SHI 360 is an artist who has gone to great lengths and overcome tremendous adversity to pursue his dreams of a life filled with hip hop success, and his new single "Dying" is his next giant step on that path! Born in Israel to North African parents, his first exposure to hip hop came from a pirate radio station run by Israeli peace activist Abie Nathan, which was broadcast from a ship "somewhere in the Mediterranean." It was the only place his young ears could find this sound.
After immigrating to Canada as a young boy, he was forced to adapt to a new culture, learn new languages, and deal with anti-Semitism for the first time in his life. His solace was found in his exposure to hip hop as a culture. He loved all sides of the hip hop scene, it even helped him master the English language. He became a voracious listener and student of the music. His first album "Chapters", was highly acclaimed amongst hip hop heads worldwide. It featured Montreal's biggest hip hop names and established SHI as a respected lyricist. Eventually returning to Israel, which was virtually untapped by the hip hop movement. Teaching himself to rap in Hebrew and incorporating Middle Eastern melodies brought it all together and within a short period of time he had become a pioneer, reaching gold and platinum status before his own solo project was even released.
Throughout his rise, SHI 360 has lived with a heart condition that prevented him from performing live. His determination guided him through four heart surgeries that ultimately allowed him to fully heal and release his first solo Hebrew rap album Chai, followed by multiple Hebrew and English albums. From that point on, he had top-rated singles on Israeli radio and TV. After becoming the first Hip Hop artist from Israel to officially showcase at SXSW, he has returned to Canada while keeping one foot firmly entrenched in the Israeli scene, spreading his music across continents. His new single "Dying" is a masterpiece in the making, one that showcases his compelling voice unafraid to challenge conventional wisdom.
For the "Dying" video, there is no doubt about his location. The snow and winter landscape makes it clear SHI 360 is deep in the heart of Canada. But this is also by design, and an artistic choice. What starts as a minimal color palette of black and white is soon expanded to include a vast array of colors as SHI slowly makes his way into the tunnel. Like a metaphor for the song he heads towards the light at the end of the tunnel. Inside the tunnel he locks eyes with what symbolizes his struggle of "giving up or keep going." It's a thought provoking tune with powerful visuals and deeper meanings, and few artists can pull off something of this depth. SHI 360 has been overcoming adversity and the challenges put before him for years, so it's no surprise that he handles this task with ease and conviction.
SHI 360 spoke to us during his SXSW appearance. He talks about his collaboration with Turkish hip hop artists and the bridges hip hop can build in the troubled Middle East area.
Five contemporary alternative rock and hip hop artists with different styles and great musical talent will represent Uruguay at South by Southwest (SXSW), the prestigious conference and festival that will take place in Austin, Texas, from March 17 to 21.
The rich musical proposal of SXSW - Sounds from Uruguay consists of different musical trends presented by Santullo, AFC, Boomerang, Once Tiros and Fede Graña & Los Prolijos. After three consecutive years, this event is starting to become a classic at SXSW. It showcases the great musical talent from this South American country that may be geographically small, but has great musical history and richness.
"Sounds of Uruguay" will be featured at SXSW, on Wednesday, March 18, at Speakeasy (412 Congress Ave.). The musical line-up will deliver rock with hues of hip hop by Santullo, presented by the colectivo Bajofondo. AFC will make their U.S. debut with their southern hip-hop style, directly from Montevideo. And the eclectic folk-rock of Fede Graña & Los Prolijos will join the groups Boomerang and Once Tiros to complete said country's musical agenda for the event. This is a clear example of the musical style that one can experience in that country that has a population of 3.5 million and is one of the most progressive ones in Latin America.
"Sounds from Uruguay" is an event that has struck deep in the hearts of audiences and is starting to becme a classic at SXSW. During the first two years, contemporary artists participated in this event, featuring musical fusion and a variety of influences from Uruguay's classic rhythms. Among said rhythms there was tango, candombe and murga. Montevideo is a vibrant city with a great cultural diversity and a mix of different European, Latin and African influences. It has also been the birthplace of great international artists as well as renowned authors and excellent soccer players (soccer is undoubtedly Uruguay's national sport).
Uruguay's artists reflect with their music the identity and culture of a society made up by immigrants. 88% of that country's population stems from European countries, mainly Italy, Spain, France and England, and to a lesser degree from Africa. The contributions these nations have made to the music of Uruguay have promoted the development of an unparalleled identity in the case of many of its artists.