“Five Minutes With” local Toronto Hip Hop artist Odario

Odario (née Odario Williams) is a storyteller, a hip-hop junkie and a lover of many musical soundscapes. Odario wears many hats and describes himself as a raconteur, an actor and a DJ, currently hosting CBC Music’s afterdark program.

As a founding member of Grand Analog, he has received considerable praise and critical acclaim, co-writing songs for three albums, three EPs and along with several singles. His music has generated over 65 syncs and he has been nominated for Sync Artist or Songwriter of the Year at the Canadian Sync Awards.

Odario has also been featured on a number of other artist’s tracks including the recent A Tribe Called Red single “Ba Na Na” with Haviah Mighty, the Ghost Caravan single “Damn You”, the Delhi 2 Dublin single “Magic”, the Sunshine Makers’ single “Empathy” and the Qualité Motel single “Play Hard”.

Odario by Jason Cipparrone
Odario by Jason Cipparrone

Name: Odario

Genre: Explorative Hip-Hop

Latest Single: Low Light (In This Space) ft. Dawn Pemberton

Stream here: https://smarturl.it/dr084

Latest Video: Odario – Low Light (In This Space) ft. Dawn Pemberton

Favourite Restaurant:

It’s a tie between Bar Isabel and Chubby’s Jamaican Kitchen. I frequent those two the most. Jules Bistro would be a close second.

Favourite band as a teenager:

In those days, I discovered the music of early 80’s Lower Manhattan. Bands like Talking Heads, Blondie and E.S.G.

Favourite band now:

Berbice 88 (look out for that project when it drops)

Guilty Pleasure Song:

“Don’t Worry Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin

Live Show Ritual:

Swallow a spoonful of Manuka honey. Give my brother, DJ Ofield, a big hug and wish him a great set. Then slowly sip my triple shot of bourbon (neat) to get me in the zone just before showtime.

Favourite local artist:

This changes daily… but today I’m really feelin’ emcee Tona, vocalist Elise LeGrow, songwriter Lydia Persaud, surf-rock-shoegaze band Mango Reinhardt and the weird wonderful indie-pop of Bernice (just to name a few).

Sneaky Dees nachos, pasta from Terroni or a superfood salad from Fresh?

A pasta from Terroni, with a glass of Italian red wine, would make my night, any night.

Queen or College St?

I’ve lived on College St for years. It’s home. It’s classy (sort of). And the characters are my level of crazy. I may never understand those Queen St crazies… and they don’t get me either. It’s a different kind of crazy. Long live the Royal Theater, The Walton, Soundscapes, Sotto Voce, Dish Cooking, Ted’s Collision and Cafecafe Diplomatico.

Trinity Bellwoods or High Park, Riverdale or Kew Gardens?

On any given hot summer Sunday, Trinity Bellwoods Park resembles Woodstock back in ’69. It’s practically a gorgeous hipster village full of dreamers & schemers. I mean hundreds of hot humans laying around in the grass, smoking grass. With the right company, I can spend the entire day there until the sun sets. It’s a lovely time. Mind you, my husky pup Koda prefers High Park. The beauty & peacefulness of High Park is growing on me.

EP or LP?

LP… but it’s gotta be short in length. Just slightly longer than an EP.

Early bird or night owl?

Night Owl forever… but lately, my husky pup Koda sees it otherwise. He wakes up at 7am daily.

Road or studio?

Very good question. It’s really two different mind sets, two different energies. When I’m feeling creative I can’t be on the road. And although the road can be unhealthy… it’s a damn good time.

Swiss Chalet or Roti?

If I answered “Swiss Chalet”… my Guyanese parents would disown me for life! Roti is in my DNA. Roti all day.

Where can we follow you?

Twitter | Instagram

Any shows or albums coming up?

My solo EP Good Morning, Hunter will be released this May on Do Right Music.




About Joel Levy 2575 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography