American DJ and producer Shogun is currently #42 on DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJs poll. The past eight years of his career have turned into a globetrotting adventure quest for clout in the DJ world. He has produced for multiple Grammy nominated and winning acts, and there hasn’t been a track of his in the past year that’s not landed in the Beatport and iTunes Top 10, all smashing the charts.
When did you get into DJing? What or who were your early passions and influences?
I started DJing when I was 16 and did a lot of high school parties. My influences were popular songs on the radio at the time: Nine Inch Nails, Nirvana, Tupac, and of course Michael Jackson. I really started getting into dance music when I heard music from Paul van Dyk, Tiesto, and Armin van Buuren.
How do you find our inspiration?
It’s all random because inspiration hits me at any time. I could be playing video games, watching a movie, in the shower, or drinking on the beach. Ideas come to me randomly and I record them into my iPhone’s voice recorder.
Where are people most likely to see you perform?
Right now, it would be in Asia. I’ve been touring a lot in China. There are only a few countries I haven’t performed in and I am fortunate to have traveled all over the world.
Do you have original music that is available online?
Yeah, I have 500 releases on Beatport and you can find all my music on iTunes, Amazon Music, Google, and YouTube.
What is one mistake you see a lot of up and coming DJs making?
Not having their own signature sound and maybe, partying too much on the road. Touring is stressful and you have to keep healthy; I think having a big ego is a mistake too.
If you could be eternally stuck in one year’s music scene, which year would it be?
The 1980’s for sure; the best music came from that generation.
What is one tract that never gets old for you no matter how many times you hear it?
Bob Marley – No Woman No Cry, that song is amazing.
What is something that bugs you about the DJ scene?
Shouting on the mic every 5 seconds.
What do you try to communicate to the audience through your vibe?
Pure energy, uplifting and emotional vibes – ‘The feels’
How do you prepare your sets?
It depends because sometimes I listen to chill out [music] and have my own space to focus. Other times, I’ll pregame with some vodka Redbull to get hyped up.
Where would you most like to perform?
Somewhere crazy like Antartica.
What are your predictions for the music industry in the next few years?
EDM [Electronic Dance Music] will get even bigger and trance will be mainstream.
What have you learned since you started out as a DJ?
Music is a powerful thing and affects people more than you think.
Shogun is the first Asian American on the internationally known Armada Record Label and performs at the biggest festivals and clubs around the world. Shogun has been voted into the DJ Mag Top 100 DJs poll 3 times, and he has been nominated twice for the IDMA awards. With the DJ skills to rock the best clubs in the world, the future is already written for Shogun.
You can keep up with Shogun by visiting his website Shogun-Music and follow him on Twitter and Facebook.