Initially starting his career as a member of acclaimed Winnipeg-based hip-out outfit The Lytics, Anthony OKS stepped out into the limelight as a solo artist back in 2018 with the releasee of his debut single, “Cadillac,” feat. Cadence Weapon. The collaboration with Cadence Weapon received attention from Toronto-based website Sidewalk Hustle, while further establishing his reputation for delivering on head nodding bangers and introspective and soulful headphone tracks with equal force. He also picks up gigs DJ’ing across his hometown.
Since the release of “Cadillac,” the Winnipeg-based artist has been busy: he’s shared stages with Grand Analog, Shad and the aforementioned Cadence Weapon — and he’s played sets at Real Love Summer Fest, Bastid’s BBQ and Tokyo’s Varit Roppongi Bar.
As a member of The Lytics and as a solo artist, the Winnipeg-based emcee has toured across the world, playing in front of thousands. His sophomore EP In The Garden is the culmination of years of self-reflection, hard-earned wisdom and an identity shift. The EP’s six songs see the rising Canadian artist digging deep into change, whether in his personal life — in the past year, he was introduced to 50 new family members in Nigeria and Sierra Leone — in his hometown and globally, as the Black Lives Matter movement has grown into communities worldwide. The EP also builds on his 2019 debut Take Time, offering some of the most introspective and honest material to date.
“I use music as a tool to get different things out of me,” Anthony OKS says. “I talk a lot with my people but I don’t always get as deep as I could get. I’m a pretty private person, but music gives me that gateway to let some things go I probably should.”
Released earlier this year, through LHM Records, the EP features attention-grabbling singles “Clearly Now” and “All About You.” Continuing upon the momentum of those two previously released singles, the EP’s third and latest single is the duet “Fortified Bond,” featuring Polaris Prize long-lister Begonia contributing her soulful, pop belter vocals for the song’s uplifting hook paired with a Mos Def-like neo-soul leaning production featuring thumping beats and twinkling Rhodes.
The Winnipeg-based emcee contributes thoughtful and vulnerable verses detailing his own personal growth, of finding a life-sustaining, powerful and meaningful love with someone else in which there’s complementary and mutual growth. And while celebrating that sort of love with a contented sigh that comes from living a full and messy life, the song’s narrators recognize that adult love is lucky and rare.
The gorgeously shot, recently released video employs a vivid color scheme that’s split between footage of Begonia and Anthony OKS rocking out and goofing off in a meadow during golden hour, and of Anthony OKS driving around Winnipeg in a blue Cadillac.