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VegaZ SL [Interview]

21 min read

Hailing from the progressive house hotbed of Sri Lanka, Vegaz SL has established himself with a mesmerizing groovy sound that continues to fuel his country's dancefloors. On the strength of early tracks in 2021, the Galle resident would go on to compile an impressive resume across the next three calendar years, showcasing his music via Droid9, Mango Alley, Movement Recordings, Sound Avenue, WARPP and his own La Foresta imprint; while some of the world's most highly regarded DJs championed his work along the way. Now, beginning 2024 on a strong note, VegaZ SL debuts on roku with 'Not In Never Falling', alongside remixes from Paul Hamilton and Kyotto.

Progressive Astronaut caught up with VegaZ to learn more about the release of 'Not In Never Falling', his background, progressive house in Sri Lanka, DJing and much more. Enjoy.

Hi VegaZ, thanks for talking to us today. How has your start to the year been so far and please tell us something interesting about your day today?

First of all, thank you Release Promo for this lovely invitation to do a nice and well-known interview so far this year 2024 I had some nice gigs alongside Praveen Archary, RedSpace , and also with some local artists. So far 2024 is going awesome for me.

Take us through a typical day when you’re not traveling, what does a day in your life look like?

Beside music production most of the time, I just like to rest and like to spend some time with my family members and friends

Looking back on 2023 what gigs of yours have stood out and why?

Actually 2023 was full of unexpected news and gigs. Pakistan tour and Dubai tour for international gigs . Both were invited by some friends and without any hesitation I went there to attend it. Also, it was a memorable tour.

Progressive music is well known for being hugely popular in Sri Lanka over the last few years, how did your country become one the genre’s new meccas of late? What would you attribute that to?

In Sri Lanka we had some good producers like Noiyse Project , Subandrio , with the help of them, event organizers coordinated some of the events with some progressive house  artists and music. The Young Generation got some interest in this kind of music. Contributions from my side were some well cooked progressive houses with local artists and international artists, some of them were in charts and people's reaction for them was so good so I think My music contributes also to this industry.

What have been some of your favourite venues to perform or attend events at in Sri Lanka, and why?

Most of the time my favorite venue is down south coast because my hometown. Seeing the sunset is my favorite view. So I just always south coast. It's my favorite place.

How did discovering electronic music in Sri Lanka influence your music taste and direction? Or did it all? And who from your home country first inspired you and why?

It's kind of inspiring, already People know about Noyise Project. He just put some nice effort for me to do some good music. Even Subandrio, I can't forget him also.

You have a new EP ‘Not In Never Falling’ out now on Da Luka’s roku imprint, tell us about the release and what sort of vibe you guys were going for on these tracks.

For the track name not in never falling. It's kind of an underground and dark vibe with some catchy synth  and catchy percussions and me and I  track is kind of pure progressive and calm synths and melodies.

There are also two great remixes from Paul Hamilton and Kyotto, how involved were you in the selection process and why were Paul and Jesse a good fit for these particular tracks?

Four remixes I suggest Kyotto  because he has a unique style. He has some groovy  percussion and ear candy bass stabs . He already did a nice job for the remix. From the Roku label side they just suggested Paul Hamilton and I think it was the right decision and the remix was so Beautiful.

This is your first appearance on roku, what makes the label a good home for your music?

When I was looking for a label I just did a little research and I found some good producers already signed with the label and most of the tracks are so good. So I decided to release my track also from this Roku label and I would love to work with Da Luka for future also

Let our readers inside your studio for a moment, what is your current setup and what studio tools are featured heavily in your recent productions and more specifically your ’Not In Never Falling’ EP.

There is not much of a big deal in my studio and I got some little amount of gears like Akai mpk mini, M audio oxygen 49 keys, M Audio 2x2 sound card and audio Technica mx50 headphones with a PC and a laptop for every production. I use these simple gears . I would love to buy some gears in the near future.

As one of Sri Lanka’s most well known progressive house artists and DJs, you’ve had quite a lot of high profile gigs this past couple of years, playing alongside Cid Inc, Eli Nissan, Roy Rosenfeld, Armen Miran, Emi Galvan, Kamilo Sanclemente, and more. Please tell us your approach to DJing, and how you go about programming a set.

My first step into music is DJing and later on I decided to produce some music. In my experience, When playing to a big crowd, I manage my playlist with some unreleased and top charts and even some local producers' tracks. Also, there are some little changes on the playlist. When I'm playing it will decide the crowd and The moment.

Now that you’ve been on the circuit for a while, how has DJing to larger crowds influence your view of music as a producer?

As I mentioned I arranged my playlist well organized. prepare some extra sets for emergencies. I especially keep a variety of tracks to keep the crowd in a good mood during the sessions.

Where do you source the majority of music for your gigs? Is it primarily from producer friends or promo mailouts at this point?

Most of the time promo clouds are my major source. Also from friends. I got some unreleased.

How much prep do you put into the sets you play, or are they spontaneous for the most part? And how does feeling the crowd's energy affect your selections?

Normally I prepare sets as per my taste and the arrangement of them will be changed during the situation and the crowd and it depends for the moment.

If you could set up an event with a line-up of five artists of your choice, who would you book and what set times would you ascribe to the artists?

Ooh, very Difficult....  My Self Warm Up to the DJ RUBY and Subandrio - NOIYSE PROJECT – ULTRA.

Current top five tracks in your sets?

Alexic Rod - Sunset (Original Mix) [Univack]
Dave Shtorn - Space Odyssey (Yonsh Remix) [Magic Room]
Devin Jay - Sick Out Here [AH Digital]
Return To Saturn - Renaissance [Traful]
Hobin Rude, NUFECTS - Obliviate (foglight Remix) [WARPP]

If you were not a DJ/Producer what do you think you’d be doing with your life? (Something not music related.)

I will definitely be a barman, since childhood I was dreaming about being a barman. Before getting to music full time I was a barman in a restaurant.

What’s something we do not know about you?

An interesting language you're learning.

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

As I mentioned, my favorite job was being a barman. So maybe you will find me behind a bar counter making some beautiful cocktails for you.

What are some of your favorite TV series? Both all time and recently, what have you been enjoying lately?

All the time my favorite TV series is money heists and also the rings of power. At the moment I am waiting for the new season of The rings of power in 2024.

Apart from music, what makes you happiest?

Besides music, my favorite part is hanging out with my family and friends. They let me be in a good situation and it helps me to do some music with a calm mentality.

What does the remainder of 2024 hold for you? Anything you can share with us?

So far in 2024. I already signed with some good labels and also played some good gigs all around the country. 2020 will be amazing because currently I am working on a good track for availability. Let's keep it as a secret until I reveal it myself.

'Not In Never Falling' is available now via roku: https://tinyurl.com/yc4xn7he

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