Born in Kenya to Rwandan parents in the early 1980s, Shad provides a unique perspective on the issues of social unrest and poverty that continue to devastate his native Africa. After hearing his music, it is not surprising to know that he comes from a very strong educational background, with a business degree from Wilfrid Laurier University and fluency in both French and English. Shad got his start in 2005 by using his winnings from a radio-sponsored talent competition to fund his debut album, When This Is Over. Less than two years later, Shad was signed to Black Box Recordings, which put out the Juno Award-winning and Polaris-nominated album The Old Prince. His latest album, 2010’s TSOL, provides further proof of Shad’s talents and ability to re-invent conscious Hip Hop to focus on today’s most important issues.
Through his collaboration with Frank Fitzpatrick and EarthTones, Shad is inspiring young people around the world to keep “Keep Shining”, as well as empowering young women to be strong and make their voices heard. His girl-power anthem, “Keep Shining” is the End Title track for the feature film Amazing – a partnership between Shanghai Film Group and the NBA positioned to reach up to 100 million people China as well as support a series of free NBA Fit clinics throughout the country teaching health and fitness to kids and their families. Shad also appeared on the EarthTones soundtrack for the dance film Beat the World, which features international collaborations by some of Shad’s greatest peers in conscious Hip Hop, including KRS-One, K’naan, and Talib Kweli, and went out to young music and dance lovers in over 20 countries.