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Interview with musician @shaaa_ness

@shaaa_ness is a musician from Chicago, the producer and creative director behind Richie Red Panda

How did you begin your music career?

Well, I just started (joking). I was interested in music from an early age but later became interested in engineering and post-production. I studied that for a while, so as well as being an artist I'm also an engineer. As I progressed, I realized I still wanted to compose and write my own music. I started with dancehall and reggae. I've always drawn a lot of inspiration from the genre so it was a natural place to start. After that began experimenting more with hip-hop, trap, west coast, and drill. The beats then developed into the sound today, an amalgam of all the different music and cultures I listen to are inspired by.

What inspires you to songwriting?

Anything can inspire a new song. Something that happened to me or someone else, an anime or manga, a picture, or a song I heard by another artist. Sometimes, I write solely because I want people to party and have a good time, with something fun and positive to listen to.

How long have you been writing songs?

I don't know if I could give an exact age really, but I started writing music when I was young. Complete songs starting with a chord progression then adding the lyrics. Since then I never stopped.

Why did you choose the Rock genre?

I grew up listening to rock/punk, The Clash, The Who, The Rolling Stones, & Sublime. I could go on for a while listing all of them. More importantly, the concept of “rock” is more of an attitude than a particular sound. It's being part of the counterculture, being different, and inspiring positive change.

What is your style?

My style is based on that rock attitude but borrows its sounds from almost every kind of music I listen to. Primarily though, Reggae, Hip-hop, and Blues. In terms of the writing itself, the songs transport you to a place or scene, exploring a concept, a big idea that you can contemplate after the song ends. Sometimes it'll be a story, like Jon Snow off of Thetapes: Vacation. Even just a song that you can feel good and vibe to.

Which are your most successful releases?

By far, Raven is the most popular, followed by Thetapes: Vacation. Phoebe Cates is the most popular single, which is great because it’s one of the most carefully written.

What has been the most challenging along the way? 

That title goes to the entire Akai Panda EP. Just because it involved not just the initial writing, recording, and composing of the music and lyrics, but it was also a series of firsts for me.

Which is your favorite mixtape you have released so far?

Thetapes: Vacation. It was my first real attempt to establish the narratives and characters that are the base of the music. I also liked that I was able to keep it upbeat and fun while still being able to convey complex emotions and important ideas.

What can hip-hop fans expect from your upcoming release?

The next release is still in early stages, maybe just a bit past conceptual. It’s focus is to continue building the narrative and world of Richie. Accompanied by illustration and a manga, the project will draw more influence from Otaku and popular Japanese culture than in the past. It’ll definitely be longer than the usual EP style. More of the compositions will be done by me, but there’ll be a number from other producers too. As far as features, some old friends will be back as well as new.

More info: 


Interview with musician @shaaa_ness Reviewed by JaamZIN on 8:08:00 PM Rating: 5
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