Universal Soul is a Halifax (Nova Scotia, Canada) based hip hop ensemble who have been a part of the Halifax scene since 1985. Its members have inspired and mentored other hip hop artists Such as Classified, Buck 65, Sixtoo and Trobiz, and they have had numerous collaborations with artists as diverse as The Jimmy Swift Band, Symphony Nova Scotia and Anne Murray. Although they have avoided media limelight, they have been nominated and won several awards at the regional and national levels.
Origins and Members:
The group consists of three MCs; F.I.Z. (Finley Tolliver), Voodoo (David Adekayode), Tacktishion (Tracey Williams), and one DJ IV (pronounced eye-vee, Brian Pelrine). IV is the newest member of the group, has been spinning since 1999, currently he is the 2010 Atlantic Canadian Redbull 3Style Dj Battle Champion & 2010 Stylus Awards East Coast Dj of the Year and was mentored by Jorun, former member of Universal Soul (now heading First Words)., ,
This group's origin can be traced back to 1987 when they went by the name Down by Law. Back then their membership consisted of Jorun, as DJ, MCs F.I.Z. and Tacktishion, and Voodoo as dancer. Jorun still collaborates with Universal Soul and has been a driving force behind the Halifax hip hop scene. Universal Soul along with Jorun were responsible for revitalizing this city's scene in the 1990s after Cool G and MCJ left town. Jorun produced The Haltown Projex, and it was through this production that artists such as Buck 65 and Sixtoo obtained media attention and subsequently made their careers.
Universal Soul maintain that they "rap like human beings" and they "aren't one thing or another." While they make local references in their music, the most prominent theme is nostalgia for youth and times past, as in the case of their best known single Way Back in the Day, in which they rap about their arrival in Halifax as children and being the new kid on the block., ,
In an interview produced by puppetier and filmmaker, Joey Adrian MacNeil, they appear as puppets rather than "in the flesh" and claim that they don't live the gangsta or the pop lifestyle, they are happy to make music everyday, be who they are, and represent Halifax hip hop.
Their album Time Capsule was released in 2003, and features music compiled over the preceding ten years including the single Way Back in the Day., ,
Their latest release is Back and Forth, featuring Trobiz and Amelia Curran, with a video aired on MuchMusic.
- 2013 African Nova Scotian Music Association Pioneer Award 4 East Coast Music Award Nominations:,
- 2005 Video of the Year for "Way Back in the Day",
- 2004 African-Canadian Recording of the Year for Time Capsule,
- 2004 New Artist of the Year,
- 2004 Urban Recording of the Year for "Bring the Funk 2 U", ,
They've won four African Nova Scotian Music Association Awards :,
- 2003 Winner for the Artist/Group of the Year at the African Nova Scotian Music Association Award Show,
- 2003 Winner for Best Album at the African Nova Scotian Music Association Award Show,
- 2003 Winner for the Best Hip Hop Group of the Year at the African Nova Scotian Music Association Awards,
- 2003 Winner for the Urban Group of the Year at the Music Industry Association of Nova Scotia
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