Alex Sannie, beat architect for The Lytics can’t stop, and won’t stop.
"If you don’t make music, and you’re supposed to, you’ll get sick," Sannie said.
The local hip-hop group released its latest album, They Told Me, Oct. 16.
Three days later, they kicked off a Western Canadian tour alongside Edmonton’s poet laureate, Cadence Weapon, with a show at a packed Park Theatre.
Sannie’s two brothers, Andrew and Anthony, who live in Fort Richmond, their cousin Mungala, and friend DJ Lonnie Ce round out the group.
Sannie called the group’s 2009 EP, "a meal of leftovers that turned into this delicious supper."
With They Told Me, the band has really begun to cook, he said.
"With the second one, we sat down and thought, ‘Let’s make a menu for tonight.’ Let’s not throw together scraps and make them taste good, let’s actually make a meal," he said.
A big chunk of They Told Me was recorded in Sannie’s Osborne Village apartment. The process wasn’t without its setbacks.
"We dealt with a lot of different things – changing managers, we had some issues with the label for a bit, with recording studios. It was just a constant thing," Andrew said.
Andrew said the hype which followed the release of the band’s EP added some pressure when it came time to record They Told Me. The three-year gap between releases racheted up expectations even further.
The positive reception to the band’s latest recording has been satisfying, according to Andrew.
"If I heard people say this sucked, I don’t think I’d be mad about it, because I worked so hard on it. I’d be like, ‘Well, you don’t know what you’re talking about,’ " he said.
"But because people have said this is a good record, I’m just like, thank God they like it."
They Told Me is a far cry from The Lytics’ debut EP, both in sound and subject matter.
Band members weren’t sure initially how fans would react to the new sound.
"You can’t hold anyone’s hand," Andrew said. "They have to discover the record for themselves. You can’t defend yourself."
Sannie said he and his bandmates are in it for the long haul.
"When I go to bed at night, I’m thinking about music. When I wake up in the morning, I’m thinking about music," he said.
"If you want to be healthy in the mind and in the spirit and everything, you have to do what you believe your purpose is."
The official release party for They Told Me is Nov. 9 at the Pyramid Cabaret.