Shane Eagle talks about his latest offering 'Xenergy: The Final Saga'
Hip hop artist Shane Eagle has made massive industry strides since first appearing on reality TV show “The Hustle” in 2015, dropping his critically lauded debut album “Yellow” in 2017, starting his own record label (Eagle Entertainment), and ultimately establishing himself as a force to be reckoned with in the burgeoning hip hop scene.
Now with his latest visual album, “Xenergy: The Final Saga”” Shane emerges as a pioneer of future entertainment.
Directed, produced and created by Shane himself, the rapper has assembled a team of young, forward-thinking artists, graphic designers and filmmakers, who have aided him in creating an otherworldly accompaniment to his music.
The seven tracks that make up “Xenergy: The Final Saga” are a collection of fan favourites from his acclaimed mixtape “Dark Moon Flower” (2019), which have been selected to build anticipation for his forthcoming tour that was postponed earlier in the year.
We caught up with the star.
Where did the idea for this visual album come from?
The idea for this visual album came from the need for me to give my fans a tour experience for "DarkMoonFlwr" - which was initially planned as a tour in the beginning of the year.
What made you move in the direction of a visual album?
Even just labelling it as a visual album is limited in what it truly represents. This compilation is more of a live performance show that has been categorized as a visual album.
There are so many layers to this project that I feel is completely unique to anything any other artist has done in this time.
Not only does it serve as visuals to fan favourite songs, but it has also been structured in a way that I feel extends and pays homage to the longevity of my music - leading up to my next body of work.
I also wanted some record of a "DarkMoonFlwr" show to exist on one of the number one streaming platforms as opposed to charging my fans for a "virtual concert".
Did you have a specific creative idea when you started with this project and if so did you achieve it?
I worked closely with visual artist Nicole Swartz who has a way of translating the present time into creative and artistic output.
I think as artists in our respective fields, we both grappled with how the state of entertainment has changed throughout this year and wanted to work on a project that wasn't necessarily bound to any limitation.
The scenes for each song are simplified and yet endless.
In terms of the lyrical content, how would you describe it?
I would describe the lyrical content as an honest reflection of my thoughts, ideas and reality.
All my lyrics are inspired by real-life accounts, dreams and memories. Things I see and touch but also things I imagine.
Is there a theme with this body of work and if so what it is?
I would best describe the overall theme as "less is more" - I think we have all realized the excess we have been living in and how that can disturb the peace once everything is removed.
True freedom is working according to your own pursuit of things. It is also about letting go of any dependency that aids you in working so that you can find your own balance with what you have around you.
Basically giving your best with what you have.
What were some of the challenges with putting this visual album together?
I think the biggest challenge was developing an authentic idea - once we put that together, the rest was easy.
We worked with VFX artists & filmmakers who were all aligned in achieving the creative outcome.
How long did it take to produce?
It took about two months. We had numerous chats with Apple Music trying to describe what experience we'd like for them to host on their platform as one the first Live Performance Visual Albums.
It took a full day to shoot and about a month to edit and render scenes.
What do you hope people take away from it?
I hope my fans have their own "Xen" and use the messages or knowledge I share through my music and apply it in their lives.