From the pool of new Canadian talent, Mazyn is one rising fast with fans giving noticeable attention to his raps. Bringing a certain flair & excitement to the game not seen since the mid 2010s, he's already been featured on the CBC, Spotify's "Arab X" Editorial Playlist & a slew of tastemaking blogs. Between living in the middle east then Canada, his love for music helped him discover himself. From playing soccer to finding his voice, Mazyn's musical journey is the one to pay attention to, the timeless coming-of-age journey that necessitates balancing two worlds that are now the reality of his experience in North America . Shortly after performing at the Cranium Festival to a mesmerized crowd, the artist sat down with us to talk about his journey that got him to this moment in his life plus the influences he picked up on the way.
Tell us a little about yourself. Mazyn: Hi my name is Mazyn, i'm a songwriter/artist from Ottawa, Canada. My musical journey began later in life shortly after making my way to Canada as an international student. I started with doing covers on an acoustic guitar in my dorm room and then started writing little rap verses that I would record between my lectures on my phone. Growing up like many other kids, I had a dual identity. One was my Egyptian side which was more prominent when I would meet friends and with life at my home. The other side was my intellectual and social side where I would have friends from all around the world who mainly spoke English, my entertainment sources such as movies, cartoons and music were predominantly westernized, and my education was also in English.
"Ottawa's scene is turning out hip-hop heavyweights that can cause some damage lyrically" - Ottawa Citizen
This dual side of me has always been there, which confused the hell out of me because they were both authentic sides of myself which would get me thinking "am i not who i think i am?" As a kid you don't get the time or experience to fully understand that. As I grew up and discovered my musical abilities it helped me self reflect and understand a lot more about myself which is the reason I make music in English, French & Arabic.
Growing up what was it like for you and how did it affect your musical influence? Mazyn: Growing up, I was always competitive in sports even if it wasn't my main sport which is football aka soccer. Yeah.. I was that kid that wouldn't take a loss lightly on a school playground playing 5 a side with juice boxes as soccer balls. Everyone knew I was more or less a chill person unless it came to winning. This aura of competitiveness and team spirit was first introduced to me musically through rap one day after school, one of my friends showed me an Eminem song called "Lose Yourself" which I instantly fell in love with. From there, I started listening to the whole wave of old school rap pretty early on barely understanding what they're saying but feeling everything. Of course, when I went home it was completely different vibes that my mom would run on the old cassette machines we used to have. One minute it was Umm Kulthum, a hugely revered Egyptian singer in the 60s and 70s would be playing then not much later an opera singer would be the main background noise in the kitchen. I was lucky to absorb so much beautiful and yet varied music from different genres at a young age. I didn't notice my interest in the musicality of all this until later when I started delving more into the music world and how much I've always paid attention to whatever the artist/singer is doing on the song.
How was it like growing up as a Canadian Egyptian kid from Ottawa. Mazyn: At first I was homesick and you could say culture shocked? I was very used to where I initially grew up in the middle east. Later on, I found a part of myself in Canada and i'm forever grateful for the opportunities that I was presented here.
How did you find yourself musically?
Mazyn: After embracing all sides of myself more and not holding back the truth in my lyrics and songwriting, i started making music that I myself would enjoy listening to.
How would you describe your style? Mazyn: I would describe it as an amalgamation of styles that range from middle eastern tones to western pop. I take pride in the diversity I offer to the listener. What’s inspiring you lately? Mazyn: The people around me, my team, and family. As well as the work that is being put in day in day out behind the scenes to perfect the sound.
If I was to check your phone what would I find on your playlist? Mazyn: At the moment, you'll find some Dave and other UK Hip Hop, SAINt JHN, Michael Jackson, and a lot of Amr Diab as well.
What are some big messages you are trying to convey? Mazyn: A lot of times I look at my music as a garden that started with a couple of seeds. That same garden grows flowers and plants that forever bloom and go through different phases/seasons in life. So in a sense, you'll hear the darkness and cold feeling of the winter in some cuts, the summer breeze and warmth in other ones and a lot of other moods in between. My main message that I hope the listener will take away is that music in many ways is similar to life and its different stages and that we all have our own blooming journey that we're going through and I'm just simply making that soundtrack for the listener in a way they can relate to it on their own way.
Your top 5 goals for 2022? Mazyn: Not in any order: Headline a show or open for a major artist in North America. Drop a body of work. Start collaborating with other artists. Sell merch. Consistently grow on streaming platforms.