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New Music Mondays: Sudbury’s ‘The 555’ samples fellow Nickel City artists

Hip-hop artist said his new album ‘Beat Local’ is his ‘love letter to Sudbury’
The 555, a.k.a. Vince Clarke, has just released an album called “Beat Local.” (Supplied/David Rock)

Editor’s note: This article is part of a new series we’re calling New Music Mondays, where we will endeavour to feature new music by musicians from the Greater Sudbury area each Monday. If you’re an area musician and would like us to profile your work, email us at

The 555, a.k.a. Sudbury hip-hop musician Vince Clarke, recently dropped “Beat Local,” a beat tape made by sampling Sudbury artists.

Clarke said “Beat Local” is “Sudbury hip-hop, it’s culture, it’s an amalgamation of everything I love about Sudbury. It’s kind of like my love letter to Sudbury.”

Among the artists and groups he’s sampled on the album are Barry Miles, Matt Foy, Jennifer Holub, Will Powers, Telecolor and Magic Pelvis.

A press release put out by the artist said he “samples recordings from local musicians, adds a generous helping of his own signature beats and tie dyes them into a local music fusion buffet.”

In an interview with, Clarke said he’s been lucky enough to get to know a ton of local musicians and artists through the Townehouse Tavern or Northern Lights Festival.

“You can’t help but get inspired,” he said. One of the aspects of hip-hop “is sampling, taking it, making it your own, and paying homage to the originals,” Clarke said. “And that’s what I try to do.”

Although some of the artists Clarke is sampling have very different musical genres (Holub, for example, is more in the singer-songwriter category), he said they’ve all given him positive feedback.

(Check out the “Beat Local” Holub remix entitled “Ramsey Lake 3AM” below). 


“Everyone loves them,” Clarke said. “The thing with sampling is I’ve sampled songs before and made remixes, but like if I’m sampling a song from the ’60s or ’70s, and it’s like Motown, there’s no chance I could ever get that sample cleared, you know?

“Since it’s local, I know all these people. It made it easier to ask. I mean I would start working on a song, then I’d go talk to him and say, ‘Is this all right? Do you mind if I sample?’ And every single person was like, ‘That’s amazing. Yes, please do it’. ”

Clarke said he’d also love it if other musicians used Beat Local samples in their own work. “Maybe we’ll have a Beat Local mixed tape eventually,” he said. “It’ll be cool.”

As for being a Sudbury musician during the COVID-19 pandemic, Clarke said he has managed to perform a couple of times over the past year when restrictions were a bit lighter.

In working on his new album, Clarke said he really learned how to effectively communicate over the internet to get things done.

“You have to be very upfront and clear and concise,” he said. “When you’re working in the room with someone, you’ll say the same thing a few times, and eventually they’ll get the idea.”

“Beat Local” is available now on all streaming platforms. You can also learn more about The 555 on the artist’s Facebook page.


Heidi Ulrichsen

About the Author: Heidi Ulrichsen

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