47 Shad

Shad has been on an upward trajectory for a bunch of years now.  We've found ourselves wondering at times, how can he continue to be SO good?  How can he keep coming up with these incredible ideas?  How can he be always outdoing himself (and everybody else)? The answer is, he is a real artist.  A creative entity who's humble approach seems to ensure maximum inspiration. We've loved pretty much everything Shad has done and lately he's been accomplishing some pretty amazing feats; such as guest hosting CBC's Q, and announcing a solo show at Massey Hall in Toronto (March 27).  He's a busy guy, and there's no limits or ending in sight, lucky for us, he took the time to answer a few of our questions. 


-First off, if there were such a thing, what's a typical day in the life of Shad?

Every day is different! Usually I got a couple projects on the go so I spend some time on email, trying to keep up with things. Exercise, pray, eat... Work on new music... watch nba highlights, read... Catch up with friends and family. 

-What inspires you to create?  How do you stay motivated?

The unbelievable privilege of getting to do this for a living. The joy of creating, the fun of music... The desire to get better and communicate more purely... Also just deadlines and having to work like everyone else.

-How has your approach to creating and recording the music grown between 'When This Is Over' and 'Flying Colours'?

I've just learned so much, first of all. I didn't even know what EQ was back when I started making my first album. I didn't know anything beyond writing lyrics and maybe a vague idea of what songs are supposed to feel like. The motivation is different now too: Back then I was just writing songs because it was like an impulse. I was a little bit angsty and bored and had all the wild kid emotions. Every album since then, the inspiration has been different. 

-What's your process for preparing to take the stage?  Does it differ from show to show?

It doesn't differ much. I like to get into the room and get a sense of what the energy is like; what people are looking for that night and what I have to offer. Then I try to build a set list around those things and bring the right energy to the stage. Only pre-show rules for me are: a) no eating too close to showtime and b) wear a black t-shirt and lightweight shoes.

-Who is making your favorite music right now?  If you could work with anyone, who might it be?

Well it looks like the 3 giants of hip hop (Kanye, Drake, and Kendrick) got albums coming this year so we'll see! Outside of rap I'm liking Caribou's album a lot. The Alvvays album. and this band Copeland who broke up years ago but just put something out again in 2014.

Thanks so much to Shad for chatting with us!  You can help him get back on Q on CBC by tweeting @CBCRadioQ with the hashtag #QtheFuture in support of Shad being the next host. 
You can also retweet the status below, or post your own.


46 Robbie Rivera


We recently had the distinct honour of working with a legend of dance music. A true innovator of styles and veteran on the scene, Puerto Rico native Robbie Rivera is just about to drop 'Sexy Anytime', a massive new jam with Billy W on Juicy Music. Not only did we get to chat with Robbie, but he also dropped a very nice mix of some new goodness, ladies and gentlemen, Fingers on Blast #72 by Robbie Rivera!

-First of all thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us. What has been keeping you busy lately? 

Hi! Lately I've been working like a mad man in the studio and boosting my label Juicy Music with new releases every other week. 

-What’s a typical day like in the life of Robbie Rivera, on tour or at home, if there were such a thing? 


Monday to Thursday I wake up at 8am and go to the gym. The rest of the day is divided between making music and speaking to my agents about tours, press, releases etc. By 5:30pm my dog Roxy is staring at me for a walk. By 6:30 I leave the studio and meet my wife with friends for dinner or hangout. Friday I leave for shows till Sunday

-There's a lot of debate about the state of dance music lately, do you have an opinion on where it's headed?  How does it feel to see something you’ve been a part of for so long become so internationally massive? 

There's definitely a debate of what is the next genre that will take over and get saturated... Well, I hope this does not happen! Right now it's great because many producers are finally being original and are producing great electronic music, while others are still producing the same commercial sound that, well, has already been done. I think 2015 will be all about house music, deep house, tribal house, progressive house and techno. The response electronic music has had on radio in the past few years feels great. Let’s see what happens in 2015.

-How do you stay inspired?  What keeps you going? 

The fans inspire me and keep me going. I have been around for awhile and I feel like 2015 is going to be a great year for me musically. My job is awesome, but it's not easy. There is a lot of competition but this helps me as well!

-What are your favorite cities to play in?  Is there anywhere you haven’t been that you would love to go? 

Some of my favorite places to play: Ibiza, Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago, London, Buenos Aires, Puerto Rico.  I would like to perform in Japan as I have not been there yet.

-Thanks so much for chatting with us, is there anything else we need to know?

Thanks to my fans for all their support, and make sure to pick up "Sexy Anytime" on Beatport December 8!


"Sexy Anytime" will be out on December 8th through Juicy Music.



045 Eddie Spaghetti of Supersuckers


 The Supersuckers are the greatest rock n roll band in the world.  Their new album 'Get The Hell' came out in January, 2014.  The album arrived in spite of 'delays and unfortunate setbacks', and if the single is any indication this record is tough as nails.  Download the title track free, check out the upcoming tourdates, and get into our talk with Eddie Spaghetti! 

First off, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us!  You have a ton on the go lately, what's been keeping you busy?
New record. It's the fuel for our current fire. 

Where have been your favorite places to tour?  Is there anywhere you been dying to go?
Spain is great. We'd really like to hit Japan. And Hawaii!

How is the new Supersuckers album 'Get The Hell' different from the rest of your music?  What inspired you to make this album?
It's not so different really. That's something we try do do on purpose - make the same kind of record over and over. Like the Ramones or AC/DC. But it may be our strongest record ever! The same things still inspire me - greed, gluttony, sloth, envy, liquor, women, drugs and killing. The same things that all good movies are about. 

What is a typical day in the life of Eddie Spaghetti, if there is such a thing?
Depends on if I'm on the road or not. And usually I am. So the day typically starts with a trip to Starbucks followed by a drive of various lengths. Then to the club for load in and getting ready to rock the house - which entails copious quantities of liquor, women, drugs and killing, of course, then bed, wake up and repeat ad nauseum. 

If you could time travel to any era and any place, where would you go?
I'd go back to the late '70's and see AC/DC with Bon Scott. 

If you were a DJ, what record would you play every night?
Get The Hell by the Supersuckers. 

Thanks so much for your time!  Is there anything else we need to know?
Just to wear clean underwear when you come to our show because we're gonna rock your pants right off!



October 22 - Vancouver, BC @ Wise Hall
October 23 - Kelowna, BC @ Doc Willoughby's
October 24 - Edmonton, AB @ Pawn Shop
October 25 - Calgary, AB @ Dickens
October 26 - Calgary, AB @ Dickens
October 27 - Regina, SK @ The Exchange
October 28 - Winnipeg, MB @ The Pyramid 
October 31 - Oshawa, ON @ The Atria
November 1 - Hamilton, ON @ This Ain't Hollywood
November 2 - Toronto, ON @ Horseshoe Tavern
November 3 - Peterborough, ON @ The Red Dog
November 5 - London, ON @ Call The Office
November 6 - Ottawa, ON @ Mavericks
November 7 - Montreal, QC - Cabaret World
November 8 - Quebec City, QC - Le Cercle
November 10 - Fredericton, NB - Capital Complex



044 Orenda Fink

Orenda Fink is a wonderful musician who has made a ton of our favorite music, both on her own and as half of Azure Ray.  We had the pleasure of chatting with her, and are so thankful for such a great opportunity.  Make sure you watch her new video and see her on tour!


-It seems like you've been pretty busy lately, can you let us in on what's new and exciting for you?


Hi! Yes, it's been a busy year! I'm leaving for tour soon- September 18th, which is my birthday, so that seems like an auspicious day to start a tour.  I haven't toured solo in eight years so it feels new and exciting to me right now.  


-How were you exposed to music at a young age?  When did you know this was what you had to do?


My parents aren't musicians, but music was always a big part of our household when I was growing up.  There were always records being played, especially at night.  I was good at sleeping through loud music as a kid!  So, this gave me a sense of how music can transform an environment and create moments in people's lives.  I didn't start writing songs though until high school, when I met Maria Taylor.  I pretty much knew then though that music was going to be my path.  Before that I was planning on being a doctor or a lawyer.  I was pretty far off, haha.  


-What's a typical day in the life of Orenda Fink?


It varies quite a bit depending on what is going on.  Lately, I've been spending most of my day communicating with Saddle Creek, my booking agent and my publicist.  Between promoting the record, planning a tour, making videos, artwork for merch and singles, there's a lot of back and forth between me and all of these lovely people.  I'm also putting together a band, rehearsing the new songs, doing interviews, performing and manning social media.  In between these things, I like to take the time to take my dog for a walk and have dinner either with my husband or friends.  Later, I'll either go out or drink wine at home and continue to work until my brain shuts off.  Then, I'll watch some amazing television like The Leftovers.  I'm so into that show right now.     


-How do you gather inspiration?  What makes you want to get down and create?


I think I hoard inspiration and store it until the proverbial dam breaks and I'm ready to create something with it.  I can go for long periods without writing, then I will have a crazy writing streak.  I can't predict it.  I just pray that it always keeps showing up!  



-Blue Dream is a beautiful collection of wonderful music, can you tell us a little bit about how it came to life?


Thank you! It really started with the death of my dog of sixteen years, Wilson.  After he died, I went through an intense period of mourning and personal crisis that ultimately led me to studying my dreams with a Jungian dream analyst.  The dreams were not only healing for me, but, I believe spoke archetypally of the nature of life, death and love.  It was after this period of healing that I started writing the songs that would become Blue Dream. 



-We were also huge fans of the music you made with Azure Ray, do you think there will be more to come in the future?


Yes, absolutely! Maria and I are both pretty busy with our individual projects, but there will always be more Azure Ray on the horizon.  We generally just let the universe tell us when it is time. 



-What have you been reading, listening to, watching, or enjoying lately?


Like I said, I love The Leftovers.  I'm patiently waiting for the next True Detective and American Horror Story seasons to start.  I've been reading Carl Jung's "The Archetypes and the Collective Unconcious."  It's fascinating.  I just finished a great short read called "Your Owner's Manual" by Burt Hotchkiss that reminds you that you should really only have one of two feelings towards anyone- gratitude or forgiveness.  That was a great reminder to me of how to steer my emotions and actions towards love.  Todd came across this book while he was on tour and recommends it to everyone.  


-Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us, is there anything else we need to know?


Look out for me on the road in September and October and at CMJ!


043 Masia One


Growing up, what influenced you becoming a multi faceted artist? When did you know this 
was what you had to do, and how did you learn to work so hard?
I think we are all multi faceted but as we grow are taught in school, at work and by society to 
categorize what we do. I fell in love with Hiphop because of the music but my first element was as 
a writer (graffiti), then started Bgirling (break dancing) cause I thought Bboys were hot, and 
eventually started emceeing cause I had something to say and always a melody in my head. 
When I realized music industry was built on a bad bank loan, I knew that business and hustle had 
to also be part of the art. From there I learned to do graphic design, press releases, and business 
plans that approached things creatively. 

I got a letter from a Vietnamese girl that lived in up North Ontario, telling me she was the only 
Asian girl in her school and got beat up or made fun off everyday. When she saw my video, she 
never knew that someone that looked like her was “allowed” to do what I do. From that catalyst I 
knew that even if you think very little of what you do, or that your scope is small - you never know 
the type of impact you’re making somewhere else. #SugarMan

I’m born Singaporean Chinese. You have to work hard and be number 1 from birth or your parents 
and teachers beat you. Just kidding…sorta.

As someone who seems to be pretty great at everything, where do you draw inspiration 
from? How do you keep coming up with great ideas?
The idea of creating something from nothing is amazing. In Hiphop kids that had nothing, were 
suddenly their “characters” with a new name, new persona, hidden talent, creative expression. 
This is inspiration - having the conviction to know that you can create something from even the 
most minimal of circumstances. First it is raw, then it can be polished. Maintaining the imagination 
of an 8 year old also helps in constantly creating… my mom says I need to grow up. My friends 
say I have idea turrets. 

Ideas come from Travel as well. I’m blessed be such a mashup of Singapore, Chinese, Canadian, 
worked in America, lived in Jamaica and travelled everywhere in between. The more you travel the 
more you see everything is the same and certain themes will keep emerging. 
Who have been some of your favorite people to collaborate with? Is there anyone you'd 
really like to work with but haven't had the chance yet?

I loved collaborating with RZA and Sizzla Kalonji. Brilliantly creative minds that are at a stage in 
their artistic career where ass kissing, altering their lyrics or expression is not an option and 
irrelevant. Icons. RZA told these groupies to stop taking pictures and take images with your mind. 
Sizzla would sit and read, then suddenly get up and record 5 songs before sitting back down and 
peacefully reading again. 

I also love collaborating with producer Ill Gates because he showed me new possibilities in 
electronic sound and took me to Burning Man to rock 8 stages a night. It is so fulfilling as an artist 
to go from creation in studio to actualizing the live performance in a giant laser pyramid with 
speakers the size of small boats.

I would like to collaborate with Damian Marley, Celine Dion, Nas and Major Lazer. Solo tracks or 
all at once.

What's a typical day in the life of Masia One, if there was such a thing?
Answer emails from people that want my involvement in the most random assortment of things 
from designing men’s wear to booking Michael Buble in Asia. My sis DJ Sarasa in Japan has told 
me to start my day with something creative instead, so nowadays, I try to at least write a haiku or 
song before anything else. Mid day I do work for my business Chiney Money, a consultancy firm that links West and East so
everyone can make their Chiney Money $$$. This could be bookings, branding, distribution of a
product… most of the time this entails in person meetings, because human interaction is the most 
important in business no matter how much we do through the computer. By the evening I’ll head to 
a dancehall class because duhtty wining and daggering is good for your soul. By night I’m 
rehearsing with Reggae band Irietones or in Studio to catch up on writing and recording. If i’m 
home late, I take some calls cause it’s day time in North America while Asia sleeps. I post an 
instagram every 5 hours throughout the day.

You've toured all over the world, what are your favorite places? Where do you still want to 
Jamaica is my favorite place in this world because freedom is important for my creative thought 
and anything goes in yard, if you know the right people. Recording at Bob Marley’s Tuff Gong 
Studio is a dream come true. I also lived in the bush for a while and went spear fishing for my food 
and reasoned with the Rasta’s under stars. That to me is real life. Toronto and New York are close 
seconds cause people are so inventive there and not afraid to talk to strangers.

I want to go to South Africa and Ghana. I want to go to regions of the world where the Chinese 
identity is so singular, and challenge the perception of the Chinese woman. 
If there was one thing you would change about the music industry, what would it be?
Change the mindsets of the decision makers behind these huge marketing machines that use 
music as a tool to push out consumerism, bad behavior and anti-LIFE messages. I’ve walked into 
A&R meetings where I have been told to stop with all this “Love and Peace bullshit, and show them 
the type of lifestyle you live or that they should be envious of”. Son. I’m seeing a mass audience 
around me that have no opinion of bad or good music, they just want to hear what they are familiar 
with - namely whatever they play at the mall and on the radio. If music industry is going to be a 
major instrument of brain washing, can we please brain wash people with an uplifting and positive 

You're not only an exceptionally talented artist, but also a trailblazing entrepreneur, could 
you tell us a bit about Merdeka?
MERDEKA is the Malay word for Independence and Freedom. When I started, I was told that 
Chinese Female rappers had no precedence and was therefore not marketable. I knew I had to 
push something independently - MERDEKA is my Canadian company that spearheaded monthly 
events like the M1 Academy, Album releases, publishing and helped newer artists gain funding for 
their projects. Basically I used myself as a guinea pig and whatever worked, I did for others. 
I have now launched Chiney Money in South East Asia after realizing that many Western talents 
and brands want to come to the region but don’t know where to start, who to connect with and trust 
and regional business etiquette. My goal is to develop Chiney Money as a link between East and 
West and help facilitate an exchange of creative ideas, products and bookings between the regions 
so everyone can git that Chiney Money.

You always seem to have a ton on the go, is there anything coming up that we need to know 
I’ll be debuting my new live show with Reggae Band The Irietones at Singapore’s Night Festival 
August 23 and August 30. On the 30th Rockers International Artists Suns of Dub will be joining us 
on stage - this is special for me to have Singapore musicians collaborating live with Jamaican and 
Trinidadian Roots artists for the first time.
(Preview here). I will be releasing my EP with Suns of Dub end of the year collaborating with Addis Pablo, son of
original roots rocker Augustus Pablo. As well I am releasing my EP that I recorded at Tuff Gong 
together with Jamaica’s Dubtonic Kru titled “Lim and the Lion” at the top of 2015. 
Finally, I am in the works with my team here in Singapore to launch the first ever Reggae Festival 
for the Lion City, promoting multiculturalism and uniting the Reggae sound systems, artists and 
musicians of the Asian region.
Chiney Money Bae Bae. 
One Lov