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INTERVIEW: ShaoDow

Hi Shao, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hey VENTS, thanks for the welcome! I’m good, I’ve been at the post office sending my album and manga off to a lot of awesome people who pre-ordered them before the release date.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Accent”?

It’s just a cool song, you hear it and you want to start singing the chorus. It’s on a subject that I have a great deal of interest in. Exotic women with foreign accents. Ha! So in short, it’s a tongue in cheek catchy song that I think you’re going to love when you hear it.

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

Two of my big hobbies are travelling and learning foreign languages. I meet a lot of people, from this country and abroad and have had the pleasure of interacting with people from many different walks of life. I think the song was just born from a wealth of experience across different countries.

To be honest, I really don’t know where it came from, I often feel like my songs are just floating around in the sky ready made and I just pluck them out of the air at the right time.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

Most definitely, we filmed the video a few weeks ago with Chiba Visuals. The full video will be coming very soon. I’m always aiming to surpass my previous work, whether it’s musically or visually. I believe we did that with this one.

What was it like to work with McLean and how did that relationship develop?

McLean is awesome, I’m a fan. He’s a truly talented singer and musician and honestly, this song wouldn’t be what it is without him. I have to give a shout out to my guitarist Ricky On Guitar who made this all happen.

How much did he get to influence the song?

He came up with the hook and the melody for it. I think at the time I had the general concept and the first verse written. He took the idea and really solidified it. As soon as I heard the chorus I knew it was the one, I didn’t need to hear any alternatives or other ideas.

That was enough inspiration for me to write the second verse and then we came up with the bridge together.

The single comes off your new album シャウ道。The Way Of Shao – what’s the story behind the title?

It was originally just going to be the name of my manga book series, my good friend and fluent Japanese speaker Samurai Ray came up with it.

Basically, if the Japanese part is read phonetically it says ShaoDow and it translates to The Way Of Shao. Which I thought was incredibly clever. So clever in fact that I gave my album the same name.

I have a lot of interest and love for Japanese culture, I wanted this album to have more of an international feel than my last one. I’ve grown as an artist and as a human being. I think the name reflects that.

How was the recording and writing process?

Intense!

The whole thing took me around 2 years to pull together and I did a lot of growing and self reflection during that time. A lot of travelling too!

This album was written across a number of countries including Iceland, Japan, Czech Republic, France, Germany and Serbia.

But it was all worth it.

I had some amazing producers to work with on this and an amazing studio engineer who put up with my perfectionist nature. No word of a lie, I actually went back to the studio to rerecord one word because I didn’t like how it sounded.

But it’s that level of detail and passion for my craft that (I hope) attracts so many dedicated fans and supporters to my music.

What aspect of Japanese culture did you get to explore on this material?

The album is more about my journey through life as I try to achieve my ambitions. The Way Of Me basically. Lyricism is incredibly important to me, words and ideas that make you think, metaphors and punch-lines that you won’t catch on the first listen through. And most important to me, concepts that people from a multitude of backgrounds can relate to.

I put my thoughts, feelings and experiences into words and then rap them to music, my aim is to always do that in a skilful and accessible way.

Any plans to hit the road?

Most definitely, I pretty much live on the road, tarmac is my second cousin.

I’ll be headlining  my album launch party at Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen in London on Sunday 13th November, I’ll also be running my pop-up shop The Blue and Purple Store in The Castle Mall Norwich from Thursday 24th November until Saturday 24th December.

What else is happening next in ShaoDow’s world?

The collector’s edition of my first manga book is out now and available to order from my website, the album is out too from my website, Spotify, iTunes and more.

I’ve got new t shirts and merchandise coming in and more shows planned for the new year.

Just progress to be honest. Progress is life and I plan to live it to the fullest.

For all things ShaoDow please visit http://www.DiYGang.co.uk

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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