5 pop questions for 5 artists at Pop Montreal: Shash’U
With his unique blend of funk, electronic and hip hop music with both a new school and old school touch that he refers to as “PWRFNK” – which also happens to be the name of an EP he released earlier this year – Montreal producer/DJ/Fool’s Gold signee Shash’U will be hitting up Pop Montreal this year with a show on September 17 at Blue Dog Motel. Shoeclack caught up with him for part one of our five-part series where we ask five questions to five different artist playing Pop this year.
Why do you think Pop Montreal is called “Pop Montreal” when it’s not really about pop music?
I think it’s about the population! *laughs* I think it’s about the people. It’s really about getting people to get acquainted with different styles of music and other artists that are popping up right now – well, who have been doing it, but just see them perform in a different setting. The only time I went to Club Balattou was within the whole theme of Pop Montreal, so it’s interesting to see different types of artists perform in well-known African clubs – which normally would be African music, but they had a whole bunch of different artists, which was cool.
What’s your pop music guilty pleasure?
My favourite movie is The Wizard, and there’s a scene where he’s skateboarding down an interesting highway road, and [there’s] a song called “Send Me An Angel” [by Real Life] – that’s an ‘80s old song, but still, it’s like a pop, straightforward rock type of song. I never mind playing that in the club any time – I still play it in the club today. I give a reason to, but it’s such a dope track that I could never, ever forget.
What is it about Montreal that you like the most?
I think the accessibility, having everything nearby: if you want to go to a liquor store, there’s one right at the corner. If you need to go to the drug store or whatever, there’s one a block away. I feel like in certain cities, everything’s pretty spread out – we’d have to go to a main section [of the city] to have access to all of that… If you’re in France and your hotel is right next to the airport, there’s really nothing you can do. If you wanna go to Paris by bus, it could take hours and hours… Compared to Montreal, even LA’s kind of the same thing – everything’s spread out, but if you go downtown, everything is there. But in Montreal, there’s still a small city, but spread out in the right way, and everything is tight together. You can be in any section of the city: you can be in Villeray, you can be in the Mile End, you can be in Griffintown – wherever, and still have something to do and something to check out, which is cool. In 2015 now, I think there’s more stuff than what we’ve had in the past two or three years, too.
What’s your favourite venue in Montreal?
I think in terms of vibes and in terms of setting, like having a party and being able to go outside and chill and then go back in and chill at the back and go up front, I think Belmont has been doing that job very, very well. I feel like in terms of sound and everything, it’s super cool and it has a nice capacity and the people there are chill. People work fast at the bar [there], so that always helps too… Another place that I love playing at is actually next door to Blue Dog [where I’m playing during Pop] is Blizzarts, because of the way that it’s arranged and the sound, but mostly the DJ setup… It’s one big setup, all made of wood, and I feel like I have a complete, nice overview of the dance floor and the music is blasting the right way I want it. But it’s way smaller than Belmont.
What form of transportation should people take during Pop Montreal?
It’s a festival that attracts people around the city, so it’s not just people who live around the venues where it’s held that are gonna go. I’d take my car and park it somewhere and get on the whole site by foot. I don’t have a Bixi membership because I live in an area where Bixis are scarce and very rare, and it would just be too much of a hassle for me to have. But a lot of people still use that, or they just park their cars far somewhere and then do the rest walking… I probably would do the subway, too! *laughs*