Hello Roger, it’s that time of the year again… the sun is out and so is ‘Magic Island – Music For Balearic People Vol. 5’. How is this different from the other volumes?
I’d say with volume 4 I went a bit on another journey and had a lot of progressive house elements in it because this was the sound I was playing during the live sets at that time. I got a lot of comments from people that they wish that I’m going back to the sound of volume 1 – 3. Since the sound is always changing constantly and there are not so many Balearic tracks out there anymore I took a couple of months off from touring just to work on this album and I produced 50% of this album myself so volume 5 is half way a mix album but also a little artist album as well.
Song that stuck in my head as soon as I heard it – “Surrender” featuring Chase, Brian Laruso’s take on it. Is Roger trying to tell the EDM crowd that this is the right way to ‘put your hands up’? ;)
Haha, right, it’s my contribution to tell the people to put their hands up without being cheesy and using deep meaningful lyrics. Chase is a great L.A. based singer and song writer and we did this song together for my last Sunlounger Album. We licensed the single including a nice music video to a lot of countries, my buddy Brian took the chance and did a fantastic deep/tribal Balearic house remix, so I had to feature this version on the album.
You really have a great knack of introducing beautiful vocalists to our genre, this time it was Aisling Jarvis from Ireland, how did this collaboration come about?
For me it’s boring to use singers anybody else worked with already, of course there are some main superstar vocalists such as JES I always enjoy working with but there is nothing better than working with people coming from other musical genres and transport their music and vibe into my music. Aisling Jarvis is the daughter of famous and beloved Moya Brennan whom we all know from “Chicane – Saltwater” or from my morning star single. Since that collaboration with Moya I’m in touch with the Brennan/Jarvis family. Aisling is currently working on her own first artist album, totally different genre but beautiful music, so I had to ask her if she’ll be up for a collaboration with me and I’m really happy with that song and response I’m receiving so far is huge, so I think this is going to be one of my main singles for this year.
How did the opportunity to remix of Sophie Ellis-Bextor come about? By the way love that track.
Sometimes things turn out to be very simple. The producers who worked on that track with Sophie liked some of my work and asked me if I would be up to do a remix. Since I liked the original version and saw potential to bring the track into my direction and to be able to use it also for ‘Magic Island Vol. 5’ it has been a so-called no brainer for me to put my hands on that track.
You have really championed the cause of compilations and albums vis-a-vis singles once every couple of months that other artists are doing lately, what’s your logic of going the traditional way?
For me there is not really a logic behind it, I just love to write and compose music in all kind of different directions. When my contract with Armada expired last year I also took the chance to restructure some of my overall biz before I joined forces with Blackhole, so the past 2 years I had not so much music out, now it’s about time to strike back with a lot of music, even it has been a bit quiet about Roger in 2012/13 I never stopped working on music and projects, now I feel like being back on fire again and I’m happy to share my music with all my dear fans from around the world. ‘MI5’ is just the beginning, now we are going to release all the singles from this album including some nice remixes and we have a full release schedule till October already, so also my label Magic Island feels like being on fire again and we receive a lot of new demos every week.
A lot of other DJs have started to build a clan of young artists with their music label – you see JoC, Aly & Fila, Markus Schulz doing this… do we expect something from Roger as well?
I always did this, when you check out the previous Magic Island albums you can always find new artists and talents releasing their music on my label, so also for ‘MI5’ I have a lot of amazing and talented producers featured. I’m happy to have guys like Ari Kyle, Denis Sender, Rocking J or my mate and Global Experience member Brian Laruso on my label.
Comparing you to your trance counterparts, who are really hitting the tempo high and fusing psy elements to their music lately, are you happy with the way Trance is going these days?
To be honest I would not label it trance anyways, it’s about music and I don’t judge and also don’t care where the so-called trance is going. I never considered myself being a trance artist, people do so because my music is melodic, deep, emotional, vocal driven but is it trance? Or better to say why do we need to label it at all? For example when I release a track on Beatport I find it so hard for me to categorize it because at some point my music has always been “roger style” I called it Balearic back in the days, people consider it trance but for me it’s just about making the music I love and maybe some of my fans love, too. Back to your question I think trance is not only going into fast BPM or psy, there is also a big fusion of trance into main room EDM or that kind of clubby kind of 132 BPM trance what I really like at the moment and that’s why my CD2 is more in that direction because it’s what I’m playing at the moment as well. I think that for the overall trance genre it’s not that bad to have all these different influences, it’s called evolution and history proved us that evolution helps to keep a species alive :-)
At the moment it’s a tough time for this little genre to compete with the big room EDM big drop hype, also promoters prefer to book that kind of artist but I can already see that people are getting tired of this over saturation of the same sounds, same drops etc… so it’s good for trance to have the evolution into different sub genres and survive another hype and then coming back with all it’s beauty. I think the ‘MI5’ album is already a message to the world, at least how I see the world with my musical eyes and ears.
Surprisingly we do not see any Ibiza dates in your Facebook gigs section, what are you up to this summer?
Ibiza is all about politics so it’s very hard but also honest to say that there is no space for mr magic island on the magic island anymore.
In general I’m not touring a lot these days. first of all I have been very busy with this album but also working on some movie projects, doing music scores, music for trailers, etc. and also working on some new very exciting musical projects. After being on the road for the past 6 years I think it’s also good to have some down time, working on music but also to spend time with friends and family who missed me the past years. It was also World Cup time so I was at home watching a lot of games but we are planning to do more shows again from August to come closer to my fans again. If there are some promoters out there who want me to come in their area for a Magic Island Vol. 5 gig there are also happy to message us on my firstname.lastname@example.org email which you can also find on my website.
Last year we asked you about your favourite beach, this time we shall ask you about your favourite beach club you enjoy playing at?
I have not played at a beach club for a while so it’s hard to answer that question.
2 FSOE 350 gigs coming up for you, firstly we hope you don’t lose your luggage this time :D but are you preparing any special uplifting tracks for those?
Haha, please don’t remind me of that :-) yeah I’m excited to play in El Salvador and Poland. I haven’t been in both countries for a while but have just the best memories about them. At both parties are huge lineups with short set times and a lot of DJs, I think a lot of them play already uplifting, so I think I’m going to play new tracks from this album to introduce it to the people. CD2 is very banging so I think it will work out well.
What’s next for Roger Shah from here, are you still working on the Global Experience album you mentioned to us?
Yes but it’s almost done, it will be a nice collection of all the previous Global Experience Singles we’ve released within all this years starting back in 2005 until now but we produced also some very nice new exclusive tracks for the album. I also finished a special new album under my Sunlounger brand which takes chill to another level… into meditation and spa, I always wanted to do something like this so finally I did. And there are all the singles and collaborations coming from this album not to forget to mention my collaboration with Sied van Riel and Jennifer Rene for the track “Without You” or “Glitter And Gold” with JES. I also did a new track with my friends Aly & Fila which we will world premiere on FSOE 350.
Message for your fans.
I wanna thank all my fans for the never-ending support through all this years, I proud that all you guys are a part of my journey, without you there would be no journey for me at all. It has been a bit quiet the past years but Roger is back with this ‘Magic Island Vol. 5’ but there is much more to come including some huge surprise collaborations, new singles, new albums and projects and when you push your local promoters and clubs to bring me over I’m happy to come soon into your area to play my special live shows for you as well.
All the best,