TWIB recently had a quick one on one with UK fast-rising emcee ShaoDow and this is what we got. Sit back, relax and get familiar with him as he shares his love for many things beyond music.
How did you get started in music, and what drives you to continue?
– I was mucking about with rapping during my college days, I wasn’t really good at it though. It was when I went to China and was studying Kung Fu out there that I really properly unearthed my love for music and began developing my lyrical style.
– The first proper song I wrote was ‘Look Out There’s A Black Man Coming’. I still perform it to this day. That’s important to me actually, being able to write songs that are still dope 10 years later, 20 or 30 doesn’t matter.I wrote it in the same way I write most of my songs. Saw or experienced something that brought a concept to mind and then lived with the instrumental for as long as possible until the right words came to me.
For this song I was trying to capture the experience of a young black guy from London moving to Oxford and noticing the weird looks and fearful strangers.
Is there a particular song or musical passage that never fails to move you emotionally?– Probably something from an anime to be honest. I’m a nerd for that stuff. If I had to guess, I’d say it would be from One Piece. That show is dope. Other than that I really like Metallica – No Leaf Clover. Great song to listen to when you’re trying to do a big lift in the gym… I’m going to listen to it right now. Back in a minute.
What has been a seminal experience for you?
– Ok I’m back. Too many to name – crowd surfing at Hip Hop Kemp in Czech Republic, opening for Tech N9ne and giving him a signed copy of my album and manga book, doing my Fire In The Booth, completing the course on Ninja Warrior UK, speaking in Parliament, winning my first award.Too many, just reading that I feel blessed. Sometimes I forget to reflect on the successes.
Thanks for reminding me.
If a movie about your life in music was to be made, what interesting/strange moments and stories would you share to make the movie cool?
– Well firstly, I’d make the movie, secondly it would be an anime that was adapted from a manga series, thirdly I’m kinda in the beginning stages of doing that.
Probably stuff like how I randomly ended up opening for Wiley by accidentally walking into the back stage of one of his tour shows. Or how I started a headphone brand just by being in the exact right place at the exact right time.
Lots of random stuff happens to me. It’s fun
What is the greatest thing about working in the music industry? And what would you change if you had the opportunity?
– The freedom to create, entertain and inspire and be the soundtrack to people’s lives and experiences.
I’d change the fact that not enough people know about my art. I’m working on that part though.
What has been your biggest challenge…and how did you overcome it?
– One of my constant challenges, (which I’m sure most artists can relate to) is finding a reliable way to make a living whilst doing something I love.
Thanks to God though I’ve been a professional rapper for around 10 years and have no intention of stopping or slowing down.
I guess I overcame it by being smart and innovative in the way that I get my music out there. And knowing my worth as an artist.
Now I’m in the position that I get booked by schools and universities so that I can advise students on how to do something similar to what I have and of course I’m still performing, touring and building a fan base.
So I guess I’m doing something right, even if it takes a long time to get it right.
What would your friends say they appreciate the most about you?
-That I haven’t killed them in their sleep.
What is your most valued material possession?
– I don’t think I have one. Stuff is stuff. I much prefer experiences, people and development of self.
I do really like my bonsai tree and my cat though.
What has been your strangest celebrity encounter?
– I gave Tech N9ne a signed copy of my album and manga book before I opened for him in Bristol. That was more cool than strange.
Who would be your ideal dinner guest, living or dead, and what would you serve them?
– Bruce Lee. I’d ask him to train me in exchange for Jerk Chicken and Dumplings. What? It’s a good deal.
What are the greatest songs, albums, books, movies, TV shows, websites you’ve ever come across?
Album – probably Evanescence’s first or third.
Book – An Uncomfortable Truth by Neil Strauss or The 12 Rule For Life by Jordan Peterson.
Movies – I really like The Wolf Of Wall Street and that new Spider-Man into the Spiderverse film.
TV show – One Piece or Dragon Ball Z
Website – mine. Because it makes me look sexy (www.diygang.co.uk)
Name 5 songs (yours excluded) that we would expect to find on your iPod or Music Player
Tech N9ne – Dysfunctional
Kano – 3 Wheel Ups
Metallica – No Leaf Clover
My Hero Academia – You Say Run
The Game – Ali Bomaye
What special-hero type skills are you blessed with?
– I make the impossible possible. I can also eat a lot of chicken.
When you’re sitting on the porch age 97 what would you like to look back on and smile having achieved?
– My entire life. The hard times, the great times, the failures and successes. The whole damn thing.
Are there any other interesting facts about you that hardly anyone else knows?
– I don’t like balloons. They’re evil.
Any final thoughts?
I’m headlining The 100 Club on Friday 12th of April. You can get tickets from HERE and I’m also opening for KRS-One on 14th of May at Trinity in Bristol.
And of course, my new single “Like You” ft Manga Saint Hilare is out now.
Thanks for the interview!
STREAM + DOWNLOAD the audio here