Story and photos by Will Geier
Lyrique has moved from being an unknown and underrated talent in the city to one of the hottest hip-hop acts performing in Calgary. We sat down to discuss his new music, inspiration, swagger and what’s next.
On the surface, Edward Que aka Lyrique appears to be the same modest and quiet hip-hop artist that I’ve met before. But when you hear his new track or hear him talk about his upcoming music and passion for his work, you can tell that this is a new Lyrique; he has swagger and seems ready to take his game to a whole new level.
“I felt I was too modest in a certain way, too nice,” admits Que, but that he explains that has changed on his new track, “Marathon,” which is one of the songs off his upcoming 7-8 song album.
“’Marathon’ is a confidence song. I’m still the shy type, a socially awkward person. ‘Marathon’ brought me to be. I should be confident in who I am; I’ve gone this far, so why not take ownership of it?” proudly explains Que.
“One of my cockiest tracks to date.”
Lyrique’s goals have grown with his reputation and he now has his sights set further than he has ever before.
“Before, my goal was that I wanna be known in my city. I think in a certain way I’ve achieved that in my city,” acknowledges Que. “When we talk about hip-hop, I do hear my name mentioned. But now I want more.”
For a growing music scene, it’s not only important to have thriving local acts performing in our city but also to have worthy representatives showing the rest of the country what our city has to offer.
“To play shows outside of Calgary but also to not lose track of what’s in Calgary,” plans Que. “I think that’s the next step for me to grow.”
Part of the influence for his new music is getting people to dance. This is something that he wasn’t worried about before, but after he watched his girlfriend perform a choreographed dance, he knew that there was a whole new way to reach a larger audience.
“I place emphasis on my flow,” explains Que. “Flows are grooves. If dancers choreograph to this, people in the club could dance to it more. “
With success comes competition as other performers will try and outshine you or tear you down. But this competition, in Que’s opinion, is what keeps him going and what strengthens the game in Calgary’s scene.
“I try my best to make sure the artist after me is hella nervous to go up after me,” smiles Que. “Not that I want them to do bad, but I want to put pressure on them to see them exceed me.”
Que’s new competitive drive can be heard on “Marathon” and throughout his other tracks.
“Me rapping more,” explains Que. “Emphasizing more I wanna run this shit right now. In the past, I’ve been too modest. I don’t know how that will impact with others in Calgary but my mentality right now is friendly competition.”
Not only does Que want to see artists compete within the city, but he also wants to see new venues and platforms working to bring out the best hip-hop shows in the city.
“I give respect to avenues like 10 at 10, and they’re doing a great job. But it’s being overpowered; there has to be more platforms to grow.”
Que’s new swagger cannot only be attributed to new goals and new music, but also to a new approach to writing and taking ownership of his songs and vision.
“I’m going to do this my own way; I’m going to write songs my own way,” states Que. “I know what I want before I listen to anyone else’s opinion.”
His new attitude is summed up nicely by a line form his song “Marathon”: “Ever since I was young I always wanted to be king.”
“I should have a montage that I’m royalty,” reveals Que. “In order to deliver something special you should feel special yourself.”
Look out for Lyrique’s new album set to drop early 2019.