Shigeto on his need for experimentation and how Detroit seeps into his music

“I think everyone making art in general gets bored with themselves so they always want to do stuff differently.”

Detroit’s rich history in music culture isn’t defined by how many different genres have actually stemmed from a city now entrenched in what could only be considered a war on poverty. It’s the talent level that has always been on point, with the likes of Stevie Wonder, Eminem, and Funkadelic revolutionising the way the world has viewed motown, hip hop and funk respectively over the years.

But it was the emergence of jazz around 80 years ago, in a city dominated by gospel music, that no one anticipated would have such an impact on one of the city’s biggest musical exports right now – the innovative and awe-inspiring Zachary Saginaw, otherwise known as electronic musical prodigy Shigeto.

“It’s what I grew up on, and I think one thing that I’ve really thought about in the last ten years since I started doing all this stuff is that I was trying to branch out because that’s all I was focusing on,” Shigeto says.

The New Monday is Shigeto’s fourth full-length album, and is a departure from 2013’s other-worldly No Better Time Than Now that made its mark on the world’s electronic music scene as an experimental and innovative work of art. “I hope that some people are turned on by the new direction, but I’m also sure there are people around who were big fans of the previous record that didn’t think I would go this away. I think this record has been the first thing that I’ve done that DJs can pull out in their sets,” Shigeto says.

“I’m grateful for anyone who likes my music and anyone who comes to the shows, but I know there are certain fans where their favourite music by me is all the way back at Full Circle. I don’t even want to play those songs anymore, but they hold a special place in somebody else’s life. I don’t want to be stopped from changing. I understand the need and desire to change.”

It was Shigeto’s four-year absence from releasing music that had fans wondering if the highly-anticipated sequel to one of his most well-known tracks ‘Detroit Part I’ would ever see the light of day. Low and behold on The New Monday, Shigeto opens with what can only be described as a techno-inspired club banger, trading in the swirling synths and syncopated beats on its predecessor for a much more levelled and funky ‘Detroit Part II’.

“I think everyone making art, in general, gets bored with themselves so they always want to do stuff differently. [The track was called] ‘Detroit Part I’ because I’d just moved back to Detroit from New York,” Shigeto says.

“In interviews, I was always asked why it was called that because it doesn’t really take any influence from the Detroit beat scene at all, and that’s totally because it wasn’t written to do that. ‘Detroit Part II’ is my response – it resembles everything I love about Detroit.”

The path to The New Monday’s release wasn’t as treacherous or as frustrating as one would think. The reason the album took four years to make was due to his constant need for experimentation, developing a commitment to encouraging creativity in his city, on top of a demanding touring schedule.

“I was touring, averaging between 120-150 shows a year, which I’ve been doing on and off for the last seven years. On top of that, I was doing a weekly at this place called Motor City Wine in Detroit, and I’ve even dabbled in building things,” Shigeto says.

“I also started a record label with my brother Ben and we put out four records last year and already have three lined up to release. I’ve been really busy, but I’m being careful and investing a lot of my time into Detroit. I feel like I’ve spent a lot of time in the solo zone working on myself to get me where I am today. There’s not a lot, but there are people around me who share my creative vision for this city, so now I feel like it’s really time to buckle down and start giving back.”

Shigeto will perform at Oxford Art Factory on Friday February 23 and The Night Cat in Fitzroy on Saturday February 24. Tickets available hereThe New Monday is out now via Ghostly Intl.