps and cyphers for sun. That turned in to actual songs we would record in the Elmbank community centre. Then it just became a natural hobby.
“I kept my tunnel vision,” he says. “Music became a diary. I kept thinking, “No I can’t stop”. I have no other option, my plan B is to make plan A work, I never had a 9-5″ Pvrx’s probation officer told him about The Remix Project, a program designed to help disadvantaged youngsters excel creatively. He was evaluated and accepted by Hagler (Producer) and DJ Agile. “I would make music there.” Co-founder and friend, Gavin Sheppard played his tunes to Soulection’s co-founder DJ Joe Kay who later connected Pvrz’s manager to HBO music supervisor scott Vener, who placed his song “Make It” on football drama Ballers last fall.
Vener did him one better by playing the artist’s music for his friend Paul Rosenberg, who had just been appointed Chief Executive Officer of Def Jam Recordings. Intrigued, the new label boss met with Pvrx in his hometown to hear batch of his tunes. A few meetings and calls later resulted in Pvrx becoming Rosenberg’s first signing. “Everything that I did was to make this dream come true.
Best known for helping superstar Drake create his sound, Noah “40” Shebib – as the title suggests-mixed the single. “Pvrx is one of my favourite out because he has the ability to make incredible music amongst the chaos he’s gone through.” 40 syas. “He’s one of the most talented in our city. I’ve been watching him grow over the years and excited to see where he takes it.”
“I’m the voice and a mirror for what has happened in Rexdale,” Pvrx say. He’s representing for those who didn’t make it out. “At this point, everyone at home is proud of Me. So that alone is my Grammy.” Feeling at ease, Pvrx knows aup is the only way to go. “The sky is the limit”.