What's up Leafers? Welcome to the latest edition of On the Rise where we interview upcoming hip hop talent. Today's guest is artist, Shaq Bruce. Shaq Bruce is an artist from Edmonton Alberta, Canada. He grew up listening to R&B/Soul music and transitioned to Hip Hop/Rap. He’s been rapping since he was fifteen years old and began recording music professionally at nineteen. Being heavily influenced by Drake, The Weeknd, Kendrick Lamar, and Kanye West. Shaq has been on our radar for a while so we had to tap in with him! Check out the interview below.
Westleaf Staff: What's up, Shaq? Your sound is dope. When did you start making music?
Shaq Bruce: I started rapping when I was 15 and I began making music professionally at 19.
Westleaf Staff: That's dope! What city do you represent?
Shaq Bruce: I represent Edmonton Alberta, Canada. But, I am pretty much representing all of Canada.
Westleaf Staff: Shout out to Canada The city definitely has some talent. So how did you create your stage name?
Shaq Bruce: My original name was Shaq the Entertainer but I switched it to my actual first and last name Shaq Bruce because I wanted to be more real and authentic as an artist.
Westleaf Staff: That's a dope name. It's cool to see that it came natural as well. So how did your early life shape your interest in music?
Shaq Bruce: I wasn't allowed to listen to rap music as a kid because of the cursing and the degrading of women. So I grew up on R&B/Soul Music and transitioned to hip-hop in third grade. You can hear the R&B influence in my music through my melodies and hooks.
Westleaf Staff: It's dope to see that you made the transition even without being able to listen to rap. So who is your biggest Musical influence?
Shaq Bruce: My biggest musical influence is 2PAC because of his work ethic, and the fact that he was never afraid to put emotion and passion into his music. When he is rapping it feels like he is talking to me personally which is something I never feel with any other artist. He is someone whom I have modeled my whole music career after for sure.
Westleaf Staff: Pac is a legend! Next question! What's been the defining moment in your music career thus far?
Shaq Bruce: My defining moment in my career so far has to be when I reached nearly 100k streams on my EP GoodNight&GoodLuck. I worked so hard on that project and coming from someone who started off averaging 50 views it means everything to me. It showed that people are listening and I really felt loved and appreciated.
Westleaf Staff: Wow! That's super dope. Congrats on those streams! So what makes you a unique artist?
Shaq Bruce: My voice, melodies, and the way I rap. I feel like the way I do my soulful rap and R&B/Soul music is like no other and that is what I like. I want to be the first and only Shaq Bruce and not the second coming of anyone.
Westleaf Staff: Dope! So what does art mean to you?
Shaq Bruce: I feel like art is a way to express yourself, and a way to show off your creativity. It is what makes all of us unique.
Westleaf Staff: True! That's deep! Where do you see your music career going over the next few years?
Shaq Bruce: I see myself building a loyal fan base, signing to a major label, winning awards, touring, and being rich!
Westleaf Staff: I wish you much success! Before we go, describe music in three words.
Shaq Bruce: Powerful, Heartfelt. and a Vibe.
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