Cape Breton rapper Mitchell Bailey’s latest single is more about ballot boxes than beatboxing.
Over the Thanksgiving Day weekend, when most people were thinking about second helpings, Bailey, a 22-year-old rapper from Glace Bay, wrote, recorded and released a video for “Vote,” a song that encourages people to, well, vote during the Oct. 21 federal election.
And he was inspired to do so because he thinks hustling hip hop artists and stumping politicians aren’t all that different.
“Over the past few months, I’ve recently developed a growing interest in observing politicians and how they operate,” he explained. “I just find the campaigning and hard work for the bettering of the community and the country is inspiring to me because I find it similar to some of the important aspects of being a recording artist, which is communicating with people, and that’s always been one of my favourite things.
"So over the past few years with developing my platform through music and just that knowing this is an important conversation, an important time right now, I thought I’d just use my platform for something positive — to encourage a younger audience that might not be paying as much attention to the latest news and politics and whatnot, to maybe encourage them to go read up and stuff, and make a decision and hopefully go vote next week.”
Bailey said the local doctor shortage is one of the biggest issues he’d like to see addressed by whichever party forms the next government.
“It shouldn’t be an inconvenience if you’re sick here and you have to wait an extremely long period of time because there’s not enough doctors to attend to you. That’s really important,” Bailey said, adding that he’s generally optimistic about Cape Breton’s future.
“I don’t necessarily have a negative outlook on things. Maybe that’s because I’m still really young and I haven’t lived here long enough to develop the mindset where I’m doubting the possibilities of things, so I’m very optimistic, but I do believe there needs to be just more activities here for younger people and just more liveliness overall. I feel like this place has a lot of potential and it can be on the right path.”
- Hometown: Glace Bay
- Age: 22
- Occupation: Musician
- Discography: “Last Time Introducing Myself” (2017); "Season One" (2018); “Season Two” (2018)
Bailey’s career certainly seems to be on the right path.
His latest album, "Season Two," hit No. 4 on the iTunes Canadian hip-hop charts, and he’s planning to release the follow-up, “Season Three” in a few weeks. He’s also heading to Dallas, Texas, for the No Deal Music Conference, an event he co-founded and that more than 200 artists are attending.“We’re planning on continuing this concept and this conference in other cities throughout the (United) States, which will be helpful for myself and my brand outside of Canada, too.”
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