Canadian hip-hop doesn’t have the best rap down in the Great United States, but all that’s poised to change in the 2K10. One talent on the forefront is producer Slakah the Beatchild, who brings a deeply funky instrumental awareness to his work for an incredibly diverse group of artists. His recent collab with Drake, EnjoyYa Self v2, seems set to vault him into the global consciousness. On the eve of a Canadian tour with Ebrahim and Tingsek, Slakah talked to us about his inspirations, his projects and his future.
Heavy.com: So what can you tell me about the hip-hop scene North of the border?
Slakah: What’s exciting about it is we have so many cultures in Canada, and in Toronto where I live, people from differen parts of the world translates into a very diverse culture, very openminded, you hear a lot of experimentation, very unique sounds. There’s a real Caribbean influence, people with parents from the West Indies, a heavy West Indian sound. Overall Toronto is just very openminded to experimenting.
Heavy.com: With Drake breaking big all over the world, what Canadian MCs do you see with that kind of crossover potential?
Slakah: Ebrahim, he’s on tour with me, he’s getting attention from everybody from Britney Spears to Bobby Caldwell. He does these crazy beatbox mashups, posts them on Youtube, they’re definitely worth checking out. He’s one guy to check out. I keep a really diverse – I collaborate with people on an international level. I just finished working with this artist in Korea named Quiett, he’s an amazing MC. When he starts to rap in Korean, I don’t know what saying, but the vibe and flow is so sick it doesn’t matter, so we just put out that record. And then there’s Tingsek, who’s joining me on tour, it’s important to note he’s not a hip-hop artist, the music we make together is not hip-hop. One thing that I find sad is that people get pigeonholed into one genre of music, but I’m a producer.
Heavy.com: What can people expect to see on this tour?
Slakah: Theyre gonna get a really organic vibe. We’ve got a guitar player, a Rhodes player, a cajon player, I’m on my acoustic guitar, Tingsek’s on acoustic guitar, and Ebrahim is on the drum machine. It’s different from a typical show, we’re trying to keep it intimate – not loud but vibey, so you can really feel it. The interesting thing about tour is each venue is different, so the set’s going to vary. We’re playing at the Detroit Electronic Music Festival, so we’ll probably keep that show heavy on the drum machine and uptempo. The Sarnia show – that’s my hometown – is in a coffeeshop, so we’ll have less drum machine. more acoustic vibe. Toronto we’ve got a live drum kit. I’m not sure what the Montreal show’s gonna sound like.
Heavy.com: What future projects are you excited about?
Slakah: I have one called the Slakadelqs, it’s basically an alter ego project. The influences are Neil Young, the B-52s, Andre 3000, the Zombies – it’s a different influence set. The album is done and it’s gonna be put out on vinyl and download only. I’m really excited about this one. I’m hoping it’ll be released in August. It’s funny making a record, you spend so much time in the studio and when it’s done you spend days thinking about nothing. You just want to make sure everything is good. I find it a challenging step to take the masters and get it pressed. You hope everything is good, and if it isn’t nobody notices.