Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Sarah’s Hotspot: #HamOnt Rappers James Favron & LTtheMonk Collaborate for Recent Single “Better Days”

Steel City hip hop artists Favron and Tyndall push through the bad times on their latest single.

The Hamiltonian hip hop scene is buzzing. Hot off the heels of Because Design Matters’ “Because Hip Hop Matters” Anne Foster display, and on the edge of Ktriggs’ 905Fest at the end of the summer, the Steel City hip hop community is in its prime- so pop-rap songwriter James Favron decided to take advantage, and teamed up with the Sonic Unyon artist LTtheMonk for his latest single, “Better Days.”

Favron describes his personal style as a mix of 90s hip hop meets hyper-positive pop, with influences like Chance The Rapper, Tyler The Creator, and Ed Sheeran. His latest single was born from the outro of his previous release, “Enough of You.”

James Favron. Photo by Rose Deramo photography 

“We added this real tasty organ under the closing chorus on that tune, and I was just in love with it, so I asked my producer- Josh Kalogerakos of Suitcase Studios, to loop it,” said Favron. “I took it home, added a simple drum beat on it, and sat with it for a few weeks. Until one day I was shoveling snow by myself, in my head thinking about what direction to take this new musical piece and that’s when the opening lyrics, “I’ve been spending far too long in my head by myself,” came from!” 

The London-born hip hop artist LTtheMonk, or Liam Tyndall, joined the project after Favron had written his personal verses. Taking influence from the likes of Michael Jackson, Jay-Z and Jodeci, LT’s style adds a fresh twist to Favron’s discography. 

“LT and I met as neighbors last year, and I had been wanting to connect with him musically for a while,” said Favron. “The dude is very talented and I really admire his artistry, so I was really just waiting for the right song that I thought he would be down to jump on. Tonally, he brings warmth to the song, and lyrically, it’s just a whole different style of rapping and wordplay than I have. The differences complimented each other perfectly I’d say!”

The actual songwriting didn’t take very long, Favron says, but the release was stretched out over a few months due to the musicians’ schedules.

“As LT puts it so perfectly in his opening line, this is struggle rap,” said Favron. “One of my favourite things about certain strains of hip-hop is the ability to connect hardship within a sense of positivity. Acknowledging that struggle brings strength, and that it’s good to know where you want to be in life, even if you’re not there yet. For me one of the biggest battles is balancing my responsibilities as a dad, and being separated from my kids’ mom, with creating the life I want for myself.”

“Better Days” was engineered and produced by Kalogerakos, at Suitcase Studios in St. Catharines.

“Josh is a longtime friend of mine and the producer for all of the music I’m working on this year,” said Favron. “He also happens to be my guitar player for live shows, so he’s pretty involved in the whole process. I love the dude to bits and working together is always a blast. And it helps that he’s really good at what he does!” 

The rappers equipped Hamiltonian graphic designer and videographer Brody, or BecauseDesignMatters, to shoot the accompanying music video. Favron and Brody had connected over socials quite some time ago, and finally met in person when the videographer joined LT in studio.

“Shoot day was a crazy one,” said Favron. “We wanted to have a sunny day vibe, which meant we couldn’t start until about 9:30am, and then one of my kids had a birthday party to get to in the afternoon, so we had about four hours to shoot this thing in order to have it ready for the release deadline of July 15. Brody did a great job staying on track with the shots we had pre-planned, and then working with the free-space we left open for shoot day just to see what we might capture spontaneously. A big shoutout goes to Benny and Alex, my kids’ pals who are in the video, as well as ParkfromCC, Dez Hamilton, and Nicole for their cameos.” 

At the end of the day, Favron’s number one goal with the release of “Better Days” is to inspire others to discover their joy.

“Life is a wild ride full of ups and downs, successes and losses, love and heartbreak- all that jazz,” said Favron. “But joy is something you create inside that keeps you moving forward and seeing the magic in the world. Better days are all around us!”

The best way to support, connect, and keep up with Favron is to follow him on his Instagram, @jamesfavron.

“All my music is up on all the streaming services, so whatever you use, it’s there,” said Favron. “Then give yourself a little dose of sunshine and smiles by checking out the music video!”

Sarah Jessica Rintjema
Sarah Jessica Rintjemahttps://www.sarahshotspot.com/
Sarah Jessica Rintjema (she/her) is a music and arts journalist and live music photographer based in Hamilton, Ontario, and working within the GTHA. Besides running a Canadian arts promotional blog titled Sarah's Hotspot where she interviews local artists about recent single, album, and music video releases, Sarah Jessica hosts a podcast called HOTSHOTS where she dives deep into industry issues with local artists, which inspired her weekly radio show on Mohawk College's 101.5 The Hawk every Tuesday at 7PM, called HOTSHOTS On Air. You can contact Sarah Jessica through email, Instagram, or through the contact form on her website. Profile photo by Christopher Arndt.

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