Saskatoon-born, Toronto-based rapper/producer Muneshine isn’t just one of the most exciting artists in the hip hop scene—he’s sold thousands of records in Japan and been nominated for multiple Juno and East Coast Music Awards—he’s also one of the most stylish figures in Canadian music. To celebrate his brand spanking new album “There is Only Today,” ELLE Canada caught up with the MC to talk style heroes, fashion don’ts and award show dressing.
Who is your style icon?
“I’m inspired by a lot of people, like Steve McQueen, Robert Redford and Paul Newman, plus new-schoolers like Ryan Gosling, Liam Gallagher (minus the haircuts) and Kanye West. I like designers like Marc Jacobs and Michael Bastian. Jay-Z seems to do everything right, too.”
What are your biggest style tips?
“Don’t jump on trends, it’s the basics that stand the test of time. Keep it simple and subtle. Pay attention to the details.”
What is the biggest mistake that men make in fashion?
“Not giving their style the attention it requires. That, and some people rely exclusively on brands to tell them what’s cool.”
How do you decide what to wear while on tour?
“It’s important to balance function and fashion while on tour (at least on the kind of tours I’m a part of, I don’t know if Drake would agree). I keep my style consistent, whether I’m on tour or at home, but I’m not in a position to travel with an extensive wardrobe, so being selective is essential. I always bring pieces that can be put together in different combinations. Plus, always bring more underwear and socks than you’d expect, who knows when you’ll have laundry-access on the road!”
You’ve been nominated for East Coast Music and Juno Awards. What are your rules for award show dressing?
“My only rule is follow your instincts. It’s not set in stone, but there are definitely situations where a suit and tie is the best look. Most often I’m more comfortable in a semi-formal outfit (tailored chinos, collared shirts) so that’s what I normally go with.”
What inspired “There is only Today?”
“The album was inspired by an essay of Henry Miller’s called Children of the Earth. Miller said: ‘The old man, ancestral man, is on his way out. Man has no age, except in the eyes of anthropologists. There is the man of yesterday and the man of tomorrow. Time plays no part in the quickening of the spirit. The gate is ever open. Today is like all other days. There is only today.’ This quote really stuck with me, and I found parallels between it and my own approach to music (and life). I wanted to bridge the two in a positive way, and that gave the project direction.
How would you describe the sound of the new album?
“I’d describe the album the same way I describe my own style; it’s grown-up, rooted in tradition, and cool! I have enlisted some of the best producers in hip hop (both old-school and new-school) to create the background for my song-writing. I’ve brought along some of the most exciting up-and-coming artists as featured guests, and I’ve applied a ‘Carpe Diem’ philosophy to the entire project. It’s a bit of a departure from my previous work as I’ve approached the song-writing in a much more personal way. The goal was to write songs people can both relate to and be entertained by.”