SHIGETO - LIVE
The music of Zach Saginaw, who records as Shigeto, has always cross-wired a host of different musical influences. His EPs Semi-Circle and What We Held On to explored his grandmother’s experience from a US internment camp through ambient, beat-driven tracks, using samples of hervoice. His debut album Full Circle, was a culmination of these EPs, employing obsessive field recording and meticulous percussion to create sumptuous instrumental hip-hop. 2012’s follow-up album Lineage, was a musical journey through his heritage set to the sounds of jazz, hip-hop, funk and folk. The record that followed in the same year, No Better Time Than Now, was an album about living in the moment, with songs that seemed to be harbingers of change and immediacy (“First Saturn Return,” “Soul Searching”).On most recent release in 2015, Intermission, Saginaw placed all of those disparate sounds side by side –seemingly a deliberate act that offered a snapshot both of where he has been as an artist, as well as where he was pointed.
The New Monday, marks four years since Saginaw moved back home to Michigan following stints in Brooklyn, NY and London, UK. In that time, the multi-faceted musician has become a part of the fabric of Detroit’s music scene. While always having a personal approach to his projects, Saginaw’s influences for The New Monday are more about the community of Detroit than anything else. “It’s focused on a couple things and they all kind of come together to represent different things,” explains Saginaw. “My time back in Detroit, back living in Michigan [I’ve gotten to] spend time with a lot of kind of original people who have always been here, learning from them, hearing stories from them, being influenced by them, and inspired by them.” While, in the past, Saginaw’s projects like Lineage or No Better Time Than Now were rooted in strong personal messages and a slavish solo approach to writing and recording, The New Monday represents a more communal effort where the solidarity of its populace and particularly the artists within, iskey. Created with a multitude of guests and collaborators, The New Monday is diverse in its stylings, leaning more into a dance music direction than previous –new ground for a Shigeto project. It’s apparent that anew air of confidence in Saginaw has helped him expand his horizons since his return to Detroit, leading him to showcase a new approach that seems unrestricted by the form and functionof his previous music. Throughout The New Monday, Saginaw references musical influences both newly discovered and also those that have always been with him. Already respected throughout the jazz, electronic, and hip-hop scenes, he is also an incumbent in the world of academia.
2017 has already been a year of mind-spinning productivity; Saginaw has teamed up with Detroit hip-hop artist ZelooperZ -a member of Danny Brown’s Bruiser Brigade crew -to form ZGTO and release their collaborative album A Piece Out Of The Geto. On top of that, he’s already pretty much played in every venue of note in Detroit including with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra at Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) and the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD). Saginaw even gave a lecture at the University of Michigan’s Performing Arts department. It’s through these endeavors Saginaw has finally felt a real sense of commendation. “That’s when I actually took a step back and was like ‘you have to validate yourself and be happy for where you’re at’,” says Saginaw. “The last place I ever thought I would get validation is in academia. It’s like a combination of being home and trying my best to become a part of this great city and give back to the people of Detroit, Ann Arbor, Michigan and my community, and not disturb it. Not front. Respect the city. Respect the history. Not claim it but bring it up with whatever I have to give.”