It’s been a long and winding two year road for the team at Tuffhouse Records. Canada’s Edmonton based award winning number one independent Hip Hop label. Full of long nights, early morning, good times & bad times ultimately with magical music making being the result. The new album “Don’t Bet Against the house” is packed full with 26 tracks featuring a variety of amazing talent. From Hip hop to Reggae to Soul. With shout outs from such celebs as Rick Ross amongst others. The Album is finally ready to be released worldwide on March 28th, with a concert in Calgary & Edmonton to follow. These artists, producers, Djs and crew have been working extremely hard to get Alberta Hip Hop out of the dark & on the map. Sharing their skilled art form with the world, they have been paving the way for up and coming artists. TuffUrban got the chance to speak with the man behind the scenes Mr. Havana (or known to most as Orville) Green, founder of Tuffhouse Records, to discuss the project. Enjoy!
1. Tell us more about yourself (Havana Green)the man behind the mysterious face on the cover of the new Tuffhouse Records Album “Don’t Bet Against the House?”
Havana: You want to know a little bit more about this guy? Well.. I’m a workaholic. I work a lot because I want to benefit all my people that put their time and space and blessing with us. I also have dreams. The blessings that we have been putting in, you couldn’t ask for much more. Me for instance I work very hard in order to help build the criteria to cover all the artists that we know. We have truly worked very hard to be associated with them.
2. What does the title of new album “Don’t Bet Against the House” mean?
Havana: “Don’t Bet Against the House” Actually it’s based on a couple things..it’s a double edged sword. The concept of it means Don’t bet against self. There are just so many great things that we can achieve.
3. Tuffhouse has been around for 20 some odd years how many albums have you released so far?
Havana: We’ve released quite a bit in my time. Since I took over we’ve released 8 projects. This is our highly anticipated album due to the quality of work and the value of the art.
4. You have a long list of talented artists featured on the album, what sort of a sound can we look forward to? Is there more than one style of Hip Hop on the Album?
Havana: It’s not just hip hop..it’s a fuse between reggae, hip hop, soul, and just that sweet sweet volume of goodness. We want to make sure people get the vibe and see what it is.
5. Where in the world is the Album being released?
Havana: It will be globally released as in you can get it on all streams and media. Also at www.tuffhousestudios.com where people can just come and enjoy it.
6. What sort of a reaction do you expect to see and what sort of reaction have you received so far?
Havana: I’m expecting the people to jump outta their skin when they see what we’ve got, because it’s not the typical project that people expect. We’ve brought in the values from The Fugees, Outkast, Puff Daddy’s “No Way Out”. We’ve brought them into the modern time, with a bit of that chronic vibe to it. We want to basically reach a goal on a musical level that not many people have touched.
7. Can you give us an example of a collaboration we’ll be hearing on one of the tracks?
Havana: You’ll be hearing collaborations from Peter Jackson, he’s from the East coast. He’s one of our premiere artists. You’ll hear also shout outs from Rick Ross, you’ll hear shout outs from many different producers and artists. There’s a collaboration with lil’ Durk and lots of Kool Kats. It’s just a vibrant move.
8. How long did it take to produce and put together such an elaborate collaboration of an Album?
Havana: It took us over two years to properly get it done. While people were trying to race us to do such a thing, we took the time to do it how we wanted to do it. I made sure we took the time with all the guys to properly arrange it. We didn’t wanna just jump into something and then just sit back and think we could just gradually get it how it should be, we wanted to do more with it.
9. There was an album listening party recently held in Edmonton and there is also a concert prepared for Calgary and Edmonton coming up to celebrate the release of the new album. How was the turn out so far? and the reaction to the music? Any memorable moments?
Havana: The owner of the club actually just told us straight up he didn’t know what to expect of the music, but he couldn’t tell the difference between the mainstream quality sound and ours. On top of that the music we put in was spectacular, the DJs loved it, the crowd loved it. They couldn’t hold back they wanted more.
10. What makes this album stand out compared to albums of the past? Why would I want to purchase it or recommend it to my friends?
Havana: For one: because there are 26 tracks, for two: the blood sweat and tears that went into it, for three: the amount of collaborations that we have done with it, and where we’re taking it. We’re bringing Alberta Hip Hop out of the dark into the forefront. Just letting people understand that we have the skill, we have the talent, we have the art and we’re going to make use of what we can do with it.
11. What was the one most memorable moment in putting together this album?
Havana: There are quite a few. One of the best ones was how we came up with the lead single “Don’t bet Against the House”. Felicia came in, I brought her in actually from Red Deer. because I saw her singing and I needed a vocalist of her caliber to come in and basically she came in and blessed it. Stuff like that makes me truly thankful. It took us from there to like “hey we need a couple more”. And from there we decided to expand it.
12. Can you tell us a little bit more about the artists we’re going to hear from on the album?
Havana: I can truly say the artists are very very very talented. I mean there are a lot of skillful artists, there are a lot of new artists, there are a lot of just great artists coming out and I wanted to make sure that we pay homage to them.
13.What are your goals for the future of Tuffhouse Records?
Havana: Our goal is to put out 10 albums this year amongst the artists. It’s continuous work.
14. Where can we purchase the album and find out more about up and coming artists from Tuffhouse Records?
Havana: You can purchase it at www.tuffhousestudio.com, itunes, Google Play, Spotify, you can stream it. There’s also the physical copies you can get here at Tuffhouse the prices range from 10 dollars to 20 dollars.
15. Any shout outs?
Havana: We’ve been going at it night and day and I couldn’t do it without all the people that have been a part of it, every last one of them, including yourself. We’re almost at the gateway. I want to invite people to see what we have and what I believe in as in the talent and all the glorious things that we have and have overcome. I’m very thankful for every artist that’s been a part of it, producers, DJs and promoters.