THE LINK UP
Slam|September - October 2020
AFTER TORONTO NATIVE ROY WOODS PAID HOMAGE TO PASCAL SIAKAM ON HIS LATEST EP, WE HAD TO INTRODUCE THE OVO SOUND ARTIST TO THE RAPTORS ALL-STAR. HERE, THEY TALK ABOUT TORONTO CULTURE, MUSIC, BALL AND SO MUCH MORE.
FRANKLYN CALLE

IN MID-MAY, OVO Sound artist Roy Woods dropped a six-track EP titled “Dem Times.” The Canadian musician, who is the youngest artist on Drake’s label, fittingly named the fourth song in the project after none other than Toronto Raptors All-Star Pascal Siakam. The “Like Pascal” song title pays homage to the rising star, who grew up in Cameroon before moving to the United States at age 16 to pursue basketball.

A couple of weeks after the EP dropped, we were able to connect both Woods and Siakam on a Zoom call in their first real conversation with one another. The two talked music, Toronto culture and much more. Below is a shortened version of their discussion.

ROY WOODS: Making a song named after you [was about] just seeing the passion and how you evolved with such a young team and taking the team to where you guys went to last year. For me, seeing that as a Torontonian—

growing up and seeing how it’s been rocky for us—[was] just such a beautiful transition to see such a young team [that’s] hungry and fierce and had so much doubt and had so much hate. All that bad talk. To just come in and strive through it and punch through all those walls and come out of it on top—’til this day, there’s still goosebumps talking about it. Even with your sauce and how you ball, fam, crazy!

PASCAL SIAKAM: Just listening to you, I didn’t know because my agent told me about it. It was like, Man! Kind of felt like you’ve arrived or something. They’re making songs about you. It’s pretty cool just ’cause it’s [something] you don’t really think about. Like, Oh, I want people to say my name in a song. That’s not something that you think about. Just having that happen and the fact that you’re from Toronto—I have many Toronto friends, friends from college that are from Toronto—so I know the struggle and everything that [people] go through in terms of sports or even life in general. So just seeing that and me being able to inspire you to have a song, that’s great! I love it. I always felt like I was part of the Toronto community because of all my friends. Just being a part of this and winning a championship for the city, that was great. And now having you make a song about me; those are things you don’t even dream about.

RW: When you came to the States, who were some of the first artists that you were taking in?

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM SLAMView All

THE THIRD Coming

FOR DJ WAGNER, SON OF DAJUAN AND GRANDSON OF MILT—BOTH FORMER NBA PLAYERS—BASKETBALL RUNS IN HIS FAMILY’S BLOOD. OVER THE NEXT FEW YEARS, HE’LL USE THAT TALENT AND HIS NO. 1 RANKING IN THE CLASS OF 2023 TO LEAD CAMDEN HS TO THE TOP OF THE BASKETBALL WORLD (AGAIN).

7 mins read
Slam
November - December 2020

STATE of the UNION

CHRIS PAUL HAS BEEN A NATURAL LEADER SINCE AS FAR BACK AS HE CAN REMEMBER. BUT THROUGH 2020, AS THE PRESIDENT OF THE NBPA, PAUL HAS LED ALL 450 NBA PLAYERS THROUGH THE MOST TURBULENT OF TIMES—THROUGH A PANDEMIC, A SOCIAL JUSTICE MOVEMENT, A BUBBLE, AND A SEASON THAT SOMEHOW STRETCHED 355 DAYS—AND THOSE LEADERSHIP ABILITIES HAVE BEEN MORE CRUCIAL THAN EVER. WE SPOKE WITH CP3 ABOUT THE LEGACY OF THE PAST YEAR AND MUCH MORE.

10+ mins read
Slam
November - December 2020

The Fresh Princesses of Blair

IT’S STRAIGHT UP DOMINATION WHEN OLIVIA MILES AND DOMINIQUE DARIUS, TWO OF THE BEST GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL PLAYERS IN THE COUNTRY, ARE ON THE FLOOR AT THE SAME TIME.

3 mins read
Slam
November - December 2020

BREAKING BOUNDARIES

MEET THE SALAM SCHOOL STARS—AN ALL-MUSLIM GIRLS’ TEAM THAT’S CHALLENGING GENDER-NORMS WITHIN THEIR COMMUNITY.

4 mins read
Slam
November - December 2020

Back For More

ATHLETIC PROPULSION LABS’ first basketball sneaker got banned from the NBA because it gave wearers an “advantage.” The brothers who launched the company have returned to the game 10 years later, with a duo of brand new sneakers.

5 mins read
Slam
November - December 2020

3 the HARD WAY

THREE NBA CHAMPIONSHIPS WITH THREE DIFFERENT TEAMS MEANS DANNY GREEN KNOWS A THING OR THREE ABOUT WINNING. AS HE WRITES HERE, THE THIRD WAS THE MOST SATISFYING.

7 mins read
Slam
November - December 2020

Hollywood

Though her first year in the WNBA was anything but normal, Atlanta dream star Chennedy Carter is on her way to a long career in front of the bright lights.

7 mins read
Slam
November - December 2020

NO MERCY, NO FEAR

THE NBA IS BACK AND NEW ORLEANS PELICANS STAR ZION WILLIAMSON IS AS CONFIDENT AS HE’S EVER BEEN. LET THIS BE YOUR FINAL WARNING.

10 mins read
Slam
September - October 2020

THE PEOPLE'S CHAMP

NATASHA CLOUD HAS ALWAYS FOUGHT FOR WHAT’S RIGHT. BY OPTING OUT OF THE 2020 WNBA SEASON TO FOCUS ON SOCIAL JUSTICE, THE REIGNING CHAMP CONTINUES HER FIGHT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE BLACK COMMUNITY.

7 mins read
Slam
September - October 2020

PACK MENTALITY

MEET ROBBY SIKKA, THE SUPERFAN TURNED DOCTOR TURNED NBA TEAM VP WHOSE EXPERTISE HAS BEEN CRUCIAL FOR THE NBA THROUGHOUT THE PANDEMIC.

4 mins read
Slam
September - October 2020
RELATED STORIES

Evile

WITH LEAD GUITARIST OL DRAKE NOW MANNING THE MIC, ENGLAND’S EVILE RETURN TO UNLEASH VINTAGE THRASH METAL HELL WITH THEIR LATEST ALBUM

2 mins read
Guitar World
July 2021

GETTING TO KNOW CHEF FRANCISCO ALEJANDRI VAZQUEZ

He left behind the kitchens of some of the best hotels in Mexico and journeyed to Canada. Founder of acclaimed Toronto restaurant Agave y Aguacate (now closed, as he recently moved back to Mexico), he sat down with us to talk about his journey.

2 mins read
Clean Eating
Spring 2021

HERO NEVER GAVE UP ON MISSING GIRL, 13!

Clever cop goes motel to motel in search of perv who allegedly took her

2 mins read
National Enquirer
April 05, 2021

Dad's Prayer

I thought I knew my father well: his devotion to family, his solid faith. A slip of paper in a forgotten Bible revealed more

6 mins read
Guideposts
April 2021

Where the Housing Boom Never Ends

Real estate dominates Canada’s economy to an alarming degree

3 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
March 22, 2021

The Long Game: Covid Changed The Way We Play, Watch, Cheer

It’s the predictable rhythm of sports that draws us in.

8 mins read
AppleMagazine
March 12, 2021

SCOTT'S SPORTS SPOT - Basketball returns

Brown sinks 1,000th point

2 mins read
Island Ad-Vantages
February 11, 2021

SUPER MAN

James Brown on what matters most: faith, family, football, and following your heart

10 mins read
CBS Watch! Magazine
January/February 2021

KOBE BRYANT & DAUGHTER DIDN'T STAND A CHANCE!

Gianna and Kobe died while on their way to a girls’ basketball tournament

1 min read
Globe
December 28, 2020

PANINI ANNOUNCES KOBE REDEMPTION PLANS

KOBE BRYANT’S SUDDEN PASSING IN JANUARY CREATED A LOT OF HOLES. WHILE MOST ARE EMOTIONAL, THERE ARE SOME MORE PRACTICAL THINGS TO BE TAKEN CARE OF. TO THAT END, PANINI HAS ANNOUNCED PLANS FOR THE REMAINING KOBE BRYANT AUTOGRAPH REDEMPTIONS.

1 min read
Sports Card Monthly
January 2021