Basics Journey Into Music

Basics Journey Into Music

Making Inroads Building a Legacy

When you speak to Alexander Basuk, popularly known as Basics its clear that his desire is not for fame and applause but to lift the next generation. To allow them his shoulders to stand, so that they can rise even faster than he did. He has 10 years under his belt in the music industry with a laundry list of accomplishments. With songs like, Let Me Know, Cigarettes and Poutine, Lotus Wrap among others as he tells it, Basics is just getting started.
Basics grew up in Little Burgundy, “in the 80’s when Little Burgundy was Little Burgundy,” he asserts. After that he moved with his family to Point St. Charles. His ethnic background of Italian and Black shaped his outlook and he credits his mother’s music choices to being part of his formative inspirations.

“She was listening to music of the 70s, 80s and 90s. She was listening to current era music of my age when I was young,” he explains to the CONTACT. “So l grew up listening to hip-hop and R&B from that time. So that was probably the biggest influence on me, was just like rapping along or singing along to the music. I realized later was the thing I taught me how to sing, was just trying to like copy how they were singing or rapping.”

In high school he didn’t focus too seriously on music only trying to see if he could use it to impress girls, and when that didn’t work, he faced his books. He later went on to CEGEP at Dawson College, it was here that he had he started thinking about performing music. Although he didn’t think it would be possible for him to see any kind of success, he started rapping with a friend who would beat box and he would rap to the beat. He had his own radio show on the campus’ radio station and when he was done with his shift, the radio manager noticed he liked to freestyle and let him use the mics to record his raps.

“It was very makeshift and low quality, but it was kind of like my first glimpse into doing my own music and I realized okay, recording is possible,” he says “but I didn’t know any studios or any places to go record. I didn’t have anyone person that I knew who was making music that I could go to.”

He performed on stages at school but took time to study the industry and grow in his craft as a
musician. In the early aughts exposure and accessibility was not what we know it to be. The internet was still sinking its roots into the ether and so exposure was quite limited, so he honed his craft through spoken word events, freestyles, open mics and cyphers. However, a chance encounter when he was working at a bank opened a door into recording.

“We were doing this training at the bank for customer service and there was someone who was playing some beats and I told him they sounded cool and we started talking about music, I got to know about recording and the structure of music” he recalls.

At this time the industry had grown and the fire for music came alive and in 2014, over ten years later Basics released his first singe and since then he hasn’t looked back.
Once he built his momentum he got to take part in various competitions. One such was ‘La Fin de Faibles/The End of the Weak,’ competition which is an MC competition that started in New York in 2000 and has expanded to over 16 countries around the world. As it stands, Basics, boasts being the three-time Canadian champion from 2017-2019. His music has seen him go across Europe, the states and other countries.

As a primarily English rapper, he sees the discrepancy between the anglophone and francophone music industry. “You often see the problem in funding as francophone artists get more support from the government.”

However, Basics’ take on equality in language is a unique one, “I would like to be able to speak all the languages of the world, not just French, that way I could connect with a wider audience,” he remarks.

He bridges the language divide through his collaboration having worked with prominent names in the Quebec music scene such as, Wasiu, Raccoon among others. He has also been named among the World’s Best Freestylers by Vice.

And even through all of these his main goal is to help those coming up after him. To this effect he holds writing workshops to help aspiring rappers and poets refine their skills. And after his wins at the End of the Weak, he now is a mentor and a coach for the talent that takes the stage. For Basics, its important that he gives his shoulders to those who need so that they can advance more quickly and go further and faster than he did.

“I didn’t have anyone to show me what to do but I want to show these 16 or 17 year old’s what I know and what I wish I knew then. I want my coaching pool to be wide, to have been part of the formation of the greats would make me very happy.”

Basics has new music coming out in August and is excited for new collaborative features as well. For more dates and details on all his projects his social media handle is ‘justspellbasics’ across all platforms.