Unexpected Ottawa rap duo, Pei & The Joynt, came together because of a shared musical passion. The 40-year-old and 14-year-old began collaborating in 2019 together to create music.
Being a public speaker, MC, and producer was an unlikely choice for Peter Joynt (a.k.a The Joint), who has a speech impediment. As a motivational public speaker, The Joynt’s stutter is apparent. When he raps, however, this is not the case.
At a young age, he learned that by channelling his creative side through singing, rapping and acting, his stutter would get overpowered by the inventive flow if his words.
The Joynt made demo tapes and sent them to producers, radio stations and show promoters but all he got back was denial and rejection. With resilience and a passion for music, he kept writing until 2011 when he wrote “Capcity (Ottawa Song).” After this, doors opened for The Joynt.
A short time later, he was invited to a career day at Roberta Bondar Public School to speak about his life as a rapper, but during his presentation, it evolved into a story of how The Joynt was teased and bullied when he was a kid.
“Of course if you have a speech impediment the last thing you’d do is to actually go up and speak,” said Joynt. “The simple fact is that there’s a lot of power in my presentation. Kids can watch a guy expose his flaws and say, ‘Big deal, I got this thing, it does not mean that I can’t do cool things in my life.’”
He got the chance to work with the Ottawa Senators and made “THIS IS IT (Go Sens Go),” performing at shows and festivals, and speaking to over 150 schools since 2012. In 2018, while at a seminar at Fisher Park Summit Alternative School, a particular student got inspired to follow in his footsteps.
Her name is Pei Pilgrim. At a young age, she played a lot of piano and ukulele, but wanted to expand her musical skills to start singing. From there, Pilgrim wanted to develop her own songs and write her own lyrics to sing.
“The writing just came naturally to me,” said Pilgrim.
Pilgrim took piano lessons but is self-taught on guitar, ukulele, drums, electric bass, clarinet and vocals.
As she was sitting there watching Joynt give his speech, Pilgrim felt like he was speaking to one person in the whole room. Pilgrim knew that this was exactly what she wanted to do. At the end of that day, she sent him a message for advice on public speaking, confidence and performing.
They kept in touch and, on June 21, 2019, they collaborated on their song called “Loving This Feeling.” According to a CBC article by Mario Carlucci, “Loving This Feeling” became “Ottawa’s song of the summer.”
Now that Pilgrim is entering her first year of high school and The Joynt has gotten a new job on Shopify’s cultural team, they have decided to take a break to concentrate on their lives.
“Even though we’re focusing on our thing for now, I’m excited to make music with Pei again,” said Joynt.
Despite this decision, Pei & The Joynt still continue to share their creative thoughts and ideas with the hope of collaborating again the future.