UK rapper, entrepreneur and ninja Shao Dow has released three albums, created a headphones brand, published an original manga comic book series and launched the UK’s first degree course for rappers and MCs. His latest single, ‘Wait For The Summer’, features KVNG - we caught up with Shao Dow to find out more.
I always try to display my versatility to my fans and listeners. It’s never been about doing one thing for me.
First up, tell us about yourself - what got you into music?
I’m not entirely sure if it was one particular thing. I just wanted to represent my worldview in a musical format, I wanted to entertain people and I wanted to make dope art that would be appreciated. I still do!
Were there any particular bands or artists you took inspiration from?
Tech N9ne, Ludacris, Evanescence, Eminem, 50 Cent. Loads to be honest. But I think I took the most inspiration from my own life and experiences.
How would you describe your musical style?
Like it might run up in a ninja mask and kick you in the face. Or it might not.
Why ‘Shao Dow’?
I train in Shaolin Kung Fu in China when I was a teenager and I wanted my name to represent that aspect of my life’s journey.
If you could collaborate with any living artist, who would it be?
Tech N9ne without a doubt.
Tell us about your new single ‘Wait For The Summer’. What’s it about?
In short, it’s a vibe. I was hanging out in a beach bar in the Philippines last year and thought that I really wanted to write a song that would sound right in that sort of setting.
It took a while to find the right track and put the right words to it, but I’m really proud of the finished tune. The music video is awesome too I’m confident that it’ll be appreciated by any retro gaming fans.
How did KVNG get involved?
My manager was actually aware of KVNG and suggested I check him out. As soon as I heard his voice I knew he’d be ideal for the project. He’s immensely talented and definitely took the chorus to a new level.
When did you write it and where did you record it?
I can’t remember exactly when I wrote it, but I recorded it towards the end of last year in my home studio ‘ The ShaoDojo’
How does ‘Wait For The Summer’ represent you?
It’s just another aspect of my personality, I have plenty of hard-hitting grime tunes and lyrical Hip Hop tunes, but I don’t often represent the light hearted, laid back side of my style. I always try to display my versatility to my fans and listeners. It’s never been about doing one thing for me.
What are your hopes for ‘Wait For The Summer’?
I just want as many people to listen to and enjoy it as possible. Anything above that is a bonus.
What else have you got coming up this year?
Plenty more music, I’m working on the follow up to my Anime Grime track NANI 何 and will be rapping in English and Japanese again. I’m also working on volume 2 of my manga book so that’s to come too.
Finally, if you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice, when would it be and what would you say?
Save 15% of all the money you make and invest in Apple, Tesla and Google!
Watch the Sonic the Hedgehog-inspired video for ‘Wait For The Summer’ on YouTube below. For the latest, follow Shao Dow on Instagram.