I have an interesting job: I get to leave my cubicle from time to time. Crazy, right? (Ed. note: yes). Although, most of the time when I do leave my desk, I'm off to meet a very late rapper (the industry term is "rapper time"), a hungover band still sleeping, a tour manager who doesn't communicate because they have no cell service in our country, a security guard who won't let me inside a venue, or a publicist who will tell me the artist never made it over the Canadian border.
Between all those mishaps, there are some good things that happen every once in a while. I get to meet fun people and ask them ridiculous questions. I get to see amazing musicians talk about their craft. I get to hang out with viral goofballs on red carpets. The following are my favourite Chart TV videos I've produced in 2015 and the stories behind them.
In my favourite shoot ever, I found myself hanging out with Mac DeMarco for a whole day at the Junos. Mac was there as both a Chart Attack correspondent and a nominee, but when it was his turn to strut down the red carpet the press wrangler stared at him dumbfounded, wondering who this person was and how he got on the red carpet. When they look at their list, they find him listed as "Mark DeMarco." If you want to know what happens next, just hit play.
The greatest interview response I've ever had took place in this interview with Compton rapper YG. I asked him to give a 10 second review of the last film he saw. What was his response? I don't want to spoil it, but it definitely wasn't 10 seconds and most certainly was not a review. But he did review social media sites instead... on the basis of which was the best for getting laid.
(See als0: The Best of Rapid Fire)
Try doing research for an interview with Christine and the Queens, but before you do that, learn the French language. I didn't have that kind of time, so I decided to ask for some much needed life advice. For instance, how to survive a party when you're an awkward person, how to make a good first impression to the CEO and which dance moves I should pull out in front of my friends. Christine hit every answer out of the park and saved me. I can now function properly at home, at parties and at work. Thank you, Christine.
Years & Years rose to massive heights this year with their stellar debut album Communion. What better way to top it off than making fun of your bandmates relentlessly?
Act I, Scene i
EXT: A cold Toronto evening. Video Producer Ryan Parker shuffles uncomfortably outside the Phoenix Concert Theatre, trying to peer into a window.
Ryan (voiceover): I pull up to the venue far too early, early enough that I consider waiting outside so I don't seem too eager. I like to play things cool, but that's not happening. I have 50 pounds of equipment on my back and it's freezing outside. I walk into the unguarded venue, hear some beats from a distance, and maneuver my way towards them. I look for my contact (let's call him Terry), and after 15 minutes of awkward standing around and checking my phone, he appears.
Terry: He's not gonna be coming here.
Ryan stares, puzzled.
Terry: He's at his hotel. Did you drive?
Ryan: Nah, I took public transportation.
Terry: Oh, okay, well you can roll with us.
Ryan (voiceover): "Roll with us." Roll with us? Am I cool enough for this? No. I get in their tinted Escalade. I'm already feeling like a king.
Act I, Scene ii
INT: An Eckhart Tolle audiobook on consciousness plays in the background.
Rap Crew Member #2: Yo, where's the closest pharmacy? I need a bunch of condoms.
Ryan (voiceover): We pull up to a Shopper's Drug Mart. Rap Crew Member 2 runs in and 10 minutes later, returns with a bunch of Magnum XL condoms. I'm trying my best not to laugh at how ridiculous this is.
Act I, Scene iii
INT: Hotel room. Rich Homie Quan lies on the bed getting tattooed by a visiting tattoo artist. A cop show plays on the TV. Let's call it CSI.
Ryan (voiceover): RHQ is clearly occupied and barely acknowledges my presence. I don't know what to do, so as Rap Crew Member 3 lights a joint in the bathroom, I start setting up my equipment. I wait around 30 minutes for his tattoo session to be done. Suddenly RHQ pops up, very friendly and accommodating.
Rich Homie Quan: Sorry for taking so long.
Ryan (voiceover): It's cool man, I got to watch an episode of CSI I haven't seen before.
Ryan and Rich Homie Quan do the Rapid Fire interview.