Sharam – I Voice Interview: Hype, Lies & Gossip
Ever since the split of the pop crossover dance music duo Deep Dish– brothers Dubfire and Sharam have both maintained top status as individual artists, a rare feat in this business.
What has been most interesting is the different trajectories their two careers have taken since the split with Dubfire leaning more toward the world of underground sounds while Sharam has focused on the more eclectic side of the Deep Dish partnership – one foot in saccharine laced pop and the other in the melodic world of deep house.
We had a chance to catch-up with Sharam recently and find out that a restless passion for all different kinds of music from pop to country play a role in this guy’s life and that is what drives him.
He channels that energy into a creative two disk DJ mix for his own imprint, Yoshitoshi. Entitled Night & Day, the concept is based around digging in the crates to develop two sophisticated mixes that showcase the skills needed to DJ at both a day and night party.
Tell us a little bit about the concept of Night & Day and maybe explain what exactly constitutes a daytime track and a nighttime track?
I am a music fan – I buy, receive, like all different kinds of music so I had this idea that the two sides, day and night, could co-exist on the same mix. This challenge of whether I could create a 24-hour party vibe with viable appropriate music throughout.
The day side is like a pool or beach party, it’s fun and it is focused more on a steady groove that lasts the duration of the party. Nighttime is all about individual tracks, ones that are more melodic, that are sing along friendly Think of it as daytime equals Ibiza and nighttime is Las Vegas or Miami.
This mix is very different from your recent solo work, which is really pushing the boundaries of pop music, while this mix is more house-oriented. It seems that you don’t make much distinction between what is pop and what is underground, do you think people are too hung-up on that line these days?
I think people have a stick up their ass about this issue and that they are missing the boat. There is simply too much categorization and close-mindedness, and to me, that stops creativity. I am influenced by so many different sounds, to me there are no boundaries, I like music, period. But if you have a big crossover hit people tend to label you a sellout, to me a sellout is when you jump on the latest trend and don’t stay true to your core values as an artist and are willing to do anything to have that next big crossover hit. Look, I make underground tracks, too and those appeal to a smaller, more devoted audience and that’s good but it is also limiting my audience down to a very specific style of music, which is not what I am all about. Personally, I think a good DJ can balance the two and that they can coincide together.
It’s been a long time since the Deep Dish days and you are still going strong, what keeps you motivated at this point in the game?
I love doing what I do, being in front of a crowd and playing music for them. I don’t ever take that lightly, I love it and I make a living at it. I am also a VERY competitive person and I love to prove people wrong when they tell me something cannot be done.
It’s hard to combine different genres of music but when I had the chance to work with Kid Cudi on my track “She Came Along” we brought house, hip-hop, and country music together. I am pretty sure no one has ever done that before and it wasn’t easy to do. It also makes my life complicated, because I don’t know any other way but to mix things up, I hate repeating myself.
Yoshitoshi has managed to weather many trends while the vast majority of contemporary labels have folded. Is it more difficult to run a label nowadays and what is your involvement in the label these days?
We decided never to play the genre game and at first we were just making tracks for the local [Washington]DC audience before we found out other people liked what we were doing.Quality and substance were always the foundation of Yoshitoshi, if it is good we put it out.
It’s become more difficult over the years, because people want to label you, so instead of trying to beat them we joined them and created sub-labels like Shinichi and Yo! that were more genre specific.
Will you be touring specifically in support of this mix?
Yes, definitely. I am playing in the US, South America, and Europe showcasing the album. It’s been a challenge to distill this idea of day and night into a short two hour set so I’ve been modifying the way I organize my records now, something I’ve never been very good at, so that you get a beginning, middle, and end that starts with day time tracks and gradually progresses into the night time portion of the mix.
What else can we expect from you this year after Night & Day?
I am constantly working on new music, I have a couple of singles, including “Radio G”, which is on the new mix. Perhaps a new EP or album, I’m not sure yet. I am also thinking of making Night & Day into a series and doing another one again very soon, I enjoyed the challenge and I am eager to revisit it.
Next Ibiza Date
13th August – Ibiza Calling @ Space Ibiza
05th September – Be pres: Toolroom Knights @ Space Ibiza
24th September – Ibiza Calling @ Space Ibiza
Sharam – Night & Day
Compilation on Yoshitoshi Recordings
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