“I’m just a canvas. Every story is a stroke of paint”
The second video made by the crew was Heartbroken, set in the block of flats in which Norradean was currently living, after homelessness forced him to live in what amounted to a crackhouse. “The story was a double entendre, it was my relationship with the building and how I felt leaving that and moving on with my life,” he tells me. “That was the piece that kept me motivated, the most personal piece, and I think I felt a sense of fulfilment once I put that out because people could actually relate and understand. After that piece, it was like a domino effect, all the videos started following the same formula and it developed a personality.” The personality traits involve dark, bleak ghetto vistas with a brooding, hooded up Norradean isolated in the shots, dropping spoken word over muddied beats. In the videos in which other singers contribute, it is always stripped back, bare, a cappella, acoustic. The starkness resonates.
There is now substantial investment in place, thus the crew are set to enter a new stage of development, with the aim being to move into artist management through their collective of unsigned acts. The initial aim of CanvAs was to explore and perfect their desired art of storytelling, and they plan to develop individual artistry through this medium. “We always knew that with the right investment, we know what we want to do,” he states. “We didn’t understand the potential initially.” With a background in A&R, Norradean is fiercely anti mainstream routes and aims to promote a different path for unsigned acts to come up. “We can do it independently, we’ve done it without a budget, we’ve developed our craft,” he explains. “There’s a million different elements to it, and what we’ve been trying to do now is perfect it before we put it out there properly.