With the catchy refrain of “I’m just poor boy living with a heart full of song” Toronto-based Goan-Canadian artist Sheldon Universe acknowledges the frustration of how difficult it is to move up the social ladder. It’s not all bad though in his new single and video, ‘Poor Boy’. While the struggle is real, he knows that no matter what happens to him, he’s still going to retain those qualities most associated with “poor kids”: humility, persistence, drive, and above all else, that unquenchable thirst for achievement.
‘Poor Boy’ is a summer anthem that manages, in two tight verses and one chorus, to convey all the energy, determination, and drive needed for success. The artist has worked extensively with Indian-Canadian pop singer and rapper AP Dhillon, performed with Manic Drive, and served as the drummer for the Toronto Raptors. Additionally, his production company is a staple feature of the Canadian music scene, the driving force behind many shows and festivals. He just hasn’t had a massive hit yet, but that’s likely to change at any moment. While Sheldon Universe sings “I should have made it by now”, he’s certainly on the cusp of it.
The music video for ‘Poor Boy’, directed by Marco Veltri, is bright, energetic, and somewhat offbeat. He makes Sheldon Universe’s thirst for success the star of the clip, by featuring the artist alongside all the perceived trappings of wealth: big houses, expensive cars, and gorgeous women. He destabilises this idea however with a sequence performed by four dancers wearing masks featuring Sheldon Universe’s face. While the four men have different body types, dressed in casual business attire, it nonetheless calls into question the fragility of identity in the corporate world. The commentary on the masks we all must wear to climb the ladder express visually the line about “getting lost in the crowd”. Sheldon Universe is determined to stand out against all the clones, and we think he’s going about it the right way.