Indie403 is thrilled to present Transit as our Featured Artist of the Month!
Daniel Bennett, AKA Transit, has hit the Calgary indie music scene with huge success. His authentic and genuine rhymes and beats have earned him a steady fan-base and a bright outlook for the future of his music. With a brand new album out titled “22” he’s picking up momentum and well on his way to becoming an influential pioneer for Canadian music.
The Artist, Influences, and Style
Born in Red Deer Alberta, and raised in Victoria BC, Transit was “kicked out” of his parents’ house (but only because they wanted the best for him!) and has now been gratefully adopted by the city of Calgary. Being raised in a home full of classical music, it was only natural that it would become a part of who he is. But classical music was never really his thing. From a young age, he enjoyed free styling rhymes with friends for fun, and soon all the Jay-Z impersonations sparked a unique creative outlet for him. After getting over the embarrassment of being the white kid who raps in high school, Transit realized hip hop was something that actually worked for him. When he was 16 he admitted his talent and from then on never looked back.
The appeal to hip hop for him stems from his passionate personality. As hip hop is very poetic, lyrical and emotionally charged, it proved to be the perfect outlet. Staying true to the “Indie” identity with his style has been very beneficial in a city (and country) that is still developing acceptance of local hip hop. Whenever confronted with negative connotation to his style, he states: “If I tell people I’m an indie hip hop artist, it has a different feel to it because it has that do-it-yourself, all about the culture kind of feel. For me, indie is uncompromising; it’s staying true to you.” Deriving from influences such as Atmosphere, John Reuben, Kanye West, and Jay-Z, his music has developed into a style that is influential and relatable to the Calgary scene.
One of the main reasons his career has taken off in Calgary is that he has made hip hop an approachable concept. He has a lot of fun with his music and doesn’t take himself too seriously. In his music video called “Calgary”, he had a celebrity appearance by Mayor Naheed Nenshi. Becoming friends with the Mayor and engaging The City of Calgary, he feels he has been elevated to more of a public figure and not just a rapper. He states: “There is a lot of potential in this city that isn’t being showcased because it needs the people who are willing to grind it out as the city develops and not just flee to Europe and get big there.” And he is definitely an artist who is taking on the much needed grind. One of his most notable accomplishments has been working with Calgary artist, Jann Arden, also in the song “Calgary”. He had the honour of recording the song with her help, which is particularly impressive considering she has only ever collaborated with one other person on record. Spending time with her has been incredibly influential to him. His passion for his music and his city are making a huge contribution to the vibrancy of Calgary.
His much anticipated album, “22” is his second studio album, preceded by “Insufficient Funds”. Recording the new album was a particular challenge that was necessary to capture the sound he wanted. He wanted to use original beats instead of samples which certainly required a lot more time and effort. But striving to use various artists from across the country will really showcase that local talent that needs to be shown. The title really captures the main theme of the album; being a confused 22-year-old. It’s a transitional year for many people; some getting out of school, some getting jobs, and most people not exactly sure of what’s to come next. He believes it truly reflects himself and it will be appreciated by many.
Taking things step by step are how he was able to accomplish his dream. Setting practical goals and applying a passionate drive to those goals are what keeps Transit going. Seeing what he has accomplished already at such a young age just goes to show that this guy is on the way to the top. With plans to head east in Canada and then tour through the States, Transit will not be slowing down anytime soon.
His album release parties will be November 11th (all ages) at The New Black Centre, and November 12th (18+) at The Gateway.
To listen to Transit, listen to his hit song “Calgary” ft. Jann Arden:
Update: Listen to Transit’s new comical music video to his song “I’m So Indie” ft. Geeze:
(Photo by Shane Yuhas)