Shad is an overachiever. Not just a Juno winner, he beat Drake’s debut to earn a Juno Award for Rap Recording in 2011. Shad's albums have been Polaris Prize-shortlisted four times—more than any other artist in the award’s 14-year history. He hosted q on CBC Radio for two years and is still currently hosting an Emmy and Peabody-winning series on the evolution of hip hop. Humble as he appears, there’s no doubt that Shad is driven. He doesn't just succeed, he exceeds.
Born to Rwandan parents in Kenya, Shadrach Kabango grew up in London, ON, launching his career when his sister entered him in a radio contest during his undergrad. From the beginning, he used honesty, humour, and social consciousness to tackle topics ranging from colonialism to the Rwandan genocide. And as his profile’s grown, so has his ambition. His 2018 album A Short Story About a War is an ear candy minefield: racism, injustice and greed laced under layers of catchy tunes. He collaborated with Skratch Bastid on his latest single "Work" - an intentionally discordant reflection on the rat race, where income anxiety trumps fulfillment. And if anyone is qualified to discuss the rewards and pitfalls of working too hard, it's Shad.
Biography by Peter Hemminger