"I didn't have this big next thing, because so much time had been focused outside of my own writing," he says of the decision to put together Intermission, a collection of the tracks he's been working on in the interim. "People have come to assume that my records have a message -- it's always been somewhat personal. Instead, this is a taste of what I've been making, but it's not like grand, like 'This is the new shit.' These are songs I like, and we tried to pick [a variety of] different stuff."
When it comes to putting things together, Shigeto, a trained jazz drummer, "used to always start with drums." Now, though, he begins by "picking the sounds. It's like putting a bunch of paint on a palette that you think looks nice together."
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What makes up that palette? A mix of external audio, from live percussion and synths to field recordings and samples. "I use my iPhone a lot, to be honest," the producer says of how he collects samples. "I'm not a huge audiophile. The iPhone mic has a weird compression that it does automatically and it sounds kind of cool. I'm a firm believer in that it doesn't matter how you get there -- it's just what you can say the most with."
Shigeto sees that same flexibility in the music industry today, which has allowed him to succeed as an experimental musician. "Fifteen years ago, DJs were not millionaires," he tells Billboard. "I just think in general, as a culture, we're more open."
Listen to Intermission, out this Friday, Oct. 30 on Ghostly, below, and preorder here.