Getting your first major production credit on the world’s best selling album of 2020, BTS’s Map of the Soul: 7, is an accomplishment bar none, and then to go on to co-write “Christmas With You” with the R’n’B icon Macy Gray before your first single even drops is borderline unbelievable, but Rx, Toronto native, tells me she is far from done.
Her debut single “Nex Ting” comes out March 31 on all platforms and will premier live on select Toronto radio stations. Thanks to an intimate pre-release performance for close friends and industry contacts, hosted at Apt 200, I can safely say we are in for something special.
Speaking to her before sound check I learned so much about the determination necessary to make it in the industry, and off rip, she’s the real deal.
“I went from poetry to music, you know, 16-17 high school,” Rx told me. “It was what gave me happiness”.
Her story is familiar in a lot of ways. Toronto born, grew up around Leslie and Finch, and her best friend Lucy (shout out to Lucy) put her on to K-Pop, J-Pop…all the pops. She was interested in music and pursued her passion for singing and writing early which soon turned into talent as she grew, something real, but life takes its turns and we all run into people who make us doubt ourselves.
“I dated a person in the industry and they didn’t make me feel great about my art… They said I wasn’t great.. But then I met a person who I would later consider one of my mentors and they took a chance on me. It started off as them just sending me beats and me sending back vocals,” said Rx.
Me: “Can I ask who this mentor was?”
“Oh yea, Sleep!”
Who she mentioned casually was insane to me. She meant multi-platinum producer Sleep Deez (Sleep) who off the top of my head has worked with Rihanna, the Black Eyed Peas, Wale, Usher, and most importantly for this story, BTS. As it turns out Sleep had used her vocals in what became the second most popular track off the Map of the Soul: 7 album. At this point it would be hard to doubt that her vocals weren’t the genuine article.
She told me stories of her time in LA where she spent a lot of her time perfecting her craft, going in and out of studio sessions, seeing all the sides of the music game before she came to her turning point. It was mid-pandemic when she made a tiktok, putting her story out to the world, and to her surprise, “BTS Army found it and blew it up. Can you imagine!”
Her DMs were going crazy, fans asking her about the experience, making jokes like “Are you the one that made JK say ‘finna’”, but one stood out above the rest, a message from Stargate.
Now if you say you’ve never heard of Stargate, I wouldn’t blame you. I’d also tell you you’re living under a rock because they as a songwriting/production team have worked with some of the greatest artists of our generation. Without saying too much, for two white dudes they have a lot of Grammys & BET Hip Hop/RnB album/song of the year awards (2013 Rih Rih, “Black and Yellow” by Wiz Khalifa, “So Sick” by Ne-Yo, “Irreplaceable” by Beyonce, “Better” by Khalid); and they approached Rx to join their nine month artist development program at the Los Angeles Academy for Artists & Music Production (LAAMP).
“‘What do we have to do to get you here?’, is exactly what he[Tor] said,” Rx recounts the call, Tor is one half of the (ten time #1 Billboard charting and Grammy winning) duo who make up Stargate.
At this point my jaw was on the floor, not one but two of the highest caliber of musicians working today had found her talent, and yet she confessed that she still wasn’t sure if she would be able to make it.
All her hard work was finally paying off and it was visa’s, permits, and all the immigration details that seemed to be an obstacle she couldn’t beat in time to attend the program. She was back in Toronto and had the support of her family, so it was time to go big or go home, and thankfully for us (and Rx) it all worked out.
From there she was in artist heaven, working with epic mentors, learning and recording music at the highest level, getting flown out to Norway for sessions. “It’s hard to think about it in a real sense,” she says.
“I was doing what I thought I was meant to do back in LA,” Rx reflects about her time before completing the program. The creative process she thought worked for her, the sound she thought was her sound, the type of musician she thought she wanted to be, all out the window.
“I found my sound when I came back, and I’m finding out more about it everyday. The way I would describe it is like Pop from Toronto, with that good Caribbean vibe.”
“Nex Ting ” drops on your head tops March 31st, you can catch the premier on Vibe 105.5 FM and listen on Apple Music, Spotify, or wherever you get good music from. With more tracks in the store for us, I have high hopes Rx will be the next big ting out of Toronto.