On May 12, thanks to the good people at Lotus Leaf Communications and fellow sponsor Scion I had the distinct pleasure to witness my first ever Shad performance at Wrong Bar. Granted this was my first time seeing him live but definitely not my frist time hearing his amazing work. I don’t know about you guys but I always wonder if an artist will sound just as good live as he/she does on disk, suffice it to say Shad didn’t’ disappoint. For his set, he tapped into his latest break through album TSOL and with it took the opportunity to invite some great guests up on stage such as; Lisa Lobsinger of Reverie Sound Revue and Broken Social Scene who reprised her part on “Rose Garden” and Grand Analog’s Odario Williams who took lead on their track “Electric City”, a song on which Shad collaborated. Undoubtably a master of his craft, I was delighted that I had the opportunity to see him live and to be granted a brief interview with him. Check out my Q&A below with the man himself.
Now, for those of you unfamiliar with this amazing talent here’s a brief history lesson. Shad originally from London, Ontario jumped on the scene in 2005 when he dropped his début album “When This Is Over”. Unbeknownst to many this album was entirely self-made and financed with money he won from 91.5 The Beat’s Rhythm of the Future talent competition. Did I mentioned he did all that while doing his undergrad at Wilfrid Laurier University? Soon after he singed with Black Box Recordings and dropped his second album, The Old Prince which received a Juno Award nomination for Rap Recording of the Year. Jumping to 2010 Shad released his third album titled TOSL [Lost spelled backwards] by far his most commercially successful album to date. Aside from creating waves in the Canadian Hip Hop community TOSL also won best Rap Album at this years Junos (beating out Drizzy Drake).
If you didn’t know, now you know!
INTERVIEW1) How does your success in Canada compare to that in the States? I’m way less successful in the States. 2) What would you say has been your greatest career highlight thus far? Probably opening for Common. He was my favourite rapper in high school and probably my biggest influence musically so that was a great night for me. 3) How has living in Canada influenced your sound/music? I’m not too sure but the extra Celine Dion throughout my childhood definitely improved my vocal range. 4) Who would you say has been your greatest inspiration and why? No artist in particular. There’s a bunch I have come across that have inspired me with their talent or their courage. To name a few: Lauryn Hill, Say Anything, Curtis Mayfield, Brian Wilson, Stevie Wonder, Bob Marley. 5) Congratulation on winning the Juno for Best Rap Album, what was that experience like? It was a big surprise and another fun weekend. 6) Would you say that music scene especially the Rap scene in Canada has evolved? If so, in what way? I think the rap scene has built a lot more support in recent years. Fans are excited about Drake, K’Naan, etc. There’s a range of voices in Canada – that’s probably my favourite thing about our scene. Artists seem to follow their upon paths; there’s not a lot of copying going on. 7) How did you get signed to Black Box Recordings? What was that whole experience like? It wasn’t a big ceremonious thing. They’re hard-working and good at what they do. It made sense to combine our efforts and I’m proud of what they’ve done since we started working together. 8 ) What can we look forward to seeing/hearing from you in the near future? I’ll be playing a few dates here and there this summer. Mostly festivals. Then in the fall I’ll probably start working- on a new project.