To celebrate the release of his new singles ‘Dance With Me’ and ‘Try To Be Love’ and kick off summer, we named the German producer/DJ our Artist of the week. In the aftermath of his ‘Openminded?!’ album, we get a quick glance of the life of Roger Shah. And that’s a busy one.
Hey Roger! It’s been a while since we last hooked up! What’s going on in Shah world?
Roger:”Hey, yes it’s been a while. A lot of things are going on in the Shah world, haven’t been so busy in the studio since years, even though I’m always working on a lot of things.”
You’re still in the middle of the ‘OpenMinded!?’ album tour. How have the past 12 months since the release been going?
Roger:”I had an amazing tour around the world, from the kickoff in Australia, 6 huge shows in Ibiza, conquering almost all Europe including an amazing album launch at Ministry of Sound in London, celebrating the top 5 dance chart peak in UK in big style. I did a couple of nice shows in USA and just coming back from India. South America like Mexico or Argentina has been huge for me as always and I also shouldn’t forget to mention my first appearance in Zouk Singapore, which has been one of the best shows so far this year. At the moment we have a lot of focus on Russia and just confirmed 5 shows with the goal to visit different cities than usual ones.”
With the album, you kind of cut loose from the trancy, Balearic style and also showed a different side of your sound. How have the reactions been to that change?
Roger:”To be honest reactions have been better than expected. Usually when you are in the trance genre and try something new, you almost get killed in the forums, but for me as an artist you don’t always want the same sound. You are excited to try out new things, technology is changing and with it your possibilities in the studio. You are excited about the new options, the new sounds and also new genres. I started working on Openminded in 2009 and I worked on the album for about 2 years with the concept to do a non-genre album. Just doing the music and styles I love for myself. First of all I’m a music lover and I listen to so many different genres in my private time, so why should I just do trance or so called Balearic music for myself? So under my real name I want to do EDM or even non-EDM, since I work on a lot of orchestra music for Hollywood right now. I still have my big Sunlounger project which I keep 100% Balearic. I love to play my new – a bit more cluby pumpin’ – sound, which is a fusion of proggy house, complextro, balearic and trance, or just a journey through EDM.”
The latest single to be released from the album, is your collab with Inger Hansen, ‘Dance With Me’. A track which is really poppy. Was it time for a follow-up to ‘Don’t Wake Me Up’?
Roger:”We already had a follow up before, on my Sunlounger album, called ‘Breaking Waves’, but I wanted to do something more acoustic influenced with him, so we just started to work on a new track. When Inger played the guitars which are more Rock/Pop genre, I liked it so much that I wanted to keep this original vibe of having a radio pop song. Then I remixed my own song with a club version and we got some nice remixes out of a remix contest where we gave new talents a chance. At the moment I always play the Vinny Remix in all my shows.”
The music video has an interesting, and quite funny concept. How did you came up with it?
Roger:”We wanted to do something different than the usual dance videos. I loved my video for ‘Shine’ on the boat with all this hot girls but the same time it was very generic. Inger was involved into the whole video shooting process more like a director, he had also the idea and even found the people in New York for the shooting.”
‘Try To Be Love’ was another winner, together with Zara. What is it about you and Zara that makes collaborations work so well? Any new collab in the pipeline?
Roger:”I don’t know what it is, maybe I understand her way of writing songs so I always try to deliver music for her to make her feel very comfortable to write. Also since we’ve been working together for such a long time, we have a good connection and she also understands what kind of vocal I expect for the music I send to her. So of course I think we will come up with something for next year again for sure, especially since I plan to have a new Sunlounger album in 2013. One thing to watch out is the Remix contest for ‘Try To Be Love’ we will start soon.”
We also noticed that you and Brian Laruso are working on a new Global Experience track. Are you guys heading for a more housy approach with the project?
Roger:”Global Experience has always been a bit more for the clubs compared to Sunlounger with techy and housy influences. With the new tracks we do right now we go more into the progressive house genre since Brian is an amazing house DJ. Too bad for him that most of the time he is too busy travelling with me, doing my tour management, haha. We are working on a global experience album right now.”
What about the collabs with Orjan Nilsen and another one with Adrina Thorpe? We’re still waiting for the result!
Roger:”The one with Adrina Thorpe is not just with Adrina. I composed the music together with my close friends Aly & Fila and we world premiered it on ASOT 550 when Fila invited me to come on stage with him, which has been an amazing moment for me. So it’s an official collaboration and will be called ‘Aly & Fila vs Roger Shah ft Adrina Thorpe – Perfect Love’. My collaboration with Orjan Nilsen is finished as well, we had the idea to do something together while we had to kill some time in Buenos Aires waiting for our connecting flight to Chile. Since we had a 8h stopover we got an apartment to hang out, so what’s better to do to kill time than making music? We realized we have a similar understanding for music and chord progressions, so while I composed some chords he played the main lead melody instantly on my small famous wireless keyboard, haha, like in a jaming session. This was a lot of fun to do, so the first version is finished and I think the result is a huge festival big time banger.”
What does the summer of 2012 behold for you? Any special gigs coming up? Any Ibiza adventures?
Roger: “This balearic summer will take place in Russia since I do a couple of big shows there, but we are also working on some special shows for Ibiza. for further information I recommend my fans to visit my personal websitewww.rogershah.net, my facebook artist page underwww.facebook.com/rogershahartist on regular basis to keep yourself updated about the Shah world or simply just follow me on twitter under roger_shah.”