Three-time Western Canadian Music Award nominee Cityreal has laid a solid foundation for his career, selling thousands of CDs and touring relentlessly.
Just last month he released Good Morning Blues with the help of blues veteran Wes Mackey. He performs at the Lotus Nightclub along with Swollen Members on April 1.
Good Morning Blues was recorded in Vancouver at multiple studios and features Juno nominees D-Sisive and Madchild (of Swollen Members).
Both Cityreal and Mackey were heavily influenced by the gritty, dark and simplistic sound of the very early blues musicians, pioneers such as Leadbelly, Robert Johnson and Albert King.
“The concept for the album was to pair traditional blues elements with modern production and sampling techniques,” says Cityreal.
Raised in Vancouver, Cityreal started taking his musical craft seriously when he moved to Winnipeg to study political science. He performed as part of several groups and released mix tapes, but it wasn’t until moving back to Vancouver that he truly focused his determination on music.
He draws heavily from his political inspirations and his range of musical influences that span from artists like 2pac, Bob Marley and Van Morrison all the way to home-grown rappers such as the Swollen Members, K-OS, and the Rascalz.
Upon returning to Vancouver, Cityreal poured everything he had into his music, honed his ability to rock a live show on his own and crafted his debut solo album. The Beginning was self-produced and features appearances from three-time Juno Award winner Moka Only, Kyprios of Sweatshop Union and more.
After the release of The Beginning, Cityreal was honoured to have it nominated for the Western Canadian Music Award for Rap Recording of the Year.
He launched an extensive touring campaign to build his fan base and in the process captivated audiences in clubs, concert halls, and festivals, sharing stages with folks such as K’Naan, Ice Cube, Ghostface Killah, Three Six Mafia, Warren G, Dilated Peoples, Souls of Mischief and Swollen Members among others.
Following a successful Western Canadian tour with Swollen Members, Cityreal was also invited to join them on their entire American fall tour, taking his fan base development to an international level.
Momentum continued to develop; Madchild inducted Cityreal into the Battle Axe Warriors crew and had him produce several songs for his own forthcoming solo projects.
Support for Cityreal also continued to grow in the rest of the industry; he was invited to showcase at Canadian Music Week in Toronto, the Breakout West Festival in Kelowna, the Deraylor Festival in Whistler, Shambhala Festival in Nelson and at the Transmission conference in Victoria.
Cityreal also received several grants to create awareness for his music from FACTOR (the Foundation to Assist Canadian Talent On Recordings), which have helped provide the financial means to further his career development.
That funding also provided him with the opportunity to shoot his first music video, which was added to regular rotation on MuchMusic and also garnered him his second WCMA nomination.