Sad Till RichS.T.R. is five community-minded young gentlemen who are focused on great things. When they’re not making upbeat hip hop and R&B music or designing fashions, Rak, I.G., M $wift, D Prince, and C Milli are also role models for the youth of the communities across the 519 and into Toronto.

Their street wear supports community building through yearly backpack drives and empowering everyone and anyone. As a music collective, they produce a cross range of popular urban music, available on multiple social and streaming platforms. Welcome to the world of S.T.R.

 

How did S.T.R., otherwise known as Sad Till Rich, get started?
Rak – Sad Till Rich was first just an idea because I always liked drawing when I was in class and came up with a couple design ideas and S.T.R. was one that stuck with me, so I started showing some of my friends the first was Noah and I asked if this would be a sick design on some T-shirts, and he said “That’s crazy bro yah do it” and then it started from one design to a bunch more and now we are dropping collections, so we are very happy to come this far and we plan to build it up a lot more and have a store for people to come and shop.

M $wift – In Senior High School years, Rak came up with the idea of starting a music team/group since he had an interest in doing music later on at the time. Me being his closest friend doing music at the time recruited me to the movement. We both agreed on the name “SoundTrack Records’’, after a month Rak rebranded the name to “Sad Till Rich” Rak was thinking about more ways to market the team/group in fields of not just Music but also Clothing,

I.G. – S.T.R. was first started in 2016 inside Beal SS when Rak came up with an idea to make a brand called ‘SoundTrack Records‘. The name shortly after changed to Sad Till Rich. Rak went on to recruit his close friends in his city to build an empire and start a business. A thought turned into action and within the upcoming weeks, the first Sad Till Rich T-Shirt was made.

So the clothing line was started first, How did S.T.R. Records come into place?
Rak – The clothing line was first starting to take off around my high school and a lil bit outside of it and me and I.G. played varsity basketball together so we had a really good relationship before any of this but he was just starting to release his music and he linked me up and said if you wanna promote your new clothing I’ll wear it in my first video and we linked up and had everyone in S.T.R. clothing on and then myself and I.G. knew we could turn this into a bigger thing then the clothing to and are boy M $wift was also doing music and he’s my good friend so he came and helped push us to where we are today and then we had brought on D Prince around 2 years and a half, 3 years and he’s been doing great with helping push our name and the brand. We are more family then a team.

I.G. – Sad Till Rich Records came into place in 2017 when I.G. who was in college at the time decided he wanted to try out making music, knowing Rak from basketball and staying connected I reached out with the idea of us collaborating, Rak makes the clothes, I wear them in videos and then we both get our names out at the same time. The next thing you know it, I.G.’s debut song “Ya.x4” was getting a music video shot with everybody wearing the S.T.R. gear as promotion, this went on to be I.G.’s first hit single as a Sad Till Rich Records artist.

Rak, how did you and Isaac meet?
Isaac and I played varsity basketball together so we had a really good relationship before any of this but he was just starting to release his music and he linked me up and said if you wanna promote your new clothing I’ll wear it in my first video and we linked up and had everyone in S.T.R. and then I.G. and I were knew we can turn this into a bigger thing then the clothing

Rak, what made you decide you wanted to get into Fashion Design? What and who inspired you to do this?
Since I was young I loved dressing nice and matching my shoes with my hats and shirts etc. I just liked fashion in a way so I started thinking instead of wearing all these other guys clothes I want to make my own and wear it just as nice or better. I wasn’t really expecting people to buy it at first. It was mostly for my brothers and I, but the way we wore it and matched our shoes with the shirts people started to like them and started asking me every day at school for a S.T.R. T-shirt, then I evolved to making tracksuits and more.

Isaac, you grew up in the Windsor area, and were a really good basketball player (College etc.) why the switch to music?
I grew up playing sports, but I’ve always had a passion for music. I was listening to it all the time to get my energy up before games. What made me take music seriously was my brother Zovie when he showed me a song he had done in a professional studio in Windsor. After I was introduced to my first professional engineers Ty Butler (TNB BEATZ) and Brandon Deriveau (M.A.D Recordings) it seemed as though the stars were the limit. After choosing to cut my basketball career short for the love of music I moved back to my hometown Chatham-Kent, and set up a cardboard box studio in my friend’s basement and recorded Basement Bars, my first EP. It’s taken down since, I didn’t even understand “Free” beats didn’t actually mean free beats.

I’m still learning to this day and don’t plan on ever stopping, those long nights leaving when the sun came up and driving home to poorly mixed songs are what made me, and I wouldn’t change the way it happened one bit.

M $wift, as a Hip Hop artist with S.T.R., who are your influences, what gives you your drive to be a Rap artist?
For my Rap sound it would have to be Kendrick Lamar, Drake, and J. Cole. For my R&B sound it would be Tory Lanez, Bryson Tiller, PARTYNEXTDOOR, & Eli Sostre. Telling my story and what I want to manifest into reality is what gives me my drive as a Rap artist.

D Prince, as the R&B  vocalist for S.T.R., Who are your influences, what makes your sound stand out from other artists?
I’ve had many different influences in my life especially for music such as, Chris brown, The Weeknd, Tory Lanez, Justin Beiber, Drake and more. A really big influence for me right now has to be Ali Gatie because we come from the same life and same background and he’s already breaking the charts. My sound is very different when it comes to music because growing up my family was very religious and would recite verses from my holy book every night and that kinda made me find my voice. I’d say my voice is unique because there’re days I make a track and can’t even believe that was me. Like it’s just so crazy and I’ve only been singing for 4 years.

C Milli, the next three questions are for you. You’re the beats producer, you’re the gentleman who creates a lot of these amazing instrumental sounds for S.T.R. Where do you get your creative drive?
I listen to all kinds of music, and like it all the time.

How long on average does it take you to create an authentic beat for the S.T.R. artists?
I try to have every beat done in at least 15 minutes but I can admit to spending at least an hour on a few beats

What made you want to become a beats producer?
I’ve always been into music, but I would say my inspiration is people like Dr Dre and Boi 1da.

What projects are you gentlemen working on now?
I.G. – My solo project “NightShift V.I” EP, collab project HIGHFLYERS and Rak S.T.R.’s “Story Told Right EP” are all in the current process of being released early 2021. M $wift has also been working on his debut album “Rose Boy” and is projecting to release in 2022. D Prince and C Milli are hard at work releasing singles and producing for artists across Ontario

S.T.R. as a whole, is an inspiration to the youth, you guys are mentors and role models to the younger generations. You encourage youth to stay in school, to work hard, think positive, and believe in yourself . As a team, how does this make you feel?
M $wift – It’s reassuring knowing that we have an impact on the youth who are and always will be the future. We do our best to promote a positive message that emphasizes that you can achieve whatever you want, if you put your mind to it. Coming from rough times and surrounded with negative influences we know how important positive guidance is from role models.

I.G. – It’s a good feeling to know that people are looking up to us and we don’t take it for granted. Growing up in different situations made us all realize the youth need inspiration to do things that help them grow as people so they can give back to the youth when they have the chance. Our youth is the most important people to build up and we intend on helping do so to the best of our ability.

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