But who is Lyrique (pronounced Ly-ric)? Lyrique, Edward Que in real life, is from Baguio City, a nursing student and call center agent, who moved to Canada in 2014 under the Temporary Foreign Workers program. Battling with homesickness and a loss of family and emotional support, he turned to music as a form of therapy and an outlet for his feelings of isolation. His initial foray into music was learning to play different kinds of instruments. He always loved writing and composing music, and being a fan of hip hop, eventually found himself into rap.
Using the moniker Lyrique, his music has a strong focus on lyricism, cadence and flow. “I really put effort into wordplay. I may not be the deepest writer/rapper when it comes to metaphors but I always make sure the songs I write have a story. I try to make sure the punchlines work to the listeners’ appeal. As for the spelling of Lyrique, I added the Que as a reminder of who I am at the end of the day, as Que is my last name.”
Lyrique’s turning point came when he performed at the 10 at 10 stage in Calgary, a platform that promotes Canadian artists and hip hop culture - whether it be in music, dance and art. It was around this time as well that he received permanent resident status in Canada, which allowed him to focus more on his music, i.e. how to be a better rapper/artist, increase his social media presence, and be a part of Canadian guilds for music artists. “I enjoy the hustle and I find every day is an opportunity for growth. I have people who help me out in amplifying my craft such as videographers, producers, sound engineers and other artists as well. I keep my unit small but tight, but most of the time I do things myself. I book shows myself, do the graphic art and press releases myself. All in all, it’s still an unending process. Art is beautiful but inevitable, just like growth.”
Lyrique’s latest EP is Saints of Summer. When asked why Saints of Summer, “The title had a nice ring to it but in reality what is a saint? A saint is someone holy and free. In the summer we feel a certain melancholy where we all feel a certain cleanse from the cold. But that being said, we all let loose in our own havens in the summer - be it in parties, festivals or out of town trips.” “The other songs on the EP touch different vibes. On GOD is me rapping about how I will make an impact this summer on God. There are tracks like R.O.Y and Pulp Fiction which are just easy going tracks on living your dreams and at the same time being a product of your environment and having fun with it.” Another single is Marathon. “Marathon is a confidence song. I’m still the shy type, a socially awkward person. Marathon made me confident in who I am. I’ve gone this far so why not take ownership of it.” The track was produced and engineered by DJ Rocswell.
Lyrique is now working on a full length album, Lust, Art, Liqour. To know more about Lyrique and his music, check out Instagram and Facebook: iamlyrique, YouTube: Lyrique Music, stream “Ivory” on Spotify and Apple Music, or purchase the EP Saints in the Summer on https://fanlink.to/saintsinthesummer.
Photo credits: Val Parenas (@vparenas), Esther Cho (@estherchophotography), Oliver Banyard (@oliverbanyard)
* This article was published in the November 2019 issue of the Alberta Filipino Journal.