Interlude: 📍 elsewhere

There’s something to be achieved by leaving your comfort zone. For some people, this means departing a certain mental destination, but if you’re like me it’s often something a little more tangible that you seek.

Over the 7 or so months that have passed since graduating university I’ve had the pleasure of more than doubling the number of cities that I’ve got to explore during my entire lifespan thus far. What started as a change of scenery in the ol’ outback of Australia (read as: a big share-house 10 minutes away from Bondi Beach), seemingly seamlessly transitioned into a cross-map expedition of the United States – but now even back home in Canada, I’ve found myself making as many mini excursions as possible.

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Schedules are great and all, and finding that ideal routine is nice – but nothing quite enhances the creative experience as much a night in the back of a car in the mountains with your friends, or maybe just a solo expedition in hopes of stumbling on a place that you’ve never been before. (Sometimes I wish I was a real photographer, just for the excuse to be constantly venturing to new, cool places at all times).

Y’see, being a creative is as much about the what you produce, as it is about what you consume. A creative’s “diet” consists of everything we take in throughout the day – from the vlogger you watch in the AM, to the accounts you monitor daily on the ‘gram, and including but not limited to the events you partake in – which is why specific scenery can be so important. Not only can a little day trip act as the perfect excuse to pry your retinas off your iBlackHole for a few minutes, the sheer energy that will radiate off whatever sunset you end up watching, or lake you end up treading in will be enough to shift even the most deadset minds and spirits.


This time around, the Interlude playlist will be focused on showcasing the best upcoming talent from around the globe; some of which I had the pleasure of meeting during my travels like Jake Crocker from Seattle, WA, to some who are popping off in places I hope to venture to soon like Two Another out of London, UK, all the way to, of course, sensational artists that I found out about on the internet (like UK’s Jacob Banks who I discovered on the COLORS Berlin Facebook page singing his heart out). Oh, and you know I had to throw a Canadian in there, so Toronto’s Daniel Caeser is rightfully holding it down for those of us North of the 49th parallel.

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Check out the playlist below, and leave a comment if you know anyone from your region that I’ve gotta check out – who knows, they might even score my next Interlude.

follow my adventures on the gram @hxspey, or on twitter @hospey

How To Work For Your Favourite Rapper

Is it really possible to land your DREAM job, only a handful of months out of college? Apparently so. But I bet you’ve never had a first day like this before…

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Here is how to work for your favourite rapper:

The first day of work is never easy. You hope that your new peers will like you; you hope your new boss will be impressed. Well, today is your first day at your new job… except your job is a cross-country rap-tour, your peers are world-class musicians and your boss, who invited you on said tour, has won a triplet of Grammy awards. He’s 24, and he’s your favorite rapper.

As a 22-year-old yourself, freshly graduated, you harbor the powers of the internet and somehow secure the dream job from your thrifty confines in Sydney, Australia – a temporary shelter from the true responsibilities of the motherland – Canada. Life can happen as swiftly as a resume goes viral, and since your application happened to do so, about three weeks will pass before your first day on the job.

“Welcome to the tour! What do you do here?” You’re not really sure, yet. But you’re excited anyway. “I’m the intern!”

Fortunately, your meager sense of professionalism will protect you from coming across as too much of a fan during your first encounter with your new colleagues, and boss. A littered table, a MacBook Pro (acting as a rolling tray), and several extended hands are the first things you encounter. Don’t say much; being known as that quiet new kid is better than being known as the ‘OMG do you remember the first thing that kid said to us??!?’-guy. Your new boss and his friends will take in the Bulls game before show time, so just chill. You’ll spend most of your first day quietly strolling about, meandering as if a regular – notebook out, diligently note-taking as if this will give the impression of a sort of established journalist rather than the internet-kid-turned-shitty-blogger that you are/were/may well become.

The first few weeks will be blurry, abstract, and smoked out. Every experience eye opening; some burdening, most reddening. The hotel rooms are bigger than your future. Every time someone asks you “So… I know you’re the intern, but what do you actually do here?” you become less sure of yourself. What nobody will warn you about touring with 90 others is the loneliness. Individual loneliness, but collectively as well – impersonal, half-day rendezvous the crew will make at each venue or hotel will leave much to be desired. As a family though, the growth is rich. Around those deeply eased by each other’s presence, quickly, you will find comfort as well. You’re thankful for this family, even if you are never truly able to externalize these feelings besides rolling out of your bus-bunk each day and greeting everyone with whatever designated handshake you’ve become privy to.

As your tenure continues, the daily happenings (consisting of: movie-club, games 21, chain-smoking Backwoods, and digesting barely-palatable catering) feel like second nature. As routine as the schedule may feel, the lifestyle will be anything but. Unforeseen circumstances constantly arrive and must be dutifully accounted for. Appointments will have to be re-arranged to accommodate story time with Dave Chappelle. You will have to fit in dinner time drinks with Fonzworth Bentley. Physical activity is a must – try hoops with the Migos ft. Myles Turner, or perhaps a private volleyball game at Bonnaroo. Downtime will consist of a quiet New York eve; a casual 5-star meal, family style, followed by GQ’s NBA Playoff viewing party should suffice.

Of these experiences, you’ll want to tell your friends everything, yet you physically won’t be able to tell them about the moments of which words won’t muster meaning, nor the aspects that encapsulated the experience because you still can’t describe them. It’ll take a while.

By the last few weeks, you will be exhausted. You will be fucking exhausted. You will be energized by the amazing creatives and beautiful people in your constant presence. Like Tyler, you will be a walking paradox. While watching your boss –your boss– take the stage in his ‘worlds best dad’ tee, tweaking each sound-check to perfection, the concept of a ‘finish line’ will disappear from mind. Watching the gang roll five, ten, sometimes fifteen deep on whatever miniature motorized vehicle they can get their hands on, like a biker gang beckoning the kingdom, you will understand the importance of your closest circles. Reminders of displacement and trajectory are constant; Skype calls to friends and family remind you exactly how far away from home you are, yet how far you still have to go.

After adjustments, by tours end, you will come to a realization: there’s no right way to work for your favorite rapper. In fact, there may not even be a way to work for your favorite rapper. Compensation won’t come to mind, nor per diems – you would’ve done it for free. After all, a story’s worth a thousand resumes.

Prior to your journey, you will have been bred with cautionary reminders to be wary of your wishes. Post, your outlook will relax. There’s less to worry about than you think. Seamlessly, 32 shows will pass and your admiration will never waver. Hell, you might just come out of the other end with 1 or 2 timeless stories and a new group of people to call ‘family’.


My time as intern for Chance the Rapper is something that could never be justifiably summed up in words (trust me: I wrote thousands of words on tour, scrapped multiple ideas post-tour, and over a month later I’ve finally come up with something I can be proud of). It was a time of transition in my life that marked a shift from slightly hesitant sometimes-blogger putting off getting a real job, into a confident multi-faceted creative with a taste of how great it all could be – and the newfound realization of the person that I’m meant to be.

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In the past I’ve noted my feelings of sorrow for those in life who never truly realize what they are meant to be, but until the Be Encouraged Tour I never truly had an opportunity to interact with so many people who had seemingly reached the level of content in their contributions to the culture that I too hope to reach one day (and yes, I hate the phrase “the culture” just as much as you do). There were many times that I questioned myself and wondered why exactly I was where I was, but I really do feel that I was graced with this opportunity for a reason.

I can talk all I want about my run-ins with various celebrities including the ones I lived with for 2 months, or how a taste of the VIP lifestyle changed me, but the first moment that really left shivers down my spine was a slightly more natural one:

Night 2 at the Red Rocks Amphitheater in Denver, CO.

 The band intros happen nearly halfway thru the show, and after the ovation for ‘Mr. Nico Segal’, ”Sunday Candy” begins. Suddenly, it was if the heavens literally opened up for a second; right as the vocalists harmonized the lines “Come on in this house, cause it’s gonna rain, Rain down Zion, it’s gonna rain”, the most peaceful light mist fell from the sky until the end of the song and as suddenly as they started, ceased. Something about that moment made me realize that I, or rather we, were doing something right, enough so to please our God & Mother Nature & the sky themselves.

(Corny right? Oh well.)

Chance is exactly like the man you’d picture him to be, as a family man, business man, and friend, so instead of another biography, the last thing I’ll note is possibly my favourite quote from my entire trip with him. He once forgot to put on his signature ‘3’ cap before a show in the second half of tour, and as his assistant Colleen reminded him of it he turned and said with an insightful smirk, “you know what’s funny? If I didn’t put this hat on tonight, there would’ve been a Complex article by tomorrow rationalizing exactly why I didn’t wear this hat”.

What more can I say? What makes him such a great person is his understanding that while many of us care to sensationalize the few shreds that we get may get from him, he can better use his influence to spread the type of community-boosting positivity & joy that he is now so well known for.

All that is really left to say, once more, is thank you, Chance.

-A how-to, by hospey.

follow my adventures on the gram @hxspey, or on twitter @hospey

How To Be A Good Storyteller

Your grandparents (or maybe even your own parents or older siblings) always told the best stories. It seemed as if their seemingly billions of years on the planet so far had all been encapsulated into an endless number of amazing and awing stories that made you second guess that you really knew anything about them at all.

There’s something to say about a person who has good stories to tell. Follow these steps and you too will be able to leave a lasting impression with any sub-urban legend that you decide to recite.

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Here is how to become a good storyteller: 

You’re a creative. But you’re a special type of creative. You’re not special in the way that what you make is any more important than any other medium – perhaps even less special in that regards in the eyes of some – but special in the way that your medium is a little less obvious. And a lot less tangible.

You see, musicians make music, singers make songs, photographers take photos, writers write, but storytellers… well, storytellers simply just live.  They live to do things. Sometimes with purpose, and sometimes with luck, storytellers live to share their experiences; professional glorified dreamers you could say. (Disclaimer: these things are not mutually exclusive! Many photographers, writers, poets, etc ARE storytellers.)

Now that’s fine and all, but at the end when you’re old and you’re gray and you’ve been through it all, will you just automatically have these stories? Well, some people will. Some people naturally live more ‘exciting’ lives, simply by figuring out what their purpose was at an early enough age and having the resources to make the most of that execution. You? You will be the special case that has only one resource to coincide with your purpose: gumption.

You’ll be in a position where people question your intentions. You don’t seem to take anything seriously, and you’ll “waste” your time on acts of spontaneity. You’ll be able to see past the foreseeable “risks” on the top row of the eye chart called ‘life’ to focus on the fuzzy yet existent rewards on the very bottom row (‘1, or 2’). You’re not content with living vicariously. This is the mentality that will land you in some VIP section in some club in some city that you’ve only seen on TV, and the same mentality that will leave you wondering how so many people can be content celebrating with bottles that aren’t theirs. If it’s not your bottles, then you haven’t worked hard enough yet – but, you’ll have a story to tell about that night anyways.

Furthermore, you’ll be able to accept that it won’t always work out; sometimes the story won’t have a happy ending. You’ll accept that sometimes the hot air balloon ride doesn’t happen, and sometimes you don’t hit that game winner. But you accept that as many times as it doesn’t work out, it will work out. You enjoy the gamble. You not only trust yourself, but you trust the process – you understand that you can win the lottery more than the Philadelphia 76ers if you put yourself out there.

You understand that you can’t tell the story if you can’t be there to document it. If you weren’t there, did it really happen like that? You understand that if it didn’t happen like that, that you will from here on out have a responsibility to tell it how it did happen – with a few evolving add-ons that are a byproduct of time and excitement.

One day, you know that you too will be a grandparent and that you’ll hold the civic duty of capturing the young minds of kin and taint them with your minimally exaggerated stories that will be maximally exaggerated by their scale-less minds. For the time being though, you simply live and practice your medium with everyone who mistakenly asks to hear you tell the far-too-long-form version of what happened “that one time…”


Like the fresh prince that I think I am in my own mind, my life has recently been flip turned upside down. I keep having to remind myself that yes, this is real, and no, it’s not an accident. Whatever is happening to be as a product of my medium; I’m a storyteller.

In the past 30 days I have been to 20+ cities, in 3 countries, spanning 2 continents. I’ve logged and endless amount of kilometers, and squeezed into far too many uncomfortable plane seats. I’ve enjoyed a plethora of oversized hotel beds, and snapped enough pictures to fill up a handful of memory cards. I’ve witnessed rappers ride miniature motorcycles, and seen comedians roast their own children. I’ve been to playoff games, and stood front row at every concert I’ve been at.

(Above: Only a few of the multiple shots I’ve taken over the last month or so. Trust when I tell you that the next edition of ‘Throwaways‘ will be crazy.)

None of these are embellishments, and none of these statements are meant to gloat. To me, they’re simply stories for me to tell you about, later (and I do plan to tell y’all about them, soon), in hopes that in return you’ll go and chase something crazy that you can tell me about the next time. Thinking about people who never have the realization of the person that they are meant to be is something that is enough to keep me up at night. If the fact that I have been able to materialize all of these dreams by age 22 is enough to do that for you, then I guess I’ll keep telling stories.

Or maybe I’m just wasting my time, and my grandkids will be too busy on their iPhone 42+’s to listen to my stupid stories anyways.

-A how-to, by Hospey.

follow my adventures on the gram @hxspey, or on twitter @hospey

How to Watch The Sunset

There are few natural feats in life that deliver as much sheer beauty as a sunset.

You might have or favourite spot, or maybe you’re a chaser wherever you are. Maybe you like to go by yourself, or maybe you have a special sunset buddy. Regardless, there is something special about that transition from golden hour to moonlit dusk.

But what is the best way to perfectly indulge in the sunset? Just follow these pointers.

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Here is How To Watch The Sunset:

“Bondi Sunset” – “5:38”, google replies. 5:14, you take flight off the main doorstep.

I don’t know why, but you’ll ALWAYS be late, so plan ahead. Try to time it so that you arrive at your spot at least 15-20 minutes before the sun is scheduled to start setting. And remember, even if you’re early, you’re still late. So don’t worry too much.

Tucked in the hills of North, Bondi in Sydney, Australia, a magical spot presides. It’s not the most secluded, or the least known, but it’s perfect. It’s a mere meetup for the non-existent sun-setters club, and you’ve just gained membership. You have only a handful of minutes until it’s time, and the bus is pulling up as close as it’ll go, each stop beforehand playing Jenga with your angst. At this point, with your nose pressed against the window, the billowy clouds over the bay will start to seem closer than science should allow. You’ll hop off the bus as cumulus destiny seems to summon you. You’ll want to stop and set up camp right then and there, but you haven’t quite made it to your spot yet – snap out of it. You will start the playlist.

 – – – – –

“Clouds Never Get Old”; Bas harkens the sky with a bouncy ode as you stroll to your spot, gazing up at the sky as if it was your first time seeing it. “Palm Trees” will play as you settle in. Relaxed and taking in the beauty, you’ll seek out the perfect vantage point. A few minutes will pass, and as the sun struggles to peek out over the skyline the cotton candy clouds will 2-step as Frank Ocean’s intro begins. “Pink+White” takes over your soul – green, your body.  Hearing Frank naturally makes you want to hear more Frank.

The beginning of the 2nd half of “Nights” marks the end of another day to most, or the beginning of another for a creative, as you peer out and finally seem to understand the color navy. (Not an ocean blue, but it’s not quite purple either. It’s underneath the clouds, yet never eclipses the horizon. As sure as you’ve ever been of anything).

Sampha’s hymns a background for your truest admirations. You’ll embrace the beauty of the sky, the day, maybe the person you are with (I’m not too sure), and finally exactly where you are at this very moment in life, and realize that even if you never think of this moment ever again, you’ll never forget it. “4422”. The actualizations set in and the energy of your surroundings and everything in reach resurface as the harsh vibrations of “Foreign Fields”. Maybe it’s the lack of sun, but you have chills.

Quiñ’s voice haunts you, and you free-fall back to earth with cinder blocks of emotion bound to your ankles. Gerald gives you something(/someone) relatable(/regrettable) to think about, and you feel it. (I’m not sure what that something is, it’s ineffable, but you’ll know it when you feel it). The quintessential nighttime song, nothing else man-made has ever made you feel that way.

 – – – – –

The sunset is now over and so is the playlist, and you’ve already started trying to re-materialize the fading ink. One by one the stars start to appear, and you start to attempt to rationalize the last 28 minutes.

You can’t because there isn’t anything to rationalize. It was just another perfect sunset.


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This was the sunset tonight. I really wasn’t lying. It’s really hard to write about, or even remember these type of evenings after the fact.

I wrote this piece by hand during an early April sunset in Bondi, my first after another bout with a creative block. All together I spent about a month piecing together the ideas for this, starting venturing to a bunch of ideal spots, experimenting with the right songs for the playlist, and finally getting out and testing it out for myself. The block coming via an abundance of overwhelming news, I think this is exactly the piece I was hoping for, and needed.

Again, the listenable playlist is here, in case you missed it (I would’ve embedded it, but 8tracks’ WordPress add-on looks horrendous, and Frank isn’t on Soundcloud). Try it out at your next sunset, and let me know if it works for you too.

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Lord knows I haven’t seen the sunrise is almost 3 years, but I don’t think there is anything I love more than a good sunset. Maybe that is just the night-person in me.

a how-to,

by hospey.

follow my adventures on the gram @hxspey, or on twitter @hospey

Interlude: FIENDS In Tokyo

Music has always been my saving grace. No matter what I’ve been doing, where I’ve been, how I’ve been feeling, or what I’ve been creating, music has always been the one thing that can pluck me out of my feelings and drop me anywhere I need to be. 

Aside from my How-To’s, I will be launching another 2 (for now) re-occurring segments on this website; 1 which I will launch a little later, and 1 called Interlude. The Interlude will serve as random intermissions in my regularly scheduled postings to talk a bit about music in some form, and how it is affecting me on my travels. This might be some tunes that I’ve been listening to a lot (compiled into a playlist for y’all), or some insights from some of my favorite artists, or something else completely. We’ll keep working at it.

Welcome to The Interlude.


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Interlude: FIENDS In Tokyo

One of my favourite artists, who made one of my favourite albums of last year recently made the journey to Japan to film a few new music videos (and hopefully work on some new music as well – I can only assume the constant cultural saturation of a place like Japan must to wonders for the creative process). That artist, Bas, joined by his FIENDS crew, teamed up with videographer Scott Lazer to create the new mini-documentary “FIENDS in Tokyo”.

Serving as another look into the mind of the late-blooming 29 year old Queens-based rapper (he only started rhyming 5-6 years ago), the doc follows Bas, Cozz, and co. while they explore the city, speaking on the culture, the love they receive, and the importance of travel – with a few quirky moments along the way. All in all, it’s an easy 9-minute watch with some stunning visuals.

For me, what really got caught my attention was a certain voice of at the end by the aforementioned Dreamville artist Cozz on the significance of travel. He says:

I know I’ve been fed a lot of lies about the world growing up, and every time I travel I get to see for myself… what it’s really about, and what there is to learn about other people and other cultures, and what there is to respect about ’em and try to incorporate to your own. And at the end of the day, travel is the best form of education because you can get to the real.

In Mass Appeal’s premiere for the doc, they say down with Bas and he continued on the notion:

I think we have to just get out of the bubble. All these bubbles that keep people apart are really just built off of misinformation and propaganda, and all types of ways that people’s thinking is manipulated. When you actually have the experiences for yourself, or give someone else that experience that they’ve never had, you’re shattering all those stereotypes and breaking people out of their bubble. Everyone should at least attempt to do that for your own growth, and of course for the next man… I’ve never in life regretted spending on travel. You never do. You’ll have those experiences that really help shape who you are, who you’ll become, and the way you view the world.

As you can probably tell, Bas is an incredibly bright man, and I’d urge you to check out the rest of that article, here, where he talks more about his fascination with Toyko, the Trump travel ban, and his upcoming work.

For me, something about Bas and his personality & thoughts has an innate effect on me. Hell, before I even began my travels, one of his lyrics became a permanent reminder to myself to go out and explore. I got the words “clouds never get old” tattooed, and I knew immediately that the line was special to me even before I understood what he meant by it. When I finally got the fortunate chance to ask Bas about to line during a Genius Q&A on Twitter he explained, “I fly often on road, but somehow that moment when you break the clouds and come up over them just never gets old.” That was all I needed to hear.

Now, no matter which city I wake up in, or which coastline I’m watching the cotton candy clouds as the sun goes down, I always remember that there is so much more to see.

Go check out the 2 videos that Bas shot while in Japan, including one for possibly my favourite off of the tape in “Live For“, and also for the introspective “Penthouse“, live on Vevo now.

HHT Interlude: Vol. 1