Niagara-on-the-Lake musicians the Rezza Brothers are bracing themselves for a new album drop while their music gets featured on the “Real Housewives of Miami.”
After a 10-year hiatus, the “Real Housewives of Miami” is returning for a fourth season and will have more music from NOTL’s Adrian and Lucas Rezza.
“They’re using another song we did with one of the housewives back in 2015,” Lucas Rezza said in an interview Wednesday.
In 2015, under their group name 80 Empire, the Rezza Brothers recorded a track with reality TV star Adriana de Moura. That track is now being used as the music for the reality show's fourth-season trailer.
The duo originally produced the theme song for the show back in 2010 and it will return as the main theme for the new season.
The musicians have kept themselves busy. They released an album, “Legacy”, in January 2021. Its fifth track, “Take It Back,” has already surpassed 1 million streams on Spotify.
And they are bracing themselves for another record release on Dec. 10.
“Anthems and Icons” has been in production for just under a year and sees the duo working with hip-hop artists across North America, including bona fide music and hip-hop legend Darryl Matthews McDaniels, the DMC from Run-DMC, known for their genre crossing hit “Rock This Way” recorded with Aerosmith.
DMC heard one of the group's tracks earlier this year and reached out to them.
“He said, ‘Hey man, when I heard the track it was like good news, finally some good stuff coming out of hip-hop again,’ ” Lucas said.
Lucas is honoured to be working with the certified legend.
“That guy paved the way for every single rap group in the history of rap and broke barriers, colour-wise. Those were the first guys of colour to be on MTV.”
“To have a guy like that bless us and say that it’s an honour for him to be working with us. It’s like, I’m done. I’m good,” Lucas said with a laugh.
The album also features contributions from KXNG Crooked, MC Eiht, Kurupt and Swifty McVay from D12, among many others.
Lucas and his brother are real hip-hop and music lovers and that has always inspired their desire for collaboration with other talent.
“We wanted to include the MCs that we grew up with and a lot of younger up-and-coming artists as well,” he said.
The album goes through many emotions that reflect the state of life in 2021, Lucas said.
“It’s kind of a whirlwind of what’s been going on in the world and everything we’ve kind of been through with COVID,” he said.
“It’s a cool kind of amalgamation of what everybody’s been going through. Sometimes you want to punch somebody in the head, sometimes you want to break down and cry and sometimes you just want to get up and dance.”
The group had a listening party at Spirit in Niagara distillery a few weeks ago where they went through the album track by track with good friends and peers.
“It was great to have some sort of normalcy for three hours. Everyone was double-vaccinated, everybody was in our mindset,” Lucas said.
Recording during a pandemic meant that artists' contributions needed to be recorded in disparate locations across the continent, he said.
Someone like Swifty McVay, who usually records in a studio, bought recording equipment because of the pandemic, which made it easy for him to collaborate.
“If I call him now and say, ‘Hey, Swift man, I need a verse,’ he’s like, ‘I got you.’ And then that night or the next day he sends something over.”
Being under lockdown also caused the brothers to start actively reaching out to artists outside of their usual circle.
“We really took it upon ourselves to connect with people we maybe wouldn’t have before,” he said.
Lucas said, though he’s become good friends with most of them, he's never met in person roughly half the musicians he is working with right now.
He stressed that the Rezza Brothers don’t just create beats and have artists rap or sing over them.
“This is a real curated project. Every song is meticulous, every song was really made with purpose,” he said.
“We knew who we were picking. It wasn’t like, ‘This guy doesn’t fit the track,’ or, ‘He’s not feeling it.’ It was all like, ‘I’m on it. Done. Give me a couple days or give me two weeks,’ and then boom, it’s done.”
The artists are independent and run their own studio, Gladiator Records, in NOTL. They don’t get government grants and they believe in the value of the hustle.
“It’s all blood, sweat and tears. This is Adrian and I, and our partner Will, just hustling,” he said.
“It’s us working every avenue and beating the pavement and never taking no for an answer and that’s why we’re kind of where we are right now.”