Shogun: Lighting the dark

Shogun: Lighting the dark

March 8th, 2011

Nocturnal dusk or morning dawn, no matter what time of day, when the sound of American producer Andrew Chen starts to play, there’s no avoiding its glow. Under the wings of his Shogun moniker, he reveals one warm, enchanting track after another. Three strong vocal productions, featuring the vocals of singer Emma Lock, have made Shogun one of the most promising producers of today and gave a warm up for new remixes, collabs and instrumentals ahead. As the first rays of sunlight announce spring, Shogun gets ready to reveal more and more of his musical mind… want to have a sneak peak?

Hey Andrew, it’s been a while! How are you doing nowadays?

Shogun: “I’m doing great, thanks! Been spending a lot of time in the studio and I have a lot of new and exciting productions in the works. Also, I am really excited to be a part of the ASOT 500 celebration so really looking forward to that as well!”

It’s quite a few releases later since our first interview, a bit over a year back. How do you reflect on 2010, was it a good year?

Shogun:”2010 was really an amazing year for me, I couldn’t ask for more. A lot of my tracks were supported by many of the DJ’s I really admire and to have your work recognized and appreciated by fans is truly an incredible feeling. When my track ‘Save Me’ placed into the top 20 2010 countdown of ASOT radio at #11, I was at a loss for words. This was definitely the highlight for me in 2010!”

In the past few months, you’ve released quite a few vocal trance tracks, of which 3 with Emma Lock. What makes things work so well between you two?

Shogun:”The thing that makes Emma and I work so well together is our chemistry and the way we pull from the same source of inspiration. We both like the very emotional, dark, and sad pieces that tug on the heart strings. This is our energy, and our creativity. It feels very natural working with her because we both know what we are looking for in a track, and we inspire each other to get to that point. Although Emma and I are very far from each other, whenever we work on a track together I feel like we are very close because our minds and our hearts are connected musically.”

It seems that your first Armada single, ‘Nadia’, was much more progressive than your current tracks. Why the change?

Shogun:”After ‘Nadia’, I felt like I wanted to bring out the more emotional, deeper, and personal side of my feelings for trance music. For example, ‘Save Me’ was one of my most personal tracks and I felt that the style and production for ‘Save Me’ best captured the feeling of what I had in mind. Instead of having a bit of that housy touch from ‘Nadia’, I wanted to venture into deeper, and darker sounds.”

We do hear that proggy touch in your remixes. You’ve recently remixed the work of Signum, Cerf, Mitiska & Jaren, Dark Matters and Armin van Buuren. Big names, big remixes probably? What can you tell us about the remixes?

Shogun:”For remixes, I approach them in a different way mentally than I would for an original production. It’s because the concept and storyline is already there, so there isn’t an empty slate to start out with. I feel like it is a whole different process of thinking because when I work on remixes, I think of what the artist had in mind and felt at the time when they worked on the original, and how I can add my personal touch to give the remix a totally different feel, while keeping the original idea of the story.

I am very honored to be able to remix for such amazing artists, so the original content inspires me to bring out the best I can for a remix.”

In a previous interview, you told us you went through about 200 track before completing your first release-worthy one. Nowadays, do you still need many takes before producing a final version that you find good enough for the public? Are you still a perfectionist when it comes to that?

Shogun:”When it comes to productions, I am still a perfectionist because I like making sure the track comes out as high quality as possible. As a listener, you only hear the completed song so it is the producer’s job to make sure every detail is as good as possible in order for the listener to be immersed into the full track. Nowadays, when I set out to make a track it is usually good enough for the public by the final version , however I am always still learning and trying to improve in any way I can when it comes to productions.”

Last year, you were one of the producers for the Armada Singing Competition, and you chose Radmila as your vocalist. How is the collaboration coming along?

Shogun:”The collaboration is coming along great! The track we did together is called ‘Stray’, and I think people will really enjoy this one. Radmila has a very special and amazing voice, so it was a pleasure working with her and there should be more to come.”

What other work can we expect to hear from you in the next following months?

Shogun:”I’m working on a remix for Tritonal at the moment, and have a lot more original productions in the works including a brand new one with Emma Lock to continue the saga. :)”

Download ‘Shogun feat. Emma Lock – Run To My Rescue’
Download ‘Shogun feat. Emma Lock – Save Me’
Download ‘Shogun – Nadia’