We catch up with Roger Shah fresh from the release of his third 'Sunlounger' album 'The Beach Side of Life' for a little insight into this gorgeous album's creating...
What can you really say about the music of Roger Shah over the past few years apart from nothing but praise for just how good it’s been? Having proved himself as one of the world's leading composers, artists, producers and DJ's in recent times which keeps him immensely busy he does like to find a few moments to chill out. The latest instalment of his more relaxed aliases 'Sunlounger' has arrived just in time to warm you up for another frosty winter. This volume number three in a series which exposes the more down tempo nature of Roger’s creative productions and on his latest release inserts more life into them with up-tempo editions. On the one side you have a disc to relax you to the maximum and on the other one to stand up and tap your feet to. The overall result is one of pure Balearic joy with Roger’s impeccable genius in crafted together some of the most beautiful electronic sounds you will ever hear. We thought we would catch up with Roger for his thoughts on his latest masterpiece.
i:Vibes: Roger Thank you for taking some time to talk to i:Vibes. Where are you as you are completing this interview? Somewhere around the world or at home or your second home your studio?
Roger: Hi guys, nice to talk with you again. at the moment I'm on the plane, on my way back from my North America weekend, I had shows in Calgary, Montréal and Los Angeles.
i:Vibes: You are a music workaholic as you have about as much projects going simultaneously as Oliver Lieb, Tom Wax, or Jam El mar did in the 90s. Do you approximately know how many off days you had this year and are you able to turn off the Shah music motor for a complete 24 hours?
Roger: I’ve had exactly 3 days off this year!!! I never turn my music motor totally off.
i:Vibes: What was your personal trance summer highlight in 2010?
Roger: For sure my first roger shah in concert in Mexico City, since had no chance to go to Ibiza this year, due to a busy schedule.
i:Vibes: You fell from #21 to #34 in the DJ Mag Top 100 Poll. Are you disappointed that you fell back?
Roger: Gig wise I had the best year in my career so far, how can I be disappointed, we are talking about a readers poll of a magazine where you need to get people voting for you. Even I got so many emails from other DJ’s begging for votes that I made decision not to do anything for it. I know it's an important poll and I'm very proud that I made it 3 times in a row into the top 100, so we just did the voting banner on my websites.
i:Vibes: What is your DJ Mag 2010 Top 100 summary? Were you surprised that Armin van Buuren was #1 a 4th year in a row and DJ Boy George entered the top 100?
Roger: I'm very happy for my mate Armin, to be the first DJ who made it 4 times in one row is a great achievements, he is doing so many things for the music, so it's well deserved. Boy George played a lot as a DJ, saw him on a lot of adverts playing in different cities around the globe.
i:Vibes: How are you constantly able to produce so much high quality tracks year in and year out without becoming a reputation of making tracks too fast and thus losing your credibility?
Roger: It's because I love to make music, I always compose, even in planes. why should I loose credibility for the fact I just love what I do. maybe I'm faster as some other DJ’s because I do everything from one hand, composing, mixing, producing and mastering, I know how to do everything and work very efficient.
i:Vibes: You released as Sunlounger "Another day on the terrace in 2008 with four hit singles and Sunny Tales in 2009 that also had four hit singles. Did you feel any more pressure going into the studio with The Beach Side of life and making another great album that would be greeted by the fans across the world with open arms?
Roger: I felt no pressure at all, first of all I do the music the way I want it, with my vision of how I wanted to create this album. I never think about hit singles when I compose it, but have to say that I'm very happy with the result of the album and also the reactions so far.
i:Vibes: What was your goal with The Beach Side of life? How did you want to develop the Sunlounger sound with the third album?
Roger: For the fact I worked about 1 year on this album I had the chance to compose for it at so many different places, so I got a lot of different influences which makes it very diverse in sound. for me it's more a world music genre album than a typical balearic or dance album.
i:Vibes: How difficult was it making the Beach side of life if you compare it to the production time of the first two Sunlounger albums?
Roger: It has been more difficult with the less studio time but I wanted to do everything without any rush and properly. so I couldn't hold the deadline. we had the plan to release it in august but I was not able to deliver it in time.
i:Vibes: You always walk on the beach side of life. How long could you go without walking on the beach without going crazy?
Roger: Good question, but not too long. the good thing about my music is that I’m always invited to play at a lot of summerish places with beaches etc, so at least there's not so many time between walking without a beach.
i:Vibes: "You released "Found" featuring Zara Taylor six months ago. This is a very beautiful melodic track that throws emotion at you. Was this a difficult track to produce? what was the most difficult thing you had to do to get this track perfect?
Roger: It was very easy going from the first note. I wanted to create a nice follow up track for lost. like to continue the story in sound and lyrics.
i:Vibes: "Coastline" is an energetic track. I could imagine you being driven down the coastline playing your guitar in the back seat and enjoying the beautiful scenery. Where would you be playing this track in your mind?
Roger: This is the opening tune of my Sunlounger album tour I do right now, yeah it really rocks…I saw myself for on a speed boat along the coastlines when I composed it.
i:Vibes: You released "Breaking Waves" featuring Inger Hansen a few months ago. How was the cooperation with Inger Hansen? What makes his voice perfect for the Shah sound?
Roger: He's an amazing singer with an emotional voice and he can sing so diverse. He totally understands how to write and sing to my music.
i:Vibes: Beautiful Night" featuring Antonia Lucas is a beautiful track. Could this be a forthcoming release from Sunlounger?
Roger: This will be the next main single taken from the album, at the moment there are some remixes in the making, going into different directions.
i:Vibes: Summer Escape is a typical Shah track with your trademark guitar sound. How difficult is it always finding a different guitar sound when making a track?
Roger: This beautiful guitars are played by Inger Hansen, he's a great guitar player, too.
i:Vibes: I guess with "Trademark white" you mean your traditional outfit on stage. How did you decide on the sounds of this track fitting your trademark outfit on stage?
Roger: I composed this track and needed a name for it, for some reason I came up with trademark white, sometimes you do things without any reason :-)
i:Vibes: I love "Acapulco Waves" This track has that sort of sophistication. Did you have to be in Mexico to get the right feel for this track? What was your inspiration behind this track?
Roger: Yes, I actually composed this track in acapulco, sitting at the beach and watching the high waves.
i:Vibes: "Feels like heaven" is your second track on the album with Zara Taylor. What makes the team Shah/Taylor so special?
Roger: I think we have a good connection when it comes to song writing, Zara told me that she always comes up with a great vocal line instantly. she always delivers what I expect to get, so we always work very fast on a track.
i:Vibes: How difficult is the process in the studio of making the Downtempo CD of The Beach side Of Life? How can one imagine this part of the CD being made in the studio?
Roger: I always enjoy to do the down tempo productions. I have the pictures of my touring in my head, of all the places which inspired me to write this songs. i can do this CD without any pressure, just creating beautiful and relaxing atmospheres.
i:Vibes: The Beach Side Of Life is another fantastic effort by you. What was your most memorable experience making this album?
Roger: I recorded some waves with my camera in Ibiza and walked in the water, while recording I said to myself…I always walk on the beach side of life…back home when I watched the recording I really liked it and made decision to keep it for the intro track, so the beach side of life was born.
i:Vibes: When will you be in the Techno Club again with Talla 2XLC?
Roger: Have no idea, I also have a very busy schedule with my Sunlounger album tour, so I don't know how this would fit into techno club.
i:Vibes: Recently Talla 2XLC, Taucher, Tom Wax, DJ Dag and Hooligan all played in the Technoclub on the same night. With which artist would you like to be locked away in the studio if you could?
Roger: With Taucher, since I've been a big fan of his productions in the late 90's.
i:Vibes: What musical Christmas gift is on your wish list this season?
Roger: Oh to be honest I did not think about it yet:-) I also think that I will have even no time to celebrate Christmas because I'll be on a huge India tour around this date. I want take this chance to thank everybody who is supporting me and my music, wish everybody merry Christmas and a happy new year 2011. watch out for a new roger shah album next year. this is the biggest project of my career so far…