Factor Chandelier Walks Us Through His New Collaborative LP “Time Invested II” Track by Track

Featuring guest verses from Open Mike Eagle, Myka 9, Sunspot Jonz, and many more, the album is out now on Fake Four.

Factor Chandelier Walks Us Through His New Collaborative LP Time Invested II Track by Track

Featuring guest verses from Open Mike Eagle, Myka 9, Sunspot Jonz, and many more, the album is out now on Fake Four.

Words: Mike LeSuer

Photo: @polychromevideo

March 25, 2022

Factor Chandelier has been cranking out collaborative albums with a diverse set of rappers spanning the extended Fake Four universe for two decades at this point, with records like 2002’s Time Invested providing a portfolio-like look at the major talent’s he’s enlisted over the years. With two decades of hindsight, though, the Canadian producer couldn’t help spending early stretches of the pandemic thinking back on where his head was at both as a musician and as a human when that record came together, seemingly giving into both nostalgia and a commitment to progress as the concept of a sequel to Time Invested began to materialize.

It’s no coincidence that Time Invested II arrives today, as it’s 20 years to the day that I was released—not to mention 40 years to the day that the producer was born. Serving as both an homage to that early period of productivity and a reset button for the artist’s next decade of output, the lengthy collaborative project is packed with guest verses from rappers who appeared on the original like Myka 9, Paranoid Castle bandmate Kirby Dominant, Sunspot Jonz, and Kay the Aquanaut, while bringing in relatively new friends including Open Mike Eagle and Dope KNife.

“With Time Invested II, I set out to make a record that would be inspiring to a younger self,” he explains of the project’s intentions. “Early on in the pandemic, my studio flooded, much of my equipment was ruined, and I found myself lost. I had to relearn so many things that I had taken for granted. I looked back at my catalog and reached out to my friends and collaborators to create Time Invested II.”

With the record out now, stream along below as you read on for the story (and lifelong friendship) behind each track. And make sure to wish Factor a happy birthday.

1. “Time Invested” feat. Myka 9

Myka has always been one of my favorite artists. Whether it was with Freestyle Fellowship, solo, or his features on posse cuts like “Heavyweights,” Myka always brings originality to his style. Back in 2008, through Fake Four, we met and collaborated on our first song “Good Ol’ Smokey (My Kanine).” The song was a unique and original sound, and it was amazing to get to work with such a legend. Eventually, Fake Four offered us a deal to do a full length album that became 1969 (which we released on his 40th birthday). We’ve gone on to do over 60 released songs together and have become both artistic collaborators and lifelong friends. It was only right to have him set off this new album (set to be released on my 40th birthday). The music we’ve made together touches on a lot of topics and ideas including time, travel, growth, and, with my new album’s title track “Time Invested,” it will be no different.

2. “Patience” feat. Eligh

I first met Eligh in 2001 when I flew some of the Living Legends out to Saskatoon in the middle of winter to perform at a show celebrating a record store I’d opened with a friend called Kno-Static Records. I remember working day and night leading up to their arrival to make a beat with hopes we would be able to collaborate on a song. The tiny studio I had at the time was set up in my parents basement, and the music I was working on ended up becoming my first official album Time Invested (ironic title now, right?!). He was feeling the beat so we did the song with Luckyiam and it was released in 2002. Eligh ended up getting sick with a cold (’cause it was -40 in Saskatoon) and couldn’t play the show, but we did the song! We didn’t have much contact until last year when a homie, Shawn [Marbery], who owns a label called Ooohh! That’s Heavy got us back in touch and we did the new jam 20 years later properly titled “Patience.”

3. “Sleep Upside Down” feat. Open Mike Eagle

I met Mike after I’d been working with Fake Four for a few years and had just finished a record with Moka Only. Ceschi hit me up to do an American tour run to support our album, Saffron, and the lineup was us, Ceschi, and Open Mike Eagle. I’d never kicked it with him prior to that tour, but he was a cool and funny tourmate and we all became friends. We’ve collaborated on a few songs since that tour, and when I started making this record and got the vibe, I knew we had to do a new track for it. When he came back with a hook saying “It’ll be OK, we OK,” it felt like a mantra for the times. 

4. “So Cold” feat. Moka Only

Back in the day, there was a Saskatoon rap group called Isosceles who were in a collective with Moka Only. I remember my homie would bring his high-speed dubbing tape deck to their apartment to help them duplicate their new record Face the Music. We got to know each other and I eventually met Moka through them. Once I started working on my first record, I reached out to Moka to do a collaboration. I made the beat, burned it on a CD, and sent it to him in Vancouver—I’d never had to mail someone a beat before! He rapped, dubbed it on Adat tape at his home studio, and sent it back. I remember getting the tape and not being able to play it [laughs]. I ran to the local music shop and rented the Adat player to get the files and it was the jam “All the Time.” Over the years we’ve stayed in touch, whether it was doing shows, songs, or the full-length album, Saffron, under his alias Ron Contour. During the pandemic it was really dope to reconnect, kick it, and work on some new art. 

5. “Tiger Fight (Sunloa)” feat. Sunspot Jonz

I originally met Sunspot on the same trip to Saskatoon with Lucky, Eligh, and Kirby. It’s crazy to think that a single show made some lifelong collaborators and homies! For Time Invested II, I wanted to make something hype for the Sunspot track. We have done a bunch of songs and shows together over the years and I wanted to make something we hadn’t made before. I FaceTimed with Sunspot to get the proper energy while I was making the beat and it came together quick. I sent him the beat and the next day he sent the song back! We were both on the same page for this one, and were able to shoot a video together out in the LA sun. It was a good contrast to our first meeting when it was -40 in Saskatoon. Put your motherfuckin’ hands up!

 6. “Picturesque” feat. Kirby Dominant

Back in 2001, when I had my record store in Saskatoon, Kirby called me one night before closing. I had heard of him already from a single he’d done called “Microphone” that we stocked in the shop. He wanted to come to Saskatoon because he was a fan of Joni Mitchell, who is originally from here, and had an art exhibition on around the same time. He flew out with Sunspot, Lucky, and Eligh, rocked the show, and we ended up kicking it a bunch after that. He was always hella cool and almost like a big brother to me. 

After a few years, we formed a group called Paranoid Castle and he would come to Saskatoon every year to make new music, rock shows, and spend time with me and my family. After a few releases we started touring together, including the West Coast of Canada. We would drive my small-ass Ford Escort through the mountains in the middle of winter. I remember one specific show in Nelson, BC (opening for 2 Live Crew) when we barely made it off the highway, slid into the parking spot in front of the venue, and got completely stuck in the snow. We’ve had lots of touring antics, including Europe with the Fake Four crew, Japan with Myka, and lots in Canada and the U.S. Kirb is the best—very hyped we did this new jam for the album. New PC material soon.

7. “Garbage Island” feat. Common Grackle, AWOL One, and Ceschi 

This is the crew! Our first song together with this group of artists was called “Back Then” on AWOL and my album Owl Hours. I knew right away that this group of artists was a special configuration of personalities. We did another track titled “Noise Band” for my album Factoria, and every couple years I bring up the idea of doing a full-length together, but there are so many moving parts, who knows if that will happen. I love these homies and am super happy we could make it happen again for this record. 

8. “Red Ochre” feat. Kay the Aquanaut

I’ve known Kay a long time and have probably collaborated on more music with him than anyone. Kay has always been dope and was the first rapper I ever saw in person really killing the recording, lyrics, and stage—he’s always been ahead of his time! With us both being from Saskatoon, we’ve spent lots of time working on music and performing together. When we linked up in the studio to make “Red Ochre,” it was our first session in almost two years, which was very unlike us. We got back into it right away—I made the beat on the spot and by the time I was finished with the track, he had the lyrics ready to go. Kay is known for hype, passionate delivery and experimenting on a more laidback delivery on this track has shown his range of vocal skills.  

9. “Sleight of Hand” feat. Taylor Jade

Taylor and I have collaborated on a few songs over the years and this was the first purely synth song we’ve made. She originally wrote the lyrics for guitar and we were going to add it to another project we’re working on, but it just wasn’t sounding right. Then we decided to try it on synth and build the track around that. We have a great studio chemistry, and when ideas come up we do our best to just roll with what’s working, and we didn’t look back on this one. I think we’ll make more songs in this direction and sound for future projects.

10. “Insecticide” feat. Eligh

After we locked in “Patience” and it became the lead single for the album, we wanted to make something with a different vibe. We had a couple of different beats we were auditioning, but I really liked the slower piano beat for what is now “Insecticide.” Eligh was digging the cricket-type sounds in the track which led to the concept for the song. 

11. “Lost My Way” feat. Def3

I’ve known Danny since the early 2000s when we connected on our mutual drive for both the creation and business side of music. We’ve traveled the globe together, playing hundreds of shows throughout North America, Europe, and Japan, and have become lifelong friends. Def3 was in Saskatoon for a solo show the night after my release party for First Storm and Eastlake in 2021, and we hit the studio to create the first song we’ve made since our 2014 collaboration Wildlif3 that won Rap Recording of the Year at the Western Canadian Music Awards. The song was long overdue, and we never skipped a beat—everything flowed and locked into place in the lab. We did the song in the afternoon before rocking the show that evening. 

12. “Moonwalk” feat. Dope KNife

I met DK when he did a guest appearance on Ceschi’s set spitting over “Kurzweil” in Atlanta at A3C. That track has been freestyled over many times, but Dope KNife’s performance blew me away! Months later we connected online, chopped it up, and decided to form a group called Kill Factory. Our goal was to make hard, unapologetic raps on banging beats, and that’s what we showcased on this record. 

13. “Get Selected” feat. AWOL One

AWOL is the first person who really gave me a shot with my production internationally. We met on my first Canadian tour (my first-ever tour, actually) in 2000. It was an eye-opening experience, and I’m grateful for all the things I’ve learned since that tour. When the tour was over, we kept in contact and released our first single, “Try,” on 7-inch. From there we got an album deal and created Only Death Can Kill You. We’ve always kept in touch and he’s been a great friend, mentor, and artist—it was a must that we had a solo jam on the record. “Get Selected” is a throwback to how we originally collaborated while still always pushing the boundaries.    

14. “Village Required” feat. Myka 9

This jam is a classic Myka/Factor song. I worked on a very spacey, vibey, out-there track, and as always, Myka absolutely locked in and did what he does with amazing lyrical content and style. I could do a million songs with Myka and we would never manage to repeat ourselves. He really inspires me to try new ideas and approaches every time. 

15. “Recipe” feat Moka

Much like the Eligh and Myka jams, Moka and I wanted to bring different vibes to the album. I always love the slower and mellow Durable Mammal songs we’ve made together, so after we did “So Cold” we felt like we needed to make another one. This one hits me hard; the lyrics and hook get ideas flowing and are therapy for what’s going on right now. 

16. “The Flood (Gold Chains)” feat. Ceschi and Evil EbenezerThis beat was originally released as an instrumental on my solo record Eastlake. When Ceschi heard the album, he texted me “Hey man, mind if I lay something down on ‘The Flood’?” Of course I was like, “Yes, homie!” Then a couple hours or so passed and he hit me with the demo which was pure fire and so heavy. The vibe matched what I’d been working on with Evil in some previous sessions, so we reached out to him and he absolutely smashed the feature. This one really flowed together and it was the song that started Time Invested II.