April 21, 2021
Clubhouse theme song opens doors for Seneca rapper
Independent Music Production grad gets discovered on elite social hangout for celebs
It may be just another buzzy social platform, but the star-studded Clubhouse app will always be special for the Seneca grad who gave it its eponymous theme song.
Rap artist Greezy Deckz, born Kyle Duncan-Williams, recently collaborated with Calgary-based DJ Bacpac and created a song named after the popular app. Shortly after Mr. Deckz played his tune in a virtual room on Clubhouse, he was offered his first-ever distribution deal for the single.
“This deal validated everything I’ve been doing for the last 10 years,” said Mr. Deckz, who graduated from the Independent Music Production certificate program. “It placed the song on a global scale and gave it a bigger push than I ever could by myself. It’s a blessing.”
Clubhouses is an invitation-only audio-chat social networking app on which people can drop in and listen to casual conversations about anything and everything. Since launching last spring during the pandemic, Clubhouse has attracted many high-profile users including Oprah Winfrey, Drake, Elon Musk and Chris Rock.
Mr. Deckz joined Clubhouse through an invitation from a friend. Two weeks after he started using the app, he mistakenly got mixed up with a couple of questionable users and his account was suspended.
Ironically, it was during those few days when he was frozen out of the app that Mr. Deckz created Clubhouse the song.
“I went back to my studio to make a new song and everything just fell into place,” said the 28-year-old. “The one thing that sparked the idea: I was going to be the first person to make a theme song for the app.”
With only the chorus recorded, Mr. Deckz played his song for a virtual group on his first day back on Clubhouse, determined to connect with somebody.
That somebody turned out to be Marvyn Mack, a senior music executive and former vice-president of the independent record label TVT Records, whose major successes included releases by Nine Inch Nails, Lil Jon and Snoop Dogg.
“I didn’t know who Marv was at the time, but he ended up being the person who discovered me,” Mr. Deckz said. “He’s a veteran who helps break artists. He’s definitely someone you want on your team.”
Mr. Deckz’s Clubhouse release has climbed up the rap charts south of the border since he signed the distribution deal with Mr. Mack and Top Notch Music, an imprint of Ingrooves Music Group/Universal Music Group. The song has also been picked up by more than 1,000 DJs around the world and listened to on Spotify in more than 18 countries.
“I started getting a lot of attention for this one song,” said Mr. Deckz, who used to hand out his CDs at Bramalea City Centre, where he worked as a lab technician at LensCrafters. “Everything else I’ve done before started getting a lot more attention. It’s a trickle-down. All of my music started streaming.”
Mr. Deckz traces his success back to his time at Seneca, where he learned “everything you need to know” about being an independent artist.
“The program was hard,” he recalled. “If you really take music seriously, you have to apply yourself and learn everything. It was the best thing I could ask for — to go to school and rap and meet other people who are doing different types of music like country, rock and pop. Having that variety in the class helped me be open-minded.”
As for being discovered, Mr. Deckz says it’s important to keep meeting people and network with those who might become fans.
“Never give up and keep your passion alive,” he said. “If you are passionate about something, make sure you see things through. The second you give up, you are selling yourself short. Just be committed. When you work hard, it pays off. It may not happen soon, but it will one day.”