Interviews

Slakah the Beatchild: Diversity and Quality

Known as a producer, writer, music director and instrumentalist Slakah the Beatchild can now add one more title to his resume, solo artist.

Coming from the streets of Toronto, Canada, Slakah is ready to show the world what he has to offer in terms of getting a total musical experience. On May 26 he released his debut album, Soul Movement vol. 1 and Singersroom got a chance to speak with him. Slakah fills us in on how he started in the music business, talks a bit about his album that includes a collaboration with burgeoning Hip Hop star Drake and let’s us know what kind of artist he is.

Singersroom: What drew you to music?

Slakah: It was completely natural. At one point I even tried to stay away from music and pursue another career and I really couldn’t do it. Music has always been a part of me ever since I was young. My parents are partly responsible I guess, they always had music playing and I would play all these records I had found and listen to what they were listening to. Early on in life my parents enrolled me in music lessons which I’m thankful for. It really laid the foundation for music theory and general understanding.

Singersroom: You mentioned music was something that was a part of you since you were a child. What was the transition like growing up as a child and deciding this was something you wanted to do as a career?

Slakah: It was kind of a slow process. I first got into writing songs around [age] 10 or 12 and I had a karaoke machine my mom got me. I found a way to over dub, basically recording one track [then] switch the tape to hear what I recorded and add something else, and keep switching the two until I had a full song. That really sparked my interest in music production. When computers started coming around, I found software to make beats so I started getting into that and getting more into hip hop and listening to artists such as Slum Village, Tribe Called Quest, and The Fugees .

Singersroom: Let’s talk about you as a producer. You’ve produced for various artists that have either won a Juno award or have been nominated. What was that feeling like, knowing you were a part of that?

Slakah: It’s a really good feeling. I worked with artists such as Arabesque (Juno nominated) Ebrahim, (Juno nominated), Shad, (Juno nominated) and Devine Brown( Juno winner). It feels good but I know there’s so much more out there so I don’t let those accomplishments get to my head.

Singersroom: You are also a music video director. How did that come about?

Slakah: That came about by chance. I never sat down and said I’m going to be a video director. You know how the music industry is changing; right now labels are doing a lot less for artists. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. We as artists have to find out ways to do things ourselves. So I had a song called “Enjoy Yourself”, my first single and I never really shot a video for it. I didn’t get any funding for it but I wasn’t going to let that stop me from making a video. I’m a creative person and to make a video is a creative process so I invested in some video equipment, I had a vision, I had really good friends and we shot the video. Now BET wants it, VH1, MTV, Much Music so that goes to show you, you don’t need a big label to accomplish things.

Singersroom: Would you ever direct music videos for artists?

Slakah: Right now no, because there’s so much on my plate as it is but maybe in the future. I’m actually shooting two videos,[one for] my following single “B-Boy Beef.” Another video I’m shooting for my group Art of Fresh called “Campfire Music.”

Singersroom: We’ve talked a lot about your behind the scenes work, let’s talk about you as a solo artist.

Slakah: When I initially came into the music industry my goal was not to be a solo artist. But I enjoyed writing and performing my songs so much and other people enjoyed it too so I thought why not.

Singersroom: Moving to your album, Soul Movement Vol.1. Why that name?

Slakah: I had this vision for this record for about 10 years. That was just the name that kept coming back to me. And movement is something that affects people, something that people are passionate about and soul is almost the same thing. The record is supposed to be a fusion of all my talents such as my production, my solo material, and instrumentals. I wanted to make a package kind of like a movement. I plan on making more volumes. We really want to make Soul Movement a brand that people will recognize.

Singersroom: Who are some of the people on the album?

Slakah: Drake is the first [artist], [he’s] on a track called “Share”. Drake and I linked up six years ago. We really got along in the studio and appreciated good quality music. When I started working on Soul Movement I had this beat that a good friend of mine [produced] and the type of beat that it was I knew I and to have Drake on it because I knew how he writes. He’s very mindful of rhythm and how music sounds. It was a perfect fit for him. Devine Brown is another example. Ray Robinson and I started on a track called “Crate Love.” I enjoyed working with Shad K.,[he’s] very humble. Melanie Durrant. She’s really quick in the studio and her melody ideas are just brilliant. We wrote a song called “The Answer,” which is going to be one of the singles.

Singersroom: Finally for those that don’t know you or are not familiar with your music, how would you describe yourself as an artist?

Slakah: I’m in the zone of the Will.I.Am’s [and] the Pharrell’s. I like to call us performing producers. We’re artists but we’re producers to the core. I’m someone who appreciates a lot of different genres. I like to translate that in the music as well. For those that enjoy diversity and quality that’s the type of music I make.
—— By: Interview By Tonya Raymond

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