Upcoming Shelem album brings together local talent
HUNTINGTON — Isaac Fadiga, better known to the Huntington music scene as rapper Shelem, has been one busy person since graduating from Marshall University in May, learning how to be a real adult and planning for the release of his upcoming album, “The Jaunts.”
Shelem will host an album release party for “The Jaunts” 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, at The Press Club, accompanied by The Heavy Hitters, Shenanagram and Massing.
“I’m excited for the overall experience for myself and everyone else who is here to witness and be a part of the whole thing,” Fadiga said.
He continued to explain how “The Jaunts” is different from what he has produced in the past. It has tons of collaborations, a fully fleshedout narrative concept and skits that drive the plot. All the while maintaining the familiar themes of youth and shenanigans heard on his last mix-tape “8-Track,” released in 2017. Though he said he wants the whole thing to be experienced without much foresight, themes of vulnerability and growth are also present in the album’s narrative.
In comparison, “8-track,” and everything that came before it is entirely produced by Fadiga — on an engineering
student’s schedule, no less. The rapper stepped out of his comfort zone to include collaborators from various back-ground to produce the album’s narrative and described the experience as fun and interesting. Mike Graves narrates, Myles T contributed some drums, and Christian L. Thomas threw in some of his classical training as a finishing touch.
The album also includes a booklet, designed by Fadiga, with supplemental material for the album.
Fadiga said when he’s asked to compare himself to a nationally known artist, however he has trouble finding one that matches his sound. The closest he’s gotten is maybe Childish Gambino. Fadiga points to his early inspirations, Ludacris and T.I., noting he takes vocabulary and charm from T.I. and inflection, letting loose and not taking himself too seriously from Ludacris.
Fadiga is planning even more firsts with the launch of “The Jaunts” as he plans to take the show on the road and tour out-of-state for the first time in his career.
In anticipation of “The Jaunts,” Shelem has released two singles — the title track and “Fuego.”
Follow reporter Megan Osborne on Twitter and Facebook at @megos-borneHD.