Welcome back to Uncharted, an Uproxx original series highlighting the best artists you haven’t heard of, yet. With the support of our friends at Honda, we are following some of the best emerging talent as they follow their dreams and make great music.
When SICKICK was tagged to open for Drake, he could be forgiven for taking a moment to reflect on all the work that got him there. Especially since it wouldn’t take him that long. Only two years after getting over his fear of crowds and developing his mask-wearing dance music alter ego, the Toronto-based producer was warming the stage for the world’s foremost profile-booster.
“Opening for Drake was magical,” SICKICK reveals. “At the moment, he’s the king of Toronto, so it’s nice to have that associated with myself.”
While that quote might make him sound humbled out of context, SICKICK divulges that he’s always dreamt of starring on the biggest stages and performing in marquee shows from the beginning.
One wrinkle. Even though the artist/performer claims he was infatuated with music from a young age, his fear of putting himself out there prevented SICKICK from being the artist he truly wanted to be.
That all changed when he had the idea for SICKICK — the masked DJ alter ego the artist boldly claims “literally saved my life.” SICKICK has served as a character (and brash outlet) for him to conquer his own anxieties. The hope? To ride a wave of in-your-face enlightenment to the very top.
“When I put this mask on I can do anything… My dream is to create a race, a movement of people who aren’t afraid of success and to be the best they can be… I want to be the leader of this movement.”
To hear him talk now, it’s hard to picture the anxious person he was before. His confidence has grown to the point that he revels in the idea of standing out. In other words, what would’ve been an anxious person’s worst nightmare… is now SICKICK’s dream.
“I read a quote once that said ‘If you don’t fit in, you’re probably doing something right.’ I love being the black sheep of every moment that I’m in,” he said. “It’s so much more of a rush to be the person that stands out. Blending in is so boring.”
That newfound outgoing persona is crucial to SICKICK’s music, which is largely inspired by the sounds he encounters while out in the world.
“I see music everywhere. When I walk into a room, I see that object and it makes that sound,” he said. “Most of the sounds in my library, you can’t buy. That’s because I’ve made them. They might be combinations that I’ve recorded in nature. I always have my recorder because music is literally everywhere.”
Unlike other people who were born into the Type-A personality, SICKICK knows what it’s like to be worried about judgment. While some of the bold proclamations he spouts would make the Alec Baldwin character from Glengarry Glen Ross proud, he’s not here to step on people on the way to the top. SICKICK hopes to inspire his fellow introverts through his success and show them that there’s a better way to go about their life.
“I’m here to make fear scared and show people that they should just tackle whatever you want to do with all of your might,” he confesses. “Fear is such a pointless emotion. It doesn’t exist. We made it exist. I’m here to eliminate it through music.”
Eventually, he wants to see those nervous people in front of the festival main stage, dancing as fearlessly as his own alter ego would.
“My dream as SICKICK is to look out to a crowd of thousands of people who feel confident and all of them are wearing SICKICK masks,” he said. “They have forgotten about their problems and they give their soul to me for that hour. My first and last thought every day is getting to that stage.”