Entertainment

The new q: Shad kicks off renewed CBC Radio show as host

Shad made his debut as the new host of CBC Radio One's refreshed arts and culture program, q, with a two-hour live broadcast from the Glenn Gould Studio.

Rejigged arts and culture radio show launches with 2-hour live broadcast

Q relaunches before a live audience at the Glenn Gould Studio 2:18

Shad, Canadian hip-hop artist turned broadcaster, has taken to the mic for his debut show as host of CBC Radio One's q.

The popular arts and culture show relaunched Monday with a special two-hour live broadcast from Toronto.

"I'm actually moved that somebody would think I'm worthy of this chair," the 32-year-old Kenyan-born host said, starting the pre-show with a modest tone.

"Not everyone thinks that," he added, smiling.
Toronto artist Afie Jurvanen wrote the new Q theme song. (Reynard Li)

​The sold-out show in the Glenn Gould Studio kicked off with a brand-new theme song written by Juno Award-winning artist Afie Jurvanen, the Canadian musician better known as Bahamas, who also performed live.

"What kind of things were flowing through your mind [when writing the theme]?" Shad asked Jurvanen during the pre-show broadcast. "Did you have, like, photos of me around?"

"I had those long before I started writing the theme," quipped Jurvanen, drawing a big laugh from the 300-member live audience.

Shane Koyczan, a B.C. spoken word artist, also helped kick off q's inaugural show with a performance of his poem For Many, which explores the issue of body image and self-love.

U.S. comedian and WTF podcast host Marc Maron was the sole American on the Canadian-centric roster of guests, which also included Juno Award-winning Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq and Canadian pianist Chilly Gonzales.

CBC News's chief correspondent Peter Mansbridge also dropped in to give Shad a crash course on delivering "vital information to the nation" with a tongue-in-cheek news reel that included such stories as World Penguin Day.

But for fans of the long-running radio broadcast, Shad stole the show with his quiet charm.

"What I noticed is that he's a really good listener," said Joan Coutu who made the two-hour drive from London, Ont., to be in the live audience. "He really is engaging with his guests."

Shad fan Jael Richardson travelled from Brampton, Ont., to see the show's new host in person.

"I thought what he did best was just to be comfortable in his own skin," she said after watching the broadcast.

New host, look

    Shad was chosen to replace Jian Ghomeshi, who was dismissed in October after managers said they viewed "graphic evidence" that Ghomeshi had physically injured a woman. 

    The former host is currently facing sexual assault charges.

    Shadrach Kabango, the Juno Award-winning hip-hop artist better known as Shad, took his spot behind the mic on Q today for the first time. (CBC)
    q listeners will notice a number of changes as the show attempts to turn over a new leaf.

    For one, instead of the show's upper case "Q," the show's logo now uses a lower case version of the letter.

    Other visual changes include a redesigned studio space using a new colour palette. Listeners will also notice different sounds on the broadcast, including new audio signatures.

    Watch q's relaunch in the video above, or tune in to q's daily radio broadcast.

    q airs weekdays on CBC Radio One at 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. (10:30 NT), on SiriusXM at 10 a.m., 8 p.m. and 2 a.m. (ET) each day. 

    In the U.S., q is broadcast in 165 cities through PRI and reaches a weekly audience of over one million people, the broadcaster said.

    For more information about the show, or to listen to past episodes, see the show's official website.

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