Delving into a semantic of talking points from past experiences up to what awaits Shogun in the future; Prod Rage and fungiFerg caught up with the Scottish sensation on our milestone 100th show.
Shogun joined us off the back of a video shoot for a forthcoming track with fellow Scottish rapper, Melroze, produced by Toni Smoke and filmed by the Odoom Brothers, all of which are homegrown talent, articulating Cylde, Glasgow, within the vicinity and representatives of Scotland.
When asking about his views upon coping throughout the lockdown, Shogun took us back a little further to the previous summer, 2019, where he had been released from prison and was just adapting back to normality. Then, around this time last year he suffered with appendicitis and ended up in hospital for a period of time.
Following this, Shogun progressed: “I got bearing, I got better, I was on The Rap Game UK and that so almost I didn’t feel the full effect of the lockdown, it was like working and that, I had shit to do so I was blessed that way but at the same time I was sitting like: ‘fuck me what’s ganna happen, are we ganna be doing shows again…’ – it’s more just the doubt and worry I guess more than anything but obviously the financial hitter like not being able to go do certain shows I’d been talking to people about.”
Nearing the end of the conversation Shogun implied that it was a stressful, surreal experience and a significant reason for him featuring on the most recent series was because of another fellow Scottish artist, Ransom FA (who featured on the first series of The Rap Game UK) had put his name forward to be in contention of starring on the show.
fungiFerg: “Is there any plan in place for 2021 shows and stuff?”
Shogun: “2021 in terms of shows I’m just gonna make sure that I have content there to, you know, put myself in the kinda mention of being on a list that gets booked for shows cos it’s obviously gonna be everybody going back to doing shows straight away. It’s gonna be that certain percentage of people go with a certain fanbase so I’m just trying to put myself in that position.
“I’ve got a four track EP with a producer called Senga, he’s from Glasgow, one of my boys, that four track EP, got some visuals coming for that also courtesy of the Odoom Brothers. Then me and Britizen Kane, one of the sickest, the lyricism is on a whole entire different plateau compared to some people, it’s about time that artists like that really did get recognition, as much as you don’t need them and that but it’s nice. It shows that you’re not full of shit and just recognise talent when someone’s talented, it doesn’t matter where they’re from, if someone’s talented then someone’s talented, they should at least be given the chance.”
For 2021, Shogun sums up and expresses his determination to keep constructing: “new music, new projects, new visuals, new collaborations and onto bigger and better things for everyone everywhere, from Aberdeen to fucking Adelaide!” – fungiFerg conveys his admiration and respect for that – the humbleness of Shogun himself and past interviewees taking the time to speak with us, an independent organisation and individuals desiring the exact same.
fungiFerg uses the example of Graft from Leeds winning The Rap Game UK as to whether it is evident that recognition is travelling further north in the industry as well as additional circulating thoughts:
Shogun: “I think it is travelling north man, it is travelling north, you’ve even got boys from Newcastle, your boys from all over the north of England who have their own core fanbase, their also very very talented. Their like the alternative to what’s popular right now which is a kinda Americanised London centric sound. I love that it’s fucking travelling north cos it means that people like me get more fucking recognition and the more recognition, the more eyes, the more ears I have to show my sound and show what I’ve got, it means I can build more of a fanbase, more of a family. I am trying to speak for people who haven’t been spoken for, or at least not spoken for in rap. It’s a very fucking revolutionary time right now.”
Completely straight up and laid down with no dilution, whether that be in this interview or throughout his work. He rightfully voices: “some people don’t like that and it’s usually the ones who are telling lies…” – he also states that you need to establish your own movements where you do not need to seek anything from anyone else, keep it authentic and organic, constantly challenge yourself, concentrate on your work and traction will draw off of you.
Be your own boss, be knowledgeable and be a student. – Shogun
On growing up in Scotland and how it has affected his craft:
Shogun: “Of course, you’re a product of your environment, everybody is to an extent. I was quite shy and reserved about my rap and that, I rapped from the age of about 11/12, I always kinda wrote raps and that but never actually started, or trying to (push them out), keeping it quiet but then I started to let people kinda know and all that. It took me years to eventually get to the point where I was even a resemblance of what I am now. It was when I was about 17/18, obviously wrote ‘Vulcan’ and what not, that’s when I found my feet with my own writing style and that took me like five/six years to be like: ‘what am I gonna even write about, what can I write about?’ – those questions: ‘can I even be a rapper, have I got a story to tell, will they hear what I have to say?’ – I’ve been through all of that whilst friends were dwindling because of et cetera et cetera, you know what I mean. It’s mad, you’re trying to live like two/three different lives, try to go to school, try learn how to aim, do this mad thing with music when you’ve never had any musical experience and nothing is really available to you, none of your friends really do it. It’s not like London n that where everyone’s a rapper or a DJ, it’s not like that, it’s all the bouncy shit like Mak (Makina) and that.
“It’s difficult but I think me being very self conscious and aware of how I sound even what not made me craft a certain flow, a certain way, I got enough people to like it eventually with hard work, graft and a bit of luck.”
Concluding, Shogun left us with a huge insight of a collaboration emerging in the near future: “watch out for the tracks with Dizzee Rascal, early next year, the track is called ‘Canteen Sheet’, it’s produced by Dizzee Rascal as well.”
Massive thanks, appreciation and gratitude to Shogun for taking time out of his day to share each piece of information, experiences and insights first-hand with us and the listenership. Support his work via the icons below and make sure to listen in to the audio just above for full originality and expression to the conversation as well as a few other details to each matter.
For Shogun’s website click here