Belgian-based producer ShunGu has been someone I have been paying attention to for a couple of years now with some stellar releases over the years such as Exile Dreams, 24 Hours, and Solar Groove Vol. I.
His new album is titled A Black Market Album, and in my opinion, it’s his best to date. Featuring collaborations with one of my favourite artists at the moment Pink Siifu, Spote Breeze and Mamoyo, ShunGu is able to create an album drenched in heavy, funk-laden basslines that bring so much energy. He does this with the help of Gabriel Govea Ramos on guitar and Sanou San on percussion. The features bring their own personality, and help to make it an engaging listen. Tracks like “Tokyo Express” bring funky beats and soulful synths that are so incredibly groovy. “Roll With Me” with Pink Siifu is brilliant, with its funk heavy beat and guitar and synth melodies. “Groove It Baby” features some soulful vocals that are complemented by the groovy bassline. I could go on about how great this record is, but to be honest all I can do is let the music speak for itself. Please do support!
I also had a chance to ask ShunGu a few questions about his creative process, collaborations and how he approaches live performances. Check out the interview below!
Martin: First of all, I’m a big fan of yours. Ever since Solar Groove Vol.I, I’ve been enthralled by your sample techniques and the way you’re able to create moody, soulful soundscapes with your music. In regards to your creative process, how would you say you have changed your approach to music over the years?
ShunGu: I really think nothing has changed since the beginning. i’m still in love with music, but my ears has changed over the years, I’m also evolving by listening to new music everyday. The last years, some artists have changed my vision about expressing your art. That’s why, I decided to do more than flippin drums and samples in my mpc. I’m still in love with my mpc tho, and the things I started producing with. But I’m experiencing more and more techniques of recording, experimenting textures and trying to explore musical theory.
Could you talk to me about the history behind your newest project A Black Market Album and how it came about?
I started this project almost two years ago, it really started with a new studio project. At that time, I felt like I had to move my studio out of my house. Some of the tracks are from that period, when the studio happened to begin, like from place to place for a while. Some of the tracks were done with micro dose, some others were made for the recent tour in Japan, some of the inspiration come from my family experience also, from life experience I guess. After that, when the album was almost done, my manager helped me a lot to not release this project randomly.
What was it like connecting with and collaborating with the likes of Pink Siifu, Spote Breeze and Mamoyo?
All of the artists on the album are people that I love. But it’s just the beginning, we got a lot more features coming soon. You should check the art of all those beautiful souls.
“I definitely think the it is more a generation that shaped me and I really think the internet has a major role in that.”
Do you find more creative fulfillment working on collaborations on your own projects and if so why?
I would love to proceed like this for the future album, by doing everything by myself, but there are to many beautiful souls out there, inspiring me, and i fucked so much with their music. I’m a producer first and i think a singer or rapper collaboration always bring a new world to my music so i’ll definitely not stop doing that.
How has your experience living in Belgium shaped your musical identity, and has that changed over the years?
I don’t feel like living especially in Brussels shaped my musical identity, it is, I think a economically privileged type of country, and in that way I had the chance, the opportunity to discover new music through a lot of different ways, with my parents music, internet and the mediatheque (a kind of music library). I definitely think the it is more a generation that shaped me and I really think the internet has a major role in that.
Do you approach your live show experience differently with ever album you release?
I used to play my music and freestyle on the SP 404 in different ways for the last years. I just felt at some point that I wanted to go do something else with my live shows. I really compare my music experience in life like an eternal walk, involving and learning infinitely.
Do you have any upcoming projects you’re working on? What does the future hold for you?
Yes, i got like 2 others albums ready actually… but i can’t talk about it yet.
Oh wow, that’s exciting! Really looking forward to what you have coming next. Thanks a lot for taking the time to speak to me, and all the best moving forward!
Thanks, appreciate it!
You can listen to ShunGu’s excellent new album A Black Market Album below via Bandcamp, released officially on the 19th April, and make sure you support! Released on Sunthings Records.