Hi Shao, welcome back to VENTS! How have you been?
Thank you for having me back again! I’m great thank you, perpetually too busy but I’m doing what I love and that’s the important thing.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Like You”?
I just wanted to make an anthem for the outsiders. I’m proud to be unique with the way that I approach my career and music. I like to put my thoughts, values and current frame of mind into musical form.
This song is where I’m at right now and where I’ve been at for a long time.
And seriously, who better to get as a feature than Manga Saint Hilare? That dude is awesome.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
I saw an insta video by Mo The Comedian last year, he was playing a character in the gym who went around telling other guys that he was trying to be like them.
I guess that got me thinking about the phrase “I’m trying to be like you” and how I could flip it and make it work for me in a song format.
Any plans to release a video for the single?
I was debating it but I think that I won’t do a video for this one.
I’ve made a video for all of my singles so far and honestly sometimes I want to just put some dope music out there and that’s it.
So sorry, no video this time. But it’s only because I’m focusing so intensely on making some more new music for you to enjoy.
How was the recording and writing process?
This song almost wrote itself. I had the hook stuck in my head for a few weeks before I’d even started writing the verses.
I finished the whole thing and recorded it at my home studio and literally had a full song ready to go. I was chatting to Manga at the time and sent him the track to see what he thought.
He was feeling it, so he recorded a verse and we ended up with the song as it is now.
As your popularity keeps growing – does that put any pressure on you as you release a new material or rather the opposite?
I definitely feel that I have a responsibility to my fans to be as creative and consistent as I possibly can.
That’s a lot of pressure for sure, but I’m honoured to have it.
So yes, there’s a pressure to put out new material, but it’s always been quality over quantity for me, I’d much rather be known for a little bit of great music than too much meh music.
Do you tend to take a different approach when you are collaborating with someone else rather than in your own?
I suppose it’s making sure I don’t take up the entire track myself and finding a way to bring in the other artist in a way that makes sense.
But other than that, my approach is always just to make something dope and uniquely me, regardless of whether it’s just me on the track or with others.
I have a whole list of people I want to work with though, so there’ll be plenty more cool collabs coming soon.
How’s your new album coming along? Any tentative release date or title in mind?
Right now I’m just creating content. I have a direction for the next full release and roughly know how I want to go about presenting it, but it’s definitely not something I’m going to rush.
Like I said, quality over quantity.
What aspect of Grimes and others genres will you be exploring and playing with on this new material?
I think my fans know to expect different genres from me, so of course Grime and Hip Hop, but also Metal, may be Jazz, may be Classical.
It’s really a case of, what will challenge me as a lyricist and result in a great piece of music.
Any plans to hit the road?
Most definitely, in fact I’m headlining at The 100 Club in London on the 12th of April.
I’ll be at Comic Con in Birmingham in March to promote my manga book.
I’m also performing in Romania and Doncaster in March.
AND I’ve been asked to open for KRS One in Bristol as well.
So a lot going on. Best way to keep up to date with my upcoming shows is to visit my website www.diygang.co.uk or follow me on songkick or bandsintown.
What else is happening next in ShaoDow’s world?
I recently opened for Tech N9ne on his UK tour so I’m still buzzing from that.
Like I said, I have some great shows coming up including my headline show at The 100 Club.
Aside from that, it’s more music from me and I’ll be working on book two of my manga series.
So it’s a content and elevation year really.
I recently joined the ACM as a part time lecturer so I’ll be doing seminars and master classes on how to build a successful, sustainable career as a full time music artist.
Just trying to inspire the next generation and establish myself as a Creative Entrepreneur.