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Sansadj Interview 2015




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.

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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