The Great Escape 2017: Shogun Q&A

Ahead of his debut performance at The Great Escape festival in Brighton, we catch up with Paisley artist Shogun

Feature by Kamila Rymajdo | 17 May 2017
  • Shogun

Since going viral with his track Vulcan last summer, Paisley rapper Shogun has been releasing material which continues to show lyrical dexterity and a commitment to holding the political establishment up to account. Firm favourite of SB.TV founder Jamal Edwards and the subject of a BBC Three documentary about his overnight fame, the 19-year-old artist will soon start a national tour promoting his debut EP Katana. But first, he’s representing Scotland at this year’s The Great Escape festival. We pinned him down for a quick Q&A ahead of his performance.

The Skinny: How are you feeling about playing The Great Escape?
Shogun: I'm feeling ready to make the most of an opportunity people like me rarely get. TGE is an amazing stage for any artist.

What does representing Scotland at TGE mean to you?
Being the only Scottish rapper is daunting but it's something I thrive off and I'm just focused on giving a good account of myself.

What are you hoping to get out of the experience?
Reloads, connections and two bottles of Courvoisier.

What can people going to TGE expect from your performance?
They can expect a serious amount of skill, some slip-ups, some sweat and mad random shit.

Who are you looking forward to seeing?
Kano and Ghetts. No one else.

What can we expect from your debut EP?
My EP is basically mad flows depicting the intricacies of my failures and success so far. Some grimey things. Some chill things. Tried to keep the production as local as possible. I like it.

Has the reception to Vulcan influenced how you approached making this body of work?
If anything Vulcan has opened so many doors for me that I've progressed further than I ever thought, in terms of recording and writing, so I think it has.

Was it important for you to work with Scottish producers on Katana?
Definitely – not just out of some pseudo-patriotic impulse, but just because we have some of the best producers in the game up here.

What role did MFTM (Mans From The Mainland) play in the making of this record?
MFTM are there every step of the way – not always in a literal sense but they're my brothers. They will always play a role in anything I make.

And finally, who's your dream feature?
Tech N9ne.

Shogun plays at 2.15pm on Friday 19 May at Brighthelm Centre, and again (downstairs) at Patterns at 6.15pm.