Humanity has seen countless legendary meetings of minds throughout its history but Toronto rap has never seen a duo quite like Just John and Dom Dias – or synergy quite like this.
Today at Sidewalk Hustle we’re honoured to premiere Just John and Dom Dias’ video for their debut single, “Soundboi.” The heavy, sub-rattling track was the first track that the duo created together and the first beat that Dias ever sent over to John. From the moment he heard it, John knew that Dias was going to be a perfect collaborator. The Frocasso-directed visual sees John riding in a hearse, rocking a Jimi Hendrix tee, tearing up the countryside and hurling bar after bar over blaring production from Dias that could very well damage your speakers. Proceed with caution.
Watch the video for “Soundboi” and read our conversation with Just John and Dom Dias below. Look out for their DON EP on June 15 and catch them performing the track across the city at this year’s NXNE festival.
Sidewalk Hustle: How did the two of you meet and start making music together?
Just John: Dom had caught wind of my music on Instagram and shortly after hit me up wanting to work. I, of course, was down when I heard his production online and in that same week, he sent me a pack. The first record I heard from Dom was literally “Soundboi” – I went off from the first listen pointing up at the sky with prayer hands shouting “thank you!” If the first beat you get from a producer is fire you know it’s the start of a good friendship. We just meshed after that.
Tell me a little bit about the process of making the “Soundboi” beat.
Dom Dias: Producing “Soundboi” was pretty organic, it kind of just randomly happened without any real concept or thought process. Recording “Soundboi” was wild though – the amount of energy in the studio was stunning. It was cool and super easy to work with John. It’s like directing a movie when you’re in the studio with him.
How does this record fit in with the rest of the upcoming DON EP?
Dom Dias: This record is super left field, the melody is simple yet catchy, the drums hit hard and perks are very global-inspired. The feeling of the song is dark, mysterious and energetic. Every song on the EP follows this.
Just John: Soundboi to me is the pacemaker of the project but I love every track off the DON EP, it’s the emergence of a fresh genre-bending sound coming out of Toronto – It’s our sound. The encompassing factor of DON is its manic energy. I depart from the smoothness that may have marked earlier releases to create infectious, eccentric, festival-ready club bangers that are progressive and unconventional. You can tell we’re having fun and it was making these records.
Clearly, the energy of the song is what inspired the energy of the video – did you approach Frocasso with a concept or did he immediately get the vibe?
Just John: Me and Fro kinda caught the same vibe. That’s why we’re a dope team because sometimes we don’t really have to explain to each other what we’re going to do we’ve been working together for so long that we just feed off the energy and are always in collaboration.
Who had the idea for the hearse? That thing sets the tone for the whole video.
Just John: PoorLilWitchGirl had the idea for the hearse, she also styled the whole video. There’s a culture built around having the aux cord in a car and blaring speakers with some fire. What better way to show killing a record than bumping it out a Hearse.