No more “happy, fun, stupid stuff” from Toronto-based singer/producer Slakah The Beatchild. He has grown and travelled, returning with a much more mature vibe on his recently released Soul Movement 2 project. An album release party at the Drake Underground in his hometown, created the perfect setting to present his new work.

Stealing the man of the hour’s time right before he steps on stage to the ample fans and supporters filling the venue, we sit on a couch near the hotel’s entrance as Canadian artists Melanie Durrant, Tona and Junia-T walk by and hail him up. Slakah bares his soul (music).

WHAT’S THE MOTIVE BEHIND THE NEW PROJECT? The project Soul Movement 2 is my second instalment to my Soul Movement series, which is basically me making soul music that I love. I take my time with the Soul Movement projects. To me, it is my chance to assemble what I think is my best work for no other reason, but putting together a good album. There’s no label requirements or expectations. I just do it, because I want to do it.

WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO JUST “DO IT”? Because that’s what artistry is about. If you get caught up with corporate side of the music business, you’ll lose that.

WHAT SEPARATES THIS PROJECT FROM YOUR OTHER WORK? I think just growth as an individual. The writing is a little more personal. The writing reflects real life situations whereas on Soul Movement, I was young and hadn’t experienced life in a way where I could draw from it lyrically. I was writing about happy, fun, stupid stuff. Whereas now, there are topics and situations that are a little more in-depth.

WHO IS SLAKAH AS AN ARTIST NOW? I’m a little bit more grown up. I’ve travelled a lot since SM1. I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with a lot of artists and I’ve learned from these great artists. I’ve been through some really rough times and happy times. Mature.

SINCE YOUR ALBUM IS A SOUL MOVEMENT, HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE SOUL IN MUSIC? There’s ‘soul’ the genre and then there is having soul when you play music. Anyone can have soul when they play music. Any genre can be soulful, but when I think of the genre, I think of the origin, Motown or the originators of soul music. Everything else after that is us adapting current trends to soul traditions. Rhythm and blues. It is an evolution… Soul music is multi-faceted.

Words By. Samantha O’Connor + Photos By. Iris Gill