**Interview by: Sarah Brown**
You may have heard of alternative rapper Shad’s smash hit Rose Garden or perhaps you have seen him as the host for CBC Radio’s Q.
In case you haven’t, multi-talented, Shad has released four albums, won a Juno Award for Rap Recording of the Year, and has interviewed big name musicians like Adele, The Lumineers, Rod Stewart, plus many more.
We caught up with Shad right before he performed to a sold out show at The Mod Club.
For someone who hasn’t heard of your music, what song would you first show them to introduce yourself as a musician?
I would show them Rose Garden. It carries my kind of vibe. It’s warm, it’s hip-hop, and lyrically it goes in a range of different directions and carries the soul of what I do.
Going along with that, how would you describe your music?
Great question! I would describe my music has hip-hop, pretty straight ahead classic hip-hop.
How does it feel performing in front large crowd tonight and performing to your hometown tomorrow night (June 25)
I haven’t played club shows in a while. I’m going back to playing those kind of shows and connecting with [fans] in that kind of intimacy. Oddly enough, it is less common for me now to play club shows with being busy with the radio show. Usually when I play it’s a festival, so it is nice to play in a more intimate setting.
What social media platform do you think is the best to connect with fans?
I’m not the best with social media! I would say Facebook because you can actually have a more coherent conversation. You can chat, share a song, write a long post with context, and share photos. To me, Facebook has all the things you need!
A lot of your songs deal with social injustices, what are some social causes that you support?
I think in my music what I speak to mainly comes out of my experiences. All my music is concerned with the question of how to live life well and to have hope in the face of everything we are looking at right now in our world. There is a lot of despair, anxiety, and inequality. Not to be vague, but more generally my music is about how to be hopeful in the face of that and to live well in the face of that.
You are now the host of CBC Radio One’s Q and are doing a fantastic job! How have you learned the art of mastering interviewing? What has been the biggest challenge?
I’m far from mastering it! I think it’s a pleasure really to get to chat with people. I’m really interested in what makes people tick and what drives them to do, what they do.
To get to talk to so many unique people about so many surprising and interesting projects is really cool. It comes down to listening and following your own curiosity.
Have you faced any challenges?
Oh yeah! There is a lot of preparation and the challenge is interviewing and hosting for a program for radio. It is a little bit different then chatting with someone and getting to know them and taking your time. There is a clock, sometimes people ramble, so when you have the show you have to get to know them as well as move them along
You have gotten to collaborate with K-OS, Lights, and Dallas Green all amazing musicians, who would be your next dream collaboration?
I don’t really have a dream collaboration! During my whole career there has been artists that I admire, but I’m just content admiring. Artist that I admire right now would be Chance the Rapper and Kendrick Lamar. The people that I like to work with the most are in my [intimate] circle.
Can you give us a hint of what fans can expect to see during your set at WayHome?
All these guys will be performing with me! [Shad had a band with him during his performance) There will be seven of us on stage and bringing it!
Speaking of WayHome, what artist or band are YOU most excited to see perform at WayHome this summer?
A Tribe Called Red
Keys N Krates
Those are the top of my list!
Shad and his band will be live July 22nd at 4:45 on the WayBold stage!
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