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Sharam Interview + Premiere!

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Hi, is a real pleasure to have one of the underground dance music legends as our first interview of the year! Can you tell us what was 2016 like for you and your plans for 2017 & what you got in store?

- Good to be with you guys. 2016 in a nutshell was an album year for me. I finally released the Retroactive album with an extensive tour to support it in June. It was an album that looked back at my influences over the years retroactively. It consisted of a lot of tracks I had been working on for the past few years. So I was very pleased with the end result and bringing all those tracks together under one album. It also set the stage for me to move forward musically. It was a cleansing of sorts. Since then I’ve started to take on some remixes and I’m also making loads of new music and some collaborations. A couple of new projects are in the pipeline that we will be announcing soon.

Where did your love of music come from and how old were you when you first realised you wanted to work in the music industry?

It started from an early age. I was always fascinated with music, more so than a casual listener and once I discovered vinyl and turntables and the art of DJing I knew I wanted to be around it in a more serious capacity. That led to producing and the rest, as they say, is history.

As we can see from start of the 2016 to the end the techno / underground music seemed to start replacing commercial edm music, and is becoming "new mainstream" what are your thoughts on that?

Well, I’ve witnessed that manifestation for a few years now. EDM got too big for its own good, and when that happens copy cats come from everywhere and dilute things, so they essentially killed it - especially on the festival front, where you couldn’t tell one DJ from another since the same 12 tracks were being played by everyone. People got sick of it fast but they didn’t get tired of dance music, so they started discovering other styles and that led to a big boom in the worlds of techno, house, and deep house. I know EDM gets a bad rap, as it should for the most part – a lot of garbage came out of that scene (but some really amazing stuff came out of it as well, like Galantis’ album Pharmacy, which is still one of my favorite albums), but in many ways we all have to be thankful for the EDM boom because it brought ‘dance music’ to the forefront where otherwise, we might have never had that sort of pique in interest. Now kids who came into the scene because of EDM are graduating to other, better genres. Overall, I think it was a good thing.

Do you regret splitting deep dish for so many years while you were at peak? Are we going to see more of DD this year? :)

No. That was something we both wanted to do and it was an opportunity for us to focus on our individual talents and ideas as we were two different DJs and producers with two different distinct ideas. So it was important to see that through and put our solo hats on.

We did a few shows in 2015 and have worked on an album’s worth of material. It’s just a matter of finding some time and finishing those tracks, and then perhaps we’ll book a tour around it.

How do you feel listening to your own productions?

I’m a perfectionist so I have a tendency to decipher it in 20 different ways and do 20 different versions of a track (no, I’m not exaggerating). Once I’m done I’m usually happy with it and enjoy it when I see it working on the dance floor, and when people pick up on it and enjoy it. A lot of times I listen to something later and wish I had done a better mix down or arrangement or that the mastering had been different. I’m never satisfied and I’m always striving to do something better and more unique than my previous work. But my focus is always to move forward.

DJs travel a lot and this must expose you to all sorts of experiences. What is the most unusual experience you’ve ever had on your travels?

I have a books worth! Maybe someday I’ll put it together that way. But the most amazing thing still is I get to experience many different cities and cultures and no matter where I go, dance music is always the central force that brings people together. Music is that one true, universal thing acting as a positive glue.

Could you tell us something about yourself that might surprise people?

I’m pretty good at Foosball.

Which newcomers have you got your eye on?

At Yoshitoshi we are always championing new talent. If you look at the history of the label, you’ll find the who’s who of the industry on the catalog – old and new, and a majority of them made a pit stop at Yoshi before they blew up. We pride ourselves in finding raw new talent before everyone else jumps on the bandwagon. Currently, Aaaron is someone we are super excited about. Also, Victor Ruiz and ANNA are both destroying it right now and CJ Jeff is someone I’ve had my eye on for a long time. Great DJ. I’m also loving Reinier Zonneveld, and there is a surprise coming on that front. Stay tuned. :o)

Any advice for upcoming producers?

Be different. Think different. Set yourself apart from the pack and create those relationships. It’s great to be inspired but you have to carve out your own niche using that inspiration, and don’t give up pursuing your dream.

Finally… Imagine you had to go on a journey with the Progressive Astronaut to a galaxy far, far away… and you didn’t know when or if you would ever come back. What 3 music tracks of any genre would you have to take with you on your journey?

We’re going Interstellar ha? I would take albums not tracks.
1. Pink Floyd - The Dark Side Of The Moon
2. Global Communication 76:14
3. Deep Dish - Penetrate Deeper

But if I have to take 3 tracks…
1. Maurizio - Domina (Carl Craig Remix)
2. Oasis - Champaign Supernova
3. Photon Inc. - Give a little love (DJ Pierre Wildpitch Mix)


Sharam’s edit of Valentino ‘Flying Remixes’ is out on 13th January on Yoshitoshi Recordings

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