Local rapper/singer/businessman Shanghaii opens up this episode of Soundwaves by explaining where he got his start in writing rap songs. When he was young, he and his cousin would listen to “hardcore rap” artists and play around with rhymes. However, it wasn’t until Shanghaii was in high school that he’d take his first step into the local scene.
Shanghaii has an impressive history of collabs and experiences with other local artists—however, the one he dives into the most is his opportunity to perform during the Twilight Concert Series. After receiving the good news that he had a feature, he started writing his verse immediately, learned it as quickly as possible and buying a suit to perform in. “I was super nervous the whole entire time, ’cause like, when you’re at my level, you’re not really performing for thousands of people or even a thousand people,” he says.
He also discusses where he hopes his career will go. After having a heartfelt conversation, his girlfriend stepped up to the plate and supported Shanghaii when he wanted to start spending time in the studio. “She started pretty much investing in me,” he says. “She ended up saving up money and giving it to me as a birthday present, and I would just drop that in the studio.”
Though he loves living in and performing in Salt Lake City, Los Angeles is calling his name. “My girlfriend even influenced the idea of us moving to California,” he says. “I know, as an artist, in order to grow more, I’m going to have to leave Utah.” After traveling back and forth, Shanghaii plans on making the move next summer.
Shanghaii can be found on Facebook, and on his own website where his music and apparel is up for grabs: shanghaiimusic.com.
Thanks for listening to SLUG Mag Soundwaves.
- This podcast was created by SLUG Magazine and produced by Angela H. Brown and Secily Anderson
- Associate Producers: Alexander Ortega, Joshua Joye, John Ford, Kathy Zhou
- Executive Producer: Angela H. Brown
- Background raps by Shanghaii
- Soundwaves logo and art design by Nicholas Dowd
- Technical design by Kate Colgan
- Photo: @jozizzy