Slakah the Beatchild Soul Movement Vol. 1

Slakah the Beatchild Soul Movement Vol. 1
This long gestating offering from the uber talented (and bombastically monikered) Slakah the Beatchild is a cool thing to experience. The Sarnia-raised, Toronto-based producer/singer is a known commodity in underground T-dot circles, having produced joints for G.Stokes, Ayah and Arabesque. These days, any album that one can listen to from beginning to end automatically boosts the cool rating a few notches and Soul Movement meets the criteria. Describing dude's neo-soul/hip-hop sound is best put as evocative, the way he melds haunting horns and electric organs with a mean snare. "Enjoy Your Self" is the best example of this, a smooth groove that kickstarts the project nicely. "Get Down Right" is a 4Hero-ish mashup that wrangles Divine Brown on a righteous vibe. Indeed, with guest spots from a pre-2K9 hip-hop darling Drake ("Share"), Melanie Durrant ("The Answer"), Ray Robinson ("Crate Love") and choice cuts like the tuba-inflected "It's All Good" the acoustically soul-drive "I'll Be Alright" and the playful skate jam "B-Boy Beef," Beatchild has essentially created the critic proof Canadian urban music album... and one that teases a Canadian soul movement in the making. And that's a good look.

Do you feel like you are in a good place career-wise right now?
I moved to Toronto about seven or eight years ago with the goal of networking and meeting as many people as I possibly could. Along the way I made good connections, making music, having people hear my material and slowly but surely I began to build up my repertoire and eventually able to open up my own studio. I always like to strive for bigger and better things. I'm really happy about where I am right now but I definitely have much bigger goals that are out there. Just got to keep at it.

Are you a more a producer or a recording artist?
I like to call myself a performing producer. Someone like Pharrell [Williams] or They are definitely known for production first and foremost but they can still rock a mic onstage, still have singles and videos. So that's what I like to classify myself.

Who are your influences?
Raphael Saddiq is a big one. J-Dilla is another. And on a completely different spectrum of things: Neil Young, B-52's, this artist from Sweden known as Tingsek. Big influence...I love his stuff.

How would you categorize your sound?
What people have heard of me right now if only a small piece of the pie; I have stuff I'm itching to release but I don't want to overfeed people. I'd rather feed them the right portion at the same time. So what I have out right now in the soul movement in particular, I think people classify me in the A Tribe Called Quest/J-Dilla/Raphael Saadiq soul category and that's definitely one of my first loves, which is soul music and one part of my sound. The other parts of the pie are coming soon and I can't wait to release them. (BBE)