The inspiring Mississauga native #MonsterArtist Wali Shah speaks on his journey of battling self doubt while following his passion to become a professional artist in this #MonsterArtist Development (MAD) episode.
Are you an artist wanting to get involved in the MAD program? We want to hear from you: https://www.monstrartity.com/monstera…
Subscribe for more live music and interviews:
ABOUT WALI SHAH
As one of RBC ’s Top 25 Canadian Immigrants, Mississauga native, Wali Shah is a poet and motivational speaker. He’s delivered TED talks, narrated voice overs for commercials, and spoken at hundreds of schools and colleges across North America. Wali’s journey as an artist began in his hometown, as he was named the City of Mississauga’s official poet. Since then, Wali has toured Canada coast to coast as a WE Day performer, worked with Fortune 500 companies such as Microsoft, and made mama proud by graduating from the University of Toronto. From being featured on TV with Selena Gomez, to inspiring thousands to follow him on social media: Wali uses his platform for positive change. He’s performed for President Barack Obama, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Seth Rogen, and he’s even freestyled with hip hop artist, Kendrick Lamar.
ABOUT MONSTER CREATIVE COLLECTIVE
Monster Creative Collective is a not-for-profit organization, committed to providing entertainment for the young and old alike. In the spirit of giving back to the community, Monster Creative Collective produces the #MonsterArtist Development program, now in its fourth season, to help develop the professional and artistic careers of Canadian artists.
Want to get involved in the MAD program? We want to hear from you
Website ► http://www.monsterartistdevelopment.com/
Instagram ► https://www.instagram.com/monstrartity/
Twitter ► https://twitter.com/MonstrARTity
CategoryThe inspiring Mississauga native #MonsterArtist Wali Shah speaks on his journey of battling self doubt while following his passion to become a professional artist in this #MonsterArtist Development (MAD) episode.
Use CTRL+F to find key words if it is a longer transcript.
[Singing Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO]
>> Wali: What’s going on everybody
it’s your boy Wali Shah
and you are tuned into MAD.
In the beginning when I told my parents
that I was passionate about music,
and rap specifically,
there was a lot of backlash because
one they didn’t quite understand it and
two they had very high
expectations of their children.
And reasonably so, they came to
this country with very little
and they want their children to
So when they sat me down and
said look Wali we want you to be
a lawyer or a doctor it’s because
they didn’t want me to struggle the
same way that they struggled.
So for them it was almost like
I was wasting the sacrifice
that they had made coming to Canada.
I also knew the conversation had to be a two-way street
so that way I was acknowledging what they had done for me but
also wanted them to acknowledge that
I had a very strong passion
that I wasn’t ready to give up on
because I knew I was talented and I
didn’t want to waste that talent doing something that maybe
I wouldn’t have enjoyed down the line.
And when I broke it down to my parents in a very honest way
they started to understand.
I was the first real poet out of Mississauga
to do it at the level that I have been blessed enough to do it now,
right, and being the first one
to really break that mold and do it has really set the tone
for the next generation of young artists
that want to do poetry and rap music
I want to do this because
there’s other kids who know exactly what this feels like
and have a talent and don’t have the opportunity
or avenue to share it.
There was not
a lot of resources for me at that time
right I didn’t know where to start.
I was the oldest kid
to an immigrant family that just
was looking for a way out
and I doubted myself a lot because
I didn’t think I was going to be successful.
I thought that I was wasting my time and maybe I really should just focus on my
push 100 percent into that and so that
me back quite a bit when I first started.
in a lot of ways I didn’t feel good enough.
I was scared to show my talent, I was scared to audition
for talent shows, look for opportunities.
I put a barrier in front of myself when there
wasn’t even an obstacle to begin with.
created one for myself and so I just think if
I had done that earlier – if I had been more
open with myself earlier – which I think a
lot of people watching this can relate to.
Just focus on what you believe and if you are good
and if you will work hard and make an opportunity for yourself
it doesn’t matter what those people say.
In fact, what they say should serve for
you to follow that dream even more
[Rapping Yeah! by Usher]
>> Wali: For the majority of my life I’ve been in Mississauga,
uh with the exception of a few years being in Toronto.
I’ve never been back uh
as a grown-up.
I went when I was a kid.
I remember seeing a lot of a lot
a lot of poverty, a lot of people
um you know living in subpar conditions.
kind of stuck with me because it was so
disturbing living in Canada and going back and seeing that.
but it definitely made me appreciate my life um a lot more
as someone who was an immigrant
because sometimes you think you know
we got it really tough because we’re we’re an immigrant family
and things are really hard but,
uh, you know it’s a lot tougher for people back home.
My parents always tried to instill
a greater respect for my culture and my
and so part of me wants to
experiment writing in Urdu and then you know hopefully
getting a chance to perform back in Pakistan.
The real issue with being an artist
your niche and I’ve been very fortunate to
have found slam poetry, spoken word poetry,
as my niche because it’s given me the opportunity to
uh really be one of the very few South Asian
poets in Canada.
And when you are in such a specific niche
and people like what you do,
you’re always going to get booked
because you don’t have a lot of competition.
Whereas if I wanted to be
there’s a million rappers out of Toronto that want to be the next Drake.
Prior to the coronavirus outbreak I was spending
a lot of time
on the writing
and creating the content for
Now I’m still doing that but I’m
putting a significant amount of time into the business development
because I have to adapt
to you know an increasingly online world.
Obviously being an artist you, you lose a lot of work.
You’re trying to adapt to a world that is
just shifting very very rapidly to exclusively online content.
It’s been hard but I’ve also taken the
initiative to take this time to
write more often because I do have more time.
Whereas [inaudible] I don’t
have bookings but
I had a really big year before corona happened.
You know, I was on tour all over
performing for tens of thousands of people.
I got the chance to perform for President Barack Obama
and there was a lot of really cool things happening
and because it just quickly,
like suddenly, just came to a complete standstill
it has been like a bit of a…I’m figuring myself out now you know,
reinventing myself now.
[Rapping In da Club by 50 Cent]
>> Wali: You know it’s been a lot different
and it’s been a difficult and challenging
experience for everyone
whether you’re on the artist side
or on the production side.
It’s still been so amazing to be able to see how we’ve all come together
and made it an amazing final product.
So I’m really grateful to be a part of BMM.
Thinking about some of the headliners
that we got this year, I performed for
the Meet Bros and then did this massive show that got you know millions of views
like that is huge to be a part of.
Seeing other artists grow because of this platform and seeing how,
how big this platform has gotten
uh in just a matter of a few years is really cool to be a part of.
And I’m really proud of the team for
This opportunity is such a big blessing you know
and it kept me sane throughout COVID to be honest because there was so much
craziness happening that
you know just getting a chance to, you know, have an outlet and
still have one big thing on, on the go that I was still working on kind of kept me
grounded for a while.
This festival was good for me because I reunited with people that
I really loved and enjoyed working with.
And I got the chance to really push myself
and challenge myself to work in an environment that was
that was very different, challenging and pushed
me to be a better artist and push me to
learn more about myself and rediscover and reinvent myself.
[Mundian to Bach Ke by Punjabi MC played with freestyle rapping]
No results found