Northern Bars: KILLY’s Toronto Is A Haunting And Beautiful Place

Northern Bars: KILLY’s Toronto Is A Haunting And Beautiful Place

Northern Bars: KILLY's Toronto Is A Haunting And Beautiful Place

See the world through KILLY’s eyes in our new photo diary series.

Spotify’s “Northern Bars” playlist curates some of Canada’s finest hip-hop. In a nod to the playlist, we’ll be showcasing some of the rising talent that’s featured. Today we continue the photo diary series with help from Toronto based KILLY. The young rapper KILLY moves with experience beyond his years. In the midst of a self-proclaimed “KILLY Season,” his trajectory continues to blossom in tandem with his artistry. Coming off the sold out Headlining Canada Tour, as well as the album-promoting Surrender Your Soul World Tour, KILLY has been steady implanting his mark on the scene, both local and international. While breakout single “Killamonjaro” positioned the rapper in the lane alongside SoundCloud contemporaries, the deeper corners of his persona eventually had the chance to emerge, thus setting him apart from his peers.

With a keen eye for minimalism and a subtle appreciation for the macabre, KILLY seems willing to embrace his inner darkness. In fact, he wears it proudly. Case in point, bask in the isolation present in his recent “No Sad No Bad” video; a far cry from the hedonistic revelry of “Killamonjaro.”  Citing influences ranging from Kanye West and Wu Tang, to the reggae and jazz scoring his childhood, it’s no surprise the rapper developed a sense of versatility. Everything rose and converged on his debut album Surrender Your Soul, which dropped earlier this year, featuring production from Boi-1da, 1mind, Y2K, Wondagurl, GrayJacques, & more. His standout track “Doomsday,” featured on Spotify’s “Northern Bars” playlist below, finds the rapper the height of his game.

His photography is reflective of an artistically inclined mind, as the provided captions seem to mirror song titles in their simplistic weight. In any case, KILLY’s mind works in mysterious ways. We recently provided the rapper with a point-and-shoot camera, with the intention of curating a loose depiction of his narrative. As suspected, the results brought questions and answers in equal measure.

For the complete gallery of developed film, scroll down. Captions have been provided by KILLY himself.


Like many Toronto artists, KILLY’s experience living in the city has become paramount in his development. Since coming to deem East Toronto neighborhood Scarborough his home base, the Bajan slash Filipino rapper previously opened up about his status as a “Toronto artist.” Pondering on his early blog-appointed title of “Canadian-emo-rap,” KILLY seems to reject the notion of limiting himself to any singular title. “It’s sick that what I’m doing represents a certain place where I’m coming from,” he admits. “But to be honest there’s not too many people in my city, or my country, or anywhere on the same type of wave as I am.”

KILL X JUG X LG

NO PEACE FOR THE WICKED

AS THE CHAOS PARADES

KILLY understands the importance of duality. While “Killamonjaro” found the rapper surrounded by good company, “No Sad No Bad” seems to speak to his inherent sense of loneliness. A sense of longing, deeper than anything found on the surface level. In any case, one glimpse at his photography seems reflective of such a state; depictions of a life in transit.

FALLIN FROM THE STRATOSPHERE

& THE GHOULS COME OUT

POLO PAJAMAS & BALENCIAGAS

FEED YOUR SOUL & NOURISH YOUR HEART

GOIN GHOST IN THE SUBURBS

10 TOES TOUCH ROAD

EARLY MORNINGS TO THE ENDS

JUGGER KILLER

 

 

 

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