The Jonny Killah interview

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Let’s start on the one. Who are you and where are you from? Jonny King from Prince Edward Island.

First song you heard that made you realize music existed? “Undercover Blues” by Powder Blues Band. My old man used to bump it in the car. That whole album had an effect on me but that album for sure. OR “(Boogie Woogie) Dancin’ Shoes” by Claudja Barry which was on a disco compilation of my Dad’s that I would listen to obsessively. I actually took that vinyl with me to Montreal and banged it out in clubs.


When did you first get serious about music? It wasn’t till around age 13 or 14 that I knew music would be with me forever. It had a lot to do with starting to play drums, James brown and Led Zeppelin.

I remember back in like 94 or around there, this mix tape you made was going around. It was filled with like 90 min. of the greatest underground hip hop artists of that era. How did you get onto that scene back in the day? I’m trying to think of the first time hip hop really got me.. also i ain’t high yet.

For me it was Loc-ed After Dark. Oh shit yeah. I think it was Dj Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince – He’s The DJ I’m The Rapper. I remember seeing the video for “Parents Just Don’t Understand”, I thought it was kind of cool… then I bought the album. THATS when I started getting an education. There is some real shit on there.

There is so much more to that record. People underestimate it because of the TV show.  I couldn’t even figure out what the hell was going on in hip hop production yet. It made me want to be a DJ.

Jazzy Jeff. Oh shit ya, he’s a multi talented dude who had big dreams. That record is dope by all accounts.

I gotta pull that one out of the vault. Yeah totally man. Check the live recording on side two, it’s what made me want to start fucking with vinyl. It seemed like I was fucking with that Fresh Prince shit and like a couple of RUN DMC albums and this SICK stuff started coming up on Rap City.

Rap City was like the internet back then for discovering new material. Exactly. And The Source magazine, which we could bizarrely get here for some reason?


What stood out that changed everything? “Just hanging Out” by Main Source. THAT was when I knew that other stuff I was into was a little too commercial and not as fucking BOSS as this other shit I was seeing.

What year was that? 91 I think or could be 90. “Breaking Atoms” was the album.

Nas on that? Yep, thats the one. I got obsessed with that album real fast. I knew I was finally getting the real deal. At that point I was just buying hip hop records all day long. My go to spot was always Radioland in the mall, I still remember all those SICK tapes.

Speaking of record shops. What role if any did Back Alley play in your musical development? The main role Back Alley played in my development was Chaz being in there. Him talking to me on kind of a peer level, I thought that was cool. It gave me confidence to play music.

What instruments do you play? Bass, guitar, keys and drums. All the classic, rock instruments.

It wasn’t just a shop, it was a lesson in music when you went in there. The dude knows his stuff. And he just had this attitude.. like I knew I was hearing some real shit. Chaz was one of the first dudes I ever met who would just talk about music non stop. Literally.

I learned a ton from him. Fuck yeah man. It’s like a whole other form of fundamental education artistically. Like he never showed me any bass parts or anything,  you know? It was a whole other kind of lesson. Kind of like “Hmmm.. This might be the kind of bad mother fucker I wanna be..”

He’s from Montreal those dude are intense. Ya it’s a pretty quiet town here, then you would go in there and shit was HAPPENIN’

Speaking of Montreal. Whats up with WeFunk Radio how did you get in on that? Basically there was a small group of DJ’s doin’ parties and clubs with Pro Groove and Static from, WeFunk. I used to play with them a lot. So anytime they needed some help they might get me on or I would be in there free-styling my drunk ass off.

Those guys play some serious records. Static was all about the vinyl, holy fuck. There would literally be twelve crates in that booth.

You were involved with some bands in Montreal back then as well. Who did you play with? First Strawberry.

The OG PEI line up was Mike, Pat, Diedre and Legs. Yup.

Then the Montreal line up was? Scott Garett, Diedre Smith, Brian Arsenault and me. We did some cool shit back then man. One of the coolest was a gig we did in the loft of Godspeed You Black Emperor, when they were cooler than cool. THAT was a  Montreal show.  The realist deal there is and I was there baby!

Were “Arts and Crafts” around back then? Just beginning. I actually did some work with Stars. I hung out with them for like a week and tracked some drums. Evan Cranely is one of the coolest mother fuckers I ever met. I still have Amy Millan’s number.


You hooked into the right crowds.  And you see this is where I have to admit that I wouldn’t be where I am today without booze. I have to give the booze it’s just thanks. I know that all these things I did had a lot to do with the fact I never thought about anything, had no fear.. cuz I was always wasted. ALWAYS. 24 hours a day if possible.

Montreal is rad. I miss that city like a person.

Your musical style doesn’t really fall into a category. You do raps but you also rock the fuck out. Any new projects on the go? I just finished a DIY solo album “Unidentified Object” eventually I hope to afford to manufacture some actual copies and maybe shoot a video. I’m playing drums with Scott Parsons all summer. At “Live at the Lobster Trap”.

Where is “The Lobster Trap” located? I have no idea. Some Shaw’s Resort place, If you know where that is?

No clue? I’m a dirty fucking Townie.  Me too. I love town. I hate the woods man. thats one of my fave thing about being single. Every time there is nice weather I don’t have a girlfriend dragging my ass to the beach.

No beaches eh? It isn’t really even the beach. It’s the whole ordeal. Like I would wake up on a nice day and think “Oh shit, my whole day is gonna revolve around calling her friends, going into stores and getting sunblock, buying a fucking watermelon somewhere..”

Religion or Aliens? Both. The aliens are saying we as humans should stick with religion.

Lego or Transformers? HAHAHA Come on now. I’m so obsessed with Lego it’s out of control really. All the “Age of Ultron” just came out, I’m dying. It’s really the Marvel obsession that kicked it off. I wouldn’t even have thought about Lego if it weren’t for that connection.

spiderman JK

When did you realize Marvel was it? That old Spider Man cartoon was one of my earliest memories. If not THE earliest memory. No joke. The music in that show for sure affected me, the more i think about it the more I realize how that series shaped my mind.

Those old cartoons had music locked down. Oh shit yeah, live studio band. Horns and shit. But the music in that 60’s Spider Man cartoon is something else, it still kills me.

Is there anyone in the Marvel Universe who isn’t getting their just due on-screen. BLACK WIDOW. Give that chick her feature already. What is this? She doesn’t even get a pic on the Doritos bag? Not feeling the sexism, not gonna lie.

What are you listening to these days? At the moment I’m listening to a mix-tape of dope rare groove shit I found, also this SICK polka band whose name escapes me. They are current.

Shout outs? Yeah, all the party people, all the rockers and the rollers.

And for the closer, when is the last time you smoked some green sticky icky? Two seconds ago.

For more tasty jams from Jonny Killah check him out on Souncloud.

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