Mega Shinnosuke (@megashinnosuke) managed to stand out with his music by his own means when he was just a teenager. At 17, a friend invited him to the high school music festival to see his rock cover band. Mega Shinnosuke realized that, although the music was interesting, it did not reflect his reality. He decided to seek his own voice and express a different message.
He put aside a guitar that was taking too long to learn and created some songs on his computer. Inspired by YouTube —especially by YouTuber Hikakin—, he decided to also make his own videos to upload his music to the platform.
With these first self-produced works, Mega Shinnosuke put on the table a project where the everyday life of a teenager is seen from a technicolor prism of ironic innocence, questioning not only adult life but also teenage life, its aspirations, and dramas. All with humor as pop, acid, and refreshing as the aesthetic that surrounds it. His message got through.
Mega Shinnosuke will turn 21 this year, he already has an established career in music and a solid project in which many young people of his generation have felt reflected, but it is now when he will release his first album, “Culture Dog.” His growth as an artist has not changed his independent vision and his desire for his message to remain real.
Right before “Culture Dog” sees the light, I wanted to know what reflections and feelings is Mega Shinnosuke having to receive this milestone in his career. We talked about the act of thinking, how comparing ourselves with others affects us in the age of social media, and the importance (or not) of material things.
Chorareii: The first single from your new album was “Thinking Boyz!!!” In your opinion, what are people of your generation thinking about nowadays?
Mega Shinnosuke: Many of my friends aspire to work creating art. They have stopped thinking about themselves in the future. Thanks to their intuitive curiosity, they stay active. I think that, despite the anxiety, our generation can enjoy this era in a positive way. You can find fun if you are curious and have free time.
On the other hand, there are more obstacles when you want to work on art. Also, in this era, we have many different negative things to think about. When people who are always busy have more time, they can get deeply worried about the future or things they have never thought about before.
I want to be able to think about things one by one. However, even if I’m not conscious of it, it’s a phenomenon that happens suddenly. Then, the act of thinking becomes negative, it’s better to avoid it.
I’m happy to live without thinking too much. However, if you have a personality that makes you think a lot, it’s a waste not to use that thinking to change yourself.
You started making music in high school. What inspired you back then and what inspires you now?
Most of my inspiration when I was in high school came from a local second-hand clothing store; the store design, the clothes, and the songs and videos that were playing there.
Now, I’ve started watching movies that I rarely watched when I was a teenager, I’ve been listening to a wide range of music, and as usual, I’ve been able to visit second-hand clothing stores and other places besides my hometown. I feel inspired! Also, I’m getting more and more inspiration from conversations with my friends.
You usually make music and videos by yourself, but in some of your works, you have involved other artists and friends. What is the difference for you between working alone and working with others?
The best thing for me when I’m a co-author is motivation. The more motivated I am, the better I will do, so sometimes is definitely better to do the work with others. It leads to exciting and pleasant creative work because creativity starts with motivation!
When I look at your merchandise, your videos, your general aesthetics, etc., it seems that you are always surrounded by very special and unique objects. How important are material things to you?
Actually, I’m not obsessed with things. If they are memories, I will keep them in a safe place. I don’t have much thought! If I have what I need now, it’s fun enough and I can expand my creativity according to the moment.
Your success is proof that many people can relate to your music. It can make people enjoy but also think. Why is that, in your opinion?
I value what’s “life-size,” ordinary, but in addition to that, I feel that my slightly unusual stance may seem courageous for some. I’ve been thinking that staying as I am is a good thing for me and for all my fans.
What would you have become if you haven’t succeeded in music? What other career or lifestyle would you have pursued?
When I was in my first year of high school, I hadn’t known about music production yet and wanted to become an entrepreneur. Maybe I would have followed the entrepreneur’s dream. However, when I knew about the many occupations surrounding art activities, I learned that being able to do something flashy is not the only happiness in life. Happiness comes in various colors.
So, apparel-related, video-related, eating and drinking … I think I could have aspired to any profession. Anyhow, the lifestyle of moving around in search of stimulus every day would remain unchanged!
Many people of your generation make music, videos, art, etc., independently, as you did. You said you are surrounded by friends that are also artists. How does that influence you?
In the last year or so, I lost a lot of interest in other artists from the same generation. Some of my friends are artists, so I look at their work on social media because it interests me, and they also interest me as friends. That hostility that was already weak at first is almost disappearing.
I didn’t start in the art to do the same as others, so I feel like I’m getting back my initial impulse. It is also the best in terms of mental health.
The internet and especially social media have made it very easy to compare ourselves to others, as a person or as an artist. How do you feel about that?
My advice would be that you try and notice the moment when you start comparing yourself less. There are many media that evaluate by comparing, in my case they began to compare and evaluate me for the first time for my activity as an artist. At that moment, I realized that humans always tend to compare.
On the other hand, I believe that it is possible to approach the truth by comparing, that is why I don’t deny that in my life I also try to compare myself.
Based on all this, I think it’s good to appreciate the moment when you start comparing yourself less. It’s often a sign that you have found something important in yourself, that the environment around you has changed, or that your life is changing. At that moment, if you look around, you may notice things are different.
After many singles, videos, and live performances, your first album “Culture Dog” is almost here. Do you feel you were able to express your thoughts and feelings on it?
This first album “Culture Dog” expresses various feelings. Many of my songs are positive, but this album also contains some songs with negative content. The positive messages I express may feel natural, but it is positive that comes from having a negative mind. Unlike the release of a single, the album can contain a lot of songs with various emotions, so I was able to express the waves.
As a young man living in this era, I found it very interesting to produce this album. Since I expressed my emotions in a life-sized manner, I’m looking forward to hearing what kind of opinions the listeners will give to it.
Special thanks to Shizuki (@iocyan) for helping me find the right words in Japanese to ask the questions I had in my mind!