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Shad On 'Remember To Remember'

We spoke to Shad about his latest single off 'Flying Colours,' "Remember to Remember."


Back in October Canada's chosen wordsmith Shad delivered his latest standout, Flying Colours– a toast to heritage that was produced on the heels of a trip to Rwanda to perform at the Kigali UP! Music Festival. After proudly rocking the immigrant badge on celebratory high-point "Fam Jam (Fe Sum Immigrins)," Shad looks inwardly on his follow-up single– the self-reflecting "Remember To Remember." In the lead-up to the release, Shad shared some thoughts on what he remembers. Read on and watch a teaser for the upcoming video, which is due to drop later this month.

OKA: Where do you come from?

Shad: I was born in Kenya and grew up in London, On. My family is originally from Rwanda and my parents and little brother live there now. I currently live in Vancouver. My team is based in Toronto and I do a lot of work there.

OKA: What do you remember listening to growing up?

Shad: Pop music, rap music, rock music, Simon and Garfunkel, almost everything else...

OKA: 3 things you try to remind yourself:

1) "do not conform to the pattern of the world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind"

2) try every day to be truthful and compassionate

3) "think of yourself with sober judgement" ... try to make a contribution and make it with energy and enthusiasm.

OKA: 3 things your parents would tell you to remember:

1) Dont waste your money

2) Don't forget to call your mom

3) Seek first the kingdom of God

OKA: 3 things you'd want to remind Canada:

1) The dignity and well-being of our first nations communities should be a top priority.

2) This land is a gift we should seek to understand better and care for.

3) Celine Dion isn't wack.

OKA: Any talk/plans of performing on the continent?

Shad: Kigali is on my radar, hopefully more shows in east Africa too in the new year!

Music
Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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