Rising Toronto artist 12AM has been climbing the charts ever since he emerged on the scene with releases like “Couple Pills” and “Save Me” in 2016. The 27-year-old singer-songwriter fits into a burgeoning pop niche where angsty emo-rap meets trap-pop, echoing the unheard voices of today’s generation. Since then, he’s quickly become one of the most sought-after names with many naming him an artist to watch in 2022.
In 2020, he made major waves across the industry upon the release of “come over”—easily amongst some of his strongest works to date. The video, which amassed a bit under 900K YouTube views laid the groundwork for arguably one of Canada’s most promising acts among the new wave of music starlets. The commercially successful release was followed by a handful of remixes and last years After Midnight EP, which boasts features from TheHxliday, Jutes, and Pyrex. Tracks like “Lights” and “Ski Mask” give you a peek into the genre-bending artist, who uses music as a vehicle for self-expression.
Kicking 2022 off with another surefire banger, 12AM recently dropped his single and video “Showgirls” featuring megastars Tyla Yaweh and Pressa. We had the pleasure of chatting with 12AM about tattoos, touring post-pandemic, his latest single, and much more. Read on for our conversation!
“Showgirls” brings in 2022 with a bang, talk to me about how the collaboration came about and what inspired the song.
Tyla and I were kicking it every day for a while, he rages every night, so that song just came from having one of the craziest nights and being into that world for a night.
The visuals are spectacular. What was your experience putting it together and how did the creative direction come together?
I’m super involved with everything I do, and I’m lucky to have Logan Meiss (video director) be a part of this because he’s one of the greatest in our generation. I called him like at 2 AM and told him I had this idea, he totally got it and fleshed it out and made it into a movie. Logan and I work perfectly together because I trust his vision more than I’ve trusted a lot of people. He just can get the job done with no stress. We wanted to make an actual movie and I think we killed it.
How does it set the tone for what direction you want to go in sonically?
I want to create an experience from the start of my album to the end you go through every emotion: super highs and super lows. I feel like we are in an age today where everybody just shows the highs and it’s all edited and nobody really opens up. I want people to know it’s cool to be happy but it’s also okay to be depressed. This album is basically a rollercoaster of emotions.
It’s your first single since last year’s release of After Midnight—what was your favorite memory of putting that project together?
Man, that EP was the preview to this next project. I was stuck in a deal and had to release music to get out. I still love that project though, “Voices” with the Hxliday and “Ski Mask” with Jutes; just being able to make music with the homies was amazing.
One thing that just jumps out at me upon first seeing you is your love for tattoos. Which ones are the most meaningful to you and why?
I have a lot of tattoos…not a lot of them actually mean anything, most of them I get on the spot. The most important one to me is the one that is about my mom. It’s got the quote that she put on a watch that she gave me for my birthday before she passed that says: “with you always” and I had to have it on me forever to know she’s really here forever.
In regards to music, what type of impact do you want to leave as your fanbase continues to grow?
My fans are like family to me. They hit me up about life problems and I respond to them. I want to be that positive impact on their lives because they’re the only reason I’m in this spot and I’m forever grateful for them.
It’s been a bit under two years since everyone started living the new normal. Do you have any words for fans that are looking forward to new music or watching you perform as the industry shifts back into concerts and live performances?
I got a tour coming up in June so we are finally back! I can’t say who I’m touring with but it’s big… it’s time for the world to get back to normal and everybody to connect again and I promise Imma make every show a movie.