As a child, Reema Major skipped the Sharon, Lois & Bram-Raffi-Barney phase and went straight to the hard stuff. She first heard an older cousin rapping when she was just five years old and in kindergarten she would ask the teacher to read Dr. Seuss books.

“I just liked things that rhymed,” says the artist, now signed to Kwajo Cinqo’s G7/Universal Music Canada label and Cherrytree/Interscope in the U.S.

Major, who was born in Sudan and came to North America with her mom and six siblings, would spend many hours outside watching her cousin and the neighbourhood kids freestyle rapping.
“I remember watching the cipher [freestyling in a group setting] and the whole art of rap and I got attracted to it, from the storytelling, to putting the ‘uhhnnn’ in your tone, to the competitive nature of it,” Major says.

In 2009, then just 14, Major met Ghetto Concept’s Kwajo Cinqo, who began developing this young, hard-working rapper with the inimitable star quality. Shortly after debuting at 2010’s Honey Jam all-female hip-hop showcase (where Nelly Furtado was discovered), labels came courting.

“Kwajo was the first person who took me in under his wing and introduced me to the business aspect of becoming an artist,” Major says. “Prior to that, I was just a kid that wrote rhymes in my room.”
Her full-length mixtape, I Am Legend, which includes “Illest Kid,” “Ghetto Kids,” and the faith-based “Father,” is mainly full of bravado and teenage concerns. She’s currently working on her first official album with producers Kwajo Cinqo, The Stereotypes, Ryan Teddar, Chin Injeti, Bangladesh, DJ Toomp, Tha Bizness, Red One, Dewaun Parker and Animal.

“The album is a bigger project,” she says, explaining what makes it different from the completely professional look and feel of I Am Legend. “Mixtapes, to me, are just when I want to put out music and let my thoughts out. Even five years down in my career, by God’s grace if I’m well established and successful, I’ll still be doing mixtapes.

“On the album I’ve worked with great, great, great, great producers. I’m focusing on great, great music that everyone can relate to regardless of age, gender, nationality… What’s one word to describe it? Lovely and great and positive. Three words.”

Track Record
• Wrote her first song at age six, called “Shout For Jesus”
• First Canadian female hip-hop artist to be on the BET Hip Hop Awards Cypher lineup
• Featured on JJ Money’s “Swaggberry”