Monday, February 10, 2014


Photo via Facebook
I got the chance to interview Canadian rapper Shad a couple weeks ago when he was in town for a show at the Danforth Music Hall. It was a chill interview and he's such a talented and humble guy. His latest album, Flying Colours, is nominated for Rap Recording Of The Year at this year's Juno Awards! Here's a snippet from our chat -

Christina Dun: Flying Colours came out this past October, can you tell me about the process of making that album?

Shad: The process was a lot of fun, a lot of hard work. I wanted to push myself and challenge myself, just in terms of pushing my talent and courage as much as I could, in the material and in the disciplines of working it.

CD: How does it compare to your previous albums?

Shad: I don’t know. I haven’t been able to step back and analyze it in that way. It’s funny, in a lot of ways, it’s different and I wanted to push myself and do different things and I think that I did do that. But also in a lot of ways, it’s the same. I do what I do and there’s a lot of sensibilities that have been the same since the beginning.

CD: Why is that important to you, to stick with those same sensibilities?

Shad: I think for anybody trying to contribute something, it’s about trying to find that thing that you have to give that intersects with what people might want or need. For me, I feel like what I have to give has been there since the beginning. In those sensibilities, I love the craft of it. I love being raw and loose and real. So I try to always bring those things, no matter what’s going out there in the world, that’s what I have to give. So that’s what I try to access.

CD: Yeah I like how you don’t go for the gimmicks.

Shad: That’s not me. I believe in music. The music I loved as a kid was not that. Some of it was, but a lot of it was not. Especially the stuff that really cut through and stayed with me. Stuff that still matters to me. I believe in that.

CD: Has it always been hip hop for you?

Shad: It’s been everything. Hip hop has been where I found a bit of my own voice. It was the easiest thing to access because you don’t need anything to rap. I love language, I love words, I love writing, so that all came naturally, but I’ve always listened to everything.

CD: You did the school thing first – why did you take that route?

Shad: At that time, I had no idea. I was 18 and music wasn’t even factoring that hugely into my thinking at the time. At that point, I had to do something. But it was significant for me to finish. I didn’t really like it and it took a lot out of me and it was really draining. So I got a lot of momentum from finishing that degree, feeling like I can do something that I don’t like and that I’m mature enough to power through it and do it. That was meaningful. Education is a privilege and it’s always felt like a privilege. And it’s helped me. Not necessarily accounting or theory, but I think any experience you have as a young person, it’s going to carry on with you. Things will pop up.

CD: What are your thoughts on the hip hop scene in Toronto?

I think it’s very strong in terms of talent. I think the thing that’s missing is the vehicle to get the music out across the country. I think that’s the missing piece of the puzzle. I think there are talented artists, hardworking artists, ambitious artists, but we don’t have the vehicles in this country to carry that music nationally anymore like there used to be. I think that’s why you still hear a lot of the same names and no new ones. It’s not that those artists aren’t relevant anymore, it’s just there aren’t many new ones that get injected into that mix.

His advice for aspiring musicians:
"Don’t think about the business. Just don’t. Think about what you do and fall in love with that and it might just work out."

 Keep an eye out for the full article in the spring issue of Faze Magazine!

- Christina
Follow my adventures on Twitter: @christinaaa28

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