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Chasing inspiration with Matt Shigekawa

Matt Shigekawa on how he started 'Shiggy' a musical collective born during COVID-19 that is bringing new music to Chattanooga.

Photo by Phil Thach

Among the host of groups started during COVID, Shiggy began as an outreach.

“I wanted to find new ways to make music and get it to folks,” Matt Shigekawa, Shiggy’s organizer, said. “So I started using Logic Pro X and began writing songs on my computer.”

“I would send tracks to Cory French (the Fridge) and he would send back vocals on top of the music I made,” Matt continued. “When it was allowed and somewhat safe to return to the stage, we … recruited some musicians who also happened to be good friends of ours to play our tunes live.”

Now Shiggy boasts a seven-piece band and much material, embodying what Matt always desired.

“I love my other bands but this one is where I feel completely whole,” Matt said.

Matt has experienced more creative freedom than ever before since being a part of Shiggy. With previous bands, he said, “I write my parts, and usually come up with the songs before bringing them to the rest of the band, and sometimes write lyrics, but I definitely leave room for the rest of the band to do their thing.”

“With Shiggy,” Matt continued, “I had a lot of creative input in areas that aren’t just guitar parts and so I was able to explore the producer side of myself and not just the guitar-playing part of myself.”

“I think the style of music also is more of what I have always wanted to do,” he added.

Matt has many different ambitions for his new band. “We are going to all the way, and whatever that means will be determined in time,” he said.

Matt’s inspiration comes from the music itself. “I honestly just love music, it’s my life, it’s the thing that drives me, it relaxes me,” he said. “I love to write it, I love to play it, to be frank, I just love it period.”

Keep up with Matt on Instagram and Facebook, and give Shiggy a listen on Spotify!