A self-confessed ‘wilderness kid’, raised in Canada on a rich diet of the finest old school soca, calypso, reggae & classic soul, Byram Joseph, aka Slakah The Beatchild has steadily grown into a creative force of frankly monstrous proportions over the last decade or so. First joining BBE in 2008 with debut album “Soul Movement Vol.1”, a Juno nominated masterpiece that featured a young rapper by the name of Drake, Slakah went on to deliver two more stunning LPs for the label.
Never one to rest on his laurels, Slakah formed “The Slakadeliqs” band in 2012, releasing a Polaris Music Prize nominated debut album “The Other Side of Tomorrow” in early 2012. When Byram brought us the band’s second album “Heavy Rockin’ Steady“, we must confess we were all completely floored. Already established as a truly outstanding musician and producer, this album allows Byram’s dazzling songwriting abilities to take centre stage. Genre-agnostic in the best possible way, “Heavy Rockin’ Steady” is somehow completely original and instantly familiar; retro, but not self-consciously so. The sheer quality and originality of compositions on show seems almost like Slakah is demonstrating a lost craft: people simply don’t make records like this any more. The relaxed, soulful, Dilla-esque sounds for which Slakah is best known are still there, but they’re augmented with complex song structures and clever, call-and-response instrumentation which somehow calls to mind the Beatles or even ELO. Truly great music doesn’t feel the need to take itself seriously all the time, as is the case with “Heavy Rockin’ Steady”; this is an abundantly positive, life-affirming rhythm and blues record at heart. Soulful, touching moments give way to tongue-in-cheek electro-bluegrass numbers, lost somewhere between a rural barn dance and the Las Vegas strip. Music made for the sheer love of it, “Heavy Rockin’ Steady” offers a song for all seasons, delivered in a charismatic and nourishing package.