Performing On Stage: Lessons From An Award Winning Musician

By: Bart Egnal
In this episode of The Inspire Podcast Bart welcomes Shad, award-winning Canadian rapper and broadcaster. Shad talks with Bart about his approach to performing and what he has learned from winning (and losing!) rap battles, using humor and vulnerability to create connection with the audience, channeling nerves, and harnessing gestures and physical presence to energize the audience. 
Shad has released six studio albums since 2005. Four of his albums have been shortlisted for the Polaris Music Prize, and he won a Juno Award for Rap Recording of the Year in 2011. In 2013, CBC Music named Shad the second-greatest Canadian rapper of all time.[1][2] Shad hosted Q on CBC Radio One from 2015 to 2016[3][4] and hosts the International Emmy and Peabody Award-winning documentary series Hip-Hop Evolution (2016–present) on HBO Canada and Netflix.
00:56 Introducing Shad
01:43 How would you describe your work?
02:51 Shad's approach to performance 
03:13 Lessons that translate to communication
03:55 What is a rap battle?
04:51 It's all about winning over the audience
05:33 Liberating - when it's about the audience
06:38 How do you win an audience
08:02 FAM JAM song
10:02 Connect with personal stories
11:43 How much vulnerability is too much?
14:38 New Album - Tao
14:51 Writing a new album in the pandemic
16:51 Humour in song
17:06 Black averageness song
19:30 Coming at an issue with surprise and humour
20:19 How to get ready to perform in public
21:51 Dealing with nerves
22:05 Prepare
22:41 Avoid alcohol beforehand
23:18 How to channel nerves and think about the audience
23:32 The audience wants you to succeed
24:39 What to do when something goes wrong
26:01 Avoid getting into autopilot
26:30 Opportunities for authentic moments
28:20 The Killers example of a band on autopilot
29:27 What do you do with your body on stage?
33:11 Big with gestures
34:04 Get it, got it, good
36:31 Bart summarizes lessons
37:29 Thank yous