Toronto, Canada



Behind the Music

Journalism serves as people’s window to the world, shoving aside society’s curtains to reveal untold stories. Art on the other hand is a way of capturing a person's attention and stirring up emotions in response to something. While journalism brings light to important issues, music and art work to help broaden the reach of its impact to some, such as myself, who don’t pay attention to the news or world events. 

As Ian shows the realities of what happens at sea to his readers, I wanted to capture what a day out on the ocean might be like in the life of one of these characters. Each of my songs is a stand-alone scene throughout the course of one night — the first is set at midnight, the second takes place during a storm, the third is a retreat to the hull of the ship and the last is a resolution as dawn begins to break. As the album progresses, I aimed to evoke certain sound textures and moods that illustrate the meaning behind each work.

About trog'low

In his own words, trog’low makes “nostalgia music.” As the Philippines-born, Toronto-based producer says, “I’m a nostalgic person to a fault. It’s what fuels my creative energy.” This fits with the artist's name, “trog’low,” being a play on “troglodyte.” That can refer to an underground cave-dweller or someone oblivious to the outside world - that is, someone happy to live in the inspiration of what’s come before.

Starting his musical life as a teenage metal guitarist, trog’low got zapped by the beat-bug after a chance encounter with Nujabes' “Lady Brown.” He promptly traded fast riffs for chill loops and phat rhythms, honing production skills and eventually releasing his well-received 2011 debut album, “Mellow Feats.” “I was new to beat-making at that time,” says trog’low. “So the reception and amount of love I got from that were surprising.” He was hooked.

Coming from a varied musical background works in trog’low’s favor. He’s not drawn in by musical trends or fads, claiming not to listen to most of his lo-fi hip-hop contemporaries. His music has a timeless, classic feel, drawing from a more eclectic well than most beats producers.

The Journalism behind the Music

All music in this project is based on The Outlaw Ocean, a New York Times Best-Selling book by Ian Urbina that chronicles lawlessness at sea around the world. This reporting touches on a diversity of abuses ranging from illegal and overfishing, arms trafficking at sea, human slavery, gun running, intentional dumping, murder of stowaways, thievery of ships and other topics.

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