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Interview | Questions & Answers With ShiShi



Interview | Questions & Answers With ShiShi
So far, New York-based producer ShiShi has released some amazing singles. His newest track “Give Me Love”, is truly special as it combines tropical and eastern flavors. I had the opportunity to have a little chat with him about this release as well as his personal life. So, make sure to check out our exclusive interview down here!

1 — In what ways has your nomadic childhood influenced your music style?

I would say just at a subconscious level, being exposed to so many different cultures, languages and ways of life at a really early age game me a deep sense of curiosity about things that are different from me – different viewpoints and ways of looking at the world. So creatively I’m always looking to draw connections between different worlds and cultures, blending things together that you wouldn’t otherwise associate with each other – I feel like that’s definitely reflected in my music in terms of the sound palette I use.

2 — What living in different countries has taught you about life?

The biggest thing is that judging other people is poison and that even some of your strongest opinions are still just opinions and you shouldn’t treat them like gospel. When you experience a lot of cultures that are vastly different from your own you realize that a lot of your opinions about this thing or that thing are just a product of your environment, and you start to step outside yourself and realize that other people have their own subjective ways of looking at the world. Living in a lot of different countries taught me to always try to understand and accept other people for their beliefs, viewpoints, and traditions even if they are different from mine.

3 — What made you become a music producer & DJ?

I grew up playing violin and guitar and started writing music when I was in High School, just making really simple songs with an acoustic guitar and badly trying to sing. That’s when I knew I wanted to make music my whole life, but I always felt really limited because I wasn’t a great singer and I only had one instrument. Halfway through college I got a MacBook Pro and discovered GarageBand, and that changed the game – suddenly I had any sound I could think of at my fingertips – the possibilities were endless. It was really that sense of freedom and creative control that got me into producing music on my computer, which eventually led me into the world of dance music and DJing.

shishi interview4 — What has been your favorite venue to play so far in your career?

The most memorable gig I ever had was opening up for Max Vangeli at Marquee NY – I just remember DJing and looking out over a massive sea of thousands of people and thinking to myself “this is what I want to do with my life.”

5 — Speaking of music, you have just released a new single called “Give Me Love”, what is this song about?

“Give Me Love” is about that young and innocent kind of affection you felt for your first crush in grade school, the kind of love where you held nothing back because nobody was jaded by the hurt of past relationships. It represents the optimism and sense of hope we carried with us into our first relationships – we wanted to reflect that feeling in the lyrics and in the video.

6 — What were the filming locations of the music video?

We shot the whole video over the course of 2 days while we were down in Miami this past March for Miami Music Week, splitting locations between downtown Miami and South Beach.

7 — Would you like to share some funny anecdotes that happened during the filming?

The funniest and most memorable part of the shoot was definitely securing the old-fashioned sidecar motorcycle. The dealer we rented it from was based in Brickell, which is on the other side of the bridge in Miami, so on our way back to South Beach it was basically my buddy driving the bike with me, a fully-grown man, sitting in the sidecar two feet off the ground as we did 60 down the freeway. We were both wearing the funniest helmets and heads were basically turning in every car we passed by.

dj shishi
8 — Why did you decide to work with Daramola on vocals? Was this the first time you collaborated together?

Daramola and I have worked on a few others records together in the past and we just have this really magical singer/producer chemistry together – every time I send him something he absolutely crushes it. For this song, I knew I wanted to go for either a Caribbean or African vocal to match with the tropical sound of the record, so it was a no-brainer to get Daramola, who is Nigerian, involved.

9 — Was it challenging to combine Tropical and Eastern rhythms on “Give Me Love”? Is this blend part of your signature sound?

It was definitely a challenging but fun way to push myself artistically. Like I mentioned before, I’m always trying to combine sounds that wouldn’t normally exist in the same song together and contextualize them in a cohesive way. I feel like Indian music and Caribbean music have a lot more in common than first meets the eye – for example, Bhangra and Dancehall are actually pretty similar rhythmically if you peel back a few layers and really listen to what’s going on with the beat. Mixing together styles from different cultures like that is definitely a huge part of my sound and a big part of my mission as an artist as well – I want to make music that multiple cultures can identify with and use to find common grounds with each other.

10 — We know in the past you helped an international charity program with your music. Are you still focused on social work?

I’m really fortunate and grateful to have had the opportunities that I’ve been able to enjoy in my life, and so giving back is always on my mind in everything that I do. As you mentioned, with my song “Aarti” we were able to raise a bunch of money to help educate underprivileged kids in India, and I definitely plan to do more campaigns that tie back to my music like that in the future. At a deeper level, one of the primary reasons I am a musical artist in the first place is because I know the power that music can have to make people feel more empowered and connected to one another, and I hope that I can have a small hand in making good music that continues to provide value to peoples’ lives.



Hi, my name is Erick Ycaza. I have a BA in Advertising & Graphic Design. This blog is to provide you with daily music news and share my personal style.


Exclusive Interview: Paul Mayson Delves Into His Debut Album ‘One Life’



One Life Paul Mayson Interview

Paul Mayson‘s first-ever album, ‘One Life,’ is like a special mix of his love for House music, blended with different kinds of sounds and cool collaborations from artists all over the world. You definitely don’t want to miss this interview!

1 — With the release of your debut album ‘One Life,’ what are your expectations for how listeners will connect with the music?

My goal was to showcase my story and my sound. And for it to be an uplifting, positive, and summery album. Hopefully, it feels like that! It’s a collection of songs made at the moment, to make you feel happy and free. It’s about embracing life, the good things and the bad. And about doing what makes you happy.

2 — You’ve teamed up with a diverse range of international artists on this material. Please let us know how these collaborations came to be.

It was really exciting taking elements from different genres, working with a group of great artists who come from very different backgrounds, and bringing all of these sounds and flavors together on one project. A lot of artists I meet myself, reach out to the people I’m interested in. I often travel abroad to work on music together and do sessions in London or LA. Sometimes collabs can also happen through the label or the publisher, but ultimately it’s great to have an artist-to-artist relationship.

3 – What compelled you to emphasize the themes of life, freedom, and diversity in this album?

I’m very passionate about House music culture and the way it started. Which was all about positivity and celebrating life together. I love that message and think the soulful, feel-good element of House music is what always really attracted me to the genre. And to music in general, including other genres like Soul and RnB.

4 – Can you share more details about the process of integrating experimental elements into the music production of your album?

A few of the songs (like “Tell Me How” and “I Want You”) were basically made during one big jam session. It’s me just trying out completely different sounds, textures, and rhythms and experimenting with live drums, guitars, and whatever I feel like. Letting go of any rules connected to dance music allows for a really fresh approach to the album songs.

6 – How does the artwork complement the album’s concept?

It emphasizes the feel-good element and the overall message of the album. Life is in front of you, it’s there for the taking. You’re in the hallway, step into the light and embrace life.

Paul Mayson One Life
7 – Will there be another amazing music video like “Have It All,” dropping in the near future?

We released a really cool art piece and visualizer for the album which I’m very excited about!

8 – Given your ambition to push boundaries within the Dance genre, do you think the bunch of producers already out there could make it tough for you to really stand out?

I think individuality is key. Doing something you’re passionate about. Telling your own story. If you go into that process, the outcome will be unique. Not following trends and doing my own thing is what helps me stand out and allows me to be ahead and I try to keep pushing myself.

9 – Among your studio essentials, what’s the item that you consider the cornerstone of your setup?

Quite a lot of my work is digital. I carry my laptop around and can produce and write anywhere with it, whether it’s my home studio, the studio in Amsterdam, a hotel, or even an airport. That’s what makes it flexible and international! Just being able to work anywhere and get the creative process going. At home I also love my Adam A77x monitors and I also use a Prophet synth.



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Exploring “My Friends”: Tobtok Talks Creative Process And More!




In this exclusive interview, Swedish producer Tobtok discusses all the details about his latest single as part of the ongoing countdown to the upcoming ‘My Friends’ EP. This is a collaborative effort with farfetch’d that you definitely shouldn’t overlook.

1 — Congratulations on the release of “My Friends.” Please tell us more about the influences and musical style that shaped this cool track.

Thanks! This tune has taken inspiration from bits and pieces of tracks I’ve been into over the last 10 years, everything from Daft Punk to Fred Again. It contains a lot of micro samples and vocal lines that are in a similar vein as old French House records, but we also wanted to experiment with the current UK rave sound, which we think ended up in a pretty unique and interesting way.

2 — How did you and farfetch’d navigate the creative process together, especially when faced with differing ideas or disagreements?

We were kind of on the same page with most things to be fair. Jerry from farfetch’d is a very creative guy and he loves to bash out new ideas, which worked well for me to develop into full songs. We worked on every track together in my studio and finished them off together. Of course, we had some different ideas about certain things but since none of us had a big ego, we just compromised. I think when you like the same kind of music, you usually think quite alike.

3 — What sets this collaboration apart from your previous singles?

I think this is possibly the strongest single from the EP. It feels catchy and is super simple yet not too boring. It also has Jerry’s voice in it which is unique to any other of our tracks.

4 — Can you share any funny anecdotes about specific moments while crafting “My Friends”?

We have hidden a few wacky voice notes in it as a sort of ambiance. It can be heard in the second verse or whatever you wanna call it. You clearly hear Jerry laughing about something, but I can’t remember what it was.

5 — Is this tune part of an upcoming album or EP?

It’s track no.3 from our ‘My Friends’ EP which has a total of 6 tracks. It was released via Perfect Havoc on 29th September.

6 — What are your emotions when your music receives recognition and praise from other producers in the industry?

It’s always so much fun to get praise from your peers and colleagues. These people live and breathe music and probably hear way more stuff than the average listener, so I guess they tend to be less impressed by music.

7 — Has your signature sound as Tobtok undergone changes over the years?

Haha most definitely. I started out with French House which evolved into Nu-Disco. I later jumped on the Tropical House train (quite early on in my defense). Left that and tried something cooler with my track “ABER,” and from there, it’s been more of a mix between UK and Deep House.

8 — Is there any specific music genre you’re eager to explore?

Old School Disco and Soul. I’m a big fan of the 70s as a whole, that’s why I’ve bought a few vintage Roland pieces in my studio and a Rhodes Piano.

9 — Considering the global nature of music today, are there any international artists you’d love to collaborate with?

I love Jungle right now, for reasons made quite obvious in the previous question. They’ve mastered this cool retro 70’s/Motown sound and yet managed to make it sound fresh somehow. I’d love to just hang out in the studio with them and see what they do.

10 — As we conclude, do you feel that there’s a certain formula that artists can follow to produce chart-topping hits?

Nowadays, it’s all about doing something that stands out from what everyone else is doing and probably also adding a sprinkle of nostalgia and familiarity into something. A good example is the new Peggy Gou record which is a massive hit that takes inspiration from ATB but puts it in a new and interesting context. It doesn’t hurt to have a massive TikTok following either lol.



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From Drummer To EDM Producer: Kouss Opens Up About “Can’t Go Back”




You must read this interview with Kouss! He used to rock it as a badass drummer in the Stellar Revival band, but now he’s spilling the beans about how he switched things up and got into making electronic dance music (EDM). The spotlight is now on his latest track, “Can’t Go Back.” Learn more here.

1 — Putting your sound into words, how would you convey the mood and sensations that your music evokes to someone unfamiliar with it?

My music aims to be an uplifting and thoughtful blend of Progressive House and Dance-Pop. Even though the music is very dancefloor-friendly, the songwriting is very Pop-forward. I also love mixing live instrumentation with electronic production to create layered recordings. As a drummer, having live elements mesh with the electronic really brings out a unique texture.

2 — Your transition from Rock music with Stellar Revival to EDM is quite remarkable. Can you tell us more about it?

The transition from Rock to EDM is an exciting and natural creative evolution. I’ve always been passionate about electronic music, so finally being able to fully immerse myself in the genre as a producer and songwriter has been fulfilling. My background as a touring Rock drummer also gives me a unique musical sensibility that I try to incorporate into Kouss Records.

3 — As a drummer, you had to adapt to a different genre. How did you translate your rhythmic background into this new realm?

When approaching any genre, especially Dance music, I’m utilizing my background in percussion to create grooves and drum patterns. The drum parts still come from the same creative place whether I’m sitting behind a drum set or drawing with a MIDI controller. I will say that with EDM I find myself focused more on groove and restraint.

4 — In what ways have Illenium, Zedd, and David Guetta played a role in shaping the sound of your new single “Can’t Go Back”?

Illenium, Zedd, and David Guetta definitely influenced the melodic and atmospheric vibes in “Can’t Go Back.” Their music motivates and challenges me to produce massive soundscapes on the highest level. They’re all melodic magicians, and I continue to be inspired by their work. I also feel like I put my own spin on “Can’t Go Back.” It’s almost like the line between EDM and Pop became blurrier on this track.

5 — What’s the story behind the song title?

“Can’t Go Back” is generally about moving forward and not dwelling on the past. For me personally, it’s about evolving as an artist and person.

6 — Anna Kline’s presence on “Can’t Go Back” adds a unique dynamic. How did this collaboration come about?

I was introduced to Anna soon after starting the Kouss project by “Can’t Go Back” co-producer and dear friend Phil Barnes. The second I heard Anna sing I knew I wanted to work with her. She’s an incredible songwriter and an awesome human. It was an organic collaboration that we’re both stoked about. Definitely be on the lookout for more collaborations with Anna in the future!

7 — How do you aim to connect with listeners on an emotional level through this single?

I aim to connect with listeners on an emotional level through the authenticity and musicality of “Can’t Go Back.” It’s about delivering that special feeling to the listener. We crafted this recording from a place of passion as artists. The lyrics are relatable and cathartic, and Anna’s vocals draw you into this sonic world we created. We also tap into some nostalgia with the Big Room House vibe. But overall the goal was to give listeners an authentic musical experience that resonates with them, regardless of what genre they usually listen to.

8 — For “Can’t Go Back,” did you experiment with a combination of electronic elements and live instruments?

Yes, “Can’t Go Back” mixes electronic production with live drumming and live guitars. The live instruments give the song a dynamic texture and human feel. Not every Kouss song will have live instruments, but it’s definitely a major part of the debut EP coming in 2024.

9 — Looking ahead, how do you envision your music style evolving?

I want to continue bridging the gap between organic and electronic. Creatively, I think there’s a lot of meat on that bone. I also don’t want to limit myself to a single genre or style. I love all types of music and ultimately hope to develop a sound that draws from those diverse influences and experiences.

10 — Lastly, reflecting on your journey so far, what’s been the most memorable or rewarding moment of your music career?

Working with talented musicians and creators who are excited about my music has been humbling and inspiring. I didn’t expect it, but the reaction to “Can’t Go Back” has been both unexpected and validating. It’s so cool to see the song played in clubs, gyms, and cars. I’m truly fortunate to share my passion for music and connect with listeners who share the same passion.



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