Meet SonReal, Drake’s Biggest Competition At The Juno Awards

Canadian MC talks to MTV News about how his 'Everywhere We Go' earned him a nomination against Drizzy.

Drake isn’t Canada’s only hip-hop hitmaker, not by a long shot. SonReal may not get all the mainstream props in the States, but the Vancouver-based rap product is a pretty big deal up north.

On Sunday, SonReal will go up against Drizzy in the Rap Recording of the Year category at the 2014 Juno Awards, Canada’s big musical celebration. Drake’s Nothing Was the Same is going up against Real’s 2013 single “Everywhere We Go.” Classified, Rich Kidd and Shad are also nominated in the category.

The sing-songy “Everywhere We Go” was a hit on its own in Canada, but when SonReal and his team put out the creative and hilarious “Napoleon Dynamite”-themed music video, the song’s popularity soared. The video, which was posted to the rapper’s official YouTube page is about to crack a million views since being released last August.

“I watched the movie before we did it and kinda wanted to emulate it, but do our own thing with it, not do anything that was straight jacking it or nothing like that,” he said.

Real doesn’t appear in the video, but instead employs a nerdy-looking actor with a bowl cut to perform all of his verses.

“I just wanted to do something that was different from the actual song. ‘Everywhere We Go’ as a song is totally different from ‘Everywhere We Go’ with the video,” SonReal told MTV News when he visited our New York studio earlier this month. “I always want to accompany my music with a great visual that makes the song better.”

Outside of his visual brilliance, SonReal displays a command of his music inside the studio. Since 2008 he has been dropping projects that bring him more notoriety each time out. On his latest free Internet LP One Long Day, Real sings, raps and stretches the boundaries of conventional hip-hop. “I’m ’bout to take it somewhere that ain’t nobody been moving,” he raps on the album’s opening track “Confessions.”

Drake is a favorite to take home the Juno, but SonReal has a shot and it’s all thanks to his wild creativity. “We really pride ourselves on going out there and really challenging ourselves to do something that makes the song better as a record,” he said.

Mentally been many places, but I'm Brooklyn's own. Hip-hop gives me life!
@RobMarkman