Switzerland in the house! The prolific producer with an almighty 2017 ahead of him…
Interview by Dan Prince
Welcome to DMC… where in the world are you at the moment?
Thanks for having me! Currently home in Zurich spending some quality time with my lady, newborn and my mother visiting from Kosovo.
First up something political as we’re waking up to the news of a Trump presidency… your thoughts?
Honestly I’m not so deep into politics, but of course I hear and see everyone being super shocked. I guess I get similar vibes to most of my friends. I hope he can do the best for the US of A.
You recently had a baby daughter… congratulations! How much has life changed for you in the last few months?
Yes, thank you! It has changed a lot. Instead of quality times in the studio I am now having quality times in the nursery changing nappies! But it has been amazing, and I’m loving every minute of it.
What was the first record you heard today?
That would Rampa ‘Necessity’: an absolutely beautiful record and a great way to start any day.
When did dance music first start appearing on your radar and how?
When I was a teenager. I would visit random raves with my best friends in Prishtina, the town where I grew up. We had only one club called Spray but they would put on weekly electronic music events and get some amazing DJs like Sasha, Digweed, Carola etc. Pretty impressive for what was quite a small town. That’s when it all started to really make it’s mark on me, I’ll never forget those early experiences, and they ended up shaping the rest of my life.
Was a career in music always going to be your mission in life, was there any other path a possibility?
I was actually a passionate ‘pro’ football player, and played for the first team in Prishtina. Unfortunately a bad injury made it impossible for me to continue and I had to stop playing for good.
Early DJ/producer influences?
That would be both Daft Punk and Stephan Bodzin: their music has left a permanent mark on the way I think about and make music.
You’ve recently released on Defected sister label DFTD, as a house fan that must have been a pretty special moment in your career?
Absolutely. When Simon reached out to me saying he wants to release and record of mine I was overwhelmed. Defected is one of the biggest labels ever in house music, so it’s a real honour to have a record with them. And I’m very pleased with how the release has gone. It was No.1 at Traxsource so people seem to be digging it!
You’ve also released on Saved, Moon Harbour and a load of other very respectable labels… how much to you change your sound depending on the label you’re making music for?
I actually dont change anything, I just go to the studio make the music and send out to my friends, in this case Nic or Matthias. They decide if they would like to have it for the respective labels.
You were one of the most charted artists on RA last year… what is it about your sound that you think appealed to the DJs on their site?
I believe my grooves. I keep hearing from fellow producers and DJs that they are special in their own way, that they can recognize its a Sabb groove as soon they hear a track from me, which is great to hear!
You’ve played all around the world, from Space in Miami, Pacha and Cielo in New York… do you have a favourite place to play?
I very much enjoy playing all of this clubs, but some of my favourite nights of all time have been at Hive in Zurich. There’s something about a residency where you trust the crowd to go with you and you feel free to play anything you want that makes it extra special. Other places I love to play include Sankeys in Ibiza, Blue Marlin in UAE: the list goes on and on.
What are the big 5 tunes in your box this weekend…
Sabb & Serge Devant – Waiting
This is coming on Circus in early December. Deep, hypnotic – played at the right time crowd melts down.
Blaze – Lovelee Dae (Bicep Remix)
All I can say is wowm what a tune!
TB – City Girl
Magical! I love the deep melodic vibes. Very often I end my sets with this.
Ed Davenport – Silver Walks
I really enjoy the mystic keys on this one. Close your eyes for a while when this is played in a club: something special will happen. You will catch yourself smiling.
Redshape – Tel Aviv
Techno at its finest! Pumpy beat and catchy hooks. Ahh , love it!
What has been the best DJ gig of 2016?
Like I said earlier, this would be one of my gigs at my home Hive in Zurich. Always amazing!
What is favorite track of 2016? Why?
That’s a tough question; there’s been so much good music this year. One of my favourite would be Jonas Rathsman ft Josef Salvat – Complex (Serge Devant Remix). My buddy Serge killed it on this one. I absolutely love playing this one. Works with any crowd and any club.
Name an up and coming producer to watch out for…
Serge Devant is not new in the scene, but for many he is maybe unknown. He has come from the house scene and moved into deep tech. He is a real talent and the one to watch for me.
As NYE is fast approaching, what will you be doing? Business or pleasure?
Pleasure, I will be off with my family. Eating good and in a cozy place.
Finally, tell us what we should be looking out for from you next…
My new EP ‘ Waiting ‘ with Serge Devant is coming on Circus on the 5th of December with heavy-duty remixes from techno don Alan Fitzpatrick and Bontan. Watch out for this one.