If there is one thing we took away from our initial meeting with Brampton artist Villa, real name Tafari Christie, it’s that he’s one hell of a storyteller. Whether he’s explaining the ethos of a 90’s G Section (Graham Crescent in Brampton) or the origins of the name ‘Villa’, he captures our attention with ease. You first become acquainted with Villa’s storytelling through his first single ‘Daddy Was a Stoner’. This eerie production is coupled with humbling lyrics about struggle and friendship – an apt homage to one’s origins.
Villa grew up in a Rastafarian household. Citing a practice of asceticism and immersive spirituality, Villa explains his father to be a very strict man. From a young age, Villa maintained the Rastafari discipline (today, Villa is a vegan). Coming from a family of talented singers, Villa saw music as not only genetic, but concomitant to his existence and purpose in the world. He began producing heavily, making bangers for his friends in the G Section. Villa, taking inspiration from Kanye’s precedent, took to rapping as well. It turns out his musical aptitude extended to the realm of lyricism, having been cited as the ‘best freestyler’ in his group.
This is only the beginning for Villa. He produced ‘Daddy Was a Stoner’ from scratch, meaning he didn’t use a single sample. Brampton Says had the opportunity to listen to some of his upcoming tracks and take it from us, they’re fire.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aS-dO42YHMw]
Villa is an anomaly in this industry; it’s clear that his intention is to explore a province of sound, and experience, previously unexplored. He had an upbringing deeply rooted in spirituality, developing an eclectic taste in music. From a young age, his past was fraught with hardship, often face to face with violence. His response to this, however, has been an insistent advocacy for peace as the best alternative to rough situations. Villa is doing this for the art. He’s doing this for Brampton.
It is very rare to have the opportunity to witness an artist like this from their beginnings. If you’re ready to take this journey with Villa, you can start here: