Hip-Hop Artist Shad Returns with Memorable New Offering “Out of Touch”

Canadian alternative hip-hop artist and broadcaster Shad released his latest single, “Out of Touch” (ft. pHoenix Pagliacci) today (April 14) as part of a larger upcoming project. Although written before the pandemic, the pertinent lyrics grapple with the human struggles of drifting apart, putting back together and finding a sense of belonging among the madness.

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“‘Out of Touch’ is basically the thesis statement for this upcoming collection,” Shad explains in a statement. “It’s about how our individual sense of wholeness can’t be disentangled from our collective well-being. It’s about the idea that we belong to each other.”

This upbeat, R&B-spiked record offers the first taste of forthcoming music coming later this year via Secret City Records. Along with Shad’s other work, the release shows the importance he places on finding the balance between his relevant lyricism and keeping a positive tone.

“There can be a kind of catharsis if you’re able to express musically, sonically and lyrically what people are feeling, and they can see their experiences reflected,” Shad shared in a 2020 interview with Broadview. “Turning those feelings into something meaningful and coherent and maybe even beautiful—I think there’s value in that. It can be helpful for people to look at social and political situations in a different way.

“But I’m also a big proponent of trying to make people feel better, in the sense of just laughter and getting together,” he continued. “So that’s kind of what I’m trying to do with my upcoming album.”

Along with Shad’s extensive body of musical work, which has been streamed over 30 million times (four of his albums having been shortlisted for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize), he also dominates the world of hip-hop broadcasting. In recent years, he hosted the Netflix Original Hip-Hop Evolution docuseries, which won an Emmy and a Peabody award, and is a former host of CBC Radio’s flagship arts & culture program ‘q.’ Bringing his worldliness—and thoughtfulness— to every interview, Shad is also able to translate it into his music with ease, an attribute that sets him apart from his contemporaries.

In the same interview, regarding the content of his music often veering into the political, Shad revealed: “I want to feel at peace with myself, and I want to see people feel at peace with each other and be unified and happy, and that can’t happen if people are always feeling precarious. That can’t happen if people who look a certain way—like me —can never feel free in a society,” he shared. “There also ends up being a lot [in my music] about trying, about not giving up, because maybe that’s something I need to hear all the time, too.”

Listen to Shad’s latest single, “Out of Touch” (ft. pHoenix Pagliacci), below.

Photo by Justin Broadbent

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