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Interview: SHAZZE

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SHAZZE is an international DJ and producer with Indian roots who spent most of his life in UK. During his stay in UK he attended and graduated from a well-known London Sound Academy. Over the years, SHAZZE became pretty recognizable name in the electronic music environment, regularly playing in some of the world’s best clubs like London’s Ministry Of Sound & EGG LDN supporting International acts such as Hernan Cattaneo, Guy J, NAKADIA, Bob Sinclar, Cosmic Gate, Henry Saiz, Quivver, Eduardo De La Calle just to name a few.

In the space of a just a few years, SHAZZE’s productions and releases have entered in the Top 100 Beatport charts on number of occasions his production simply has no boundaries which has found itself into labels like Beatfreak, Soundteller Records, Deppersense Music, Rezongar Music, Mystic Carousel Records, Zephyr Music & many more to come.

Hi SHAZZE, thanks for joining us. What is your current mood and what was the last piece of music you listened to?

Hi Mitch, first of all big greetings to you and the Release Promo team! My current mood is really great as I am getting ready for my big gig alongside Miss Monique and working on my next release. I’m currently listening to Anjunadeep 19th explorations which has got some amazing new talents.

What are your plans for the coming week?

My plan is to produce more quality music as I would like to release on some of my favourites labels such as (FSOE, UV, Siona) focus more on future bookings of other big names & working on my new material mainly. Also, busy preparing the podcast for Soundteller records for Proton Radio. Which I can’t wait to share.

Tell us a bit about yourself, how did you discover electronic music and what led you down the path of wanting to be a DJ and producer?

Sure, Music has been hard-wired into my DNA from a very young age  & few of my good friends were already playing in some of the best gigs in town & I used to go watch them play  and how they would control the dance floor which immediately inspired me to give it a go. They used to teach me the basic of mixing skills & let me play for couple of hours at a house party and I was instantly obsessed. For the next few years, I used to spend most of my spare time hunting down the club tunes and honing the art of mixing. One of my biggest dreams was to perform in some of the worlds best clubs such as Ministry Of Sound & EGG. I graduated from London Sound Academy ( Top DJ/Production school in UK ) It is here where I got to meet different talented producers who inspired me a lot to produce my own music. I’ve not looked back since, It’s not just a passion, it’s a way of life.

Can you name five tracks that were important in your musical development and why they are so significant for you?

This is a tough one, but let’s say that they can be the ones below, as they remain deep in my memory and remind me of my childhood and growing up.
Enigma – Return To Innocence
Faithless – Insomnia
Universal Nation – Push
Born Slippy – Underworld
Eric Prydz – Opus

You’ve lived most of your life in the UK, how do you think this influenced your musical taste and career path?

UK is known for its house music so growing up here had a big influence on me as an electronic music dj. This is also the place where I learned a lot during my journey in LSA and met a lot of great and inspiring people along the way. It is here in the UK where I managed to go for a lot of gigs and I networked with a lot of industry pros.

What are some of your favourite venues to play in the UK and why?

This is the easy one, the most favourite for me was EGG & MOS.

EGG LDN

If you asked any of the aspiring dj’s 9/10 times they would say their dream is to perform there at least once. I was lucky enough to get to perform more than ones. The atmosphere and the buzz that you get from there is next to none, I have been privileged to see the club grow and I’m extremely proud to have been able to be part of it. It was an absolute pleasure to play there.can’t wait to be back there

Another firm favourite is MOS ( Ministry Of Sound )

For me the whole venue is top class, the sound system, lighting and the outdoor space ( where mostly I got to meet some great artists and people over the years) the different rooms deliver a unique DJ & clubbing experience. Topped up with that I had lovely memories supporting some legends in the industry such as Bob Sinclair, Hernan Cattaneo, Cosmic gate to name a few.

You have a new EP out on CJ Art’s Deepersense, tell us a bit about the release and how it showcases your individualities.

Yup, that’s correct I am super stoked about this release!  Working on it has been very rewarding & the final result was amazing! There was a direction in mind and a sound I wanted to achieve with it. I wanted to create an EP that was emotionally loaded, while still being groovy and moving. It was a great success as the EP reached  #37 position on Progressive house releases and was featured on the main banner of Progressive House on Beatport. I don’t really aim for any sound in particular or have goals about how I want things to sound, but my ultimate goal is to sound unique and different from what is on the top 100.

Where does your inspiration come from and was there anything that inspired these two tracks?

The main inspiration comes from my everyday life really (travel, past, future. present). I guess sometimes in life everything comes together naturally. These two tracks clearly reflected my mood of going through different phases of lockdown. This EP is created with a lot of groove and emotion.

Walk us through the production process on one of the tracks, whichever you like.

Let’s talk about “Shattered Mars”, the main inspiration was about space. the core idea literally came together in an hour.I started with the drums because I wanted a track with lots of drive. Added sub bass layers to it and then used pads to create a lot of melodies. I like parts which emote .Just literally jamming through ideas until something sticks and then I move onto the arrangement of the track. I wanted to make something that sounded a little nostalgic and even a little melancholic, but with this underlying feeling of hope. I think the melody in the breakdowns and sustained bass notes give that feeling.

What does your set-up like? Do you favor physical gear over digital? And what studio tools featured heavily in the writing of this EP?

My setup is quite basic and not very sophisticated, I use Ableton Live lite and audio interface Focusrite scarlet 2i2 , a pair of KRK’s as studio monitors .I mostly use ableton stock plugins and I also enjoy creating sounds on VSTs like u-He Diva, Serum, SonicCharge Synplant and AAS Chromaphone 2. I use Omnisphere a lot.I do have plans to learn and explore physical gear in the future but for now I’m comfortable working digitally. I believe working with real drum machines and synths gives the production a more humane kind of feel.

Generally speaking, do you find it more difficult to come up with original tracks than remixing a track from another artist?

I would say working on originals, I have all the freedom to do as I please. As for remixes, I first look for any arpeggiated sounds and build around that. From my point of view original ones are 100% part of your creativity and feelings. Remixes can be challenging but rewarding. Unlike an Original, many opinions are involved in having  remixes being accepted. For Remixes, personally I try to pay as much respect to the main element I feel makes the original version, then give it my own twist.

How do you decide where to release your music? What do you look for in a label?

I always narrow down my choices of favourite labels that I want to work with, but most of the time it’s not that easy as it sounds. So I basically let the music talk for itself. The most important thing I look for in a label is  also the support that we get just before and after the release. The most important thing to me is that it makes the label proud.

Who is someone you send music to first for an opinion before making revisions or sending to a label as a demo?

The very first person who gets to listen is my wife & then I send it to a few friends and  producers I’m close with, as I know that I can trust them and their opinions. But, I try not to exaggerate because everyone has different taste in music. I am a person who is motivated by emotions and this is clearly reflected in my music as well. I also send it to my manager who we are always in synch and discussing every move in the industry.

What has the last year and a half been like for you? Have you focused more time on making music? And has the pandemic affected your creative spirit in any way?

Last year was hard for all of us, pandemic has definitely affected all of us in some  way or the other, but it gave me a lot of motivation and determination to start producing music and launch new projects. One of them is 4AM Events.  First it was an idea for a streaming brand but right now we are doing a market takeover with our events hosting big names like NAKADIA and Miss Monique. In the meantime I also joined the Polish booking agency ( Bookthemall ) So I can say that this year was a big step forward and I am eagerly waiting for the European and South American gigs to open up.

How do you see your sound evolving in the coming years?

I just want my music to sound unique and at the same time people can connect with their souls. I always want to keep my sound original which sounds little different from what’s currently in the market.

Is there a movie you would have loved to have produced the soundtrack for? And if so why?

I’m not really a film music specialist but I’ve always liked movie soundtracks and it would be great to produce at least one of them either Blade runner or Matrix

Current five favourite tracks?

Pavel Khvaleev -Connect (Original Mix)
Dosem – Air for Life (Extended Mix)
Yotto – Just one Groove (Extended Mix)
Ninesh Babu – Sultan (Extended Mix)
Heard Right – Black Clouds (Extended Mix)

Apart from music, what makes you happiest?

Spending time with my family & friends, Also, I run an events company(4AM Events)  so I am heavily focused on it and being creative all the time.

What is your favourite food?

Got to be Indian all the way through  🙂

iPhone or android?

iPhone since the very first version. Everything else is Apple so it all works seamlessly together.

What does the remainder of 2021 hold for you? Anything you can share with us? 

This year has been extremely good for me as I managed to release a few EP’s on some of my favorite labels. I think I’m reaching a place with my music where I’m feeling very confident, but I still have so much room to grow and experiment. I also want to keep learning so this way I can keep expressing my deep passion for music. There is a lot of new stuff on the way, with several releases on the radar and remarkably interesting collaborations such as with Ninesh Babu (JOOF & UV). Thank you!

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