Amongst the other extremely lit events set to be part of this year's Manifesto programming, we'll have the pleasure of listening and seeing Isaiah Rashad perform as part of an amazing lineup at Live at Echo Beach. After receiving massive praise for his debut studio album The Sun's Tirade and recently being listed as a feature on Ctrl—the upcoming project from fellow label signee Sza—it's only looking up from here for the TDE artist.
Even though Rashad has Southern roots, you can definitely locate a Northern inflection with his productions that have an almost Toronto-esque feel to them. With that being said, his pending performance almost acts a full circle moment as fans have been able to see how much he's developed between the times he's frequented Toronto stages. We spoke with Rashad about his past projects, what he loves about Toronto and his upcoming show.
NOISEY: How has being around the other TDE artists improved your overall live performances?
Isaiah Rashad: Watching those guys is always something new. Every time Kendrick does something—a new project or something—it stays. His new show is always different and that's always the motivation. Watching Sza—she got a real different way of doing stuff—it all flows and it's all artsy and everything. So I get a good grasp of how to manipulate my personality to make my show better watching them do their stuff…Q's always extra extra turnt no matter how tired he is. That's what I always pick up…I gain a pretty good amount of knowledge everytime I see somebody perform.
Do you feel the pressure of how good Cilvia Demo has had any influence in the lengthy process of the making the Sun's Tirade? Do you think that you have to live up to those standards?
Not really cause it was my first project and I don't really think I should pressure myself and measure myself against my first attempt or my second attempt. I'm really just getting comfortable with what I'm doing more and more. No pressure at all man.
This will be your third show in Toronto in two years. Do you feel that you've established a connection with its residence or the culture?
I would say so. Toronto is the first place I performed at so I've always had the greatest connection with Toronto. I got a lot of friends and a lot of support and I always love going up there.
Where does that love for Toronto stem from?
I mean, it's really just nice people man, to be honest. It's really just nice friendly people, you know? The Canadian stereotype.
This time around you're performing on an outdoor stage. Do you feel like that will be a big difference for you?
I mean for me I'm really just a whatever type of dude. I'm real low maintenance when it comes to these type of things so I don't even think about the difference of performing inside or performing outside. I'm a football player so trying to determine if it's better to play in the dome or play in a stadium, it's not really that crucial to me. It's more so about, "Is it gonna rain?" I like outside though.
Speaking of "Free Lunch," do you have favourite place or favourite food to eat while you're in Toronto at all?
There's this place—I forgot exactly the name—but it's like an Asian fusion restaurant. It's like an Asian Fusion bar and they serve barbecue duck neck with the fried rice and with the egg on top, yolk on top and everything. It's really cool.
Sounds really delicious.
What can fans expect from the upcoming show?
This one's about to be more fun. Every show I get more comfortable with everything. Me and my manager and my DJ know to try and move the stuff and try and make it more interesting for them [fans] and for me. As long as I'm engaged, I feel like they'll be engaged.
Sharine Taylor is an intern at Noisey Canada. Follow her on Twitter.