Sansadj has become one of the India’s most loved and respected new DJs. He is also a doctor but he always has time for his #1 passion, which is music. Electro WOW caught up with Sansadj to talk about his life as an artist and his opinion about different things.
1 – Where did the name Sansadj come from?
When I was little, I spent most of my time with my grandparents up until the 5th grade; my parents were trying to establish themselves as doctors in their private setup. So before going to bed, my grandfather who was an English teacher would always tell me a story. I remember him once telling me a poem from Shakespeare in which death of a man was compared to the end of a play. In that play, the writer uses sans teeth, sans words, sans eyes again and again. Even though the word meant without but just the context and the way it was used stuck with me at an innate level, it was done so beautifully. Adding dj at the end was just a choice to be more easily recognizable.
2 – What has been the biggest challenge for you as a DJ?
Well there are some challenges that every starting DJ faces like how to build your name, how to get the right promotion, how to stand out among myriad of people trying to put out their music etc.
Then their were and are unique challenges for me for example I work as a doctor in the day so that leaves me with a much lesser time than most other people to give to my music. Also running and building an entire recording label from scratch has its own challenges. Talking to lawyers, distributors, artwork people, video production team, public relations, signing new artists while producing your own music and also working as a doctor can take the shit out of you but music is my passion, at the same time I would not be doing anything else.
Then the other major challenge for me was making my parents understand why I wanted to risk and go in the music industry where chances of success were limited when I had already been in medicine for around 8 years. That was really the hard part, to make my family understand how important this was for me.
Also unlike Dutch and other European countries, where djing and electronic music production is well established, in India it is still booming, relatively new. Some clubs want DJ’s to play Bollywood or Punjabi music, edm is just no-no, the scene has improved but still can grow further. As far as common layman is concerned I have seen well-educated people know nothing about electronic dance music here. Festivals like Sunburn and VH1 supersonic have helped but most people I feel are showoff’s and poser’s, just to give you an example many people here confuse electronica to be big room house only, as you know my 1st release is a combination of trance and deep house, I have had some people come up to me and ask why are not producing some like ‘that’ where by ‘that’ they usually mean big room house. Also people questioned me and gave me the looks as if “what the fuck is he doing?” more so when I started out, but sometimes even now. This kind of ignorance irritates me and amuses me at the same time. I can keep laughing all day long.
3 – As a doctor…do you think Trance music is a good medicine?
Yes, I definitely think so, not just trance music though, music of any kind. I feel music is one of the few things that can make you great through any thing or time in your life. For me music is a medicine definitely. I am always listening to something or the other. Whether I am walking or driving to the hospital it doesn’t really matter. I love trance but I listen to house, Bollywood music, Arabic, rock, pop, alternative, dubstep, chillstep etc, as long as I like something, its totally fine with me.
4 – Why do you think Trance is a popular music genre in India?
Well, I don’t know what the stats say, but I think big room house is currently more popular. As I said earlier, the feeling I have is people here confuse big room house to be electronica only. I have meet very few people who have a lets select interest in trance. Most people head to big festivals here only when a big name artist comes with big marketing. For local artists, getting support it’s totally another issue whether it’s the government, club owners or public in general.
5 – Where do the inspirations for your new extended play “Different Shades Of Same Colors” come from?
Well, as u already know I was depressed some time back, so ophthalmology didn’t interest me, I had a messy break up with the girl I was supposed to marry, I was lost. Only music gave me hope, happiness. Once I decided I wanted to get into this industry, I just started producing what came to me, I didn’t think of the genre, didn’t think of anything. I was lucky to have support from my brother, from my childhood friends; those were some tough times but I didn’t lose sight of the good times that came before them. I just felt Life as a full circle that it is, good with bad, a mixture, a combination that we all go through but can’t really phantom. So I created those 4 tracks to represent each stage of life as it and ended the EP where it began. That’s why the artwork is subdivided into 4 sections as well.
6 – What software or music equipment do you use to produce your own music?
Software, currently I am using is currently FL Studio. Equipment I produced Different shades with was a 13 inch Macbook Pro, a Focusrite 2i4 audio interface and Senheisser HD280 PRO closed back headphones for monitoring. Most people produce using monitors, an approach I am not really comfortable with, I like the in-ear feel my headphones provide where I can feel each layer of music, synths that I produce at a given select time. My kit definitely needs an upgrade though, that will be happening soon enough I think.
7 – Have you ever thought about collaborating with a vocalist?
Sure, I have. I have already started work on my next project, 2-3 tracks down the line, and yes I will be very interested in collaborating with a vocalist. I have already written lyrics for 3 tracks, so I am definitely looking forward to that. The important thing is that musically speaking, the vocalist and I should be on the same wavelength. Plus mutual respect and co-ordination is also important, u can’t get along well with everybody I guess.
8 – How can you help other artists that want to be part of Morior Invictus Recordings?
As CEO and co-founder of the company, there is one thing I clearly want to tell any artist looking to release a track on our label – I set this company up because I love electronic music, not because I wanted to rip you off. The music is all that matters. If your music is good enough, whether u are established or not, playing gigs or not, we will give you a chance. We are very straight and very honest. We tell artist what it is; we can provide you with best artwork, a graphic animation YouTube video, distribution to all the major stores and public representation. In this regard I believe in quality over quantity. We work on a release-by-release basis so as to give maximum exposure to the track being released. Artists who have signed with us can testify to that. Ultimately we do our best to promote each track, but there is no guarantee of how well it will do on the web market, some do really well while others don’t.
9 – Is there something you dislike about the music industry?
Well, if there’s one thing really, it will be show offs and posers, that’s about it. I am a very simple, straightforward and honest person. I am not superstitious but I do believe in karma. So I prefer dealing with people who don’t bitch around and stab other people in the back.
10 – Any producers you would want to collaborate with in the future?
Among big names I guess, Armin Van Burren because he was one of the people I looked up to and still look up to while making music. Hardwell and Swedish House Mafia for their distinct progressive house, Avicii and Deadmau5 for their unique and wonderful music, they are just a breath of fresh air. Also I would have no problem in a collaboration with any artists on my label, I wouldn’t have signed them if I didn’t believe in their music, Strelok and AMSS both have some great tunes coming up.
M.D. Chau Opens Up About Music And New Song “Stand Next To Me”
M.D. Chau is a recording artist and music producer previously known as “Minh.” Today he shares a beautiful single titled “Stand Next To Me,” which carries a message of hope for humanity and a better world. Learn more about him in this interview.
1 — When exactly did you change your artistic name?
With the “Stand Next To Me” release, I decided to change my artist name to M.D. Chau. The main reason is there are so many Vietnamese artists named “Minh” and I just couldn’t come up with some clever name that was congruent with who I am.
2 — Musically speaking, are there any differences between Minh and M.D. Chau?
I think the difference is I’m no longer chasing fame or wealth in my music endeavors. I do well in business and I really don’t need much from the industry or even people in terms of approval or accolades. I want to make honest music and use sounds I personally enjoy. Under “Minh” I was trying to find “my sound” mostly because the industry forced that kind of thinking. Now, I don’t really care about any of that. And the music I make, I don’t need it to become popular.
3 — Do you still see yourself pursuing music as a career or a hobby?
The world may correlate or validate a “career” in art with monetary gain and not for the frequency of works being released by the artist. I don’t look at it that way. It’s always been a career for me and will continue to be, but it’s part of my entrepreneurial career – it’s a creative venture within the whole of my entrepreneurial life and my goals.
4 — Are you ever stuck for what record to make next?
Not personally, as far as creative direction or ideation. If something is not being created, it usually has to do with the time and resources I need to get what I want to create out. I have two songs now in the works and I’m letting it sit a bit so I can come back to it with an evolved perspective. One is called “Good To Me” and one is called “Broken Inside”, both of which I wrote in the studio when I decided to just book the room and see what comes out.
I think everyone does and I do too. I would say that it matters less the older I get and the more I realize how true that opening line from “Ted” the movie is… “No matter how big a splash you make in this world whether you’re Corey Feldman, Frankie Muniz, Justin Bieber, or a talking teddy bear, eventually, nobody gives a shit.”
6 – Your latest single “Stand Next To Me” is awesome! What are the lyrics about?
With the lyrics, I wanted to draw attention to the one thing I think we all have in common as humanity, no matter what our differences are… we want to see our families do well and not hurt. I feel like if we can all get around that, we might just gain enough empathy to come together and figure out a middle ground and stop hurting each other’s families. Because of all this hate and division, that’s all it’s doing. I hope the song can somehow be used to bring us together. If I can get the resources and connections I need, I’d love to do an essay and songwriting contest about unity in middle schools and high schools across the country with a scholarship prize with the theme “Stand Next To Me.”
7 – Who or what inspired you to write this song?
All the Asian hate crimes happening as well as the injustices happening to pretty much every race across our globe. I also always had a vision in my head of all the moms in the world that work so hard for their families, including my mom. And when we act like horrible human beings, we shame them – we shame the family that has been sacrificing so much for us. For another person, it may not be a mother – it may be their father, uncle, grandma, etc… we have to do better as humans, for our family’s sake.
The pianist on my song is also an incredible music director, Rashad Howard. He’s played for some big names in music. He also plays in churches, so when I wanted a choir sound, he got some choir singers from a church he plays for and that’s what we came up with in the studio in a session. They did an incredible job!
9 – Are you already working on your next single?
Yes, there are two I’m working on that I mentioned in the previous question. But, I’m also thinking about re-doing some of the songs from when I was “Minh” and released five albums. Some of those songs I think deserve a new musical effort behind them.
10 – If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
I don’t think artists and songwriters are being compensated enough to make a living, yet songs permeate every aspect of our lives. I wish entrepreneurs could figure out a way to reward artists in their ventures that use music as a vehicle. I don’t think you can expect consumers to step up. I think business people need to consider the hard work behind every piece of music released for their use. I think artists also need to understand that if there’s not a marriage between art and commerce, none of us would be inspired by any of the artists that have influenced us – and that’s true in every artform! Many artists are too difficult when it comes to commercializing their art and they don’t reach someone that probably really needs a piece of what is coming out of them.
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Interview | Questions & Answers With Cultural Vultures
Danny Schneider aka Cultural Vultures is hoping to become the opening act for Coldplay and Black Eyed Peas via Audacy’s new competition. The winner will perform in the biggest concert of the year at the Hollywood Bowl. Get to know the artist better through this interesting interview.
1 — Did you begin playing drums or guitar just as you hit your teens?
Guitar has been my go-to instrument of choice, although I love the piano as well. Drums have always been intriguing to me and love beats and movement. Music takes me to a different place. It opens up parts of my brain that normal thought can’t access.
2 — How have you changed musically over the years?
Well, when I was younger I would listen differently than I do now. I would definitely not overthink or overcomplicate a song and just love it for what it was. Now I’m listening to all of the delicate intricacies that make a song. The arrangement, the melodies. Figuring out the key by just listening. I try to pick out all of the subtle instruments in the songs that you don’t know you are hearing. The melody in a lyric, etc.
3 — What do all your songs have in common?
People have gotten away from albums. Now people listen to a single song because of the platform they are on. I’ll write an entire album and although each song is separate there is a flow and they are all connected by sound. My songs as a whole usually tell a story collectively throughout the album. I will also use the same theme musically. For instance, in my songs, I have a huge orchestral element that I wrote for each song. All of the songs on the albums will have this because even though it’s a Rock song, to me it has to flow with the album. Like a DJ in a club, the transition from one song to the next should be seamless.
4 — Which musician other than yourself have you ever wanted to be?
I don’t think anyone wants to be someone else. There are musicians I admire Like Brian Eno, Trent Reznor, Bjork, and Tricky. I’d say in my opinion Prince was the greatest guitarist the world has seen. Even better than Hendrix. Prince’s biggest downfall was he was brilliant in every instrument so it overshadowed how incredible a guitarist he was.
5 — Is “Catch Hell For Comfort” your all-time favorite song from your catalog?
I am proud of that song and it’s been the one most people know me for. It’s not my favorite though, there are a few I’ve written but haven’t released yet which inspire me and make me giddy at times. As far as ones I’ve written and released I’d say “Time”, or “Surreal Sister” would be my favorites. Time builds on itself like you are walking up a mountain, then in a moment it’s like you are caught in an avalanche and you are falling. “Surreal Sister” to me is a beautiful yet fast-paced song that I love.
6 — Who would you dedicate these lyrics to?
I was the first artist signed to WatchMojo’s new record label SoundMojo. They primarily released my music videos though not my albums. So I would say as far as that is concerned I’m not signed to a label.
8 — We know you’re running to open for Coldplay and Black Eyed Peas at the Hollywood Bowl. Please tell us more.
Well, I was picked with several other bands to open for both of those bands but it’s a voting thing. I would need my fans to vote on Theopenact.com for it to happen. We will see what happens. I just love performing and getting lost in the music on stage.
Haha, usually I’ll sing loud in my car trying to stretch those vocal muscles. Typically I’ll sing a lot of Mad Season songs, I’ve always loved Layne Staley’s voice.
10 — What else can we expect from Cultural Vultures for the rest of the year?
Well, I’m doing a couple more music videos, a live studio performance, and working on the fourth album. We will see what’s next, I’m always ready to keep working and living this adventure.
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The Two Fake Blondes Drop A String Of Hot Remixes, Full Interview Here
The Two Fake Blondes is a husband-and-wife duo based in Seattle, Washington. Since the release of their debut album ‘Out Of The Darkness,’ they’ve been gaining momentum across the electronic music scene. In this interview, we discuss their recent remixes and much more…
1 — Why did you decide to release a string of the remixes?
We really wanted to continue to breathe life into our album, and we thought – what better way to do that than calling up a few of our awesome friends and asking them to offer their own interpretations to songs off of our album via a remix?!
2 — How did these collaborations take shape?
When ‘Out Of The Darkness’ was released last fall, we already had three out of the four artists in mind that we wanted to get involved on remix duty. So in that process, we reached out and asked them to choose a song from the album that stuck out to them. Each of them came back with a song choice and really meaningful reasons on why they chose the song that they did. On the fourth remix, Sherm actually reached out to us explaining how much “Alone” spoke to him on a personal level and how instantly he knew he wanted to remix it.
3 — From a production standpoint, were things done drastically different with each remix?
Yes, each remix was drastically different from the original, which we loved! The most consistent aspect was Hannah’s vocal, but otherwise, everyone tapped into their own magnificent creative workflow and delivered remixes that blew us away. We couldn’t be happier with each one.
4 — All of them sound pretty dope, which one is good for clubs and festivals?
We’ve got Sherm’s Tech-House remix, which is guaranteed to go off at the clubs. Yabe’s Deep House would be a sick poolside party track. Deadman’s Future House remix would surely blow the speakers out on a festival stage and finally, you’ve got Neon Feather’s epic Synthwave/House track that you could listen to literally anywhere. It’s such a good range!
5 —How would you describe your role during the creative process?
When it came to these remixes, we just took our hands off the wheel and handed the keys over to the remixers. Because we were fans of each of their music already, (and had already worked with some) we knew we wouldn’t be getting anything less than fantastic from each of them. We did make tweaks for the final mixes, but otherwise, it was all them.
6 — What philosophy guides your music career?
Hard work and joy. We love to hustle and work hard, it’s literally in each of our DNA – it’s so fun for us! We love seeing results, we love reaping the rewards BUT at the end of the day – are we healthy? Are we burnt out? How is our marriage? We also try to see everything we do music-wise through our fans’ points of view. There’s nothing that makes us happier (when it comes to music) than being up on stage sharing incredible moments with the audience and getting to chat with them after. We’re here to give them an escape and hopefully enhance their lives in some way, big or small. We try to recreate that with our social media experience as well. We love our music fam!
7 — Do you believe being a husband-wife duo makes things easier while working together at the studio?
We’ve built our relationship on mutual respect, trust, and communication. We had no idea how much these traits would translate into the studio! We both also know each of our strengths so we don’t need to step on each other’s toes. We take credit for everything together equally, even if at the end of the day we know who did what. Haha! Ego is always left at the door when we head into the studio.
8 — Have you ever worked on solo projects separately?
Yes, Pete was just Petey Mac for a long time, producing House and Tech-House. Hannah was actually a Country music artist (Hannah Michelle Weeks) for almost two decades!
9 —So far, what’s the best feedback you’ve received about your debut album ‘Out Of The Darkness’?
Besides the positive comments from our fans on social media and personal stories from our remixers, I think the coolest thing has been seeing how many “saves” the songs are getting on Spotify. We all know, you really really have to like a song to make the effort to hit that heart! We’ve had so many amazing blog write-ups as well and feel so abundantly grateful for our supporters in the press.
10 — Musically speaking, what are your plans for the upcoming months?
We are actually having a baby in about 6 weeks! We are going to take some time off of social media and really soak up these last few weeks before parenthood begins – we cannot wait to meet our baby boy! For the rest of the year, we will be writing and working on brand new music for 2023 and working on booking our Summer tour for 2023 as well.