Two-time WCMA Nominee Arlo Maverick is an artist whose sound explores Jazz, EDM, and Soul yet identifies itself as hip-hop. Since releasing his debut Maybe Tomorrow, in February 2016, Arlo has showcased at Zandari Festa (South Korea), Breakout West (Canada) and a Third Party Showcase at MIDEM (France).
In addition to securing showcases around the globe, Maybe Tomorrow peaked at #3 on the American National Campus Radio Weekly Hip-Hop Charts – ranking #20 on CMJ's Top 50 Hip-Hop Albums of 2016. More recently in 2017, Arlo Maverick received Edmonton Music Award nominations for Male Artist of the Year and Artist to Watch, and has taken home the Rap/Hip Hop Recording of the Year Award consecutively for the last two years.
In May, Arlo Maverick will embark on his first European tour with dates in Wales, England, and Amsterdam.
In spring of 2018, Arlo Maverick will release his sophomore album, Soul Merchant. Inspired by the Netflix original series Black Mirror, Soul Merchant is a loosely based concept album that explores the unanticipated consequences of technology. With it’s departure from a linear narrative as heard on his debut Maybe Tomorrow, Soul Merchant is an anthology of stories about relationships and human interactions in an age of technology. With topics ranging from suicide (“Solitaire”), narcissism (“Tap It”), and pride (“More Than A Flex”), Soul Merchant offers social commentary with Arlo Maverick and his inner circle as the case study. Known for his collaborations, Arlo Maverick features Fendercase, K-Riz, Selassie and many others from the Edmonton music community. Soul Merchant is mixed by Brad Smith of Velveteen Audio in Edmonton, AB with production courtesy of Mike Schlosser, Motorbike James, Jon Mario, Oozeela and Mistah Fingaz.
What’s the most ‘rock star’ thing that you’ve ever done? Headlining the Friday night of North Country Fair in 2017 as a Hip-Hop act. I think what makes it “rock star” is that we changed the minds of so many people who weren’t fans of hip-hop prior to our performance. Some people in attendance commented that they had never seen a hip-hop act before but were now interested in seeing more. Despite its impact globally, Hip-Hop still has a negative stigma attached to it so helping change people’s mind is an accomplishment in and of itself.
What do you like better studio or stage and why? I like the stage better. In the studio you can get lost in “perfection”. On stage, the moment you’re in, lives and dies as it happens so it becomes less about perfection and more about connection. In the studio I assume how an audience will react to my music. On stage I see how they react to it.
If you had to give up music – what would you do to be creative? I would go back to drawing. While music has always been a part of my life before I knew how to or even if I could write a song, I was drawing and creating my own cartoon and comic characters.
Strangest venue or gig you’ve ever played? In the summer of 2017, I was contacted by Johnny Marlow of BreakOut West to help them find a way to “Remix their Awards Ceremony”. BOW wanted to find a way to honor award recipients without a drawn out ceremony. After a few conversations back and forth, I was tasked with finding a way to honor 23 nominees and announce the respective winners of each category in 20 minutes. Luckily I roll with some of the best musicians in Edmonton and had access to some of the most talented vocalists in Western Canada. We ended up coming under the 20 minutes without compromising the prestige of the ceremony.
What is the best advice you were given in the music business? I have a lot of mentors so it’s hard to pick the best, but I always revisit something Kyle Kraft once told me. It was something to the effect of… “Spend your time and save your money. As your career begins to develop, eventually you won’t be able to spend your time and will have to spend your money.”