Home Interviews Feature: Shai T [Interview]

Feature: Shai T [Interview]

19 min read

Fresh off a collaborative remix with DJ Zombi for Beat Boutique we catch up with Israeli artist Shai T as he looks towards a very promising 2020.

Hi Shai, thanks for sitting with us today! Tell us where in the world you are today and what your plans for the week are.

Hello Hello and its my pleasure to be with you. I'm based in Tel-Aviv Israel, just as I used to be since I have been born, but lately I've been traveling around with my music and performances, so it is a nice combination. As for my week, most of the days I'm all around music, studio production, teaching, playing instruments and etc. , and at the same time I am A lawyer too, but I'm not really working as one thou, so I guess my time balance is around 80-20% to the music.

Tell us more about your story. How did you discover electronic music and what led you down the path of wanting to be a producer and Dj?

My first meeting with music was at the age of 9 years old, when I found my mom guitar, and just started to play with it. After a while I started to learn and to play for real, the guitar, piano, drums, harmonica and so. High school time I used to play in few bands, and around the age of 21 I discovered the electronic music scene while living in Sydney Australia. That time, I have been exposed for the first time to the real house music, and I just fall in love. I saw the power of music when the Dj can feel and control the crowd, and I become hypnotize. When I was back to Tel-Aviv, I started to Dj in small local places, and the same time started to study music production.

Tell us about your record/music collection, where do some of your early influences live? Or can you name five tracks that were influential in your musical development?

My music collection and influences are wide. I grew up on the spectrum between Israeli local music to classic rock such as Beatles, Pink Floyd, Eric Clapton, Stevie Wonder, Queen, to some more modern such as Jamiroquai, Suede, Blur and so. But in the same time I also feel very connected to Latin & oriental music, and to soulful and funk music.

It is really hard for me to choose 5 tracks only, but I can name few such as Jamiroquai – Little L, Stevie wonder - He's Misstra Know-It-All, Beatles – In my Life, Eric Clapton – Layla, George benson – Give me the night, and some electronic tracks such as – Deepdish – flashdance, Donna summer – I feel Love, The man with red face and more.

How has growing up in Israel shaped your sound and career?

First of all, Israel is in the middle east, and so, naturally you receive the Oriental vibes as one of your native influences. Also, Israel is a very "fast living speed" country, and so usually, Israelis are very eager to success, which make them more strong and in vision to do and make lot of efforts to reach their goals. Also, in the last years, the Israeli scene has exported big names to the industry such as guy j, guy mantzur, roy rosenfeld and many others. This fact is important to the Israeli young artists as it give them an idol to see that even from the "Small" Israel, big names been out the to big world scene.

You have a new remix out this week in collaboration with DJ Zombi on his Beat Boutique label, tell us about that and you both came to work on the track together.

Me and Zombi (Eli) are very good friends in life, except for the music. During the last year we started to work together for some projects, and it feels good, the vibe, the dynamic, and the sound that we make together. We already have collab. Tracks signed for Anjunadeep, Sudam records and this beat boutique remix, so I guess it’s a good collaboration here.
This remix took us some time, as we didn’t find the exact shape and vibe for it for a long time – but when we did, it felt perfect, the combination of some progressive sounds with deep groove and super piano melodic.

Have you guys worked together before and what is the collaboration dynamic like for you? is it something you'd like to do more of?

As I just wrote, the dynamic is great as we are friends without connection to the music or music production process. Till now, all the projects we did together were very good and felt very good, so for sure we are going to try and make some more tunes together in the near future.

Who do you show your music first before introducing it to a wider audience or sending it out to labels?

That’s a good question but the answer will remain a secret one 😊 . I have few friends, some of them are really big names in the industry, which I send them my new tracks for feedbacks before I decide how where and who to send them to.

Looking back, what were some of your favorite experiences. Any particular gig or venue that stood out?

Each gig and venue I played was special and interesting in its own way, but if I have to name one, so I will choose my gig last march at Gazgolder Club Moscow, As the vibes were super amazing and the crowd really come for the music. For the Dj it is very easy to notice that, and this is a very important point to have for a successful party.

Besides music, do you have other passions or talents? Can you think of doing anything else other than music?

To be honest, music is my only true passion. I live, breath eat and sleep music. I have other things I like to, such as sports, traveling , family time, but the real and only love and passion is the Music.

The industry and how fans discover new music has changed dramatically in the last 10 years or so. How do you discover new music nowadays?

Yes that is true, The industry and the whole world has been changed cause of the internet revolution. Today im getting update with new music by checking out the websites such as beatport, juno, and all the others, and also by promo emails I receive from labels and other djs which send me their new music – and also by exchanging unreleased music with other producers friends which are close to me. Sometimes I manage to discover new music just by soundcloud but this is rare.

Describe one or some of the best sets you’ve played in your career. Where was the venue and how was the vibe? Do you often feel inspired to make music after being on the road?

I think that one of the most crazy sets I had in my career was 12 years ago, at the most famous beach club in Tel-Aviv named "Clara". It was summer time, and the place was full in around 3000 people. The energy was crazy and people always had their hands up, and for me it was an energized night to remember. – and yes, sometimes traveling helps in giving me new ideas and thoughts about what to write in studio and so – nature always help here 😊 .

There are a lot of factors which affect the perception of an artist other than his music these days, social media for one, how much emphasis do you put on stuff like this? and what are your thoughts on the current state of the industry?

That is true. And to be honest, that is a point I must work on it. As I am a musician and less promoter, but in today's world, you must be both of them to make it big time. I'm having all the basic platforms such as facebook artist page, Instagram, soundcloud, mixcloud and so, but still, it is a hard working thing to manage this things at its best.

Current five favorite tracks?

Mmmmm again a very hard question for me but I will try: The Spirit of Renaissance -Newman, Its my time – Jimpster, Anatolian session – mada, Volen Sentir – Fatoumata, Centauri (Dsf Remix).

Apart from music, what makes you happiest?

Family, Nature, Travelling.

What can we expect from you for 2020 and how do you plan to finish off the last few months of 2019?

Finishing up 2019 with lot of time in the studio, having already 6 unreleased new tracks, and 2 bootlegs I made and which are played and supported by Lee Burridge and the All day I dream Family, So I am going to push it up till the end of 2019.

For 2020 I have big plans and lots of new music, some of it already signed to the most major labels in the industry, so you better stay tuned!. 😊

Vapour 'Nzambe Yimbu' (Shai T & DJ Zombi Remix) is out now on Beat Boutique, you can purchase the release here: https://bit.ly/36l2nns

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