Sixteen-year-old Aidean Alle-Kopas and partner-in-rhyme Alexander Reyes, 18, are set to perform Ladysmith’s first-ever hip hop show Friday night.
Alle-Kopas and Reyes will bring their def fresh flow to centre stage at the Frank Jameson Community Centre gymnasium Friday, May 24 at 7 p.m.
Joining the duo on stage will be DJ Charles James and vocalist Samantha De Souza, both Ladysmith Secondary School students.
Reyes and Alle-Kopas have performed publicly in the past, but not as a pair. Alle-Kopas performed three shows at the Duncan Garage with his former partner, he said, and at an open-mic night at LSS in January alongside De Souza, his girlfriend.
Reyes, meanwhile, has already established himself as a recording artist. His songs Just a Dream — a tribute to victims of the 2011 tsunami in Japan — and United Nations Anthem have scored over 10,000 views each on Youtube. Reyes said he’s just returned from Nicaragua where he participated in a three-month-long Canada World Youth mission sponsored by the UN and he’s scheduled to spend six months in Tanzania with CWY beginning June 24.
His next music video Counting — a chronicling of his Nicaraguan experience shot and produced by Benson Wishart — will be released “sometime this summer.”
Reyes and Alle-Kopas have been writing and recording music together since late last year, they said, and this will be their first show together.
Featured in the show will be their co-written project One — a song reminding listeners to stay grounded and true to themselves to avoid being overwhelmed by issues in the world at large — alongside six additional songs by Reyes and nine by Alle-Kopas.
To minimize their pre-show jitters, though, Alle-Kopas and Reyes said they’ll avoid any freestyling —rapping improvisationally — for show number one.
Home-schooled Alle-Kopas credited “old-school” artists like Cypress Hill, N.W.A. and Jay-Z as his primary musical influences, but his musical repertoire branches out far beyond the rap landscape of the late 80s and 90s.
“I like to listen to jazz lately,” Alle-Kopas said, “and I like to sample it sometimes, too.”
For one of his latest projects, Alle-Kopas sampled Duke Ellington’s Solitude, then layered it with a drum solo and samples of an a capella Biggie Smalls number and a Mobb Deep song.
“It’s one of my favourite beats I’ve made,” Alle-Kopas said, adding that he plans to broaden his musical horizons as producer who crafts and sells his own beats to other artists.
The show is scheduled for this Friday at FJCC. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show runs from 7–9 p.m. Admission is free. Due to the language content of their music, Alle-Kopas and Reyes have billed the show as suitable for audience members aged 12 and older.