You Can Be as Freaky as you Want to Be

Cadence Weapon, on the heels of releasing Rollercoaster, the Polaris Prize winning artist’s sixth record, tells us about his first favourite cities to create.

Rollie Pemberton, the former Poet Laureate of Edmonton, stumps for musicians to keep their merch money and has been making records since 2005. Influential, progressive, electronic and hip hop, the musician has stayed ahead of the times with his cutting edge sound, scratches, lyrics and politics. “Travel changes your outlook on the world,” Rollie told KIND, before his album’s April release. “I grew up with plenty of people who still haven’t left Edmonton, and I know how lucky I am to get to immerse myself in different cultures.” These are some of the cities where Cadence Weapon likes to create.  



“I find it rejuvenating. The culture in London—the music—is so strong that I find it incredibly inspiring. It feels like my home away from home and I love UK drill and grime music. On my last trip, I listened to Getz, who has a new record out this week and I still listen to Beth Gibbons and even old Portisehead songs. It’s insane, in the streaming world where you just pump out content, to hear Portishead records that just get better each track, and still sound timeless. Shoutout to Mary’s Living and Giving in Hampstead, whenever I’m in England I always pull up to their vintage shops.”  



“One of my favourite places in the world and still home to one of my closest collaborators, Jacques Greene—the prince of that city. It’s just the best place for cool little shops and I love this obscure second-hand store that’s owned by this woman with amazing taste and I always find something really cool. Back when I lived in Montreal, my life felt like a TV show. Grimes lived down the street and I’d go to her house to watch movies. We watched Some Kind of Monster about Metallica.”  



“I love it here. I played the Primavera Sound Music festival and it was one of the dopest experiences of my life. The way you get to be so close to the other artists was insane. I remember many years ago meeting Nick Cave backstage at Primavera. He’s a really big influence on me and, at the time, we were labelmates on Anti, and he had the Grinderman record out. He asked me what I thought about them and I said, ‘they’re cool.’ He was like, ‘I fucking hate them.’ I was like, ‘OK!’  


“I love L.A. and I’m going next week. I feel like the lifestyle is so special there. There’s this misnomer that people think L.A. is all Hollywood glitz and glamour, but it’s the grimy, nasty shit that makes it special—the different taco trucks and the more far flung areas. And the food, oh my God, the food. My wife is Persian and we go to Westwood and check out the restaurants and I have a lot of friends in Atwater Village, that’s a cool area. And shoutout to Sleeper, the best curated vintage place in the world. It’s on Sunset Boulevard at Echo Park and LA, you can’t help thinking about all the rap songs when you walk on its streets. I try to give that spirit to Canadian stuff in my music.”



“I love living in Hamilton, such a great, artistic, super welcoming place. I feel like it’s Canada’s best kept secret. We moved here during the pandemic and are now able to do things we weren’t able to do in Toronto, like own a home, start a family. We live close to Ottawa Street and there’s this antique mall that’s just super fire and shout out to my local bookstore, The City and the City Books, I always get love when I step in there and, if you buy my book there [Bedroom Rapper], you’ll get an autographed copy. I signed them all.” 



“My home away from home. I have a lot of friends there, it’s kind of like Montreal on steroids and a place that encourages people to be their full selves. You can be as freaky as you want to be—whatever it is, Berlin has a subculture for it. Of course the music is strong, a lot of techno and electronic music, and just really innovative sounds and designs happening all over. One of my current favourite artists lives there. She goes by Discovery Zone and she’s just doing really interesting things. Berlin is a place that won’t judge.” 



“People think of it as a boring financial place but I was surprised by how artsy it is. I made a lot of good friends there and didn’t want to leave. My friend’s club was dope, it’s called Bar 3000, such a cool spot. I was DJing and playing disco, funk and electronic music, really old school, and you could smoke indoors and it went to 7am. I was like, Damn, this shit is really lit,’ maybe it was 4am—it felt like 7.”    


“One of the very best places for me to play. I feel like they get what I’m trying to build and all the freaky artistic people are just cool and really interesting. Plus everybody is super friendly and they have really dope vintage shops. We played there with Hot Chip last year in the spring and it was lit. Shoutout to Kissing Booth, a vintage store that’s very well curated, very thoughtful and stylish—really, like the city, very just … dope.” 

Rollercoaster by Cadence Weapon came out April 19. For tour dates, including Osheaga, see