John Orpheus is a Trini Troubadour and Pan-African poet whose musical journey has taken him from the Trinidad bush, to blues and folk festivals across Canada, to some of the biggest rock & roll stages in the world. Born and raised in South-Central Trinidad, J.O. grew up singing in Pentecostal and Shango Baptist churches. After attending the famed Presentation College in the same year as legendary soca singer Machel Montano, he immigrated to Canada where he soon became fully immersed in the music life.
His current musical iteration with his musical soulmate, DJ/drummer Sarah Jane Riegler, and singer/dancer Chaenel Mattise combines hip-hop swagger, afrobeats energy and dancehall charisma to create a sound built on big catchy hooks, African rhythms and Caribbean twang. The trio is known for rabble-rousing live shows, filled with audience participation, chanting and impromptu dance offs that feel more like Caribana road parties than concerts.
In June 2018, the group released #GOATLIFE, the culmination of a 2-year, 4-mixtape project they used to find and develop their unique pan-African sound. Equal parts hip-hop, dancehall, and afrobeats, #GOATLIFE finds J.O. and his jiggy af Trinidadian drawl at its best over partner-in-crime Sarah Jane Riegler's Afro rhythms.
Produced again by Mike Schlosser of Little Noise Records, #GOATLIFE fulfills the promise of earlier mixtapes--the downtempo manifesto Goldchain Hennessey, the Carnival fete-infused Bacchanal and the Canada/Nigeria/Ghana collaboration Black Star Rising--with a noticeably more pop and upbeat vibe. Each mixtape was launched with a successful video and single featuring collaborations with Toronto’s freshest dancers and videographers: GCH's “Leanin", Bacchanal's “Jiggy AF” and BSR's “Wey Ya Call Dat Ting?” and #GOATLIFE's "Parachute".
- Bantor Radio: "John Orpheus take us to play mas on Bacchanal"
- Toronto Guardian: "5 minutes with John Toronto hip-hop/afrobeats artist John Orpheus"
- Bantor Radio: "People are the key to Haus Orpheus"
- Canadian Musician: "Goatlife" video premiere
- Interview with The Creative Imbalance podcast
- Exclaim!: "John Orpheus Build Community via Pan-African Grooves on Goatlife"
- Interview with Kreative Kontrol with Vish Khanna podcast
- Live performance on "The Morning Show" on Global News