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Sinan Arsan [Interview]

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After stepping into electronic music as a PR manager in major clubs of the period in early 2000s, Sinan started to organize his own parties and often moved to the DJ booth at those parties, and in the following years he tended towards organization part of the business and pushed DJing into the background. In 2017, he won the Housekeeper competition, one of the important formations of the Istanbul electronic music scene, and made a professional transition to DJing, and foregrounded it. Starting to play in Ankara and Istanbul clubs and festivals, Sinan turned to production in early 2019.

Sinan, one of the few representatives of the progressive house style in his country, has written his name on nearly 100 tracks from 25 different labels, including leading record companies such as Mango Alley, Dopamine and Strangers Beats. He found himself on the sets of almost all important DJs and producers who were the pioneers of his style. Continuing his radio program in 2019 for the last four years, Sinan also continues to work as Label Manager and A&R at Soundeluxe Records, which he owns. This week finds Sinan making his debut on Canada's Deep Down Music with '92.85', a track co-produced alongside fellow countryman Hakan Ozurun and backed by remixes from DJ Ruby and Simos Tagias.

Progressive Astronaut caught up with Sinan to learn more about the release of '92.85', his background, DJing, future plans, and more. Enjoy.

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

Hi there, thanks for having me. My current mood is great, because I just experienced ADE 23 and met lots of producers and label owners. I’m so happy.  The last piece of music I listened to was “Davi – Deepest Mind”

How was your summer? and what are your plans for the week?

It was an amazing summer actually, I started a new project and became the resident of Backyard Screets in Ankara. Hosting and meeting with new producers and Dj’s. This week I am going to host my brother and great friend Peter Makto in my club for Halloween.

Your entry into the electronic music scene was a bit different than most, you were a PR manager for a club before you even started DJing. Is that correct? Tell us about that and how it eventually led to you DJing.

Actually I started Dj’ing at events which I organised. In early 2000’s, it was more difficult to organize an event than today. After I tried to do both of them for a while, they became two tough jobs for me. After that I decided to choose a path which leads me to where I am right now.

Although you DJed some in the early 2000s you stepped away from it for quite a while before coming back to it around 2017, what was it that brought you back to DJing, and how did your career take off from there?

I won a contest in 2017. So now I was back on track after a while. During the pandemic period, I resigned my proper job and focused on music, creativity and started to produce over 100 tracks and now I’m here.

The early 2000s was a special time in the Turkish electronic music with artists like Yunus Guvenen or Subsky doing amazing things. Were these Turkish artists an influence on you at all? And if not, who from your home country was?

Of course I had an influence from Yunus Guvenen and Subsky a.k.a Cervus cause they are very important figures in our country and our music market.

What are some of your best memories from first going to clubs in Turkey? Were there specific nights or sets that really made you feel you wanted to pursue electronic music?

When I first stepped into a club, I was taken by the music immediately. The most popular genre of that time was progressive house music. This experience made me want to pursue electronic music.

What are your favourite venues to play in Turkey both past and present,  and why?

Backyard Secrets Ankara, because it’s our club :)

You have a new single ‘92.85’ co-produced with Hakan Ozurun out now via Deep Down Music, tell us about the track and how you and Hakan came to collaborate on the track, was this your first time working together?

Hakan is my good friend who also lives in Turkey. There are only couple of artists that creates in progressive music world, so we can easily get together and collaborate.

‘92.85’ is an interesting title, what is the significance of it?

Hahaha. 92 is Hakan’s birth year and 85 is mine.

Collaborating with another artist is always interesting, how would you say ‘92.85’ differs from something you would have produced in solo capacity?

Both collaboration and solo work have their own advantages and disadvantages. When you work solo you obviously take decisions by yourself but when you work with someone else you should discuss a lot of things with your co-worker. It opens you to new ideas.

There are some heavyweight remixers on this release with DJ Ruby and Simos Tagias turning in some fine work. Were these two artists you had in mind? or how did the remixer selection process go for this project?

Yeah, I thought especially of both of them for this project. Thanks to them, they both didn’t turn us down and also thanks to Hakan and to Deep Down for lining them up.

Hakan has released with Deep Down Music previously but you have not, was the label one you guys had in mind when you started the project?

It was a mutual decision but actually Hakan advised me in the first place.

Now let’s talk about DJing for a moment, it’s a unique discipline at the border between presenting great music and creating something new with it, between composition and improvisation to an extent. How would you describe your approach to it?

Great question, improvising is a tricky thing when you are performing. You can specify your next tracks due to moves and energy of the people that you see on the dance floor. Also sometimes you set the tone of your music just after you have an eye contact with a fan.

How much prep do you put into the tracks you choose to play? Or are your sets totally spontaneous?

Usually I go spontaneous, but when I play huge gigs, sometimes I prepare track lists.

Can you tell me a bit about how your work as a DJ has influenced your view of music, your way of listening to tracks and perhaps also, your work as a producer?

When you perform as a DJ, you need to listen to different DJ’s to improve your work as an artist. That affects your way of looking at things immediately. On the other hand, if you work as a producer, you see behind the scenes in the business, and also I think I’m a good listener as well. So I combine three important points to influence myself as an artist.

If you are not DJing or socializing at clubs, where do we find you? And doing what?

Oh man! I’m a huge gamer, you can find me playing online games on PS :)

If you could set up an event with a line-up of five artists of your choice, who would you book?

Actually there are tons of incredible talented artists all around the world and it’s very difficult to choose five of them but let me try :) I would like to book Hernan Cattaneo & Nick Warren B2B set, Patrice Baumel, Guy J, Hot Since 82

 If you were not a DJ/Producer what do you think you’d be doing with your life?

Before the pandemic period I was an organizer and probably I’d do the same.

Current top five tracks?

Digital Mess – Peppermint

Sam Scheme – Lufaria

Lisandro (AR) – Eclectic

Mattim – Womp

Dmitry Molosh - Glide

What is your current favourite place to eat and what do you generally order there?

There is a famous restaurant in Ankara which cooks delicious meatballs and I order it once a week.

What’s a book you’ve read or film you watched that has left an impact on you, and why?

I watched the movie “Groove” and maybe after that everything started to lead me in a way which made me feel happy for being myself as we saw Digweed the same in the movie.

Apart from music, what makes you happiest?

I’m a huge football fan too, if my team wins I’m the happiest man :)

What does the remainder of 2023 and on into 2024 hold for you? Anything you can share with us?

2023 is going great when I think about my career and my life. This motivates me a lot cause I want to do better for myself and our industry next year.

'92.85' is available now via Deep Down Music: https://shorturl.at/abF17

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