Shai Mate is a 19 year-old independent hip-hop artist/rapper with a penchant for crafting songs with on-point flow and clever lyrical wordplay while showcasing fluidity and versatility. Shai began writing and forming his project at 17 after realizing what he wanted to dedicate his life’s efforts to and persistently worked towards establishing a name for himself, his art, and Vancouver’s hip-hop and rap scene. Shai Mate’s debut release Extended Play Vol.1 from last year garnered rave reviews and showcases his talent in the game.
While drawing inspiration from various notable and respected artists such as Big L‘s temperament of “I’m a G and you’re not” to the personal expressiveness of Lauryn Hill, stylistically, Shai aims to express essentially who he is in his project, a writing process which represents an embodiment of his own style, taste, perspective, vision, and the impact he intends to make. The project is an outlet to prove that his passion is not misplaced as he works hard in both the recording studio and on stage. Shai’s philosophy is simple; he puts everything he has into it and goes all in, hoping his investment in the project comes back and presents him with bigger and better opportunities in the near future whether or not he finds himself able to go grocery shopping at the end of the day at the moment.
While Shai regularly performs around the Vancouver area with shows having lined up in various venues, consistently drawing decent sized crowds and being able to cultivate some sort of local fan base, he expresses his frustration with the seemingly lackluster scene in which he feels Vancouver, collectively as a community with fans and artists alike, is not making enough efforts to support the hip-hop and rap scene. “I don’t think that by any means it’s impossible to make it in Vancouver, but it’s not a coincidence that nobody has been put on for Vancouver before,” says Shai. “If you were trying to put Vancouver on you’d be more community-oriented and care about the [other artists] below you [because] I mean, we’re all from Vancouver, trying to put the city on. I don’t see it as competition.” For Shai who is really trying to put the city on, he endeavors to reach out to the community all the while continuing to build his project and grow as an artist in Vancouver.
At the moment, Shai Mate is adamant in building a bigger fan base and is working on new mixtapes, albums and a more hands-on approach to the production side of things for the project. Shai Mate’s brand new mixtape Flownominal is set to drop July 22nd and features an array of 90s samples and boom bap style beats. For the unmistakably talented young artist, hopes of putting on Vancouver is a task that will be fittingly inevitable.
Find Shai Mate’s music: