Raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Shigeto (born Zach Saginaw) grew through the musical ranks looking up to the likes of Athletic Mic League, Binary Star, and the Ghostly International crew. After putting out some material on indie label Moodgadget, Shigeto would eventually sign with Ghostly where he released various EPs along with his debut album, Full Circle (2010). Now based in New York City, Shigeto just released his second album, Lineage; an album that reaches heavily on the music that inspired him throughout his life. Wonderland was able to talk to Shigeto and get his thoughts on the new album.
Let’s talk about the new album…
It’s called Lineage. I guess I called it that because the tracks are less beat-oriented and more composition-oriented. It’s a combination of all my influences when growing up, whether it was rock, jazz, hip-hop, or IDM – but primarily jazz.
What kind of feedback are you getting?
A lot of people have been saying that they like its jazzy direction or my jazz influence is showing a lot more. Certain people are saying that you could go a lot of directions and this is a good one – a more natural direction. Lineage was written to be more personal and I think the response is people recognising that.
Releasing Lineage on Ghostly International – did that instill an enhanced sense of creative freedom in you during the writing process?
Ghostly likes to have a lot of input – they work really closely with their artists. They let me just do my thing on this. You can look at it musically but you can also look at it in an industry way. The freedom they gave me on it was completely crucial and I knew it was truly my baby.
Let’s talk about a track from Lineage; the heavily jazz oriented “A Child’s Mind”. When you were a child, you’ve said you experienced night terrors that you eventually grew out of. Did this have an influence on the direction of this song?
Maybe. I was just thinking about fantasy and how magical my head was when I was little. I could just play with nothing by myself and go through all these changes in environment in my mind. At the end of the day, maybe yes – the night terrors could have unconsciously taken over the end of the track. It’s all ambient and dark like when you are entering sleep – the domain where I would freak out.
You recently did a show with both Dabrye and Madlib. How did it go?
It was at Princeton University in this giant frat house. Todd Osborn was actually in town in New York so he came over. It was wild hanging out with Madlib, Dabrye, and Todd Osborn all in one place. It was cool because Tadd (Dabrye) and Madlib have never met before in person so it was really awesome to get to see them meet each other. Tadd went to Madlib and was like “What up? I’m Tadd” and Madlib was like “Yo, what up?”. Then he says, “Dabrye.” Then Madlib was like “Oh shit! What up dog?”
Lineage is out now on Ghostly International.
Words: Kelly Frazier