With his latest EP, “I AM U,” multi-talented hip hop artist ShiGGa Shay delves into the complexities of personal relationships and experiences. ShiGGa Shay – real name Pek Jin Shen – was born and raised in Singapore, and his career as a rapper and songwriter began with his distinct multilingual singles “Lion City Kia” and “Tapau.”
The 29-year-old has made significant progress since the beginning of his career, collaborating with international artists such as Jay Park for “uRight” and his most recent single “Mercury” with ØZI. Through his production company, Grizzle Films, he also works as a music producer and director. We recently interviewed the rapper where he shared more about the “I AM U” EP, his career progression, and delving deeper into the NFT space.
1. What inspired the “I AM U” EP title?
I feel like no matter how different everyone can be, we still all go through the same human emotions. “I AM U” is basically an EP which reflects the different human emotions in different situations within the same story. The emotions that I can feel are the same as every other human being.
2. What were the challenges you faced while making this EP?
The EP was worked on in the midst of the pandemic, when travelling was still really difficult. So the biggest challenge I would say was the inability to be in the studio with the collaborators of my EP. We had to work on the music via online video calls, which was a challenge because we were so used to being in the studio together in person.
3. Which track from “I AM U” is your favourite and why?
My favourite track would be ‘uKnow’ because it’s something really different from my catalogue of songs that I’ve put out. The sounds and melody was something that I’ve been wanting to explore. I love the happy vibes that the song has. Good vibrations.
4. “Mercury” is about being stuck in toxic relationships. What did you learn from your experience?
Don’t ignore the red flags in any kind of relationship.
5. How did the collab with ØZI come about? Have y’all known each other before?
We’ve been friends for a few years now. When I was working on the song, I felt like he would be a good fit. I sent him the song and he recorded over it.
6. You mentioned that the Singapore hip-hop scene has grown a lot over the years since you started your career but how do you think you’ve grown or evolved as an artist?
Music is kind of like journaling to me. Each song that is released is like a time capsule that captures the energy during that moment. As you mature as a person, your taste for music starts to change too.
7. Your song with Aisyah Aziz, “Utopia Reimagined: Chasing” has been nominated for best Top 10 Best Singles of The Year at the 15th Fresh Music Awards. How do you feel about the nomination?
I am thankful for the nomination. Much love to Aisyah for elevating the song.
8. One of your goals is to dive deeper and do more in the NFT space. How has that been going so far? Do you have any specific plans on what you want to achieve?
The learning journey in the NFT space has It’s been going great. This is something really new to me as well, I’ve been trying to learn as much as I can because things are constantly evolving on a daily basis.
9. You will be performing at the Bandwagon Pixel Party next month. What can you tell us about your upcoming show?
It’s going to be a show on the metaverse, within Decentraland. I have a few friends performing on the show with me; DJ NashD, Zadon, & Cykko.
10. If you could collaborate with any artist, (dead or alive, local or international) who would it be and why?
Pharrell Williams. He’s the icon of our generation.
11. Which rapper or artist have you been listening to lately? Any recommendations to your fans?
Kendrick Lamar’s new album was an instant classic. You should definitely check it out if you haven’t.
12. Your Instagram feed is captivating, and you have a great sense of style. Who is your fashion icon and why?
Pharrell Williams. He has constantly pushed the boundaries of fashion along with music.
13. In your opinion, what do you think is still lacking in the Singaporean hip-hop scene or the music industry in general? What do you think there should be more of?
I feel that there should be more shows and platforms for musicians to be able to perform.
14. What would you tell your younger self with the knowledge that you know now?
Don’t forget to check out his new EP “I AM U” and listen to his new single “Mercury” featuring ØZI here:
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