Shad, a Juno-nominated rapper, has been picked to take the reins of CBC’s “Q."
“We were looking for someone who is an original thinker, curious and emotionally intelligent,” CBC Radio Talk executive director Cindy Witten told CBC News late Tuesday.
“Also, a good conversationalist who is witty and fast on their feet. We wanted someone steeped in arts and culture in this country.”
In January, Shad hosted the banner CBC Radio cultural affairs show. For a week, he interviewed guests including actress Evangeline Lilly, “Maus” cartoonist Art Spiegelman, and author/director Miranda July.
According to the public broadcaster, Shad was selected after an “exhaustive search” that included more than 200 candidates.
Born Shadrach Kabango, the rapper broke into Canada’s music scene in 2005 with his first full-length album “When This Is Over.” In 2007, he released his follow-up record “The Old Price,” which won him critical acclaim.
Raised in London, Ont. by way of Kenya, Shad holds a business degree from Wilfrid Laurier University and a liberal studies master’s degree from Simon Fraser University.
Shad currently lives in East Vancouver, calling it a “beautiful place to be in when I’m off tour.”
News of the 32-year-old rapper’s appointment ends months of speculation as to who would replace former host Jian Ghomeshi.
Ghomeshi was fired from the CBC in October after a series of sexual assault and workplace harassment allegations were levied against him.
He is currently awaiting trial for sexual assault charges. Ghomeshi’s case has been put over until March 27.
Shad will officially assume his host duties when "Q" relaunches in April.
Witten said “Q” listeners should expect a new structure to the show — one that that will lean more on musical performances and set to a new casual structure and conversational tone.
With files from The Canadian Press
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