Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

The Dirty Dozen, with Dalton Higgins

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Dalton Higgins

Far From Over: The Music and Life of Drake, the Unofficial Story (ECW Press) by Dalton Higgins follows the unconventional path that transformed the former titular Degrassi star into an international superstar.

Today Dalton speaks with Open Book as part of our Dirty Dozen series, which invites writers to share twelve unexpected facts about themselves. From Ethiopian food to unshakable nicknames, Dalton shares a bevy of interesting facts and stories.

Don't miss the launch for Far From Over on November 1, 2012. Check out event details here.

Dalton is also an Open Book: Toronto columnist and you can see his postings here.

  1. Some folk have me pegged as the penultimate hip hop expert dude, despite the fact that I don’t have any tattoo’s (unlike 99.579% of the hip hop nation), and I’ll take the title, but despite the given name jokes (former Ontario Premier, hello), my background is actually in reporting on politics and civic engagement. I’ve covered municipal and provincial election issues for CBC Radio One and NOW Magazine all the way to the Toronto Star’s blog pages.
  2. I brought Sixto Jesus Rodriguez — the subject of The Searching For Sugar Man film that will most likely win an Academy Award — to Toronto for the first time in 2009. No one had any clue as to who he was, his impacts, his story. He was the most lovely, humble, hippied out, gnarly dude I’ve ever gotten a chance to work with on a concert and film project.
  3. When I’m not in Toronto, my stomping grounds are Harlem, in uptown Manhattan. I know all of the nooks and crannies, where to get the best bean pie, tofu, knock -off cologne, sneakers, whateva.
  4. Growing up, my athletic prowess far and away trumped any literary or scholarly ambitions. Not to sound all Al Bundy, but my mother’s basement is littered with trophies and medallions from me playing basketball, track (sprints), volleyball, ice hockey, football…I even have a bunch of badminton trophies, honestly.
  5. When I’m not scribing, I lead a fatherhood advocacy group, More Than A Haircut, that works out of barbershops (!) and has in the past won a Toronto Community Foundation Vital Ideas award.
  6. To you, my OBT faithful, I am Dalton Higgins. However, to my Jamaican extended family I am not Dalton, I am simply known as Devon…it’s a childhood nickname that has sadly stuck. Dalton is dead, long live Dalton!
  7. I produced K’naan aka Mr. Wavin’ Flag’s first real concert, wrote his first real bio, got him his first cover story (EYE Weekly), sold out his first concert, got him his first agent (Paquin Entertainment)…let’s just say that I’ve worked in the shadows on many world class Canadian and American arts breakout stories.
  8. I met and got to chat with legendary blaxploitation film queen Pam Grier in CTV’s Canada AM greenroom. She’s like the Farrah Fawcett for young black boys. She’s in her 60’s and is a total hip hop head who afterwards texted me all kinds of hip hop materials!
  9. I can eat Ethiopian food with my wife and kids every day, with no complaints.
  10. I have an encyclopedic knowledge of black music history, and can link the blues to jazz to rock n’ roll, and then draw more connective tissue to reggae, calypso, add some highlife, champeta, juju, spoken word and salsa…and it goes on and on. It might be career switcheroo time, I should become a DJ!
  11. I’m an information junkie who reads everything, mags, rags, zines, blogs, and can spit out the most obscure of obscure factoids, but I find my neighborhood magazine, The Village Post to not really be worth the paper it’s printed on. It represents everything that’s wrong about living in Toronto.
  12. Like most rappers, my plan moving forward is to live on a mansion on a yacht overlooking the lovely island of St. Kitts and Nevis.


Dalton Higgins is a National Magazine Award-winning journalist and radio and TV broadcaster who blogs and therefore is. His latest book, Far From Over: The Music and Life of Drake (ECW Press, Oct. 2012), sheds light on the cultural conditions in Toronto that helped create the Drake phenomenon. His four other books (Fatherhood 4.0, Hip Hop World, Hip Hop, Much Master T) examine the place where the worlds of technology, diversity, hip hop and hipster culture intersect. His daily Daltoganda, musings, rants, jabs, pontifications and fire-and-brimstone blather can be accessed from his digital pulpit on twitter: @daltonhiggins5.

For more information about Far From Over please visit the ECW Press website.

Buy this book at your local independent bookstore or online at Chapters/Indigo or Amazon.

Check out all the Dirty Dozen interviews in our archives.

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