Today we catch up with none other than Roger Shah after his recent tour to India. An interesting interview where we discuss about his latest album Open-Minded, Vocalists and future prospects from Magic Island.
Q) To get things started, we would like to first know who is Roger Shah. How did your journey to EDM begin in the first place?
I started djing in 1993 and began to work as a full time producer in 1996. Since that time I have been in this scene, first in the German dance scene, and then after I got signed to Blackhole and Armada I became a part of the international dance scene.
Q) In the past 4 years not only have you released 7 artist albums and compilations, but your latest artist album ‘ Open-Minded’ has achieved new heights, Could you tell us the story behind this?
It’s my first album under my real name and I’m a music lover, I listen to so many different genres just for myself, so I thought why to stick to one genre when you have so much more to offer. This way the idea of openminded was born and I composed a wide range of music from house to trance, from classical music to rock influenced tracks.
q) You have a radio show called “Magic island: Music for Baleric people” when did you decide to start this, and what was the idea behind the name and concept for this radio show?
The name of my label and brand is called Magic Island, so it was just a natural progression to have my own radio show under this name as well. I play a 2 hour set every week, first hour is more trance based and second hour is more balearic, pumpin’ and progressive house, once again a wide range of music.
q) Under your Sunlounger alias you released your third album album “The Beach side of life” in 2010 any upcoming projects by sunlounger in 2012?
We released a new single called “try to be love” which became the tune of the week and future favorite on Armin’s ASOT and we were even trending worldwide on twitter. I have another single planned for this year and a new album for 2013.
q) You have collaborated with vocalists like Zara Taylor, Inger Hansen and Antonia Lucas, is there a specific idea in your head when you decide on the vocalists? What are the factors that draw you towards a certain artist?
Actually no, most collabs happen in a very natural way, I have a big pool of singers and when I work on a track I usually think which singer amongst them would fit perfectly for the track, that’s about it.
q) Your previous album “openminded?” Had a peculiar title, quite intriguing I must say. So what made you name your album that?
I tell people that I’m open minded when it comes to music and through the album am in a way asking if they are, too? I don’t like it when people are not open to new things.
q) What is your personal opinion on mixing up of different genres in electronic dance music, are you a purist or believe in the concept that at the end of the day all these sub-genres fall under electronic music, which is all that matters?
As it is quite clear from the fact that my artist album itself is named openminded, I most definitely prefer the mix of genres. I was never a purist or got stuck to one genre. That’s why I always had different aliases for different sounds, like for pure trance on a trance label like armada or anjunabeats, but I also had an alias for a very tribal house or progressive house track, even my balearic sound was always a fusion of house and trance, what I called balearic trance is now called the progressive house sound, it’s just a bit more pumpin’ and with less guitar riffs. So for me everything falls under EDM and EDM would be much bigger if people would not try to devide a genre into another hundred subgenres, what’s the point in dividing dance must first into house, trance, techno and then again into deep house, tribal house, progressive house, vocal trance, uplifting trance etc. I don’t get it. Dance music could be so much bigger!
q) You remixed a Bryan Adams song “Tonight in Babylon” in collaboration with Loverush UK! How open are you to collaborating with other artists? Are you easy to work with in the studio or a bit of a control freak?
I love to work with other artists and I have collaborated with so many singers and djs, so maybe you should ask them how it is to work with me.
q)What artists do you personally listen to? If you could name your top five producers, who would it be?
Hans Zimmer, Howard Shore and all the film score composers. I listen to a lot of classical film score music, it’s my favorite genre, but I also like rock bands like U2 or Kings Of Leon. I don’t really have favourite producers at the moment, I like almost everything that Thomas Gold or third party is doing and of course dj wise Tiesto is always an inspiration.
q) How important do you think is social media marketing for self promotion? Are you yourself active on social media site’s?
I think it’s the most important marketing tool. I’m active and handle my twitter and facebook account by myself but of course I do have help of a media person, to feed my fans with news and things about me.
q) Do you have any crazy fan story? Please share with us!
My fans are just crazy about my music not crazy people that I could write about
q) What is your opinion on magazine dj polls? Do you think it holds any importance or it’s just a gimmick for garnering public attention?
Even though almost everybody says it’s not important, still the whole industry is looking at Dj Mag which includes promoters, talent buyers etc, so of course it’s still important.
q) Three things no one knows about Roger Shah?
They will still be kept a secret
q) Being an international artist touring the world what has been your best destination to perform at?
I think my top 3 countries are Mexico, Argentina and Russia
q) What is a lazy work-free day like for you, do you relish the spare time or are more of the restless workaholic kinds?
I don’t really have free days, usually I’m touring or I’m in the studio or doing interviews on flights and have a lot of emails etc to do every day or take care of some business or the other.
q) You recently toured with Submerge, from what we understand you go way back with the promotion company. Could you share the story about how it all began and your experience from the recent tour?
With Submerge and India it’s similar to other countries, we always work with a strong partner in each individual country, so whenever we go to India usually submerge is taking care of the tour, so we can trust their experience and promotion and as always everything works out fine.
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q) What can we look forward from you in 2012?
A lot of singles, we just released my single ‘dance with me’ and I have two big collaborations coming, one with Aly & Fila and the other with Orjan Nilsen, a new Sunlounger single and some hot remixes, just remixed Paul Oakenfold and Ferry Corsten/Betsie Larkin as well, and I did a new version for Push – Silver Bath which is one of my all time favs!
q) Lastly, a few words for the Euphoric readers?
Thanks for your interest and for following me and my music. I really appreciate it.
I love my fans and will keep on releasing new music for them.
– We wish you all the very best Roger, Thank you for your time
Interviewed by Janet Shamili. You can Follow her on Twitter: @janetshamili