Arts

Artiztik releases EP while studying at the U of O

 Photo courtesy of Artiztik

Artiztik isn’t your average University of Ottawa student. The English and history major has been carefully balancing school and a budding career as an up-and-coming rapper.

“Music and school have a bittersweet relationship with each other, as more often than not, one is getting in the way of the other,” he said. “But being part of the university has allowed me to network with other artists and fans. It’s been a great experience for me so far.”

The Ottawa rapper began writing poetry at the age of 12. Impressed by the raw, real quality of the music of artists such as Joe Budden, Macklemore, Grieves, and Nas, he decided to turn his poetry into music of his own, and began recording and releasing songs on his YouTube channel four years ago.

Artiztik’s first EP, released on Valentine’s Day and appropriately titled February 14th, met with local support and success.

“The response to the EP has been phenomenal,” he said. “I really did not expect so many people to reach out and offer their support as well as words of encouragement.”

The EP explores the duality of Valentine’s Day.

“The February 14th EP was a really personal project that is strongly drawn from life experiences,” said Artiztik. “For some, Feb. 14 is a day of love, and for others it’s a day of total sadness. I wanted to convey both those emotions as well as everything in between with this project.”

With his first set of songs released, the 19-year-old said he expects that the next step for his career is “a lot of work.”

Among the many projects he’s undertaking, he hopes to shoot music videos for some of the songs and continue releasing his music. Most importantly, he insists on thanking his supporters, something he has consistently done throughout his career. Despite the time crunch, he remains very active on social networks, thanking everyone for their support.

“I make an effort to connect with my fans because without them I would not be where I am,” he said. “As corny as it may sound, my fans are one of the most important components of my career. I love connecting to fans on a personal level. I’ve built a lot of friendships with them because of music and I think that’s a very important thing. Everything fans, friends, and family do for me is amazing — the support I’ve been receiving lately is overwhelming and I cannot thank those people enough.”

Artiztik’s album February 14th can be downloaded for free or by donation at artiztik.bandcamp.com