The sounds of Shogun

The sounds of Shogun

January 22nd, 2010

There’s one name we won’t forget about soon. It’ll be stuck in our minds like the memories of a long lost love. She is out there and ready to side with the unforgotten. A progressive trancer called ‘Nadia’ is what’s we’re talking about. It’s American born Taiwanese producer/DJ Shogun that’s responsible for this love-struck. His ‘Nadia’ will be out on the S107 label on the 25th of January and light the souls of all those in favour of soothing vocals and trembling beats. We expect big things to happen to this talent, especially since he’s “kicked things into high gear”. Let’s take a ride into his music…

Nine Inch Nails to 12 Inch Vinyl’s
Before the era of Shogun started, it were the industrial sounds that made Andrew Chen’s world spin round. Andrew:” When I was in Junior High, a few of my friends were really into Industrial music and would listen to artists like Nine Inch Nails and Filter all the time. There was something about that type of music that really drew me in. Eventually it progressed to artists like Prodigy, Crystal Method and Chemical Brothers. I remember thinking to myself how much I liked listening to these types of songs but wondering why there weren’t any that focused on beautiful melodies? This actually went on for quite a while. I went over to my friend’s house and he showed me a song called ‘Communication’ by Armin Van Buuren. This was something special because I had never heard a song that beautiful before and I kept listening to it over and over. After that came some Gouryella and my life was changed.”

Captivating & Powerful
A defining point in Andrews life was the discovery of his passion for trance and progressive. It was the 130 BPM type of tune that made him forget about himself for a while, and left him in a state of awe. Andrew:”To me prog/trance is the most emotional and the most powerful type of music. It’s the story that a great trance track can tell or make you feel that really draws me into it. Just like when you watch a powerful movie so captivating that you want to stand up and cheer, yell or cry. That is the same feeling I get from trance music.”

A whole new world of creativity
Andrew:”I first got into producing when my parents bought me my first computer. Before that I was already playing musical instruments like the piano, violin, and drums. The first DAW I used was Fruity Loops, but I eventually progressed to Logic Pro. I have always been fascinated by what you can do musically with just a computer and it has really opened up a whole new world of creativity for me. It still amazes me now especially with the improvement of computers and software programs that a tiny laptop can do the work of a full studio and that is pretty wicked if you think about it.”

After getting used to all those possibilities the programs offered, it was time for Andrew to find his true Shogun sound. And that took a while. Andrew:”Finding your own sound was always difficult because there are so many brilliant producers out there. However, it was always important for me to find the right balance between discovering your own sound, and coming up with something special that people enjoyed listening to. I went through about 200 tracks (no joke) before completing my first release-worthy one. Sometimes I open up my old projects and think to myself…what was I thinking? A few of the them are decent though, and it’s always good to have old files ready in case new ideas come up.”

Manipulation of sounds
At the early years of the millennium, Andrew decided to turn his hobby into something more. He dove deep into the music theory and study at the SAE Institute of Technology, where he graduated with an Audio Engineering Degree in 2006. A logical step in Andrew’s life-plan. Andrew:”Studying audio engineering was definitely a logical choice for me because it also helped with my productions and dj’ing as well. I have always loved the engineering side of things when it comes to the music and especially in EDM, there is a constant manipulation of sounds through different pieces of gear or plugins, so the knowledge of that comes in very handy. After my first successful DJ gig I was determined to go for music all the way. To know that you can make other people happy by sharing the music that you love is a very special feeling!”

Mister Resident DJ
Before getting himself out there as a producer, the focus of Andrew’s musical career was mostly based on DJ adventures. Not the least of gigs, cause within a short period of time Andrew landed himself as the resident DJ in Ministry of Sound in Taipei. Andrew:”Early on, I entered and won several DJ tournaments that helped me get more bookings to clubs and land further residencies. One of the tournaments I won was sponsored by BPM and the owner of Ministry of Sound – Taipei happened to be there. After my set, he came up to me, introduced himself, and asked me if I would like to go play a night at the newly opened club. Without hesitation, I flew out to MoS – Taipei and after my set, they offered me a DJ Residency.”

So what was it exactly, that impressed the owner so much that he asked him to become the resident after only seeing him once? Andrew:” I think it’s the effort, preparation and attention to the details that separates me from any other DJ. Not to say that other DJ’s aren’t putting in 100%, but no matter if there is a packed club or if there are 2 people on the dance floor, my goal is to win them over by the end of the night so they feel like they have experienced something special! At the end of the night, if I feel like I didn’t just have a workout..then I am doing something wrong. Also, I like to add some spice to my sets and do some scratching to certain tracks, and that can definitely light up a dance floor!”

Nadia
Though a fantastic DJ in his own right, it’s the producer inside him that interests us now. On the 25th of January, the S107 label will release his emotional-ride of a tune called ‘Nadia’. Andrew:”‘Nadia’ is a track that features the beautiful vocals of Hannah Ray which was also my first time collaborating with her. The track is about someone pining for ‘Nadia’ who swooped into their life, started something great, then left leaving them heartbroken. I think many people have been in this situation before.. and this track puts all those feelings into one. ”

Featuring the vocals of UK vocalist Hannah Ray, this one is set to perform magic on the dancefloor. Andrew:” I met Hannah through my good friends Myon & Shane 54 and once I heard her voice, I knew she was the perfect vocalist for ‘Nadia’. She is a very talented singer and song writer. It was an honor working together.”

Back to the roots
Next to ‘Nadia’, there will also be an exclusive prog-trance tune called ‘Connected’, on Markus Schulz’ brand new ‘Las Vegas ’10′ album. But that’s not all, folks. Expect to hear more tunes and goodies coming from the Shogun studio. Andrew:”There will be follow ups to ‘Nadia’ and ‘Connected’, as well as many more prog tech-trance tracks to come. Also, I have several faster peak time trance productions in the works which have already been getting some great support from artists like Aly & Fila and more. This year, I will be going back to my roots and really focusing solely on these two styles.”

For more info on Shogun, check his MySpace or Facebook.