Grade A Certified

TORONTO’S ‘VOYCE’: "PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE"

Posted by J. Tinsley on May 27, 2009

The 24 year old Toronto native has recorded with Drake, gave Day 26 a certified smash hit and now looks to jump start his own career which has been years in the making.

Patience is often the most difficult lesson to learn in life. Whether it be the desire for instant gratification or something as simple as greed itself, the statement, “patience is a virtue,” proves to be one of more authentic clichés ever. No one likes to wait, that is a given, but for those who accept that the majority of dreams are not cultivated overnight, success becomes the love child of one’s ambitions coupled with hard work.

However, the road to success is often times a difficult one. The music industry, more so than not, is more beast than beauty and more heartbreak than love. Due to the fact getting “discovered” is essentially a “shot in the dark”, many lose the desire, dedication and love they initially encompassed. One of music’s brightest stars, Jay-Z, admitted he regularly battled with his own patience during the early 1990’s on the 2000 record, “This Can’t Be Life.”

“Everybody doin’ them, I’m still scratching on the block/ Like damn, I’m a be a failure/ Surrounded by thugs, drugs and drug paraphernalia…”

It is particularly hard when talent is superseded by obscurity, especially when days turn into months and months into years.  Such is the case with Voyce Alexander. Only 24 years old, the Toronto native (now living in Los Angeles) is already considered a veteran in the music industry with over seven years experience under his belt. A testament to patience, talent and faith, Voyce’s West Indian roots have always taught him to be humble by nature and showing respect is the driving trait to judge one’s character.

“Being a first generation Canadian, I was still raised with West Indian values. My parents love everybody and will welcome most anyone into their house. My dad is the most humble person ever. I wish I was more like my pops,” said Alexander.

In American culture, the acceptance of international artists has been an obstacle. Mainly due to the stigma, “made in the USA,” aside from a handful of acts, many are never appreciated in the States.

However, with the ever-evolving musical landscape, Toronto’s style is beginning to catch notice.

“Toronto is known for its ‘world artists’. By that I mean we have so many different cultures, we didn’t just listen to Jodeci, we also listened to Nickelback. We cater to everyone.”

With Toronto’s new found American success, also comes a story of fraternal bond. Long before Kardinal Offishall and Drake hit the scene, they were local mainstays.

“Picture this. Five years ago, it was me, Melanie [Fiona], Drake, Boi-1da and D10. We were all doing a gig every week in downtown Toronto. We were all doing our thing, but you know things happen and we split up. We were all young,” said Voyce.

From there Voyce and Drake would go on to form a friendship and record several records together, two of which, “Special” and “All This Love,” were featured on Drake’s 2006 mixtape, “Room For Improvement.” Unfortunately, due to a falling out and an eventual diss record from Drake, the two lost touch.

For years, Voyce’s feelings towards the dissolving of their bond wouldn’t let him move past the initial incident. After years of personal and professional growth, he has since let the past remain there and focus on what he hopes to be a successful future.

“You know when he dissed me, I didn’t want to respond because if I have beef with someone, I go see them. His intention was never that, but my pride took control. He had been reaching out to me since ’07 wanting to get back in the studio, but my pride was in the way,” said Voyce. “His whole crew is my crew. We’re all like brothers, and honestly, I’m really, really happy for his success. He was my favorite rapper and still is, just like I am his favorite singer. I actually called and left him a message saying he was the best in the game. We’re about to get back in though, it’s only a matter of time.”

Even while the disagreement with his fellow Toronto native was in progress, Voyce found himself being co-signed by one of music’s most legendary songwriters, Bryan Michael Cox. After his music was discovered on MySpace, he was flown out to Los Angeles where he learned the ins and outs of song-making as opposed to the routine he was accustomed to previously.

While having B. Cox’s seal of approval over his name, one of the most important lessons Alexander has learned is accountability.

“Bryan always tells me, ‘You gotta do this for yourself. You gotta do you.’ At the end of the day, he can plug me, but I’ve got to be the one to come through,” said Voyce.

Lofty expectations have also been placed on the 24 year old from the home of the Raptors and Blue Jays.

“He points the finger at me like I am the new generation of R&B. That’s a lot of pressure, but I just have to make sure I stay on my shit and not let that get to my head.”

Although not officially a member of the “Ocean’s 7” crew, learning under Cox has ensured that Alexander has a plethora of music already recorded. Sometime in 2007, several songs leaked under the incorrect name, Sam (which was Cox’s engineer).  Voyce would later track down most of the people who tagged the song under the incorrect name. Yet and still, the numbers that revealed themselves were nothing short of jaw dropping.

Amassing hundreds of thousands of hits online, Voyce was pleasantly shocked to see that the demo tracks he recorded were receiving such a warm reception. Many demos he penned have gone on to have been used by some of today’s most prominent artists, such as Day 26, Danity Kane and Monica. His most cherished, however, is Usher.

“I wrote a few tracks for Usher, and although he didn’t cut them for his album, he definitely co-signed me. Every time he sees me he’s always like ‘This n*gga right here? This n*gga is nice.’ I’ve gotten a lot of respect as a songwriter and now everyone looks at me like the next Dream. But I’m not trying to do that, I’m just doing me.”

Taking a step back from penning tracks for other artists, the Toronto songwriter looks to begin to make a name for himself this summer with a mixtape entitled, “The Leaks,” to be followed by an album soon after. The  currently untitled album will feature production from some of the top names in the business and, of course, the guiding light from Bryan Michael Cox himself.

“As far as the mixtape goes, I have to make a trip back to the ‘A’ because all the songs that were leaked were never mixed or mastered. I just want to make sure everything is crispy and sounds even better,” said Voyce. “The album, on the other hand, won’t have a concept because I don’t want to limit myself. I told Bryan that. But the fact that I haven’t even started only proves to me that I’m about to go in on it. Classic ballads, singles…everything.”

With the wheels already in motion for his solo career, the patience Voyce has shown throughout the years is finally beginning to bloom. His story has been one of friendship, missed chances, blessings and above all, a hustler’s spirit. Never forgetting the values his parents instilled him at an early age, Voyce is still humble, but now he has the confidence to match.


“People know my name on the internet, I’ve got a buzz, but it’s nothing big yet. I’m still working to where I want to go to. I’m probably one of the best R&B cats to come through in a long time. Hopefully, with the work I put in, someone will take notice.”

Justin Tinsley

Follow Voyce on Twitter or check out his Myspace, here.

For more YouTube videos, click here.

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6 Responses to “TORONTO’S ‘VOYCE’: "PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE"”

  1. D Dotta said

    Big Homie, I gave this thing a quick read earlier and knew then it was something to behold. But now that I’ve given it a thorough reading let me be the first to say your writing is definitely a cut above the rest. Just like singing, dancing, and rapping are talents; writing too should be included.

    Judging by your multiple feature articles on this website, I feel comfortable in saying that one day someone will offer you an opportunity to be the head of a major Hip Hop journalism outlet. My best way to Thank You is by only saying that you have and continue to inspire me to write more & more. But importantly, you inspire me to search for the same passion that you exude in the works that you present to the public.

    I remember one of my early English teachers telling me that any great piece of literature wraps the reader up in the first 10 seconds. And Homie once again, you nailed it with another on point intro.

    And not to be forgotten, Voyce, you definitely seem like you are primed and ready to burst onto the scene. Humbleness and Patience will at least always keep the right people around you, even if those 2 traits do not lead you to super stardom.

  2. Dotta,

    You know I always appreciate the words of wisdom from you. Hopefully, one day soon, I can get an opportunity to do this on a big time level, but until then, the grind continues.

    I write these because I get an honest joy out of it, so I don’t really look at it as a chore. It’s my way of leaving an impact on a culture I’ve admired for years.

  3. […] on and one he was more than thrilled about was the release of his first project entitled “The Leaks.” Taking a step back from penning tracks for other artists, the Toronto songwriter looks to […]

  4. hiphophead said

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    […]TORONTO’S ‘VOYCE’: "PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE" « Grade A Certified[…]…

  6. Faustino said

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