At age 7 Ally Dee started to study music under a member of Symphony Nova Scotia playing violin. By age 11 he enjoyed adding my poetry to music. At age 13 he became a member of band playing bass and guitar.
Drums, guitar, bass and writing lyrics came naturally. As a member of a rock/punk band (The Beluga Group) until age 18 he flourished playing over 85 shows all over Nova Scotia. During his teen years, he was granted an opportunity through The Music Conservatory of Nova Scotia’s music camp to participate in a televised concert event with artists aged 14-18 from all over Nova Scotia.
At the end of 2009 he started on the production end of music which had connected him with Ryszky BizMac at Red Panther Studio where he has been rooted since August 2010.
Since coming to Red Panther he has recorded on a number of mixtapes and albums. Graphic design skills and video production skills have also been developed during his time with Red Panther also.
On January 3rd, 2013 “902 NONSTOP RECORDS” was officially registered as a label by Ally Dee. From this point four (4) albums have been released under the label digitally and in hard copy, and five (5) artists have been signed to the label. They have created several projects including “They’re Coming” album is a movie soundtrack for a Halloween/zombie apocalypse theme, and “Confident” a made for radio album. Ally Dee is energetic, driven,full of life, and is ready to take the music world by full force.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What city and state are you from?
ALLY DEE: West Porter’s Lake is the area that I come from. It is a quiet yet developing community located just outside of the urban area of Halifax, Nova Scotia on the East coast of Canada. I have spent some time away from the area during post-secondary schooling and a sea-faring career which kept me away from home for varying lengths of time traveling to the offshore oil-fields off of Sable Island and Newfoundland and as far South as Cuba and as far North as the nickel mine (Voisey Bay) in Labrador.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What is your music background?
ALLY DEE: In my early years I would often have the opportunity to be entertained by family members playing guitar, violins and piano at parties or other events leading to when my grandfather crafted a violin for me at age seven. From that point I took up poetry/rhyming, dabbled with playing flute in my junior high school band, and I found a deep love for the bass guitar, the funkier the better, at age 12. During my junior and senior high school days I was in a couple of rock/punk bands and took lessons for bass guitar at the Canadian Conservatory of Music in Dartmouth, NS which is now known as Long and McQuade, Dartmouth. At age 15 I was given the fortunate experience of being able to attend a two week music camp (Summer Rock) through the Conservatory. It was a chance to meet and play with many other youths at that age that had amazing skills. During the two week camp we were placed into bands based on our skills and the genre of music that we had been interested in and at the end of the camp we performed in our groups to a crowd of 500 plus and that event was televised, it was fantastic to be involved. The Beluga Group was the name of the band that I was in during my years in high school; we had the opportunity to play a lot of shows all over Nova Scotia including several weekend long rock/punk Battle of the bands. We were not successful in any of the Battle of the bands although it was an exciting time to get exposure, experience and to entertain lively crowds.
During a sojourn in Tampa, Florida I started to spend a lot of time playing my bass guitar more and had my first experience with using a drum machine to program drum loops which sparked an interest in the production side of music. In 2010 I started to put my own instrumentals together becoming proficient with several music editing software programs and began looking for local people that were interested in continuing their musical pursuits which put me in contact with Ryszky Biz (David MacPhee) who is the owner/operator of Red Panther Studio in Porter’s lake, Nova Scotia. During our first meeting we discussed our different skill sets it was apparent that we could make some serious moves together.
From the point of connecting with Ryszky Biz things really took off with further exploration in to my own creative nature including creating graphic art, doing video production, as well as developing my rhyme/poetry skills and my production skills.
From mid 2011 we saw the release of our first two mixtapes, “The Mix” and “Play With Fire”, as well as our “Community Unity” project being released as a mixtape in April 2012 which featured 36 artists from all over North America, South America, and Western Europe.
The mix tape “Raw Life” was released in the summer of 2012 but has been removed from being online. This project was preceded by the release of the mixtapes “Seductive Productive” from Ryszky Biz and “Till The Lights Go Out” from myself. The bulk of the instrumentals that were used on these projects were created by myself and Ryszky Biz although very few came from other sources.
Wanting to push forward Ryszky Biz and myself moved towards registering as a company and seeking artists that were interested in committing most of their time and energy to their craft.
In February 2013 Redemption from Ryszky Biz was the first product released under the 902 NonStop Records brand as an online album through Catapult Distribution and has had songs that have gathered radio play on both FM community/university stations as well as a number of internet radio stations. On August 7th 2013 my second full length project, titled “No Intermission” was released through Catapult Distribution. From early fall 2013 until May 30th 2014, 902 NonStop was deeply involved in the production of the album “Confident” which was created with the support of and in the support of the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign. Following the official release of the album, online, as well as in hard copy, at the cd release party on May 30th, the 902 NonStop team then participated in a seven (7) show tour, while developing further projects, all dedicated to the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign. During our YMCA effort we created an album titled “They’re Coming” which is a Halloween/Zombie Apocalypse themed project that we created in the nature of a movie sound track. The official release date was October 25th, 2014 through Catapult Distribution online, as well as in hardcopy at our cd release party for it at Stagger’s Pub and Grill in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.
During the build up to the release of the Confident album, Ryszky Biz and I went through the training procedure at CKDU 88.1 FM so that we could co-host a radio show together. Our goal was to put a focus on local hip hop and RnB artists as well as upcoming artists from across Canada. The show airs weekly on Mondays from 9:00 p.m-10:30 p.m. AST on 88.1 FM locally, as well as on local television radio channels and streams live on www.ckdu.ca. We will have aired over 40 consecutive 90 minute shows as of March 2014. Today we have a great following and have had the opportunity to air many great songs and interview some very interesting local artists.
Earlier in the year, I had connected with Jayo Productions and Promotions and we started in negotiations to promote events together. Jayo Productions had brought August Alsina to Halifax, NS and I was asked to be one of the opening acts as we embarked on our business relationship, it was a hot show to be involved with. Together, Jayo Productions and 902 Nonstop Records teamed up to put on the Mobb Deep 20th Anniversary Tour events in Fredericton, NB at Klub Khrome and in Halifax, NS at the Marquee Ballroom which was an exciting experience and an awesome chance to not only connect with, and to see live performances from some great local entertainers ,as well as interacting with some solid stand out members of the hip hop community and their team that have been hard at it in the industry for 20 years.
To date in 2015 there have been two live shows that I have performed at and organized. The first one being another cd release party for Ryszky Biz “Rap Therapy”, as well as, a lot of recording in advance for upcoming album releases that will drop in the summer of this year. There are a number of live performances lined up for this year as well as being one of the promoters for a number of DJ and reggae events.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are your songs about?
ALLY DEE: Generally, my songs are a natural expression of my personality, my ups and my downs, my shits and my giggles; they represent the way I view the world around me, and how I am developing as a person, an artist and as an entertainer. They also represent some of the struggles that I have overcome, how I deal with, and have dealt with, heart ache and hard times, and how I am uplifted by the positive things that happen in my life. They also include my desires sensually and where romance is concerned and I explore this in a variety of aspects ranging from a radio edit manner to a more explicit form that is for an adult audience also. I include a perspective of where I see myself as an evolving business person and how I continue to expand my mind and see the world around me through a different light.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What is your favorite song to perform and why?
ALLY DEE: Although there are lots of other tracks that I love to perform that get a great crowd reaction, and that I totally dig the energy with from the people that I perform them with and how the crowd reacts to their energy, but I have to say that “Letz Get Naked” is the song. It has a funky/clubby/west coast feel about it in a tempo that really gets people bouncing and the ladies enjoy “shakin their thangs” to it. The audience gets into it quickly, and with the ease of catching on to the hook/chorus of the song I see people in the audience singing along with the hook before the end of the first time that they hear it. It is a great experience to see people having such a good time and it offers a serious boost to me to really put my all into it from the energy that they are sharing while I perform.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What has surprised you the most in the pursuit of a career in music?
ALLY DEE: Above all, one thing that continues to surprise me through this learning process is that every time that I feel that I reach a plateau and start to feel around for new avenues to explore I have found that doors keep opening. Sometimes the path to the door is clear and sometimes I really have to dig in and have to search for the opening. With or without lots of obstacles being placed in the way, they always end up being a part of my learning process that it is helping me improve on a daily basis and aid me in furthering my career.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Who are your musical influences?
ALLY DEE: Most recently I find myself being influenced by the artists that I have been working closely with for the past few years, especially Ryszky Biz (David MacPhee). Whether he is at the keyboard with a new instrumental, rhyming or singing, performing or mixing a track for someone after they record in his studio, he has his heart 100% invested. When working with him he isn’t scared to help a person improve. His ability to switch through different styles of songs both vocally and instrumentally on his keyboard at the drop of a hat, as well as his ability to do this on stage while performing live has definitely been a huge influence on me.
Stack loot Divide (Stewart Drummond) has brought a solid and diverse approach to every song that he has done since linking with 902 NonStop. He puts on an interactive live performance, and explores with instrumentals constantly. At events he brings out his best to see that the sound quality is premier all through the event.
The industry influences that have been integral with me have been from every aspect of the spectrum; including the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, largely the bass styling’s of Flea, although the group as a whole and individually with their independent skills have been pretty amazing through their existence which have led to Mother’s Milk and Blood Sugar Sex Magic having a deep impact with me. Billy Joel, Elton John, Simon and Garfunkel and Stan Rogers, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Marvin Gaye, Jim Croche and a variety of punk groups including the Misfits, D.O.A. and The Dead Kennedy’s, and of course the classical greats all top my list as well.
Where hip hop is concerned, The Beastie Boys, LL Cool J (Bigger and Deffer), The Fat Boys, Young MC and 2 Live Crew were all a part of my early teen years which expanded into NWA, TuPac, Tha Alkaholiks, The Wu Tang Clan, Easy E, Dr. Dre, Eminem have all given me something that have either jerked an emotion, or altered how I interact with people.
There are a ton of others artists, locally and internationally, that have either changed my perspective on life, or taught me to respect the person standing next to me, or how I listen to a song, this list could go on for a while.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: How would you describe your music to people?
ALLY DEE: Each song is an ever developing expression of my thoughts, my emotions, the way that I see the world, and how I find myself navigating through my journey.
Some tracks are a catch up on how I have improved, grew or made changes to better myself since my previous release. Some tracks are an outlet to release some tension or pent up aggression. Sometimes I find a fun way to put some riddles in my tracks that only certain people will recognize. Some tracks will hopefully change someone’s perspective to a more positive state of mind.
It is all based on my interaction with the people that come in and out of my life and that have been in my life for long periods of time. It is a reflection of aspects of me that people will not get to know through general conversations or everyday encounters with me.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What makes you stand out from other artists?
ALLY DEE: This is my life, I live it 24/7. As I do so, my approach is genuine, honest, and versatile while having fun with tricky wordplay and a constant desire to learn more about music as a study and as an industry. To me, music is a never ending journey, and an everlasting way to express, entertain and receive new ideas. Understanding that I am in a constant state of learning makes a huge difference I believe.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What would you like to see changed in today’s music industry?
ALLY DEE: I think it is a hard struck balance to find, there is some exceptional talent that really deserve a chance that are on the come up. The artists with drive that are dedicated to put in endless hours, who lack the resources to be able to put themselves in a position to be noticed have a difficult go at things could use a clear process to see their capabilities and drive recognized.
The digital era seems to have made it easier for some people to move forward, so I think that a lack of focus is being placed on strong musical talent sometimes, like the people that have taken the time to put some study into their craft and develop themselves. It would be great to see those individuals be given a chance to shine.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are some upcoming projects that you are currently working on?
ALLY DEE: Currently I am involved in a triple cd release, which will be released as one unit as a project with 902 NonStop Records. The albums will be from Ryszky Biz, Stack Loot Divide, and myself.
All of the instrumentals, graphic art as well as all of the lyrics will be created by Ryszky biz, Stack Loot Divide and myself which is very fulfilling. All of the vocal recording, mixing and mastering will be done by Ryszky Biz of Red Panther Studio .
A number of these tracks will be leaked on reverbnation.com and on soundcloud, as well, several videos for the project will be released on youtube.com. If you are located in the East coast of Canada and wish to check out some great live hip hop, the squad from 902 NonStop have a number of performances booked through this year where these songs will be performed along with some other dope talent from around the Maritimes.
Upcoming femcee Tara Ryan and myself have been developing music and we are looking forward to releasing a number of projects together.
Continuing to develop 902 NonStop artists and expanding the reach of the “Heard On Air” radio show will be a big part of this year as well as the promotion of many maritime events featuring local and better known artists.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are your career goals? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
ALLY DEE: My goals are far from basic. There is a course that I wish to run with my live performances and putting my all into every stage that I hit. Through the next few years I will have ups and downs and a ton of learning experiences that will influence my never ending creative nature and it will help bring out emotion of all varieties that I would like to share to the world through song.
I see a constant number of releases and tour dates being under my belt as well as some major insight being gained into how I can provide consistence in the developing the career of other artists.
With that being said, I am also interested in continuing to learn skills that will aid me in the management of artists, planning events on a larger and larger scale, and setting up a place for myself in the industry where I can be of a benefit to up-and-comers as well as well-known artists that are established and make a quality living for myself.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: How can your fans access your music and contact you?
ALLY DEE: Hit me up, I am always up to interact with new people and to see how we can help each other out. There are lots of cool tracks on the links provided here with lots of artists that I have had great pleasure in working with that have an incredible amount of talent that are serious about what they do including Ryszky Biz and Stack Loot Divide.
“Photo by Kasper K Photography” (Chyloe Gallant).
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