Though we come from different cultural backgrounds, I understand the oppressive weight of expectation that Toronto-based singer/producer EhCee experiences as a first-generation Canadian. Accepting the realities of job security over the pursuit of dreams, many first-gens like he and I have made personal sacrifices that often go ignored and unacknowledged by family and friends. Play it safe. Make your parents happy. Make the honourable, sensible choice. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding their immigration, when you’re the child of people who pulled up whatever stakes they had left in their native land to cross oceans and borders for a foreign land, you are constantly surrounded by reminders that they not only did this for themselves, they did it for their children. They did it for you.
It’s a responsibility EhCee doesn’t take lightly, but one he shoulders bravely. He is an emerging talent in the R&B scene, fueled by a desire to honour his family and make them proud while also pursuing self-actualization. “Every first-gen is entitled to a similar shot at the life they want to live,” he says, and he’s taking his shot with “Focus”, a super-slick and assertive jam released last fall that’s laser-focused on stardom and success. He’s since followed it up with a second single and a five-track EP, all fueled by the same fire that gives “Focus” its smouldering energy.
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