DJ Sian is calm, cool, stylish and collected. Having created a catalogue of music that will rock your Vans off. His diverse talents have led him to becoming founder of the top selling worldwide techno label Octopus Recordings http://octopusrecordings.com He is currently on a global tour, has a new single dropping June 13th "Out is In" and much more. The Dublin born Spain raised DJ shares his insights on sticking to your vision, why 90% perspiration and his exclusive 2016 upcoming plans. One word-- unstoppable!
MM: I love that you are born in Dublin yet raised in Spain.
S: Yea, probably like 16 years total over there.
MM: How much has your diverse background had an influence on your music?
S: I think, it was the main thing that kind made me want to do this. First, I'm use to traveling around. I would like move around with my parents every year. Secondly Spain has like a really weird underground culture for electronic music. Right back to the first Ibiza stuff in the 80's or even further. Ibiza really kicked off in the 60's if you think about it-- you know. So then the electronic stuff was kind of it's hollow disco like break dance music in the late 80's, which I caught the tail end of as a kid. Then it became obviously techno parties and warehouse stuff in Spain and outdoor beach events and stuff that kind of hooked me in.
MM: Well in Spain they know how to party.
S: Oh, yea! Well, they don't do anything else really.
MM: That makes sense, haha!
S: Yup, they're allergic to work, it's like a 5 day weekend.
MM: I went to Barcelona a few years ago and I couldn't even hang. I was like this is incredible its 7am-- whoa!
S: I know, I know its a marathon.
MM: Haha, yes! It is a legit Marathon. So taking that background and adding it to music. I also was very intrigued that you are into marine life and biology plus you add that to love within work.
Octopus Recordings is a stem or inspiration for that passion correct?
S: Totally! I actually started on the path to be a marine biologist. I left school kind of early, went into biology. That was going to be my route and then I got signed to a label in the first year of that and left it all.
MM: WOW! Again, all the greats leave. All the greats leave school, I love it!
S: Oh yea! Totally, it's kind of like a prerequisite.
MM: I think it is. You have to either be dirt broke and you leave school.
S: Or you get kicked out. Either one works!
MM: Haha, yes or kicked out, either does work.
S: Yea, but I guess that (marine biology) kind of became my hobby and music became like a career. I mean a lot of my tracks are influenced by that stuff and obviously Octopus.
MM: Why Octopus?
S: It's my favourite, favourite see creature and I use to always be in the water and scuba diving as a kid. I use to mess around with them all the time.
MM: Take me through your creative mindset when you are cooking some of these hits that you have made because you can't sit still while bumping to your music. At least, I can't!
S: Yeah, brilliant! Well, it's good to hear cause I would try and always put some sort of groove into Techno but I think a lot of the time the more industrial stuff that's out there it kind of clouds peoples perception of Techno. But actually its party music for me. So when I'm making a track, I would always try to have those elements that are going to give that track a life in a big club or festival environment.
MM: Like track Shame Cube, that inner part.
S: The break!
MM: Yes, the break! That part, that says when will you look at yourself, and yourself repeats. Where, how? What's going through your mind?
S: Ha, yea! Thats the aim to try and make stuff thats dance-y and energetic but also kind of I guess a little bit artsy. As well as... a bit off kilter.
MM: How much of what you do is an experiment versus a established formula of--I know this works. I know this doesn't or do you just push the envelope?
S: I think its always an experiment because you would start working on a track with some melodic part or vocal sample or something and then it just turns into something completely different. I think the more you do it. The parts that are formula are the things that you know work. Like for example, how to compress a kick drum or how to make a build in the track. Those things, I think you can learn with time but the rest of the stuff is always an experiment-- I think.
MM: You have a show coming up in Detroit
S: It's almost sold out actually so we're super hyped.
MM: Word! Have you performed in Detroit before?
S: Yes, the last two years. Twice at this venue that we are doing on Saturday and then once at movement itself on the Beatport Stage.
MM: How long do most of your sets last?
S: The longest I have played is for 7 hours in Berlin.
MM: Are you serious wow!
S: Yea, ha usually 2 hours is plenty for me. I give it loads for 2 hours.
MM: That's incredible. You have a new single, thats dropping on June 13th.
S: Yea, its out June 13th and its called "Out Is In".
MM: I kept singing that part to myself last night, "Out is in--"Out is in"--"Out is in" and then today. I was getting it all mixed up in my head.
S: Haha--Yea because the vocals go, " Out is In- (In is Out) sometimes vocals are meanings. Sometimes its samples from old 80's movies or syfi stuff.
MM: What inspired "Out is in?"
S: I guess it was just trying to make a big simple colorful track that had a weird edgy dark vocal in it. I mean its kind of -- not to be humours or whatever. I think the track is kind of weird in that way. You can play it in a big club environment but its still a little subversive and weird.
MM: Yeah, I love that! I kept singing it and putting it on repeat.
MM: You're going on tour, you have a single coming out on June 13th. What else are you cooking in the creative kitchen for 2016?
S: I'm going to do a bunch of label showcases. There's one in LA on July 2nd actually in exchange and then we're going to do a few more around the country. We have a label showcase at Sonar Music Festival in Barcelona. We are already planning BPM and ADE and all of that stuff. In terms of music goals like next single is July and then I am going to do another one probably in September and then a remix for Oliver Koletzki-- but mostly all stuff on Octopus Recordings.
MM: When aspiring artist come up to you, asking how did you do it man? What advice them, your top 3 things?
S: I would say just hustle. People joke about it being 90% perspiration and 10% inspiration but thats so true. I think, I'm not really one to give advice because I guess everyone has their own path to get there. I think the only thing is not to give up and keep pushing especially if you have a weird or off centre sound that people won't really get at the start and then it starts to become your signature. I think it's super important to not give up.
MM: Yet there is a formulaic system, I feel like you have created because Octopus Recordings is one of the top 5 successful Techno labels selling like crazy worldwide? So you are doing something very well.
S: Yea, I mean--I think thats a pretty good indication of sticking to your guns saying ok we have this sound. We like it, and we want to share it. So, its more about trying to build our own thing-- you know. I think a lot of young artist they think ok, "I'll get on Octopus or Drumcode or one of the high selling Techno labels but they don't really see it as what are they going to bring to the sound of the roster. Instead of what can that label do for them in terms of bookings.
MM: Is there a lot of nurturing involved with bringing young new talent on?
S: Yea, Yea! Oh yea....
S: Myself and Andrew were talking about it the other day. It's like being everyones dad. We have kind of 4-5 core artist that we are going to work with now. And then, the established guys. The established guys they are fine they have their fan base but the new ones they will literally call us late at night and say I don't have anything to post on my Facebook page. We're just like-- patience, patience, patience you know. Most of the I wouldn't get annoyed about it because I just think ok, I started out too and you have to kind of take them along and give them the benefit of what little knowledge we have.
MM: Yet, this is all in conjunction to doing your own thing creatively? You are pushing your own work.
S: Exactly, Exactly!
MM: That's a crazy dichotomy.
S: Exactly, its like being a parent. You have this person that's saying to you, ok well you've got my music you are responsible for all of this stuff and we are trying to say to them ok well-- you have to do it on your own too.
MM: You're doing really good though-- in my opinion.
S: We're slowly getting there. I mean this year everything--we were just comparing it to last year and its kind of snowballed to the point where we feel like bit by bit we feel like its starting to work now.
MM: This was such a pleasure. I am going to be following you and checking out all the latest things going on with you. Such a pleasure-- thank you!
S: The pleasure was mine, of course!
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