I feel like even with only a handful of Unsung Artists posts, I’ve already ran the gamut of negative industry scenarios. I’ve had artists who’ve had their chance, some who’ve seemingly had their spot taken, and of course, those who are still pretty successful, but lack the spotlight they deserve. Well, take all of what I just said and put a nice Canadian bow on it, and we have today’s unsung artist, Colin Munroe.
If I could describe Colin Munroe’s role in the music industry, I have to say he’s the “down ass whiteboy” of the industry. I say that because after collaborating with a few acts while in college totally not pursuing a music degree, Colin stumbled upon a Juno award nod. After that more and more Canadian rap artists like Saukrates, Kardinal Offishall, and yes, Drake were looking for this guys production and songwriting expertise.
Soon after, many American artists were looking for this Colin guy. Realizing he has a knack for this type of thing, Colin put out an album titled Don’t Think Less Of Me. It was around this time that Dallas Austin, a producer with so many credits it’d actually be easier to list which artists he hasn’t worked with, pursued Munroe and got him a deal with Universal Motown. This was about the time I started to hear about him.
Being the eclectic rapscallion I am, I was of course looking through various indie music sites fishing for some sonic enlightenment. However, after an hour of that, I got bored and just downloaded Kanye West’s Glow In The Dark Tour mixtape and heard the strangest version of “Flashing Lights” ever with this odd, somewhat flat, but in a good way, sounding vocalist putting his own spin on what I feel is one of Kanye’s best songs period. So I decided to look this kid up and found the oddest video to match, and wouldn’t you know it, it was posted on Kanye’s own blog.
Anyone talented enough to break through Kanye’s tunnel vision is worth paying attention to.
Rightfully riding off the strength of his Kanye endorsement, Colin released Colin Munroe Is The Unsung Hero. Excuse me while I pat myself on the back few times for the expert tie in. Anyways, on the of the features alone this mixtape is pretty incredible, and I’m not talking about star power here because honestly, at the time, Munroe had more star power then most of these guys with his youtube fanbase. I’m talking about in terms of taste and quality. You see acts like Wale, Mickey Factz, and Drake, years before they were famous and it’s kind of a trip to look back at now.
The crazy thing with Colin Munroe is that he kind of fell off the grid around the 2009-20010 area. In that time, many “down ass whiteboys” have emerged looking to take his place from Mark Ronson’s go to vocalist, Daniel Merriweather, to Adam Levine. However, he’s consistently been in the liner notes and featured on many songs since then urging me to believe that he’s taking the Ryan Leslie path and making a killing in music from the inside. As I write this, Pusha T has a song coming out with Munroe on it so the guy is clearly still very much in demand, unfortunately, I feel the time spent on others work may be taking away from his own aspirations. However, regardless of what I think, or whatever silent industry money or respect he’s gotten, this guy deserves a chance to get out in the spotlight more and show his talent. Personally, I know I’ll be anxiously waiting for the day he does.