The Magic Island boss brings us his next installment of beautiful music for Balearic people
Welcome to DMCWORLD Roger. You are an obvious lover of many different types of music, you spin various genres, listen to many types of sounds and your releases with names such as ‘Open-Minded!?’ reflect that. So let’s go back to Roger Shah first getting into music in your early teens. Who were the artists and sounds you were listening to back then that has helped shape your musical mind what it is today…
“Hello Dan, I feel honoured to do an interview with you guys. I grew up with all the 80s music from dance act like Visage, OMD, Yazoo, Duran Duran to also rock bands like Guns n’ Roses. From there I listened to all the new music waves from Italo disco, Acid House, Euro Dance etc. – so really, I listened to everything which had great vocals and nice melodies.”
Your brother also followed you into the world of trance music, himself a DJ. What did your parents think of both of their sons heading off into the unpredictable world of nightclubs to earn their fortune?
“I have to say that our parents always supported us and still do, they even listen to our music as well and join us for our shows if it’s close to our home.”
What was your first real ‘break’ into dance music?
“I signed my first major record deal with a sub label of EMI in 1996 in Germany, played as a resident DJ in the hottest club in my hometown and everything started to build from there.”
What was the record that changed your life?
“I think “White Sand’ under my Sunlounger alias was the first record which got international recognition and got signed to Armada, everything started to get bigger for me from this moment.”
Next week sees the release of Magic Island Volume 4, two CDs of music for Balearic people. Before we delve into these 30 tracks of white island delight, can you explain when you first stepped onto the island of Ibiza and why your heart is obviously filled with love for it…
“I went to ibiza for the first time in 1996 and fell in love instantly. The fact of having such a beautiful island but also this strong party and nightlife scene where you get the chance to listen to almost all superstar DJs within one week is just amazing…or call it magic.”
Many people think that Ibiza is going the same way as Vegas, Dubai etc. with multi million pound venues, hotels and bars being built which is piece by piece chipping away at what was once a very chilled little haven. What are your thoughts on that?
“At some point I think that this is a natural progression of everything what is successful, it’s growing and going to another level, sometimes it’s for the good sometimes not. Ibiza has still it’s magic and hidden places, beautiful beaches etc.”
The release is peppered with brand new and exclusive tracks and remixes by new talent, renowned producers and of course yourself. What are the tunes you are especially excited about having on the mix…?
“My favorite new exclusive tune is for sure Kim Svärd – ‘When The Sun Goes Down’…in my opinion a huge hit with crossover potential and I will hammer this tune at least for a year I guess. Also the Antillas remix of my new single ‘Island’ is rocking. Cosmic Gate’s ‘Over The Rainbow’ is my favourite tune of the year and I have been playing it for around a year in every show, so I really wanted to have this track on my album too. Also happy to have the world premiere of my new Sunlounger single called ‘Finca’ on the album, reactions when I play it live are huge. Actually for me every track has something special about it and is worthy to be on my Vol 4.”
What is the current top 10 you are spinning?
1. Aly & Fila meet Roger Shah – Perfect Love 2. Sunlounger – Try To Be Love 3. Cosmic Gate – Over The Rainbow 4. Roger Shah – Island (Antillas remix) 5. Roger Shah – One Love (Andrew Rayel remix) 6. Thomas Gold – Sing 2 Me 7. Kim Svärd – When The Sun Goes Down 8. Emma Hewitt – Foolish Boy (Roger Shah Naughty Boy remix) 9. Paul Oakenfold – Southern Sun (Roger Shah remix) 10.Plastic Boy – Silver Bath (Roger Shah remix)
Who are the producers from around the world you are giving high fives to at the moment?
“Thomas Gold, Kim Svärd, Disfunktion, Mikael Weermets, Antillas, Andrew Rayel, Carl Louis & Martin Danielle just to name a few, all of them are great remixers as well.”
What has been your anthem of the summer?
“I think for me it was my collab with my friends Aly & Fila – ‘Perfect Love’, we had and still have so many requests about this song.”
You have a massive other side of your musical production work, working with classical music and Hollywood. Tell us more…
“I have worked on this for a while now and a lot of things in this bizz are very confidential, so I can’t talk too much about it. But I can say that I work and deliver classical scores for a big classical score music library and also just got into Disney to work as an in house composer on different projects. At the moment I can’t do all the offers of work as I still have my artist career, but I really love this part of music and can imagine to fully focus on this in a couple of years, since my clock is ticking haha…”
What has been the best club gig of 2012 and why?
“The best club gig I had was in Johannesburg at Truth, and even though I played on the terrace it was an unbelievable atmosphere where everybody went crazy – including me lol. The best gg in general I think goes to Mexico again, this time for the Armada night I just played 3 weeks ago. Mexico is always special and also my highest profile country.”
Not many people know this, but Roger Shah is really good at…
“Fashion! I will soon start an official clothing line with a fashion designer from New York. This is something very exciting and a totally new world for me and has nothing to do with my music at all.”
The world of trance was in the news this month with Sander being signed to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label and a certain American company offering Sensation $100 million for their brand. Do you think the American big buck cheque book is going to ruin the US EDM scene before it has been able to establish itself?
“I think all these headlines even if they are crazy are good for the EDM scene in general, showing that dance music is such a strong genre and we should all be happy that big brands or labels are happy to invest such amounts of money just to be connected to EDM. I personally like all of this progress. Also that genres are all mixed up because for me there is only one genre; it’s called EDM and not trance, house, techno or minimal. How often do you wanna cut a cake ’till nothing is left?”
What is coming next from the Roger Shah studio…
“As mentioned a new Sunlounger single and I’m working on a new Sunlounger album right now. I will definitely work with Aly & Fila on a new collaboration for next year, but also I have some interesting collabs with artists from other genres since I like to keep staying open minded to music in general. I will also have some more work with the Magic Island Classical Orchestra.”
And finally on the subject of Ibiza. Loving the name of one of your guises High Noon At Salinas. So if we bumped into you at midday on the beach at Salinas…which end of the sand would we find you at. Down by the Jockey Club or up on the nudist part of Sa Trinxa…?
“Ha ha! That’s a good question, but usually I’m more down at the Jockey Club. It has a better parking situation and I recommend the fruit platter, even it’s about 15 euros, but very yummy especially on the hot days.”
Roger Shah – Magic Island Volume 4 is out November 23rd.