This Vancouver artist came to the city by way of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan when he was 19 years old. After taking audio engineering at Vancouver’s Pacific Audio Visual Institute, Cander teamed up with other local artists GWON and JJ Taylor to create A2D Productions, a group instrumental in helping him create his original sound. An incredibly versatile musician, Cander played bass and guitar before moving on to writing, beat-making and DJ-ing which are evident in his song construction and arrangement. Cander is currently involved in 2 major projects including his own solo career, one being a 5 piece hip hop group called “WHISKAZ” alongside fellow battle rapper/ BBoy Rupert Common. His newest project titled “Loose leaf sessions” has brought him in with well-established local artists Babie Paul and D.J. Leaf formerly of “The ground Breakers”. The Loose leaf sessions project is set to be wrapped up this summer with show dates to be announced.
Growing up on everything from metal to Motown, country to hip-hop, Cander’s diverse musical tastes have led to unique and energy filled beats. Hip hop and metal share a very common strong rhythm, energy and intelligence that grips your soul like no other, he remarks. Equal attention is paid to unique beats and poetic lyrics heavy on social commentary. His song, Halos speaks to the recent Stanley Cup Riots in Vancouver (available for download on SoundCloud). Cander continues to collaborate with the top emerging artists in Vancouver including DJ Stratchmarx, Janette King, East West Groove, DJ Ninjette and many others. He draws his influence from various sources, including Black Thought from the Roots, Atmosphere, Eyedea, Binary Star, Aesop Rock, P.O.S., Pharoahe Monch, Mos Def and Common. His music is a self-described mix of hip-hop, acid jazz, trip hop, down-tempo and soul.
Cander was featured in October 2012 in Gossip Nightclub’s Vancouver’s Urban Showcase and has performed at various venues including The Cobalt, Shine Nightclub, The Media Club, The Reef on the Drive, Cafe Deux Soleils and the Libra Room. He made a guest appearance at the final Under the Volcano with Los Migrantes and is the progenitor of the increasingly popular annual event, Sonic Brew at the Anza Club. His monthly show Freenote at Calabash has helped to establish his reputation with the emerging hip-hop scene and has earned him invitations to participate in the much-attended End of the Week shows hosted by DJ Makeway and Black Lion.
Cole Dion Aka Cander has been an active member in the Vancouver battle scene for almost 4 years, traveling to Los Angeles, California in July 2015 for his 12th King of the Dot battle against local battler “Tino”. His current battle record is 9-3, wins to losses.
Having self-produced 2 full-length albums in the last 5 years with several instrumental projects in between, Cander is looking to elevate his music and attitude towards Music. The goal being named the best rapper in Canadian history.