- Local rapper Shane Eagle tells us about his latest project - a visual album titled, Xenergy: The Final Saga.
- The 24-year-old took on the role of director and producer for this album, creating a virtual world for fans to get lost in as they enjoy his music.
- Speaking to Channel24, Shane opened up about the challenges of creating the project during lockdown and what he wants fans to take away from it.
It's been five years since local rapper Shane Eagle took part in reality TV competition, The Hustle. Since then, the young star has gone on to release his critically acclaimed debut album Yellow in 2017, his Dark Moon Flower mixtape in 2019 and started his own label.
Now, the 24-year-old is back with his latest project - a visual album.
Xenergy: The Final Saga, released exclusively through Apple Music, sees Shane show off his music with the accompaniment of mesmerizing videos.
Speaking to Channel24, Shane opened up about creating this project, stepping behind the camera as producer and director, and the message he was trying to get across to fans.
The tracks on Xenergy were hand-picked from Shane's Dark Moon Flower project, the rapper also tells us how he went about deciding which songs to use.
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Watch me perform my new song Racks Talk live at Xenergy on @applemusic ?? Special thank you to my brother @graphixguy for helping me put this show together killed it . Love to @nuclearnikki for tying all the strings together . @imraanchristian for the extra lens and energy on set Thank you to @applemusic @eagle_ent and @ellesse_sa for seeing the vision. Thank you @sade_sspr for the extra push And a BIG thank you to everyone who worked on here even made this possible go watch ??????
Why did you decide to create a visual album?
In the shift of entertainment today, I wanted to create a show experience that was packaged as a unique compilation of live performances that pay homage to my latest mixtape "DarkMoonFlwr". Initially, I had planned to go on tour this year. However, due to the concern for the health of my fans, I decided to put something special together for them to enjoy anywhere in the world.
What were some of the challenges you faced (if any) putting this project together during lockdown?
I suppose developing the idea was the most challenging because I wanted to exemplify something authentic in and amongst limited access to resources. I worked with a very close group of young artists, designers, filmmakers and photographers who all had very specific roles in putting this together with me. The rest was easy - less is more.
You took on the role of director and producer for this project. What was that experience like?
The experience is very familiar to me as I am always very hands-on with every part of my music. I invest in myself first before anything so that there are numerous opportunities for me to create and build on my character.
How did you come up with the idea of this simulated world you created for Xenergy?
It actually serves as an extension to a previous short film/video series called "YellowVerse" for my debut album Yellow in 2017 which was a compilation of different worlds generated for each song. The idea here for Xenergy is an evolved representation to what I have done previously - which was to specifically create an "inner world" setting for the tracks performed.
What is the story that you are trying to tell through this visual album?
The idea was very much inspired by my need to communicate a peaceful mind or meditative space. During the creation of each of these songs, I had to grapple with immense personal experiences in the midst of maintaining a focused and clear vision for my career. I wanted to bring my audience a sense of tranquillity and stillness that I know was necessary to convey. I also wanted Xenergy to represent a dark, desolate space where I could use different elements of light to differentiate between the diverse moods of the selected songs. In a way, it pertains to the metaphor of "seeing the light" in the darkness as motivation for my fans to keep going! Other characteristics of Xenergy have also been profoundly inspired by the world of video games where creation is endless.
The tracks are a collection from your Dark Moon Flower mixtape. How did you decide which songs to use?
I selected songs based on my interaction with my fans who have highlighted some of their favourites; I also chose tracks that embody the different stages of loss and healing which I felt would be relevant to everyone at some stage in their lives.
Visual albums continue to rise in popularity. Why do you think people are so drawn to them?
I think if you're an artist who is in tune - you'll find new ways to continue inspiring and growing in a time where entertainment has changed so drastically. It also provides the artist with an additional space to show how certain songs should be perceived, controlling the visual narrative as well - not just the lyrics.
Aside from your own, what is your favourite visual album out there right now?
Frank Ocean's Endless visual album will always be a favourite for me & Earl Sweatshirt's Nowhere, Nobody short film is super dope too. FKJ Ylang Ylang live session is also a must-see.