It's a time of transition for Zack Saginaw, better known as Shigeto. The Ann Arbor-born musician and producer has gone through great lengths, with many ups and downs, throughout his young career, showing potential and passion to be in it for the long haul. While a multitude of projects on the electronic music gallery house Ghostly International brought this still budding talent a progressive buzz on the scene over the years, Shigeto is still creatively and personally in search within for the path he must travel. Change has been the centerpiece of Shigeto's existence the past year. From ending a long relationship to making the move back to Michigan from a stay in Brooklyn, a drastic shift in his life has brought new challenges, tough decisions, along with new bounds and artistic freedom. There's both a sense of comfort and of uneasiness from Shigeto as he tries to deal with the past versus the future.
The music occupies his past, his present, and his future. With his new album No Better Time Than Now, it's a culmination of where Shigeto wants to go musically and a representation of his recent individual changes. With his move back to Michigan, Shigeto has been able to create some creative breathing room for himself by finally having a separate studio space with all of his instruments and gear all in the same place. It brought a freeing vibe to his process.
Shigeto's recent excursions with music, whether its recording or being on the road, has made him reflect more about the things going on in his life. "I was just thinking like in general I have so much to appreciate in life and so much to feel lucky for, " explains Shigeto in a recent interview I had with him. "But I find a lot of the time I focus on the past and what I could have done or I'm thinking about what I don't have and what I want in the future. So in general, I was just thinking about trying to focus more on the present and the now."
Throughout this journey, Shigeto ended a relationship with his girlfriend of over six years. This is the first time since he's been an active musician and artist that he's been single. The constraints that being a musician has on a relationship finally came into play in his life and he felt that it's best to focus on what's good for the future. "You can try to do your part, and make an effort to communicate but after a while, we are all human and you can't help but become paranoid, " says Shigeto.
"You can't help but become jealous or worried and to be honest, in the position I'm in at this very moment in time it's impossible. It's just not fair to either side and my goal is to get to a place where I'm making enough money where I don't have to be gone 6 months out of the year. That's just not the case now and unless you meet that 1 percent that is okay with it and truly can be okay with it. Like they can last years that way and know they are okay, then it can work but that's such a hard find."
While trying to juggle his personal and professional life has been something unavoidable for Shigeto, he's just trying to not dwell on the past that he can no longer change and focus on what's good in his life and ascend in the years to come. The new album No Better Time Than Now brings his recent experiences to the forefront for an organic and somewhat liberating feeling individually and musically. It's a time when Shigeto feels free of any musical box he might have felt put into and finally standing in no one's shadows. "This album is more honest in that sense," explains Shigeto.
"I was in a way comfortable with the fact that I could make some good music that I liked and at least I had a nice small pocket that would take it in and listen to it seriously. I guess I was trying to get my frustration out over the shit I've been through in the last year. Also, maybe give a little inspiration for people to just do what they want."
Life can always give you inspiration for your art, and your experiences are the tools to make it. Shigeto has had some changes in his life and he has brought the anxieties and ecstasies of those changes to his musical emancipation and has finally found the road he feels he needs to travel. As the album title says, there's no better time then now.
Shigeto's new album No Better Time Than Now is now available via Ghostly International. For more information and to purchase, visit ghostly.com.
(Photo Credit: Anthony Ciannamea)