Artist Lindasson says his neighbourhood was his inspiration for the rapper he has become


Rapper gave up a promising basketball career to return to Ottawa to attend to his ailing mother and take care of younger sister

Ottawa hip-hop artist Lindasson (Shymar Brewster) says he feels lucky to have been raised in the city’s Caldwell neighbourhood, despite the challenges facing the west-end area.

“Growing up in the eyes of the neighbourhood is a blessing,” said the 26-year-old, whose music touches on some of the highs and lows of living in community housing.

“One of the great things about Caldwell is having friends down the street around the corner.”

Before establishing himself as a force in Ottawa’s hip-hop scene, Lindasson, born Shymar Brewster, played basketball on a full-ride scholarship to Casper College in Wyoming.

He had envisioned a career in the sport and dreamed of playing for the NBA one day. But that all changed in February 2016.

Linda with son Shymar “Lindasson” Brewster

Lindasson was stepping off the practice courts when he received news his mother, Linda, had suffered a brain aneurysm and was in the ICU. He rushed home to be with his mother in her final hours before she passed away.

Lindasson then decided to return to Caldwell to look after his younger sister, gradually leaving basketball behind.

Instead, he picked up a microphone. In 2019, he began recording music under his current moniker, a tribute to his late mother that can be read as “Linda’s son.”

Now that he’s a rising star in Ottawa’s hip-hop scene, he says it’s important to showcase the neighbourhood where he grew up.