IAHH recently supported rapper Shah Rule’s headlining gig at Surya Kings Cross! We catch up with him after the show to see how it all went and to find out more about him…
Q. Tell us about you and what Shah Rule means too?
I am a Nomad. I’m a citizen of the world! I am a die-hard fan of Hip-Hop music and the culture that goes with it, and I constantly strive to make my own contribution towards it legacy. My real name is Rahul Shahani, and since middle school I’ve had the nickname “Rule”, which was also the first moniker I performed with at 13. In 2011, when I graduated from High School, I added the “Shah” from my last name, just as I entered the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance in London, ready to take on music full time. I currently Rap, Sing, Produce, Record, Mix and Master my own other artists music in London.
Q. How did it feel to headline the event at Surya? Is this a defining moment in your career?
It felt amazing. The energy in the room was incredible! We had two great opening acts, Hope and Paulaa, who impressed many of our guests. I had the pleasure of Performing for the first time alongside DJ Doni Brasco, who complemented my raps with Scratching Shah Rule vocal samples throughout my set. And of course my Co-Producer and Engineer, Miguel Pessanha, was playing the Electric and Acoustic Guitar throughout the set. I wouldn’t say it’s a defining moment in my career, though its another important stepping stone to reaching my goals. FNIK PR and myself aim to put on a Showcase like this one, every 5–6 weeks!
Q. What tracks did you perform and what was the response like?
I started off the set with a couple tracks off my mixtape “Workflow”, which I released in November 2013. I also brought out a close friend and collaborator, rapper Shak Deville, to join me on the records he featured on the mixtape. I ended the set with much more recent tracks like “Nomad”, and “Cashish” with our opening act Hope. I also premiered a brand new single called “Cosmic Party” which will be out at the end of the month. The overall response was overwhelming, the crowd was so hyped and feeling the music that it got me even more pumped up, which I love!
Q. You’re from Russia, what’s the hip-hop scene in Russia like in comparison to the UK?
The Hip-Hop scene in Russia is really dope! Sonically, most of the rappers stick to the Boom Bap sound and deliver conscious and intelligent lyrical content. The UK is very diverse when it comes to the Hip-Hop scene. Of course just like the UK, Russia has its more mainstream rappers who tour internationally and dabble into mainstream radio with features with famous European DJ’s and Artists, e.g. Timati. Though if I had to recommend artists who really push the culture of Hip-Hop in Russia, I would suggest looking into rappers like Guf and Basta.
Q. What does Hip Hop mean to you?
Hip-Hop is more than just the music. It’s the dancing, fashion, art, language and terminology, which is constantly used and developed by its enthusiasts. I feel the way that we listen to classic albums, like The Great Adventures of Slick Rick, Criminal Minded, or Illmatic, is parallel to the way historians study important past events that paved the way for the present day. I listen back to an album like 36 Chambers, and find it refreshing and as energetic as some of the music that is out today, and can map the modern day artists they influenced. When it comes to fashion, Hip-Hop has always been a little voice in my head, from rocking baggy Rocawear Jeans and a Coogi or Karl Kani hoodie at the age of 12, fast forward to Middle School and High School to save up for a Bathing Ape hoodie and an Akademiks bomber jacket, til today where I still cop BBC and some newer brands like Trapstarr.
Q. What’s been your favourite live performance and why?
My favourite live performance so far was in 2011, when I was invited to the annual World Culture Festival, to perform at one of the music tents at the Olympiastadion in Berlin, Germany. I was asked to write, record and perform a song on the theme of the festival being a United World and Equality of all Nations. The track I created was called “One World Family”, and I got the opportunity to perform it in front of 1000 people, which was a thrilling experience. I’ve always felt that if I have a larger crowd, which I can hype up, I give my best performance. It was definitely a performance to remember as the crowd was very receiving and the energy in the room was unexplainable!
Q. Where are your plans for 2015?
2015 for Shah RuLe will lead lots and lots of performances alongside very talented musicians I have met and continue to meet along the way, and a constant churning of singles every month with new fresh topics and sounds produced by myself. I am currently working on an EP, which will most likely be ready for release early Spring 2015. I’ve currently been designing my own line of personalised global Army Jackets and Shah RuLe Merchandise, which will be ready for purchasing on www.shahrule.com by February 2015. Finally, I’m working towards organizing a UK Tour for Summer 2015, alongside a collective of local musicians and vocalists. As a Producer/Engineer, I see myself getting my hands on as many projects as possible as its more than just my career, but my passion and infatuation for good music.