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Genre-defying maestro Socalled is a musician, producer, composer, arranger, magician, filmmaker, photographer and visual artist based in Montreal. Born in Ottawa and raised just north of there, in Chelsea, Quebec, he grew up taking piano lessons and loving funk and hip hop. When Socalled first heard klezmer music on an old Yiddish record, he was fascinated by the cool sounds he could sample to make hip hop beats. Then he realized that integrating this Jewish music from the 1930s into his songs was a way of representing himself and his cultural heritage. It enabled him bring something of his own to funk and hip hop, giving him what he calls "a real reason to make music."
Known for his genre-bending approach and his collaborations with musical giants of funk, klezmer, hip hop, lounge and classical music, Socalled has performed all over the world. He has released three CDs: Socalled Seder; and HipHopKhasene; and most recently, Ghettoblaster, recorded with Yiddish singer Theodore Bikel, lounge pianist Irving Fields, musician and producer Gonzales, master clarinetist David Krakaeur, country singer Katie Moore, rapper C-Rayz Walz, and funk trombone legend Fred Wesley, among others.