We managed to squeeze in a few minutes in the busy schedule of entrepreneur and rapper ShaoDow.
He has independently built his career and company (DiY Gang Entertainment) through hard work, passion and dedication. ShaoDow visited China to train in the art of Shaolin Kung Fu, has a Law degree and is currently nominated for the ‘Hardest Working Artist Award’ at the AIM Independent Music Awards.
He has performed at Reading Festival and his single ’Till The Casket Drops’ has been played on BBC1Xtra, Kerrang Radio, BBC 6 Music and a number of stations in the USA. He’s opened for artists such as Tech N9ne, Wiley, Stormzy, Skepta and The Pharcyde and featured on tracks alongside the likes of Ghetts, Dot Rotten and McLean.
What made you decide to pursue a career in music and not law?
It’s my calling. That’s how I feel anyway. Law is great, it’s challenging and a rewarding profession for some. But ultimately it’s not for me.
When I was studying for my degree I thought that I wanted to be a music lawyer, eventually I realised that I only wanted to do that so I could be involved in the music industry.
You have sold 22,000 copies of your cds on your own , this is seriously impressive for an independent artist. How have you achieved this?
Firstly, thank you. Mainly with the help of voodoo. A local witch doctor had some really good package deals on groupon so I got him too hook me up and saved a fortune on cursing my enemies.
Ha! No, in truth it’s just been constant hard work for many years. I believe in talking to people. The internet is nice, but there’s no substitute for talking to people. ESPECIALLY when you’re trying to build a long-term fan base of people who support your career and not just a couple of your songs.
Now me and my business partner Zuby run the UK’s first artist owned pop up shops ‘The Blue and Purple Store’ in major shopping centres across the country.
Your business model is similar to American acts such as Jay Z , Beyonce and P Diddy in that if someone is a fan of ShaoDow there is a lot more for them to buy into than the music. Tell us about the Diy Gang Store, your manga comic book and how you came to produce your own headphones.
Again, thank you. That’s a real honour, all of those are massive role models to look up to.
To be honest, when it comes to the clothing side of my merchandise, I just like to make cool stuff that I would wear personally. Turns out other people want to wear it too, so it kinda evolved from there.
Ah the manga! I’m very into manga, anime and Japanese culture. It’s been a long held dream of mine to star in my own comic book. Thanks to my awesome supporters I’ve finally been able to afford to make that happen.
The book is a retelling of my journey through the music industry, with a lot more fighting and super powers. I want to show people real ways to build a sustainable career from music without saying it directly.
You’re known for intelligent, witty, often razor sharp lyricism mixed with hard hitting, bass driven, commercial sounding beats. Where do you get the inspiration for your lyrics?
From life, from my travels, from my fans, from my experiences. Mainly from the voices in my head. When they’re not telling me to do bad things of course.
I just want to represent my world view in a catchy, unique and accessible way.
If my music sounds exactly like someone else, then I’ve failed as an artist. So for me, it’s all about being creative and creating some timeless music, or manga or merchandise that people will truly appreciate and enjoy.
What music do you listen to?
Anything that my ears like. Mainly Hip Hop, Grime and some Metal. I also like Jazz and listen to Classical whilst working or doing my accounts.
Music basically, I try not to restrict myself in terms of genre as there is so much good stuff out there. As long as it inspires me and challenges me as an artist to improve what I make, I’m on it.
ShaoDow & his Dj J-Fresh perform at Discovery 2 on August 25th at 229 The Venue, London. Expect some high kicks and a unique performance! Find your tickets here.
You can check out ShaoDow on Twitter @ShaoDowMusic