| Profile: Shogunna|
Ethnicity: Korean American
From: New York, USA
Album: Signed 2 the Streets
With a new album coming out, a new video ready to broadcast for MTV K, and a whole new game plan for the '07, New York based rapper Shogunna is poised to show the scene what he's all about.
Clubzen recently caught up with the artist for his thoughts on breaking into the industry to the party scene in NYC.
| Interview: Shogunna|
interviewed on December 19,2006
- Shogunna, what's up? We've seen that new video you did and we keep hearing you're hard at work with the projects you have coming up. Tell us something about your new ventures.
The video was for the street single "If You Ready" which is the lead track off my new upcoming mixtape album dropping very soon. And yea, I've been working real hard. You see all the gray hairs I'm getting? Basically, I've been at it with this game for a minute and as of now I'm working with a new management team called Illuminaire and they've been grinding for me real tough to get our mark stamped into the industry. And believe me; the buzz is real!
- How did you get into the music business and what are your biggest influences?
When I was in prison, just the people I've connected with pushed me to get into it seriously. A lot of them influenced me in there, and I just had to get my act together. But my biggest influence of all would be my mom.
- You're part of a group called Gunna Fam. Can you tell us a little about that and how it started?
Gunna Fam is the street team I organized. We consist of people from different backgrounds ready to push the word on the streets. From New York to London, we're out there.
- Asian Americans still have a tough time breaking into the industry. Do you think our time is coming, especially with the new networks, MTV Chi and MTV K?
Yeah definitely, it can happen. Everyone has to play it right, because it's also just as easy to fuck it up. People need to step up to the plate and deliver. We don't get as many chances.
- How would you say your style differs from the other up and coming artists in this category?
Because I am representing an under the table culture; a culture that will always stay within the shadows and not put out there for unwanting eyes to see.
- Times have certainly caught up with technology. Do you think that makes it easier or harder for an artist to gain exposure to the mainstream, being that anyone can become an artist overnight having access to the same resources?
There has to be a balance man, especially in today's time and age. If you rely on only one source and think it's going to get you somewhere then you in for a big surprise. Let's take the internet for example. Of course it is a great way to market and promote but if you think that's all it takes then people are in for a rude awakening. You have to balance out what you promote through the internet versus the real grind work you put in when you're actually out in the streets promoting your stuff. It must be balanced between the two. I sound like a Buddhist philosopher huh?
- Have DJs embraced the new breed of artists coming up? Have they shown love to the new music?
Yes they have. And I'm talking about real DJ's. The grind hard; working night to night DJ's. They show love. And that's why they get places. Then you have these so called DJ's who just play whatever is hot in the mainstream and follow the norm and are scared to bring something new; but we not here to talk about them are we?
- What's your experience with Asian parties, especially in New York?
It's fun BUT!!! It has become routine. And when I say routine, it has become the same thing every week. There has to be more variety and zing. Just my opinion though.
- Any thoughts on how the scene can come together with something to call our own?
Yeah, promoters need to do more for the people and less for the money.
- The title of your new CD is "Signed 2 the Streets". We know you are heavily influenced from the streets. Is the street aspect in rapping an important role to shape or define a persona of an artist?
No. That's only important if you want to create an artist. I'm not here to be created. I came in as who I am and that's that; nothing more or less.
- Why term your new release a mixtape album, instead of a mixtape, or just an album?
Basically because of the original productions and the time that was spent on this project. It was treated like we coming out with a real live LP. That is why this project has been differentiated from just being a mixtape. And why put so much work on just a mixtape? Cause we can. It's nothing. It's part of the job.
- Which artist in the industry would you like to work with in the future?
Man, there's a lot of them I respect, but right now Saigon and Papoose. They're the only up and comers holding New York down.
- Will we be seeing you in any upcoming shows or performances?
Check me on www.myspace.com/shogunna for upcoming info, or hit up any of the street team and they fill you in. We're always on the move.
- Thanks for your time, want to give any shout outs?
Yeah shout out to all the Asians that are down for the cause.
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