Some twenty years ago, a fourteen year old kid named Jason Hachey was living upstairs at the Corktown Tavern — a prime scenario for a story about a budding musician getting into indie rock. But while his dad was managing the rock club, Hachey was more into skateboarding. He’d played drums a bit but didn’t have an inclination to play his father’s club. Instead, it was when a friend introduced him to Rahzel that Hachey had an epiphany and his beatboxing career was born. He’d soon become Hachey the MouthPEACE and spend two decades establishing himself in the local and national hip hop scene; winning awards, releasing albums and performing for thousands. This weekend, Hachey the MouthPEACE celebrates two decades just two days ahead of his thirty–fourth birthday.
“My dad, Dave Hachey, managed the Corktown and we lived upstairs and it was around that time that my buddy, Andrew Sinclair, showed me the Godfather of Noise from the Roots Crew and I was playing drums at the time so it really caught me,” recalls Hachey. “Gob was playing at the Corktown all the time but I wasn’t really into that live music scene at the time. I was skateboarding at Beasley Park trying to make noises with my mouth. Being a drummer, I picked it up quickly — I knew where to put the right noises in a rhythmic fashion.”
The vocals, percussion, bass, turntable scratches and other rhythmic sounds on his recordings and live performances are all created using his tongue, larynx, lips and a wide variety of complex breathing techniques to jaw–dropping effect. A novel audience is usually driven to wild applause with a few moments of experiencing what the MouthPEACE can do.
Connecting with skateboarding buddy, Kyle Catic, the duo would go to a McMaster University open mic as fifteen year olds and immediately were struck with the crowd response to their rhythmic musical explorations. With little premeditation, the duo had no name at first but became Hashic and later the Godsons of Noise in tribute to Hachey’s inspiration from Rahzel. While the pair grew up, Hachey the MouthPEACE went solo. He’d frequent open mics at the West Town and otherwise connecting with people like guitarist Brian Griffith.
“I was doing my beatboxing and Brian came up, plugged in and we started jamming,” says Hachey. “That kind of broke me into the Hamilton music scene. People started giving me a little more respect as an instrument and not as a party trick. No one was doing beatboxing at that time and we were killing it so I got addicted to the crowds and I’ve been doing it for twenty years now.”
In two decades, Hachey has lived a lifetime of music. Hachey would record two EPs, releasing Outside The Box in 2013, and Out Of Line in 2015. He’d collaborate with a wealth of Hamiton area musicians from rappers like Nilla to pop stars like Canadian Idol winner Brian Melo and even explore grandiose innovations with Boris Brott and The National Academy, as well as The Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra.
Hachey has toured western Canada some four times now with great response. Awards for his work started coming in at the Hamilton Music Awards as hip hop and special instrumentalist champion in 2013 and 2015 as well as MuchMusic BeatBox Champion (2013), Great North Loop Station Champion (2015) and even Emerging Artist for the 2018 City Of Hamilton Arts Awards some 19 years into his career. When the Juno Awards came to Hamilton, they immediately tapped Hachey to be ambassador and he’d end up warming up the live crowd at a few Juno shows including the live broadcast from Copps Coliseum. No small feat for a single guy to entertain some ten thousand people but Hachey is probably most at home when he gets on the stage.
We haven’t had an album in a few years but Hachey has remained a constant on the live stage. Hachey wasn’t even thinking about anniversaries until he was surfing the web and came upon a post from his initial inspiration Rahzel celebrating the twentieth anniversary of his debut album, Make the Music 2000 that ended up inspiring a show. This weekend, Hachey the MouthPeace gathers up a bunch of collaborators from then and now to celebrate a musical milestone of his own.
“I’ve been working on my live act, doing more festivals, creating music that people can dance to,” says Hachey. “Right now, I don’t have all the tracks for me to put out another release but I’m hoping to do so in the very near future. But I saw that Rahzel post and I was like damn, I’ve got to get on this and throw a little shindig to celebrate twenty years. That was the album that inspired me to beatbox twenty years ago and I’m turning thirty–four on Sunday so why not have a party?
“I invited out a lot of special friends to participate,” continues Hachey. “I played on Nilla’s album a long time ago and I have much respect for her. Melissa Marchese is one of the best singers I’ve ever heard and she’s such a beautiful person. Daimon Miles is Brian Griffith’s son and we’ve done a few collaborations together. I was playing at the Corktown and Matthew Carter was in the audience. Been a while since he placed fourth in Canada’s Got Talent. I brought him up on stage and I must have forgotten how awesome he is. We’ve got live art from Anthony Haley who has been around since I started doing this. There’s also going to be a Godsons of Noise reunion for this show. I’m getting Kyle to come out and do some of the old set list from a long time ago. It’s going to be a special one of a kind show for sure. Everyone does their own set and maybe I do a song or two with them and then I’ll do my own set with a big jam at the end with everybody on stage. It’s going to be super complicated and I’m going to challenge them.
“I’ll never call myself a rapper — I’m a beatboxer that raps over his beats,” clarifies Hachey. “I know a lot of really good emcees and I don’t feel like I put all of my efforts into my lyrics to get that respect. But if you want a beat, I’m your man. Going on tour really helped me learn how to refine my show. I still want more — that’s why I’m still doing what I do. All of the people I’ve met, all of the live shows I’ve gotten to see — being able to travel — all of that has been the best part of doing this for twenty years. My greatest accomplishment has been not quiting so far. It gets tough and I’m really hard on myself sometimes, but it’s things you have to get over and continue on. I have a lot of great memories — my goal is to make more memories as I keep doing this.”
Hachey the MouthPEACE's Twentieth BeatBox Anniversary happens this Friday August 16 at This Ain't Hollywood with NiLLa, Melissa Marchese and Greg Brisco, Daimon Miles, The Emsee, DJ Diamonds, Anthony The Demon Haley and hosted by Brandon Sobel. Doors open at 9pm and $10 gets you in. Click on facebook.com/HacheyTheMouthPEACE