Tasha the Amazon x Danthrax: There’s a cultural insecurity we have in Toronto

This week we join Tasha the Amazon and Danthrax on The Come Up Show Podcast. Tasha the Amazon has been making music with her production partner, Danthrax since 2013. Over the years, they have opened for artists like Isaiah Rashad, YG, and Action Bronson. They had just been nominated for rap recording of the year at the Juno Awards. Their album Die Everyday went up against stars like Drake and Tory Lanez, Jazz Cartier, and Belly.

After coming back from their first international tour, they realize how Toronto is slow to recognize their own talent. “People in Toronto want to feel that you left and made success elsewhere and then come back,” said Tasha. In this interview, Tasha and Danthrax talked about the cultural insecurity in Toronto, why Toronto should stick to it’s “screwface capitol” identity and more. Below is a transcription, play the podcast to hear more.

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Play | Stitcher | Radio Public | More

Toronto has a cultural insecurity in Toronto [16:32]

Tasha: It can feel sometimes like nobody wants to come to a show in Toronto. We only play in Toronto twice a year maybe… People in Toronto want to feel that you left and made success elsewhere and then come back.

Danthrax: In New York, they say if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. I would say for Toronto, if you can make it anywhere, you can make it here. It’s just a screwface Toronto thing. I think in Toronto we have so much talent and I think that we recognize it, but we don’t appreciate it. We look at somebody and they say, that guy has talent, that girl has talent, but we’re not really ready to appreciate it until we’ve seen somebody else embrace them.

Tasha: There’s a cultural insecurity that we have in Toronto. where you’re always looking for some next man to tell you something is cool… Nobody wants to be the first person to say they really like this artist, they always want to be the second, third, fourth person. So then it’s hard to have a co-sign that means something in the city because everything is about consensus. You don’t have that in New York, everyone is so brazen in there.

It wouldn’t be Toronto if we weren’t always a little screwface [19:41]

Danthrax: I think it’s changing, but I also think it wouldn’t be Toronto if we weren’t a little screwface. I think it’s just a natural product of the fact that we are smarter than the US. I think we’re better educated, more inclusive, I think we’re better at a lot of things. Because of that, we’re more discriminating about artists. We look at them and say “oh that’s good, but I feel like I can do that’. The reality is because there’s so much quality coming out of the city, and that’s why we’re so screw-faced. That’s also the reason why the world loves Toronto, but we maybe are hard on ourselves.

You don’t know when the money is going to come [53:05]

Tasha: You convince yourself to spend the money for just six months, and then things will start to pop off. Obviously, they eventually did but it was like a year [later].

Danthrax: That’s the thing, you don’t know. I know if we spend this money now, that in a year the money will come. I didn’t know that at the time. If somebody had told me at the time, maybe I would’ve handled it a lot better. A lot of people, I bet, probably would’ve given up before they’re about to be on… Based off of what we accomplished in the last year, I had already forgotten about the money and we don’t care about it. It’s an amazing position to be in, but you don’t know that when you’re in the moment.

Tasha: It was really difficult. We’re all really level-headed people and we made it work. But it’s just one of those things that added insult to injury. It was one of those years where it was one thing after another… I think that it gave rise to the album. The album we ended up calling it Die Everyday and the title track is the feeling track of the album. It’s how we felt that year when we had to wake up and do everything in our power to make this happen, sleep for a couple hours, and then do it all over again. It’s like dying every day: wake up, and give it your all every day.

Danthrax: I’m Italian, so I love Rockie and the remake with creed and all of that stuff. There’s that moment where you’re not down, and you get back up. You might even be knocked down again and I am absolutely sure a lot of these fighters get knocked down and there’s a point as soon as they hit the mat to give up. That’s when you realize you have ten seconds, so at least for eight seconds, you can put yourself back together. You count to eight and stand up, and you brush it all off. That’s what “Die Everyday” captures for me. You’re reborn every single time, and you let go of that fear of pain, fear of loss, and you say that’s going to be it. You say, what else am I going to do but get up?