Hailing from the picturesque backdrop of Orange Country, California, producer Andrew Chen has recently seen one of his crowning life accomplishments come to fruition in the form of Shogun‘s debut full-length album release with the intensely-entitled, Dragon.
A body of work that was in the makings for roughly 4 years, one can only imagine the sense of accomplishment and sense of creative-success that such a budding venture incites in the creator. Andrew shared his thoughts with us on a variety of topics in relation to:
His album creation, his future visions of the direction of his sound, what trance DJ’s experience within U.S. borders, his forthcoming tour, and his predictions for the future of the genre.
Andrew, it’s a pleasure to have this opportunity to chat with you and congratulate you on your long-awaited debut album Dragon. How has the overall reception been in comparison to your anticipated and desired audience response?
It has been amazing overall. I’ve worked hard to complete the album and wanted to make it perfect, so the great response was what I hoped for.
Quite a few of the tracks featured on the album have been floating around the digital sphere for quite some time now. How many versions and edits have these tracks gone through throughout the years? What goes through your head as a producer when updating existing tracks for a specific release?
I don’t release tracks until its completed 100%, so if an existing track is out then it is already finished and ready for the public. I obsess over tracks in the studio, but once its released the song is finished.
Of the 10 tracks present on Dragon, what are a few of your absolute favorites or proudest moments?
I like ‘Dragon‘ because it is such an uplifting song, and the meaning behind it is very powerful. ‘Laputa‘ is also one of my favorites, I really love the melodies on it.
Approaching electronic music as a greater whole, where do you see evolution in the near future of the more mainstream-leaning electronic music going in the US? As the trance scene witnesses some prior trance acts exploring the more mainstream and popularized infusion sounds, do you see the trance market starting to open wider for a new batch of fresh trance approaches and sounds to reach the shores of the US?
Trance will take a while to make it mainstream. It’s the deepest and most emotional type of music there is, and that doesn’t work well on mainstream radio. You can’t have a 2 min breakdown on a 3 min radio friendly song. However, trance is special because it takes the best of other genres and mixes them all together creating something different. I feel like that is the key to making it mainstream, something more progressive with a big vocal driving the track.
Throughout your touring schedule, what are your opinions of the main trance markets in the US versus your favorite international locales? It’s been suggested that trance DJ’s water down their US sets in comparison to international performances. What are your thoughts on this supposition?
They water it down because crowds in the US don’t have the patience for long breakdowns. Trance DJ’s need to play shorter edits and mix faster to keep the sets exciting. In other countries you can put on a set with long breakdowns because it’s more about the full journey then keeping the energy pumping.
So you have been a steady presence in the trance arena for the last 4 years or so, what kind of future sound evolution do you see in mind for Shogun? What are your predictions on the future of “a state of trance” across worldwide markets in the near future?
Trance is here to stay. It will only get bigger and better. I see myself sticking with the same sound, but slightly more progressive and heavier beats.
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us today Andrew! So now that you’ve whet everyone’s appetites with official release of your album…when will we be able to satisfy our dancing urges and get a chance to catch you on tour in support of the release?
I have a big Dragon Album World Tour this year so will announce all the dates on my tour diary [on my Facebook page].