Over the last three years, Montreal born rapper Brendan “King B” Hamel has launched his musical career in an astounding and impressive way. In the three years between the recording of his first song “Acceptance” at age thirteen, and his record launch in May of 2016, he went from tentative beginner to musical professional.
King B began his career as a rapper at age 14 with lunchtime battles with his classmates: he would come out the winner most of the time. Everyone told him he was talented, but he never imagined that it would lead to anything. As he continued making music on an amateur level, King B realized that he was doing what he loved, and chose to pursue music more professionally. His first song, “Acceptance,” which was written and recorded with a friend, was an uplifting number about the importance of equality, and mutual respect. The message was an inspiring one: It’s ok to be gay, depressed, or different. Although it lacked the professional techniques apparent in King B’s current recordings, the message was a resolute and inspiring one. Although he faced mockery and bullying amongst his peers, and on social media, it did not stop King B on his path to greatness. A year later, he released “Confidence,” his first single. This positive and uplifting song showed that he was not brought down by the negativity or the haters.
After his first single was released, Carl Hamel, King B’s father and an active member of the music industry, became involved in his son’s career. Carl composes and arranges his son’s music, while King B writes the lyrics. Carl is a talented musician who is skilled on the drums, piano, and guitar. In his youth, when King B struggled from depression, Carl helped him to overcome it by embracing emotional expression through music. Perhaps it is his father’s influence that keeps King B so down to earth. He is honest, open, and caring. He does not want to be like some rappers, who too quickly become “legends in their own minds.”
Carl and Brendan’s creative process works in many different ways. Occasionally, they will begin with King B’s lyrics and write a melody to compliment them, and occasionally, they will chose a genre that they are interested in working with, and work around it. “Summertime Madness,” King B’s single from the summer of 2015, began spontaneously; King B started singing the chorus, and Carl immediately stepped in on the guitar. The two Hamel men’s collaboration makes for diverse music because they are inspired by so many different genres: house music, EDM, pop, rock, and many other influences can be heard in King B’s music.
As a young artist, King B often has to struggle to balance school and music, which is not always an easy task. Managing his education and his career simultaneously can be difficult, but it is worth it. Time management is a very important part of his everyday life, and multi-tasking is essential: he never has time to just sit around. In addition to performing weekly shows all around Montreal, King B is an active participant in a variety of charity events. He works most notably with organisations such as “Dans la Rue,” a Montreal charity that combats homelessness.
King B has high hopes for his career. Although young, he wants to live off his music and cultivate a professional reputation. With a Canada-wide tour in the near future, King B has a bright road ahead of him. Starting on the local scene, King B hopes to expand his reach across Canada, and then the world. Montreal is a great place to start as a musician. He is constantly overwhelmed by the amount of raw talent and support in the community, and hopes that his first record will have a wide reach. As his career progresses, King B continues to evolve and come up with increasingly inspired and entertaining music that will revolutionize the genre. His passion for music and his love of performance drive him to constantly work harder, and create more inspired music for his fans.