Hip-hop artist Shad is the new host of CBC Radio's wildly popular cultural program, Q. The 32-year-old rapper, whose full name is Shadrach Kabango, moved to Canada with his Rwandan parents when he was just over a year old. He was raised in London, Ont. and began creating music as a child.
Citing influences like The Roots and Outkast, the Toronto-based talent has said he couldn’t be more thrilled to be taking over the hosting gig.
“My mission in music has always been to make a unique and positive contribution to culture and to people’s lives… This is an exciting opportunity to pursue that same mission in a new way, alongside a brilliant, passionate team,” he said.
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Shad first hit the music scene in 2005 with the release of his debut album, When This is Over. He self-financed the compilation with money he won from a Kitchener-Waterloo radio station’s talent competition. At the time, he was an undergraduate business student at Wilfrid Laurier University.
By 2007, he had landed a three-album deal with Black Box Recordings and the rest, as they say, is history. Today, he’s been nominated for several awards, including the 2008 and 2010 Polaris Music Prize as well as several Junos. In 2011 he even beat out former Degrassi star Drake to take home the trophy for Rap Recording of the Year.
His fourth record, Flying Colours, was released to critical acclaim in 2013.
The news comes months after former host Jian Ghomeshi was dismissed from the CBC amidst sexual assault allegations and charges. Shad isn’t concerned about the show’s controversial past, however. Instead, he’s eagerly looking forward to bringing a fresh voice to the airwaves.
“There’s so many voices out there… Whoever has the most insightful, poignant, compelling insights into the human condition and the conditions we live in… That’s who I want to have at the desk,” he said in a statement. “Fortunately Q is at a level where they can bring those people in.”
Shad’s first morning behind the microphone will be on April 20. He’s also set to perform at Massey Hall on March 27.
Sarah Kelsey is a gal in the know who regularly appears on television and writes for a variety of outlets. Check out her work at sarahkelsey.ca, on Twitter @sarahkelsey, Instagram @sakelsey and Pinterest @sakelsey.