Five Minutes With: Toronto-based Singer and Producer Sheldon Universe

Sheldon De Souza, aka Sheldon Universe, is a Goan-Canadian Singer/Producer. His latest collaboration with emcee Fab El and 3 NBA players Tracy Murray, Acie Earl and Jimmy King will be launching his career further with their new song 13 Rules.

Sheldon has already had an extensive career as a notable musician for hire with many touring acts including most recently: Punjabi artist AP Dhillon (16.9 million monthly listeners) and Juno Award-winning Christian Rock Band Manic Drive.

He was featured on TEDx Talk with Rhythm Works partner Troy Sexton discussing their work as guest speakers teaching workshops in schools eventually becoming Official Drummers for Toronto Raptors renamed 6ixStix. With Blueprint Pathways they visited Indigenous communities and incarcerated youth in correctional facilities across Canada.

The maestro grew up dancing to Michael Jackson and drumming in the family band. From a generation of entertainers going back to his grandfather in India, a big band leader, crooner and jazz trombonist, Maurice Concessio.

Music has been the peaceful connection that has taken Sheldon across borders and overseas and around the world. From aboard Carnival Cruise lines, orchestras in Russia, shows in Tanzania Africa, arena tour in Europe with Latin Artist Alex Bello, World events with Bulgarian Grammy-winning musician Theodosii Spassov, Ethiopian singer Nati Haile, commercials for Wal-Mart and McDonald’s, countless wedding and corporate events, musical theatre and dance shows, even a solo piano performance for Billionaire Warren Buffett at The Royal Ontario Museum.

Sheldon Universe is always expanding!

Sheldon Universe

Name:

Sheldon De Souza aka Sheldon Universe

Genre:

R&B Pop Rock

Founded:

2010

# of Albums:

0.5 – this is embarrassing 😳 but an album is in progress

Latest Single:

13 Rules

Latest Video: 

Favourite musician growing up:

Michael Jackson consistently but I grew up as a drummer so Buddy Rich, Dennis Chambers, Dave Weckl

Favourite musician now:

Justin Bieber has a great voice and it’s not necessarily the most advanced in comparison to a Brian McKnight or Stevie Wonder or even Jonah Nilsson (of the band Dirty Loops)

Guilty pleasure song:

I don’t like to brand it as guilty because that promotes hiding your true self and I am very passionate about people being their authentic self. Especially gangstas/thugs. Reminding people to laugh and be their childlike self can often open up solid relationship-building moments. But to answer your question I’m going to go with My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion 😂- no disrespect to Celine 🇨🇦

Live show ritual:

As a drummer it’s warmups and stretching and usually talking the show in my head before I get on, as a singer it’s also warmups and then go! But truthfully, I’m always so deep into organizing and producing role for shows that I barely get time to worry about myself and have a live show ritual. I’m usually making sure all loose ends are dealt with leading up to seconds before I’m on stage!

Favourite local musician:

drums – Larnell Lewis – go watch Snarky Puppy “What about me” or his Zildjian Live video
electric wind instrument/sax/flute – Rob Christian (used to be a lil high school kid when I met him while I was working as a guest artist in Unionville Arts school, and he asked to jam with me while I was practicing piano in a practice module- I was amazed back then and even more now)

Mike Ferfolia – singer- he’s been around!

Jesse Gold – fellow R&B artist/guitarist crazy talented

Jordan John – again multi-instrumentalist super talented

Scott Jackson – world class beatboxer

Dr Draw – world class violinist

Troy Sexton – world class former Stomp cast member

…so much talent in Toronto alone

EP or LP?

Not sure the question but I aspire to have more than 5 full albums out in the universe that I can be super proud of

Early bird or night owl?

Both. I’m up early for work but I’m up late for play!

Road or studio?

Road 1000000000% I love the studio but it’s only a means to the stage

Where can we follow you? 

Website | Instagram | Youtube

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Rapid Fire Local Questions:

What is your favourite local restaurant?

Thai House on Queen (Beaches), Masrawy Egyptian Food (Mississauga)

What is your favourite street in your city and why?

I grew up in Mississauga and if you go South on Mavis near Dundas there is a nice view of the lake that shimmers on a summery day that you see as you head downhill. It reminds me of California which I have a great relationship with and not much traffic like everywhere else…and i hate traffic! If people were more friendly we could just roll down our windows during a traffic jam and have fun conversations but yeah traffic sucks!

What is your favourite park in your city and why?

Canada’s Wonderland count? It’s an amusement park and I love entertainment. I met Justin Bieber backstage there during his first single “One Time”, Akon and a few others. Lots of good times, I used to work as a tech at the Kingswood Theatre.

What is your favourite music venue in your city?

Maybe Massey Hall because of my childhood memories with St. Michael’s Choir School singing there every year for Christmas. But I really liked Joe Mama’s a bar on King St. (closed down a while back). I love any venue with good acoustics where the audio sounds pristine but also where I can see the audience. El Mocambo did some great renovations, I haven’t got to perform in the new setting. Soft-seat theatres are usually my favourite for that reason, however, a nice small-sized bar with GREAT talent is always a favourite. My friends at the Redwood Theatre are starting to share a lot more live music.

What is your favourite music store in your city?

There are none that I can really name after the closing of HMV and the birth of streaming and Spotify etc. but I can shout out a previous employer Long and McQuade (Music store). One time I got locked INSIDE because I was playing electronic drums in the drum room and they closed up shop and didn’t realize I was in there. So alarms went off and I had to call my manager to come back and open up the store doors which were all caged in.

 

About Emilea Semancik 97 Articles
Emilea Semancik was born in North Vancouver. Emilea has always always wanted to freelance her own pieces and currently writes for the Vancouver Guardian. She is also a recipe author working towards publishing her own series of recipe books. You can find her recipes on Instagram. @ancestral.foods